How to Convert a Kerosene Lantern to Solar

There has been an interest on converting kerosene or oil based lanterns to a solar lantern.   Such a project would be very very beneficial specially for those people who live in places not yet accessible by the grid, or by people who live in poor countries and neighborhoods who don’t have money to pay for electricity.

It is possible to adapt oil (kerosene) lamps to contain rechargeable batteries and LEDs.    The adaption below is shown without the glass globe (it reduces the amount of light) but it can probably be fitted if desired.  Others might want to line the glass globe with a thin translucent paper (such as tracing paper) to act as a light diffuser just like those old chinese  oil lanterns.
This main adaption is with the wick assembly which is replaced by a terminal strip (or two) containing both LEDs and connecting leads.  The LEDs can be directed in any direction by bending their wires.

solar lantern conversion

Oil LampConversion

The NiCd batteries can be fitted inside the tank, if small enough, or underneath the tank.   In any case the bottom can be removed with tin opener/snips to make wiring easy.  The globe (glass covering) is removed and then the wick assembly and as well as the tank filler cap.  The terminal strip with LEDs will fit into the wick space B, a switch fits into the filler opening D from where the leads to he pv panel will leave.

converting kerosene lamp to solar
Mounting LEDs  is quite simple. Just use a vertical terminal strip to mount several LEDs and fix it in the wick holder surrounded by a PVC tube post.    They can be put in parallel providing they are identical.   Otherwise they each need their own resistor.

Here’s how it looks after the conversion.

how to convert kerosene lamp to solar

[source: biodesign ]

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