Lantern Conversion to Flicker Flame

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Introduction: Lantern Conversion to Flicker Flame

About: Happily married, self employed, full wood shop, some metal work as well as electronics, antique collector.

I had all the parts sitting around so I made this fun project.

Step 1: Super Easy Way to Make Your Boring Old Lantern Into a Fun Camping / Mood Light

This entire project took approximately 1 hour from start to finish.
The most difficult part was the fear of ruining a 36.00 flicker flame light.
Parts needed a flicker lamp 120volt AC approx 25.00 to 39.00 dollars US.
One dc to dc step up board 4.00 electronic goldmine. Part number in photo.
One led lantern sold by the millions, still at Walmart I don’t recall the cost 20.00?
A tiny bit of solder.
Tools: solder iron, screw driver, electronic meter, helpful but not required.
Super glue.

Step 2: The Scary Part, Not Difficult But Don’t Screw Up.

The brass base needs to be removed and the wires cut, what makes this project easy is most LED lamps operate on 12 volts DC, to get from wall voltage to 12vdc they use a small reducing unit that is almost never part of the LED system. It is very obvious because it is wired directly to the bulb base and has two wires in and two out. The two out usually are red and black and will be the 12vdc to the flicker arrays.

Step 3: Solder the Dc to Dc Step Up Unit to the LED Arrays

First glue the lamp base to the lantern plate, the plate is removed by twisting just a little.
The board is clearly marked in and out positive and negative connect with correct direction and polarity.
I wrapped the board with a touch of tape to prevent a short.
The wires were already there from when I disconnected them from the 120 volt step down board.
Red + black -
Use the two power wires that you disconnected from the stock led tree, (push connector)
Cut off connector from batteries in the base and solder directly to the step up board.
Note the fill cap switch will still work but dimming will be not possible.

Step 4: Finish Up

Things not mentioned earlier, the top of the lantern lifts to release the lens and led tree.
The base of the tree twists to come off the body, not threads just a slotted key way.
The board I bought was not able to convert the 3 volts batttery voltage to 12, but the lamp works just fine on the 7.5 to 9 volts.
I lightly sanded half the lens with 400 grit to soften the effect of the flame, I also removed the frosted cover on the flicker bulb, do so to suit your taste, have fun it really was a fun and rewarding project.

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2 Discussions

I have a few of these bulbs on the way. I really like what you did here, but the Instructable is a TINY bit difficult to follow. Had to go back and reread through it a few times to make sure I knew what you were saying. Anyway, do you have a recommendation for a different board if that one wasn't providing the full 12v? Keep up the great work!

1 reply

there are several boards produced that will do the job, the problem is the size.

As my friend who has a doctorate in Electrical engineering says.”those as suggested voltages” sorry about the clarity of the instructable it’s my first in years in short you remove the existing LEDs and replace then with a dc step up and the flicker assembly.