Update a florescent camping lamp with LED bulbs and lithium batteries?

Thread Starter


Joined May 10, 2008
I'm very new to electronics and hoping to do a project where I update a florescent camping lamp with LED bulbs and lithium batteries (think the lamp is now 6V). Unfortunately I'm not clear on lithium batts and chargers. Could I stuff as many batts into the bottom case as I can fit, what type of charger would I need, anything small out there that would be a controller and charger , would I need a controller and what is a good brand of smaller bats around the AA size (or slightly lager)?

Thanks all!


Joined Sep 9, 2010
I'd choose a different project. You can get a very nice LED lantern for cheap these days and it simply isn't worth the work to hack one yourself.

The only upgrade I'd consider is changing the batteries to good, rechargeable AAs and then get a good charger. I recommend the Eneloop batteries and the Opus charger. The Eneloop batteries are superior to most for a flashlight application because they have a lower self-discharge rate. A problem with rechargeable batteries in flashlights is that the batteries are always dead unless you know you're going to use it and charge the batteries in advance. The Eneloops solve that.

My old fluorescent camp light worked nice and I still have it, but I never take it camping anymore.
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Joined Jan 23, 2014
You could put some 5V LED strips in place of the tube, and run them from a power bank.

On the other hand, Dollar Tree (sometimes) has a very cheap LED flashlight that runs off a single AA cell with a boost driver, switchable between a single LED in a directional reflector and a group of SMD LEDs for a wide flood. It won't light up an entire campsite, but it's just about ideal for camping, and no great loss if it falls in the pit toilet. If Dollar Tree can sell them for a buck, there must be similar ones on ebay/Ali for even less.

Or, since I mentioned Dollar Tree, they often have flashlights or "switch lights" with COB LEDs; strip them for the LED which will run nicely from a single lithium ion cell. Or, you can wire 3 in series and run them from 12V, like a 3S lithium-ion battery. (All the Dollar Tree COBs I've torn apart have a resistor on the board, so no external resistor or driver is necessary). For a bit more money, Dollarama sometimes has "work lights" with arrays of SMD LEDs.


Joined Jan 23, 2018
You can use the same housing converted to LED lighting. First remove all of the electronics and the florescent tube Then get a pair of lithium batteries and the charger for those batteries. You will need to decide what color light you want. (more to follow)