How to Wire Metal Kerosene Lanterns

How to Wire Metal Kerosene Lanterns
Kerosene lanterns can give your cabin, RV or even your home some old-fashioned, backcountry style. However, these lanterns require a lot of fuss with wicks and fuel. If you have access to electricity, one option for getting the look of the lantern without the hassle is to wire a kerosene lantern for an electric bulb.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Wash out the lantern's fuel tank by putting in soapy water, shaking it, emptying it and then rinsing it two or three times. You do not want kerosene vapors anywhere near your wiring.
Step 2
Unscrew and remove the lantern's glass shield.
Step 3
Measure the base inside the lantern that holds the wick. Use that information when selecting the electric light to install. A light socket that is smaller than that wick base is too small and cannot be used.
Step 4
Cut a circular hole into your lantern to remove the wick base. This hole needs to be big enough to admit your light socket
Step 5
Drill a hole in the bottom of the lantern's fuel tank for your power cord, and thread the cord through it. To allow the lantern to sit well on a table or mantel, cut a notch in the bottom rim of the lantern. Run the cable through that notch when the lantern is not being hung.
Step 6
Attach the wire leads to the screws on the light socket by matching silver to silver and copper/brass to copper/brass. Fasten them by tightening the screws. Leave the lamp unplugged when working with the wiring.
Step 7
Put the glass shield back on and plug in the lamp.

Tips & Warnings

Light sockets specifically designed for converting kerosene, gas and oil-burning lamps to electric lamps are available. These can add a special touch to your project, and in some cases may even replace the basket prongs for the glass shield.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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