How to Convert a Kerosene Lantern into a Lamp

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on October 20, 2015

Master electrician Scott Caron brings electricity to a lantern that used to be lit with kerosene. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

Watch the new season of Ask This Old House:,,,00.html

Find the TV schedule for air times in your area:,,20058777,00.html

Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel:

Shopping List for How to Convert a Kerosene Lantern into a Lamp:
– Porcelain light socket, to house lightbulb
– Electrical plug with cap, to plug into electrical outlet
– Lamp switch, to turn on lamp
– Flickering lightbulb, used to light lamp
– 7-foot lamp cord, to create electrical connection
– 6-inch piece of rubber hose, used as strain relief
– Window cleanser, used as lubricant for inserting wires into hose
– Electrical tape, to insulate the light socket

Tools for How to Convert a Kerosene Lantern into a Lamp:
– Power drill and 3/8-inch bit, to cut hole in lantern
– Hole saw kit, to cut hole in lantern
– Wire cutters, to snip wire
– Wire stripper, to strip off wire insulation
-Philips screwdriver, to connect wires to socket and to wire switch

Steps for How to Convert a Kerosene Lantern into a Lamp:
1. Carefully remove glass globe from kerosene lantern.
2. Unscrew and remove the old kerosene wick from the lantern.
3. Drill a 3/8-inch hole in the base of the lantern to serve as an exit point for the electrical cord.
4. Put a piece of scrap wood in a vise.
5. Drill out center portion where the wick used to fit through using the hole saw.
6. Take a rubber hose, spray it with lubricant and push the electrical wire through it. The hose will serve as strain relief for the electrical wire.
7. Bring the electrical wire through the 3/8-hole in base and up into the center hole.
8. Strip off an inch of insulation from the electrical wire using wire stripper.
9. Attach both exposed copper ends to screws on the bottom of the light socket; tighten them down.
10. Insulate the connection with electrical tape.
11. Place the socket into the center hole of the lantern. Screw in the lightbulb.
12. Return the glass globe to its place in the lantern.
13. About 18 inches down the electrical wire, cut one of the two wires in half, exposing the copper inside.
14. Place both pieces of the wire into the bottom portion of the lamp-switch housing, dividing the two wires by the center hole.
15. Push the top portion of the lamp-switch housing onto both wires. Two pieces of metal should pierce the cut wire, touching the copper inside.
16. Screw down the housing.
17. Take the disconnected end of the electrical wire and run it through the plug cap.
18. Bottom out the wire into the pronged end of the plug.
19. Clamp down the prongs and secure the cap.
20. Plug in the lantern and enjoy!

Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House:
15 Have a licensed electrician make the final wire connections in the garage and at the main electrical panel.
For more stories like this from Bay Area Plumbing Headquarters, bookmark our site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *