How to Convert an Oil Lantern Into an Electric Lantern

Written by ehow sports & fitness editor
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For a safer alternative for use in today's modern lifestyle, convert those old and antique oil lamps or lanterns to electric. You can also convert new camping lanterns to electric. If converting an old or antique lamp, be sure to do it the right way so it can easily be converted back to oil.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Purchase a conversion kit or an oil-lamp burner that has already been converted to electric for use with your oil lamp. Conversions kits are sold in most hardware stores. Converted oil-lamp burners of various sizes are sold by lamp repair and supply shops--buy the same size as the burner already on your lamp.

  2. 2

    Bring your original oil-lamp burner to an electrician to have it converted to electric if you have trouble finding what you need. Or better yet, purchase a replacement burner for your lamp, and then have the replacement converted, instead of the original. Be sure to purchase the same size as the one you are replacing.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the original oil-lamp burner from the lamp, and store it in a safe place where you won't loose it. You can convert it back to oil easily by putting the original burner back. Having an undamaged original burner is often important to the value of antique oil lamps.

  4. 4

    Screw into place the electrified oil-lamp burner where you took the original one off.

  5. 5

    Cut out the portion of a camping lantern where the wick is held, making a circular hole the size of a light socket in the bottom if you do not care about being able to convert it back to oil.

  6. 6

    Drill a second hole in the lantern that's large enough for an electric cord to pass through. Insert the socket and the wire into the holes. Attach one end of the wire to the socket, and then attach a plug to the other end to form your cord.

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