Emergency Lamp for Less Than $1




About: I am an engineer focused on recycled batteries, electric vehicles and renewable energy. I am always working on engineering projects I can’t stop.

This is a 12V battery lamp that can light a whole room. I used laptop lithium batteries to run the light but a 12V car battery would work as well.

I live in an area that gets lots of hurricanes so cheap emergency lighting is important when the power goes out.

Parts needed
12V car light bulb
Plastic container
12V battery


Step 1: Solder Wires and Install in Container

Solder the wires to the light bulb. I got a 2 filament bulb for 50 cents so I soldered 3 wires to the light. This gives me a low and high power setting.

I cut a hole into the bottom of a small plastic container. I put the light in and fed the wire through small holes on the side of the container.

Step 2: Use the Light

I just connected the battery to the light using small alligator clips. It is easy to switch the negative clip between the high and low power wires. A small switch can be installed as well.

If I use 3 laptop cells in series the light is very bright. It can light a large room. The light will run for about an hour and a half like this on hi power. If 6 cells are used (2p 3s) it will run for 3 hours.

I have a drill that runs on 3 parallel sets of 2 series laptop cells.


I can hook this up to the light and it will run for 6 hours with enough light to light up a medium sided room.



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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago on Step 2

    Great Job, how do you charge those 16550 batteries safely, you seem to have lots of. I see no lion charger anywhere in pictures..



    4 years ago on Introduction

    great idea!.... You might look into LED lighting.... Much less current draw and almost zero heat...


    4 years ago

    Ya I am watching it. I might need to protect the plastic. I had it on for over an hour on the low setting and it was fine.


    4 years ago

    I would reconsider the yogurt cup. Incandescent auto lights get very hot if left on.