Introduction: LED Flicker Bulb Lantern

About: Jack-of-all trades, master of some. I would probably be much more modest if it wasn't for these delusions of granduer that I suffer from.

This project was completely inspired by the Gaslamp Lantern that Adam Savage built on a one day build for Tested.

I took his concept and built it as inexpensively as I could for a plague doctor cosplay costume.


Lantern body

LED Flicker Lightbulb

2AA battery box with built in switch

Matte clear coat

black spray paint

hot glue

(optional but recommended) soldering iron and heat shrink tubing

(optional) 3D printed bulb base

(optional) 3D printed lamp holder fixture

Step 1: Lantern Body

I found this light fixture at the thrift store for $4.

I removed the 110v bulb fixture from the base of the lantern since it would not be needed. This process was super simply. the whole fixture unscrews into multiple pieces.

Step 2: LED Flicker Bulb

I highly recommend getting the bulbs that Adam linked to in his build. The First LED flicker bulbs I got were a different brand ad they had the LED matrix soldered directly onto a circuit board that stepped the volts down from 110 to 3. needless to say there was no easy way to get the bulbs separated from the board. The bulbs that were linked in his video have a length of wire between the stepper circuit and the LED matrix making it easy to separate and then rewire.

I chose to solder the wires and cover them with heat shrink tubing since I had those tools on hand. If you are not comfortable solder or don't have a soldering iron, you can use small wire nuts to attach the extension wires without soldering.

I 3D printed a base to hold the bulb in the lantern body you can find it here

Step 3: Battery Case / Switch

I chose this particular 2AA battery case since it had an integrated switch built into it.

Again, I chose to solder and heatshrink the connections.

I chose to attach the battery case to the back of the lamp using some hot glue on the side of the case that did not have the switch. There is enough room in the rear of the lamp to conceal the switch and still have room to slide the battery case open when it is time to change the batteries.

Step 4: Modifying the Glass

By spraying the glass with some matte clear coat, the glass will get a slightly opaque frosted look which will hide and little mistakes you may have had during assembly. This will also diffuse the light from the bulb and make the flickering LEDs look even more like a real flame.

Step 5: Adding Details

By lightly spraying some black spray paint along just the top edge of the glass it gives a look of accumulated soot.

Step 6: Finished Product

The Lantern came out even better than I hoped. It will run for several days on 2 AA batteries.

The only downside I found to this lantern is that I kept having to move it out of my way.

Solution: I made a hand shaped holder for this particular style of light fixture. You can find it here

Recycled Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Recycled Speed Challenge