Introduction: Bedside Lantern

This lantern is based on a no-brand lantern, much like the tall version of the Rotera lantern from Ikea. It's about 38 cm high. Instead of the 10 battery powered leds, I placed a 30W hallogen light bulb in it.

Warning: this instructable involves wiring mains electricity and a hot light bulb, it can be a shock or fire hazard. If you have no experience with this, seek help of someone who does.

Step 1: Bring in the Power Cord

The lantern I bought had a double floor. The construction is made of sheet metal, so it's easy enough to drill through. I used a Dremel to smoothen the edges of the holes. Be aware that sharp edges can cut through the wire over time, and this can result in electric current running through the lantern case and create the risk of an electric shock to the user.

For safety:
  • add extra tube around the wire
  • use insulated wires as shown in picture, don't confuse with speaker wire that has only one layer of insulation and should never be used to carry mains voltages
As you see in the picture, I didn't drill the holes in the most convenient place. At the bottom of the lantern there were already some holes, and I started using one of those to drill through the floor.
On hindsight, drilling in the corner between two glass panels would have been better.

Step 2: Connect Things Up

Once the wire was inside, the rest was easy.
There is a hook inside the lantern, so I wrapped the cable around it to hang the lamp from, and I used an existing hole to put the switch through. I glued the cable to the side of the lamp, so it won't touch the light bulb.

Once everything is connected, use a multimeter to test the resistance between the leads and the case of the lamp. If there is any contact, check the wires again and do not use until you're sure everything is safe!

Once everything is wired and tested for electrical insulation, test whether the lamp doesn't produce too much heat. Close the lantern and turn on the lamp. Let it run for at least half an hour. Feel the outside of the lantern regularly. If it gets too hot to touch, lower the wattage of the lamp - or replace with an energy saving compact fluorescent or a LED bulb.

Step 3: Frosted Glass

The lanterns I bought were Christmas themed and there is a plastic film in front of each glass pane that diffuses the light in a star shape. The diffused light avoids you getting blinded when you look at the lantern.
If your glass panes are clear, you can either add a "privacy" film from the DIY store, or etch the glasses to give them a frosted finish (you can find a lot of Instructables on etching glass).


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