Flicker Lanterns

Custom Flicker Lantern Build V2

For one scene in a haunted house I needed a flame effect in an older style lantern but couldn’t use real fire. I designed and built an all electric version that worked perfectly. This is how to make the lantern.

You will need to collect all the parts first. You will need:

-Metal Oil Lantern
-A flicker light-bulb
-A Cheap 2 wire extension cord
-A Wire lamp holder
-Zip ties
-Wire nuts

Once you have all the parts you will need to disassemble the lantern and modify it. You will need to remove the globe and set it aside for now. The metal wick holder needs to be pulled out the only part you will need if the top guard. The modifications for the lantern are to press down the second wall (tank) inside the lantern. This can be down with a screw driver and a little force. This will make room for the wiring and lamp holder. The other modification is to drill a small hole in the back of the lantern to allow the power wire to enter the middle section.

The next step will be to modify the metal guard to allow it to hold the lamp holder. In the 1st version I made I used a bunch of hot glue, The second version I ordered lamp holders with screw on tops to allow it to hold using just pressure. The modification you will need to do is to remove a small amount the metal from both sides of the top this will widen the gap to accommodate the lamp. Once you have cut away the metal you can insert the holder and screw on the top section of it. Tighten this down.

Now that you have finished installing the lamp holder you will need to wire up the lamp. The first thing you do is to thread the power wire thought the hole you made in the case of the lantern. Pull this wire thought the center hole of the lantern. You will connect each wire to one of the lamp holder wires. You cap each of the wires with a wire nut and tuck all the wire back in to the center. you can twist the modified metal guard back in to place. At this point you are almost done creating the lantern. You will want to install a bulb in to the holder and plug in the lantern. If everything is wired correctly the bulb will light up.

Now that you have finished testing the lamp you can reinstall the globe and add a couple of zip ties to guide the wire up the back of the lantern. I use the support arm at the guide to bring the wire up to the top of the light. That is all that needs to be done to create a realistic flickering light in an old style lantern. You can hook these up to a relay and switch them on and off as needed for your scene.