I was watching the evening news, and it was reported that a line of spring storms were brewing throughout the mid-west.
I used to live within tornado alley and I remembered how bad these storms could be. I also remembered losing power a number of times (not fun).
So, what happens when you lose your power and you have a dire need of a nightlight?
So follows my solution – an emergency decorative nightlight powered by battery using low energy LED lights.
a. Unlike a flashlight, it would never walk from room to room or disappear to only be found months later under a pile of old blankets
b. Unlike a candle can be left unattended.
Step 1: Parts List
1. Copper Pipe
2. Tubing cutter
3. Copper Tee
4. Copper Elbow
5. Balsawood (1.5” X 12”) X 4
6. Revel Balsa Plywood (6” X 12”)
7. Hot glue
8. Black Paint
9. Red Paint
10. Foam Brushes
11. Clear Polyurethane
12. Gas Light Sconce
13. Brass Lamp Parts
14. Glass Insulator
15. Threaded Hollow Pipe (for lamps)
16. Lamp Nuts and Washers
17. Plastic LED Flashlight (Cheap)
18. Flat Round Knurled Nut
19. Electrical Tape
20. Small Toggle Switch
21. Electrical Wire (20 Gauge)
22. Solder and Iron
23. D Cell Battery x 2
Step 2: Dry Fitting and Measuring Lamp Parts
1. Dry fit your lamp parts (Insulator, brass lamp part, gas lamp sconce)
2. Measure the tube down to the base.
3. Cut your copper pip to fit (approx. 4.5”)
4. The pipe diameter is the same as the brass gas light
– solution – use a copper tee to fit both ends into.
So what to do with the third outlet?
5. Cut a small piece of pipe to join the copper elbow (approx. .75”) insert into tee
6. Join the elbow to the tee using the short piece of pipe (the elbow will house the toggle switch)
Step 3: Paint the Base - Faux Lacquer Finish and Placing the Parts
1. Paint the base
a. Using a foam brush, paid all wooden pieces black and let dry
b. Using a new foam brush, apply red paint directly to the brush and drag the color across the black painted parts (the more red you apply will add depth and highlights)
c. After the paint dries, apply the polyurethane to protect and give the base some shine
2. Place the lamp (still dry fitted together) on the base and mark where the copper pipe will go through the base and where the brass ring will sit
3. Drill a hole in the base smaller than the copper tube.
4. Insert the threaded pipe with washers on both sides and tightened on both sides with a lamp nut.
5. Glue the brass lamp part (ring) down to the base with hot glue
6. Glue the sides of the base onto the top (it will look like a box lid)
*I cut the short ends to fit between the long pieces.
Step 4: Dissemble the Flashlight
1. Use a cheap LED flashlight because it will be destroyed ( I had a $2.00 flashlight)
2. Take the top assembly apart and discard all but the LED lights, green board (still attached) and metal housing (the metal is your electrical connections +, -)
3. Pull out the spring on the bottom of the light
4. Pull out the metal strip from the inside of the flashlight (these will connect the battery terminals)
Step 5: Assemble the Light
1. Solder and tape electrical tape the metal housing for the lights
a. Use red wire for the positive (center of the housing)
b. Use black for the ground (round disk surrounding the positive)
2. Take out porcelain fitting in the gas light and fish the LED light assembly through the gas light
3. Slide the wires through the tee fitting down through the threaded pipe in the base
5. Solder black wires to both of the terminals of the light switch (I used green because it would be easier to show how to wires from the light to the switch)
6. Take the nut off of the toggle switch (save) and add the flat round knurled nut to the top and secure it down with the nut that came from the toggle switch
7. Twist the wires together and fish the wires through the elbow, through the tee, down to the copper pipe, threaded pipe
8. Place the insulator in the ring and glue
9. Glue the pipe pieces together
10. The knurled caps the elbow perfectly (glue down)
11. Hot glue the copper pipe over the threaded tube
Step 6: Wiring
1. Undo the twisted switch wires, and take one side and twist it onto the black wire from the light
2. Tape together
3. Attach the spring (large end) to the side of the box (short side)
4. Take the other end of the light switch wire and twist it onto the spring (glue or tape to the spring)
5. Take the metal strip and glue it to the opposite side of the box (tape the red wire to the strip)
6. Place the batteries between the spring and the metal strip (negative side will be on the spring, and the positive terminal in the metal strip
7. Tape the excess wires to the bottom of the base
Step 7: 1. Turn on the Light
1. Turn on the light
2. Decorate the base ( I made this one to display an old camera and photograph)