Coleman propane lantern, with XM-L LEDs & Li-ion upgrade

Love camping but that doesn’t mean that I have to do it cave man style, rather, in style. But I’m also a big fan of saying “I made that” rather than “I bought that at…”

Some or most of you may remember or better yet have or have owned one of these bad boys at one point:

I really liked mine, and got many hours of use out of it, but it’s time to ditch the propane canisters, the lighters and the crazy little replacement sacks that didn’t catch fire, yet kept this lantern running for hours. Also this method of producing light renders this type of lantern unusable indoors and for me that’s a problem because I live out in the country and when the power goes out…ITS DARK.

The numbers:
Two xml heatsinked to 2”x1.5”x3/4” thick copper and wired in parallel. Putting out around 400 lumen.
One adjustable 1000mA also heatsinked driver.
New diffuser can(mainly because I broke the clear glass trying to sand it down to etch it a bit). Lesson here = don’t use diamond infused sandpaper on glass, first touch and on start the cracks.
One battery monitor with 4 display LEDs (25, 50, 75, and 100).
A 0-100% adjusting knob(that is the actual original one).
An on/off switch
And for power, 1-4 18650’s giving a max runtime of 13.6 hrs on high.

Had enough jibber jabber? Wanna see it?


BTW the camera used is around 10 yrs old and only 3.2 megapixels. It’s all I’ve got at the moment. And it was around midnight.

Lowest Output:


Ok so that’s my bathroom, it wasn’t meant for that, so outside? Yes let’s.








Next to a 200 lumen micro mag:

And the battery monitor (couldn’t get a focused shot to save my life) :

Very inventive !

Thanks for sharing your build .

nice build, like it a lot.

Nice build ,how long do you get on high.
never mind 13.6 hrs ,didnt read op properly lol…

That’s nice, very soft and even light.
Great build! Thanks for sharing!

I think you r right :slight_smile:

Much appreciation towards all the positive comments.

And once manufacturers start producing cells with capacity above the current max of 3400mA(for an 18650) the runtime of this little guy will only get better :slight_smile:

My original plan was to make it capable of accepting all three sizes of the BIG boy Li-Ion class. 18,26 and 32650 but that would have meant only one 26 or 32650 at a time, or a max of 2 18650. At best that would be only half the runtime I get now. And since I have 14 x 18650’s on hand and only one flashlight that requires only one at a time, I think I’m going to be OK :wink:

The lantern is also equipped with a 3 position switch that allows a later add on of a higher output driver for what I would call “hurricane mode”…cuz it’s a lantern ha
But as of right now the light output is borderline unbearable to look directly at max so I doubt I will see a need for more…but then again MORE is better.

Really cool mod! Thanks for sharing!


Nice mod! Very creative. Do you have any internal pictures of the build that sounds really neat!

I have one of those similar propane lanterns and love it but it seems to break the glass rather easy and there not cheap! Pretty interested if you have more pics. Thanks

Awesome. Pic’s of the innards, or is it awaiting a patent first?

I second that request. Very nice job. I’m sure we’d all find a great use for a lantern like this.

Glad to see so many positive comments, however I have not provided pictures of the work because this project was more for functionality rather than appeal. Its a lot like a first m@g mod for so many of us, it works as intended but you don’t twist the head because you break wires, all the guts are intermingled and everything is thermally glued to everything else lol so as long as it works you hope you don’t need to open it back up.

Thanks I definitely understand, have done a few projects like this myself…

That lantern kind’a reminded me of an camp light of the olden years. I think they used gas or whatever.
Just being nostalgic. :ghost:

Very cool. Nice job.

Very creative and useful mod.

Thanks for sharing !

Ooooh, crapper light. It’s brighter than my piss light:

And your lid is up! Way to go for mankind everywhere!

That is a very inventive and nice build! Thanks for posting it.

great build! I love seeing old stuff repurposed and being given new life, it’s so much better than just throwing it away and buying something new. I did something similar last year with a 4D incan Coleman (50c from a garage sale!), and it worked out really well. Not as bright as yours and no LED monitor, but it does have USB charging :slight_smile: It’s soon to have a Nichia 219 swapped in, after which it’ll be pretty much perfect for what I use it for (camping and BBQs).

I should convert my 237 collection. :smiley: