Rayovac LED Lantern Conversion




Introduction: Rayovac LED Lantern Conversion

Convert that old battery eating lantern into a higher powered and longer lasting one.

What you will need:
An electric lantern (I used a 4xAA version)
LEDs (got mine from a light I purchased at Walmart)
Soldiering gun
Hot glue

Step 1: Crack It Open!

Not litterally, just remove the top and toss the bulb.

Step 2: Grab a Saw

Chop off some of the shaft (not necessary depending on your lantern).

Step 3: Attach the New Lights

I chose to go with Luxeon LEDs, but these are the real low wattage version. Not sure of the exact specs as I sniped it from something I bought from Walmart.

Anyways, check the polarity and soldier it to the wires that would have gone to the bulb. Then simply glue it to the base.

Step 4: Testing

Slap the lantern back together and test it. These LEDs were much brighter than the little 4v bulb and will outlast it in terms of life and power consumed.

Have fun!



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    17 Discussions

    Whats Weird is that i did this several years ago and i still have it with original batteries and everything

    1 reply

    Oops i noticed that this ible was made in 2007 i made mine about 2008 and i had no idea about Instructables! The story was that the bulb burnt out and i didnt have another so i used an LED i had

    Sorry dude but theese are not Luxeon leds.

    From my experience you can run most LEDs off of 3 batteries in series without messing with resistors. Running it off of 4 might be over clocking them a bit. Maybe not since there's 3 of them but if its too much you can just put a jumper between one of the battery contacts and cut it down to 3 batteries.

    5 replies

    3 AA or AAA batts are 4.5 volts. that will cook most leds. you need a 55 ohm resistor in series to limit the current. nicads or NiMH batts have about the right voltage but current limiting is still a good idea. good luck. lite the world.

    it depends on how many volts the LED is, but you should always use a resistor, a pretty much universal resistor is a 330ohm 1/4 watt

    330 ohms is too high for a 4.5 or 6vdc supply. the white LEDs are typically 3.4 vdc 55 ohms is needed for 4.5 volts and 130 ohms is needed for 6 vdc. i'm afraid 330would dim them down way too much. 330 works exactly for 10 vdc. good luck. lite the world.

    leds have insufficient internal resistance; i.e. they r a direct short. you need a current limiting resistor. i have long used 47 ohms on 4.5vdc for leds of the 3.4v 20ma persuasion. the 2.1v ones need more (120 if used on 4.5vdc. 3 volts requires 47(45 calculated) ohms for the 2.1vdc leds. good luck. lite the world.

    Resistors are not for matching your battery voltage to your LED but to keep current within acceptable limits ! Always use one.

    conventional LEDs will definately save juice. luxeon's may or may not. they are also expensive. i can't fault the guy, he did it and it worked fr him. yea! another electronic experimenter whips the lite designed to sell batteries. his lite is brighter white, and he's happy. he's also trying to help others by his instructable. take 3 ataboy's. good luck. lite the world.

    I bought the same lantern several months ago with the same idea in mind, sort of. Nice to see your thoughts put into action (unlike my thoughts). I was going to put a current limiter in it and use some CR123 batteries. Yours is much easier. Where did you get your LEDs? Thanks.

    1 reply

    you might be dissappointed w the cr123 batts. they wouldn't last long. if ur backpacking that may be exactly what u need. buy batts by the 100's fm hong kong. most like the cr2032 batteries as they have a few more amper hours. the best bet, however is probably AA penlights in a holder. the ultra bright leds are now bright enough to work in a lantern , without the extra expense of luxor or luxon bulbs. your batts should last all season. good luck. lite the world.

    There's an easier way now. Wally World now carries a very bright LED replacement bulb that works very well with 4.8 volts+ AA batteries for less than $9. It's rated for 9vdc. 7 of the Nicad or NiMH batteries is 8.4 vdc. It's lights up a dark room better than my 12v Coleman dual florescent lantern.

    In step 3, you should explain where you got the circuit board from. Was that originally part of the lantern? If so, what was originally attached to it? Or did you order it from the same source as the LEDs? Did you etch it yourself? Also, what are you doing for current limiting? LEDs, like any other diodes, try to act like a dead short as soon as their forward voltage is exceeded. If you don't limit that current somehow, they'll eat your batteries, kill themselves, or both. In step 4, you claim that the converted lantern will outlast its incandescent brother. Have you measured the actual runtime after the conversion? Also, "solder" doesn't have an "i" in it.

    As a regular camper, I like this one!! Make the most of your batteries and have soem nice light to chill by. ~C