LED Strip Lantern

Introduction: LED Strip Lantern

I had a roll of about 4 metres of white strip LEDs and I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. Then, one day, I had the idea of wrapping them around a vitamin jar to make a battery powered camping lentern. 

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Step 1: Container

I used an empty Swisse vitamin jar as my container for the batteries and something to wrap the LEDs around.

Step 2: Drillin' Time

You'll need three holes in the side of the container, one for the wires and two 180° opposite each other for the handle.

Step 3: Wrapping the LEDs

This part's pretty simple, but if you don't have adhesive backed LEDs you could use maybe some double-sided tape or even some glue. Note that it may take a few goes before you are happy with the way it's wrapped.

Step 4: Powering It

Now, there are probably a few different ways to power the LEDs, I chose this little power converter kit which can be rigged up to provide anything between 4.5 and 15 volts, perfect for my 12 volt LEDs. Oh and it only runs off 3V!
(On the site the product is called "3V to 9V converter" but it the instructions explain how to get different voltages).

Step 5: Soldering

This step is pretty simple as well, just remember to get the polarity right!

Step 6: Testing!

Put the batteries and the converter board in the jar with a piece of foam to stop them rattling around. The LEDs look a bit dim in this photo theres probably a few reasons for that, one would be the camera making it look darker, another would be that it's day time and it's not made to focus the light like a torch, it's made to spread it around on the ground near you. I'll see if I can get some photos of it at night to give you a better idea of what it's like.

Step 7: Final Touches

Grab the lid and drill a hole in it for the switch, make sure you make the hole a little bit smaller than the diameter of the switch so you can sort of screw the switch in and tap a thread in the plastic at the same time, it's also probably a good idea to put a nut and washer on the switch to stop it getting loose in the plastic over time.

Cut a length of string about 30cm long (if its nylon remember to melt the ends or they'll fray) and tie them inside the jar.

Step 8: Done!

Well, there you have it, a LED lantern made from a vitamin jar and a handful of electronics. This could be improved by maybe adding rechargeable batteries, longer lasting batteries or maybe even a PWM dimmer knob. Anyway I hope you enjoyed my Instructable and if you do make this or something like it, be sure to share it in the comments below!

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    7 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You might be able to puy a coil of wire inside the bottom and make a contactless battery charger. I like it and my thought was to try and add my finger nail size arduino to control those RGB strips.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Cool! Check out my helmet I made, I also used LED strips. They are pretty handy huh? :D


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah they are, they even make LED strips that you can control the colour of each LED independently via serial, would be great for decorating a christmas tree.

    PS. I had a look at your helmet and it's very cool! =)

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. Thanks for sharing. The link to the power converter was a bonus...I can use a few of those ;o)