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Thread: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

  1. #1

    Default 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Hi,
    I rarely post, and I hope this is an appropriate question. I just got my late father's old 6v 4-d cell camping 'lantern'. It is a 'Niagra Bear-Cat' (lantern no. 24), and I wish to give it new life by getting it an led screw-in bulb replacement. I seem to recall seeing a thread awhile ago (I tried to find it, and couldn't), that stated lanterns had negative polarity (?) at the bulb. The only screw-in led bulb that I could find for 4 cells, the tektite LS407, emphatically states that the tip of this led bulb must have positive voltage to operate.
    Could someone educate me a little on this polarity issue, and/or suggest a way that I could get this lantern to work with an led? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    You need to test the socket with a voltmeter. Because polarity doesn't matter with incandescents, your lantern might be ok.

    If it isn't, you may be able to disconnect the socket and reconnect the wires so that the polarity is correct for the LED.

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    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    the design of the 6V lantern is primarily made with the design of the 6V lantern battery, which is, in essence 4 F cells in in series. Without taking apart the battery there is no way of correcting this manually since the negative terminal is directly in the center.

    There is one type of drop-in LED replacement for PR lamps thats designed for lights with reverse polarity [bottom being negative], thats the everLED Diamond
    http://www.everled.com/everled-fbr/?content=diamond

    It utilizes a side emitting luxeon...meaning there will be no forward emitting light without the emitter. and no, unfortunately most CREE/SSC drop-in LEDs are primarily based on the P60 type configurations much like the P60 lamps used in the surefire 6P, G2, C2, M2 lights. So your selections are luxeon only.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Thank you for the info! My next question is, is there some sort of thread-to-flange socket adapter that would allow me to use the EverLED in what is now a thread-type mount?

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    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    you didn't mention the lantern was a screw type

    um...not that I know of, can you provide us with a picture or a reference of the light in question, there may be a possibility that it can be modded

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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    The other popular type of drop in is for Mags. See if you can de-solder the old socket and solder in a PR type.

    I did that for a few lights.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    I'm sure you want to save this lantern but you might end up spending less money just getting one of the coleman led lanterns. They are very bright and have a handy collapsing feature, and are fairly cheap.

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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    I have been looking for a (-) polarity screw base LED replacement for a while.The only thing I came up with was the Everled but it is a PR base and fairly expensive for what it is.If the polarity is (+) TerraLUX also makes a screw base LED replacement for 2-6 cell lights.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    I have the same problem with a Justrite 2108 Lanten I picked up on Ebay that I wanted to change to LED to lengthen runtime for a power outage light. I bought a 4D to 6Volt adapter and just flipped the batteries.


    In case anyone needs cheap 4D to 6 Volt lantern battery adapters, I bought mine at Coleman.com part number 5354-500 $2.50 these don't use springs just clips and are easier to flip batteries over. They sent me a coupon code for 20% off too 9PHN5 its good till 6/1/2009

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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    EliteLED has these:

    http://eliteled.com/products/lightbu...basedbulb.html

    More of a marker type light but they are available in several colors and have bi-polarity.The warm white isn't very bright but is OK for low light applications,the red and green seem to be brighter but that may be related to the fact that they are single color.

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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    An old thread I know but I thought it was worth reviving for anyone interested in LED bulbs for lantern style flashlights. The 10MM PR BASE drop-ins from Dorcy and Rayovac are dual polarity but what I have really been after is a screw base LED replacement. The UpLED MES E10 Cree LED upgrade bulb fits the bill. Dual polarity and screw base so it will work in a variety of lights and most importantly reverse polarity lanterns. Purchased mine on Amazon from Widget Co UK (ASIN B01631XMUY),I don't know if it is available elsewhere. Nothing spectacular in terms of performance but a good way to breath life into an old 6V incan lantern that uses screw base bulbs. Keep in mind there are similar drop ins available that are not dual polarity so make sure you read the seller description if you plan on ordering.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  12. #12

    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Personally I don't see any more use for LED dropins for 6v lanterns when they now make LED 6v lanterns for not much more than the price of the bulbs and the cost of the battery that comes with them. The newer ones have SMD based LEDs in them.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Personally I don't see any more use for LED dropins for 6v lanterns when they now make LED 6v lanterns for not much more than the price of the bulbs and the cost of the battery that comes with them. The newer ones have SMD based LEDs in them.
    I like to keep the old lanterns operational they still make decent utility lights as well as having a certain nostalgic value I suppose. These are more flashlight style lanterns than area lanterns and better quality than most current designs. As far as the lantern lights available for the price of the bulbs/battery there are some worth while occasionally but you generally get what you pay for. Better new lanterns are available but you pay more and they don't always meet the expectation of the quality you think you are getting anyway.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  14. #14

    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMZ67 View Post
    I like to keep the old lanterns operational they still make decent utility lights as well as having a certain nostalgic value I suppose. These are more flashlight style lanterns than area lanterns and better quality than most current designs. As far as the lantern lights available for the price of the bulbs/battery there are some worth while occasionally but you generally get what you pay for. Better new lanterns are available but you pay more and they don't always meet the expectation of the quality you think you are getting anyway.
    Personally I was never impressed with the quality of the 6V lanterns we had the switches that wore out that were cheap plastic clickies and the contacts were always tarnishing and had to be bent to make good contact the first time you dropped the lantern the battery would bounce and you may have to bend and buff again. In the early days of LEDs when dropins were $10-$15 and the best LED emitters were Luxeon I and IIIs which were about 20-30 lumens/watt efficiency and there wasn't a whole barrage of inexpensive LED lights out there I adapted a half dozen of my incans to LED. Now I use none of my adapted LED lights instead I use AA AAA and 18650 LED lights that have emitters in them in the range of 80-120 lumens/watt or more and with that boost in efficiency a AA can match the power of a D cell with an old dropin, give better output and even have mulitiple modes in some cases.
    The 6V lantern battery begs for a 500-1500 lumen high mode and an array of flood LEDs of 80-300 lumen output also otherwise it is like having a 150 gallon tank on a small car with a 1.5L motor just a lot of gas to carry around that drags you down IMO.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Yes but that car will go a long way on a tank of gas. It is not like I am EDCing 6V lanterns or anything but I still find them worthwhile. I am not trying to recommend everyone go out and invest in drop-ins instead of other lights but I am sure there are a few people interested in reviving some of the older style railroad lanterns and other unique 6V designs from that era that require a screw base and reverse polarity LED drop-in. It is not like you are making a huge investment in the drop-in either.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

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    Flashaholic* snakebite's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    just saw this.
    depending on the design it way be as easy as swapping wires.
    if the bulb holder rests on the center spring i would mod a 4d-6v holder.or just install the cells reversed.
    might still have to mod it a bit.
    should be easy and its cheaper to feed.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by snakebite View Post
    just saw this.
    depending on the design it way be as easy as swapping wires.
    if the bulb holder rests on the center spring i would mod a 4d-6v holder.or just install the cells reversed.
    might still have to mod it a bit.
    should be easy and its cheaper to feed.
    You could also just buy a 2 cell PR base LED bulb and a 2 cell battery holder and wire it in there.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by snakebite View Post
    just saw this.
    depending on the design it way be as easy as swapping wires.
    if the bulb holder rests on the center spring i would mod a 4d-6v holder.or just install the cells reversed.
    might still have to mod it a bit.
    should be easy and its cheaper to feed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    You could also just buy a 2 cell PR base LED bulb and a 2 cell battery holder and wire it in there.
    Modding the a battery holder or installing the batteries backwards is not a bad idea but I want to use 6V batteries. No desire to mod the lights as I would like to keep them original but that could be an option for someone else. In the past I modified a 4AA Energizer combo flashlight/lantern to make use of + polarity drop-ins with good results.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    This UK supplier have miniature screw base LED lamps that are not polarity sensitive.http://www.thetorchsite.co.uk/TTS-1_...etzl_Bulb.html
    I have no connection with them. They ship internationally.

    Note that this thread was started many years ago and that the product to which I refer was not even available at the time. Useful though for present day conversions of old 6 volt lanterns to LED.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by broadgage View Post
    This UK supplier have miniature screw base LED lamps that are not polarity sensitive.http://www.thetorchsite.co.uk/TTS-1_...etzl_Bulb.html
    I have no connection with them. They ship internationally.

    Note that this thread was started many years ago and that the product to which I refer was not even available at the time. Useful though for present day conversions of old 6 volt lanterns to LED.
    I purchased some of these through Amazon, they shipped from the UK so may be the same source. To date these are the only screw base LED replacements I have found that work with negative polarity lights and use a high power LED. They work well and finally provided me with a way to update a couple old favorites. The only other screw base dual polarity LEDs I have found are low power, like 10MM leds.

    Currently they are not available on Amazon but it looks like the site you provided has international shipping as well as a variety of other PR base drop-ins if anyone else is looking.
    Last edited by ZMZ67; 08-04-2017 at 10:51 AM.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  21. #21
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    Default Re: 'polarity' of 6v 'lanterns'? - led replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by novice View Post
    Hi,
    . . . suggest a way that I could get this lantern to work with an led? Thank you!
    First, apologies for posting to a 10 year thread, but can't resist as I just did this. And a disclaimer, if you don't sufficiently isolate the the posts when you re-route, you risk shorting the battery and whatever bad things might happen as a result . . .

    That said, I just solved this problem with a cheap Energizer lamp. The switch/light/contact housing was a separate part that had a u-shaped contact plate to allow the battery to be installed in any orientation while still having contact with the positive spring.

    Solution required 3 small screws, electrical tape, a coping saw and a small flat piece of plastic. If your light doesn't have similar contact strip that could be modified, you would have to source some sort of conducting material to re-do the connection

    In a nutshell, I cut the u-shaped contact, using 1/4 of it to create a path from positive to the center post, then put a layer of electrical tape and then a piece of stout plastic over the center contact(so it won't short to the negative post). I then took the other 3/4 of the u-shaped contact, reversed it and attached it such that it made contact with the switch contact and the center post location. Other than the risk of a short, the major negative is that the battery can no longer be installed in any rotation. Positive must be located in 1 specific corner.

    This was a fairly ridiculous waste of time, but for anyone obsessed with reusing/recycling, it's a pretty simple mod.


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