I imagine someone out there is familiar with these Rayovac #100 camping lanterns which run on 6V lantern batteries. Hopefully someone even has one that perhaps they can help with ideas here, since I don't have the lamp in front of me. My dad (who lives in a different state) has a couple in storage for emergencies. I always found them to be clunky old things, and yet here I am, internally conflicted with thoughts of attempting to mod them with an LED and make them relevant for the current century vs. convincing him to sell them or give them away. I guess I've come to see the potential value of having a battery-powered table top style lamp, and especially one with an insanely long runtime if modded with an LED, which is what drove me to keep thinking about this and bring me here for input from you all.
He already has a couple D-powered LED lanterns for emergencies (so it's not like he needs this) and generally keeps a good stockpile of D cells in case of emergency, so an obvious mod would be buying a 4D to 6V lantern-style adapter, which I know I can get reasonably cheap. In an emergency though, wasting D cells on an inefficient incandescent light would be a bad idea.
Which brings us to the big issue: replacing the old incandescent bulb. I've read enough CPF threads prior to writing this to know that many drop-in LEDs are polarity sensitive, and that these 6V lanterns have the negative terminal in the center, which can be an issue. I'm not so worried about this because I feel pretty certain I could rewire things if needed, plus I've found several cheap LED drop-ins that claim to be universal polarity. My greater concern is that most drop-ins are made for flashlights and will be pushing light straight up, not around, creating a rather ineffective table lamp.
So, my main question: Are there any decent drop-in LEDs with side emitters for an application like this? Ideally with a warm white tint? I believe (I'm hoping someone with this lamp can confirm) it uses a PR2 style screw-in bulb, although maybe P13.5S bulbs would work as well (are they sometimes interchangeable?).
Alternatively, I'm open to other ideas. I had the thought that I could buy a 1 meter / 10 LED Christmas light string (under $1 on AliExpress) made to run on 2 x CR2032 batteries (6V), snip the wires and wire it up to the bulb contacts, or through a drilled hole into the base, powered by the 4 D cells in an adapter. There are other battery options as well, like using string lights powered by 3x AA batteries (under $2) or one with a USB connector (under $2), allowing the use of a USB power bank inside the battery compartment. A string lights solution would kind of kill the retro aesthetic, but it may be the only cheap way to get warm white LEDs in there in a way which makes an effective area light, and it would cost practically nothing.
This is all my brain has come up with so far. Maybe yours can add something to the mix.