Solar Modified Coleman LED Lantern (July 29, 2017 )
designed by David A. Johnson, P.E.
While shopping at a sporting goods store one day, I spotted a compact LED lantern. It looked like the kind of lantern I could modify. The lantern LEDs were grouped into three sections of 7 LEDs each, oriented into 120 degree angles. The LEDs were standard T 1-3/4 epoxy types. The lantern had a three mode switch which selected between off, full power and half power modes. At the half power mode, only half of the 21 LEDs were illuminated. At full power all LEDs were illuminated. All the LEDs were wired in parallel. The lantern was powered by four 1.5v D alkaline cells, making for a 6 volt supply. I wanted to turn the lantern into one more useful, by converting the push button switch into a rotary dial to control the LED intensity. I also wanted to power the light from four D size 10 amp hour NiMH