Simple Camp Lighting

Several years ago while working in south Texas I had to buy a replacement cell phone charger.  While shopping for my cable I found an Aura LED USB MOODLIGHT light strip for mounting on televisions and PC’s in the clearance bin at a very cheap price of $4. I bought the only one they had on clearance thinking I would install it on our camp toilet, however, I put in my truck toolbox and forgot about it.

Fast forward several years to June 2021 when I’m at a Pig Cook-Off late one night with my future brother-in-law where I see a 5-gallon bucket hanging from an awning with a white LED light inside it giving some nice ambient lighting at a neighboring cook station. Several days later I retrieve the lighting strip from my truck toolbox and find an old white 2-gallon bucket in the garage and begin my newest project.

Upon opening the light strip I find a small remote control, an instruction guide, and a 78” roll of 60 adhesive backed LEDs, and a connection cable. After cleaning the bucket I adhere the LEDs around the inside top of the bucket and place one of my 10,000 MAH batteries in the bucket and power up using the supplied power cable. The strip was long enough to wrap around the inside of the bucket three times. Additional silicon was placed around the bucket at 90° intervals to further secure the light strip. With the lid back on the bucket the unit is basically rain-proof.

LED Light Strips inside of a camp Bucket Light

When on, the lights can be changed to 16 different colors, flash (strobe) fast or slow, or stay on solid.  All functions are powered by the remote. The input power needs to be 5VDC @ .5A – 2.0A.  The unit consumes between 2.5W – 10W of power. The temperature range the unit will work is -4°F (-20°C) to 113°F (45°C). The 60 LEDs are rated at 40,000 hours of use. The remote is powered by a CR2025 battery.

After some serious use and testing, I find the strip will run several hours on my small battery pack. As a precaution I will upgrade the battery to a 12VDC 7AH battery for use all night.

LED Light Strips in Bucket Light
Hanging LED Bucket Light
Guest Author

Jim Jones is currently a retired licensed Private Investigator in Louisiana and Texas that enjoys Ham (and shortwave) radio, Judo (4th dan)/JuJitsu (2nd dan), gardening, shooting, solar/wind/bio-mass energy, camping, and backyard science and inventing. He has also been involved with Executive Security and electronic security and is an occasional contributor to

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