Make LEDs look like Kerosene Light for 40 cents.

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DBSAR
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Make LEDs look like Kerosene Light for 40 cents.

So i bought this LED Hurricane Lantern for $5 bucks on sale at a local hardware store last fall. These LED Classic-style lanterns are generally available everywhere online and at local stores for various prices, They use 4 AA cells, have a variable brightness on/off switch, were factory built to run on batteries from surplus real metal Kerosene classic Hurricane lanterns, and like 99.99 % of all LED lanterns (and low-end budget flashlights) come with cheap, dim, inefficient, horrible-tinted crappy 5mm or generic LEDs.

(** the stock, dim, blue-tint leds as seen in Image # 1 below. )

I decided to a quick mod the one i picked up to be more efficient, brighter, and look more like an original Kerosene oil lantern.
The first thing i did was junk the crappy 5mm blue-tinted LEDs and the plastic holder they were in. I used two of the Luxeon clone bead LEDs, (3000K warn white)

(** Image #3 below)

they can be bought for 15 bucks per 100. I have used these LEDs in many lantern mods, and after various testing i found them to be very efficient for the output if not driven to hard. I measured 100 lumens average in my Lumen-Sphere when driven with just 0.18 amps at 3.5 to 4 volts with a simple resistor. (above 0.20 amps they need to be mounted on a star with heatsink.)
In this lantern i used two, with a 56 ohm 1/4 watt resistor, and with the lantern on highest mode, and draws 0.09 to 0.10 amps on 4 AA batteries.

I made a plastic LED holder out of a red bottle cap, ( with these LEDs under driven there is no need for a heatsink.) then used two pieces cut from the sides of a frosted plastic cup in the shape of a flame for diffusers over the LEDs to simulate the shape of a wick flame.
(** Image ##4 and #5, & #7below.)

I painted the top cap with flat white paint, (image #6) as most of these lantern come with a completely useless chromed reflector. (flat white paint reflects far more light evenly downward that any of the chrome shiny reflectors that come with upward-firing LED lanterns.

I used a dab of transparent orange paint on the domes of the LEDs to get the tint as close to real kerosene flame as possible.

- What i ended up with for 40 cents worth of parts & a hours worth of work, is a LED Hurricane lantern that from a distance looks exactly like the real thing. The output over the original 5mm LEDs more than doubled, the tint CRI is far, far better, and increased run time on high is now 2 to 3 DAYS continuous on four NiMH cells or Alkalines, (versus 6 – 7 hours on the original 5mm LEDs.)

Below in image #8, is the LED hurricane lantern on the left and a real original kerosene Hurricane lantern on the right.

- Image # 9 is a close up of the modded LED lantern on 80 % of high on the left, (showing the output & warmer more natural tint of the 3K LEDs) next to the lit Kerosene lantern on maximum setting on the right.

- Image # 10 is a photo of the lanterns with faster shutter speed.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

Edited by: DBSAR on 02/03/2016 - 05:01
foolioGrimz
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very cool

edit: what is that for the “flame”, a piece of a plastic bag?
Excellent run-time on that. I might have to consider modding one of my lanterns with the tiny useless oil reservoir.

gadabout
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Nice Den

I always look forward to seeing what you'll put together next.  

DBSAR
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gadabout wrote:

Nice Den

I always look forward to seeing what you’ll put together next.  

Thanks. Smile Modding and building lanterns are as much as a hobby as doing the same with Flashlights. Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

djozz
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Nice mod, that will improve the camping vibes a lot!

DBSAR
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djozz wrote:

Nice mod, that will improve the camping vibes a lot!

That was the idea for this, is to make the lantern give that classic turn of the century “feel” (without the smoky, danger of real kerosene flame) for use on camping trips, on the patio, etc. Also it will run for 50 – 60 hours on a charged set of eneloops, versus 4 hours for a tank of kerosene, and give the same light output.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

FmC
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Nice mod Beer

The Miller
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Hey interesting to use the filaments found in a lot of new led bulbs hmm

Pulsar13
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Makes me want to go buy one… there’s just something about these lanterns that’s really attractive.

Now if 18650 fits…

DBSAR
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Pulsar13 wrote:
Makes me want to go buy one… there’s just something about these lanterns that’s really attractive.

Now if 18650 fits…

it would be easy to mod to use 18650s, though you would have to use protected cells, or use a driver with protection circuit so the lantern don’t over-discharge the cell.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

MRsDNF
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Sweet. You do an amazing job on these lanterns with your creativity. Smile

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

southland
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Sweet mod, great run time.

foolioGrimz
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Do you have to do anything special with nimh batteries or can you build something the same way as with alkaline? Would battery holder, resister, wire and led be all that’s required to mod a lamp or do you need some type of driver/protection circuit?

pinkpanda3310
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Since it’s not high current, the dab of orange doesn’t smoke? Cool mod, and great runtime.

  

Andyman
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Love the creativity, and results are impressive! I’ve been scheming for a little while now about how to make a more attractive, efficient camping lantern. Thanks for the additional ideas!

Pulsar13
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DBSAR wrote:
it would be easy to mod to use 18650s, though you would have to use protected cells, or use a driver with protection circuit so the lantern don’t over-discharge the cell.

Not that easy to OD Li-ion on this setup – with the high LED Vf plus resistor, it will moonlight for weeks before the voltage drops too far.

I have old 18650s soldered directly to similar LED & ~5k resistor. Moonlights for months – feels like some sort of infinite energy reactor.

lichan
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Beautiful and creative mod, the essence of BLF!

DBSAR
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foolioGrimz wrote:
Do you have to do anything special with nimh batteries or can you build something the same way as with alkaline? Would battery holder, resister, wire and led be all that’s required to mod a lamp or do you need some type of driver/protection circuit?

Not at all. The lantern will run on either NiMH, Alkalines, or Zinc Carbon batteries with no prob. its a simple driverless resistor circuit. ( added with the varisistor that is built in to the on/off switch.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

DBSAR
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Pulsar13 wrote:
DBSAR wrote:
it would be easy to mod to use 18650s, though you would have to use protected cells, or use a driver with protection circuit so the lantern don’t over-discharge the cell.

Not that easy to OD Li-ion on this setup – with the high LED Vf plus resistor, it will moonlight for weeks before the voltage drops too far.

I have old 18650s soldered directly to similar LED & ~5k resistor. Moonlights for months – feels like some sort of infinite energy reactor.

Like the Steam Pipe Light i built, its simple resistor circuit glow-tube been glowing now continuously for almost 2 years non stop on the same two Alkaline AA batteries.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

DBSAR
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Andyman wrote:
Love the creativity, and results are impressive! I’ve been scheming for a little while now about how to make a more attractive, efficient camping lantern. Thanks for the additional ideas!

I been building and modding Lanterns for years with the goal of achieving the “perfect” efficient camping lantern. Below are just some of them. All of them are modded in some way to improve them:

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

wight
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Nice LED->LED conversion. Wink

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

18sixfifty
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That is just way too cool. Thanks for sharing!

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.