This is my all time favorite camping lantern I made this lantern and so can you. It's simple it's cheap and it has the best beam diffusion I've ever seen on any camping lantern.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: For Easy to Follow and Best Visuals.
In the above video you will see a quick and simple step by step instruction for building the lander. For those of you who prefer written/picture for, follow me--------->
Step 2: Parts List
The parts list for our camping lanternis pretty short. The things that we’ll need are:
2. An LED or LEDs, I’ll be using three batteries so I’m gonna use 3 LEDs.
3. A piece of aluminum for a heat sink. You could get some flat bar from the hardware store just whatever you have laying around. I will be using aluminum sheet metal.
4. A switch. I want to use a dimmer switch so I ordered this PWM Control.
5. A diffuser we’re going to use this chocolate icecream bucket.
I know some of are thinking right now. "Dude seriously", but I’m telling you the beam will be spectacular!
Step 3: Cut the Heat Sink
I marked a circle on the sheet metal using a piece of string and then cut it out and sanded the edges smooth.
Step 4: Attaching the Parts.
Using thermal epoxy I attached the 3 LEDs and 3 battery holders. I also laid down a one ohm resistor too. This is added to reduce the maximum current to the LEDs.
Step 5: The PWM
Next I marked the holes for my PWM to sit and also ran the screws through the center of each battery adapter ( the epoxy keeps them from spinning since there was only one screw hole).
Using 4-40x 1" screws I made stand offs for the PWM control.
How to solder
Step 6: Solder It Up.
In a 3 series pattern I soldered the wires in. At this time I also checked the max current to the LEDs and found that I had 1.75 amps which was still too high so I added 2 more of the 1 ohm resistors in series to bring the max down to about 850ma.
Step 7: Attaching to the Bucket
For this I used some spray glue, and then also a few screws from the bottom side for strength. A holed was drilled in the side of the bucket for the PWM control knob.
Step 8: Beam Shots
The first picture is a control shot. The diffusion on this lantern is the best I've ever seen. I think its much softer than even the store bought lanterns that use florescent bulbs. Having total control over the output via the PWM is a nice feature too. It makes for some super long runtimes.
Step 9: Alternatives
If you don't want to go to the trouble of building the complete lantern you can make a simple one by cutting a hole in the top for a flashlight, or strapping a head lamp to the side.
Step 10: Thanks for Watching.
For more indestructible like this be sure to follow me.
Others you might like.
Water cooled LED flashlight
5,000 Lumen LED Maglite Conversion