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Old 05-22-2008, 10:06 AM
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Default Coleman Lantern vs Old Kerosene Lantern



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I have both and was wondering. What would you suggest? Stock up on Kerosene and wicks? Or stock up on white gas, generators, pump parts and mantles? The advantage of Coleman lots of light, But lots parts that wear out, And they can be tempermental to start. The ol' kerosene "hurricane" lantern not as much light, Burns dirtier but easy to light very few parts to wear out and super reliable. What would you use as your light source
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:44 AM
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I have both and keep both in working order. Most important the kerosene lanterns can be used much more safely indoors, think carbon monoxide. Secondly the Coleman will go long before the Dietz. I also keep hurricane lanterns stocked up, they provide much more light but are not as safe, they were used much more than Dietz type lanterns years ago. I personally have used hurricane lanterns for light in my house for a week and a half after a severe storm in the winter.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:05 PM
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I have 4 or 5 hurricane lamps, and use lamp oil....I have heard kerosine smells bad and leaves an oily residue on your stuff. I have also found walmart is the best place to get lamp oil. WAY cheaper than anywhere else, and I always buy as much as the wife will let me when we go.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:09 PM
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colemen lanterns willgive ya more light however the need fer pump kit,socks,valve tubes makes the standard lamp more reliable.
that said i as well keep both on hand.
Old 05-22-2008, 12:12 PM
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I have both but mainly just use the hurricane lanterns.
They use so little fuel it just seems cost effective.
Old 05-22-2008, 12:19 PM
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I'm an oil lamp fan. I don't know about all, but some of the oil lanterns I've looked at can use kerosene, lamp oil, citronella, and a few other thing. To me, this seems like a very good thing since it means you have options after TSHTF if it's a long term situation like TEOTWAWKI.

While I like Coleman lanterns for camping, it seems more cost effective to only stock one, and the oil lanterns I've looked at seem like a better choice. YMMV.
Old 05-22-2008, 12:23 PM
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Aaah, nothing beats the good old oil lamp, many fond memories of one of those.
Old 05-22-2008, 02:12 PM
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Right now I just use Coleman propane lanterns and oil lamps. Traditionally in my house during a power outage, the Coleman is the central light source due to its brightness and the oil lamps are to supplement the light in dark regions of the house. I only consider this a kind of short term solution, because the propane lamps only last a few hours on a 1 lb bottle. It can be quite expensive to stock up for the long run. This is where the oil lamps shine, because they just sip the fuel, a little at a time. A five gallon can of kerosene probably costs $20 to $25 right now and will last a VERY long time. Likewise, lamp oil is not that expensive either and can last a long time as well. What I have found when examing lamp oil burn times is that a 64oz container from Walmart will burn for about 150 hours. If rationed to 5 hours use per day, one bottle will last one lamp a month.

Of course, as with any use of fire in the home, special care must be taken. The lamps, if possible, should be placed out of the way to prevent it from being knocked over or handled by children. Maybe a few hooks could be installed in ceilings or walls of homes to suspend the lanterns. Fire fighting equipment is also a must have item too.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:29 PM
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+1 to the fire extinguishers. Everyone in my family knows where they are at, and how to use them. Since we put in the pellet stove I have one in almost every room...
Old 05-22-2008, 02:48 PM
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I was thinking of getting one of these solar camping lanterns. Has anyone tried one yet?
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http://www.efsolar.com/efsrs-slla101b.html
Old 05-22-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Let there be light

More than 90 percent of the kerosene smell occurs when the lantern is first extinguished, or first lit, my opinion. You can carry the lantern outside to do these functions, that will help with the fumes. There is also a highly refined version of kerosene sold under the name Clear-Lite, and others, there is no odor from it. Trimming the wick will also help with smoke and fumes. Keep in mind that the kerosene lantern does not put out a lot of light, 15 candle power might be a good estimate for the average lantern. The light output is more than adequate for navigating a room without tripping, and some reading up close. Kerosene lanterns do use fuel sparingly, a real plus if you don't know where the next gallon will come from. Dietz has a version that has a huge fuel tank, burns 72 hours on a filling, so shop around and pick the one that best meets your needs. Some Dietz versions put out almost twice the light output, and I have even seen one that has an attachable cooking pot to make a cup of tea or whatever. Kerosene lanterns are cheap, so I would keep one around just in case, along with some extra wick. The Dietz brand lantern has a reputation that it can be knocked over and not catch on fire, you might want to tip it over unlit or devise some way to know yours is safe. Again, I would recommend that you have one just in case, it wont cost much to have that option covered.

Coleman fuel lanterns are also very handy, and not very expensive, I would own one if at all possible. I would suggest you buy a dual fuel version, because you are more likely to find regular gas after a SHTF situation than Coleman fuel. If you get a chance to pick up an older one at a garage sale do it. On the negative side they are rather fuelish, some burn up to a quart of fuel for an all night burn. Keep in mind that a dual mantel lantern uses almost twice the fuel, that is probably obvious. Coleman fuel is actually Naphtha with rust inhibitors according to Coleman. Naphtha has an octane rating of about 55, so I would not pour it in the gas tank of a modern car. The older Coleman lanterns will run on regular gasoline in a pinch, but the gas generator will need to be replaced more frequently. While on the topic of generators, keep a spare generator, mantels on hand. Coleman also has two models of Kerosene pressure lanterns, not as common, and they require burning alcohol or other fuel as a pre-heater to start the lantern. If you have access to lots of kerosene then the Coleman pressure version may be the best choice since it puts out as much light as the Coleman fuel lanterns. I have friends that claim that they have tested their kerosene lamps, lanterns and Aladdin lamps on diesel as well. Note, with toady's diesel prices that advice may not help much. If you have access to kerosene sold at the pump with red dye, no road tax, you can save money. The dye does not affect anything, just cheaper

Other options might include a Britelyt (Petromax) lantern that will burn almost anything, kerosene, diesel, gasoline, Coleman fuel, bio-diesel, ethanol, etc, again they come in several versions/sizes (light output) up to something similar to a 400 watt bulb output, yikes. Kerosene mantel lamps are another bright almost elegant light source, the best known name brand there is Aladdin. The mantels are expensive, and you would need to have some spares. I keep a variety of light sources and recommend you should have the flexibility to use whatever fuel you might find.

To the post above about LED lanterns, there are several very good LED lanterns available, with choices improving with time. My latest favorite is the Guide Gear LED lantern, pretty bright and runs 400 hours on a set of (4) batteries. I use rechargeable D-cells that I can charge off solar.

Last edited by ken; 05-22-2008 at 05:30 PM.. Reason: correction + typo
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:31 PM
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I have 4 oil lanterns full and ready to go in the house. If I need something brighter, or go on a long camping trip, I use a propane lantern.
Old 05-22-2008, 05:34 PM
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I have 4 oil lanterns full and ready to go in the house. If I need something brighter, or go on a long camping trip, I use a propane lantern. I keep several gallons of lamp oil and K-1 kerosene for lamps, and about 6 1lb propane canisters with 4 20lb tanks to refill them with an adapter
Old 05-22-2008, 05:48 PM
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Ken shoot me a pm about a coleman lantern, I should be able to help you out with one. West Texas also.
Old 05-22-2008, 07:08 PM
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I've bought more than a few Coleman lanterns and oil lanterns. My favorite lantern is the old Coleman single mantle.I've gotten a lot of reliable use from them,and they seem just as bright as a double mantle. With the handle/reflector,they make a decent working light.
Old 05-22-2008, 09:44 PM
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Sell 'em all and get an Aladdin kerosene lamp.
Old 05-22-2008, 10:26 PM
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White gas appears to have a limited shelf life.
I'd get an Aladdin or propane lamp if you need lot's of light.
I already have several oil lamps and they are fine but as you age brighter light is a huge plus.
Old 05-22-2008, 10:40 PM
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I like the looks of those Aladdin's but worry about the amount of fuel they use vs. the regular lantern and the amount of heat they put out.
I'm on the fence. Need to hear more from those who have them.
Old 05-23-2008, 12:44 AM
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I am reposting this. Obviously, I am a BIG fan of Aladdin lamps!

The one piece of equipment that seems to do it all. Providing light equal to a 60 watt light bulb, enough heat output to heat a medium sized area, the ability to cook and bake, and it sips fuel like a miser. The Aladdin lamp does not get much mention but, in my opinion, it is a must have. I would not trade the two I have for anything if I could not replace them. They have been priceless during the many power outages experienced, even rivaling my generators in their importance. Those of you who have one will most likely agree. The Aladdin lamp is far superior to the standard hurricane lamp.

The light output is intense. They say that it is equal to a 60W light bulb but it sure seems brighter when you are relying on it during a power outage. Thanks to the Thorium mantle, the light produced far exceeds that of candles or hurricane lights.

Aladdin lamps burn HOT. A piece of paper held over the chimney will burst into flame immediately. The heat pours out the top to such a degree that it will heat quite a large area. If you live in an apartment or in an area that you cannot have a generator or woodstove, the Aladdin lamp will keep you warm. The heat from these lamps rivals that of the woodstove I use during power outages. Many times it starts to get uncomfortably warm in the rooms that the lamps are being used in even though it is in the teens outside.

Because of the high heat output, it also can be used to cook. Using scrap metal, I fabricated a high cooking tripod that will hold standard pots and pans. You can cook on it by removing the Thorium mantle and just use the wick but I have found it works much better leaving the mantle in place.

Also, by using heat ducting, an oven can be easily fabricated. My first prototype used 8" stovepipe. When I found that this crude oven worked so well, I constructed a better model using rectangular, galvanized ducting available at any home improvement center. Fabrication of an oven is simple. Put together the two halves of the square duct. Then seal both ends with sheet metal, in effect forming a box. One end must be hinged to act as a door, the other end can be permanently fixed. Cut a 3 or 4 inch hole towards the end of one side of the duct and cut the same size hole on the other side of the duct, near the other end. One hole is for the end of the Aladdin lamp chimney top to feed heat into the oven, the other hole is to allow excess heat to escape. I used steel shelving legs (scrap) to support the oven at the height necessary to allow the chimney to come within an inch or so of the heat collection hole. Once into place, a small piece of sheet metal is just laid over the hole cut to allow excess heat to escape. All you have to do is slide it around to reduce or increase the amout of heat that escapes, thus controlling the heat level in the oven. Bread bakes very well using this oven. The bread pan must be supported to allow heat under it, of course. I also wrapped a thin layer of insulation over parts of it. Works great. Not a great cook here but I see no reason why anything can't be baked in it. The high heat of the Aladdin lamp makes its use in this manner possible.

Aladdin lamps burn much cleaner than hurricane lamps and they require little fuel to keep them going. I keep some old dish detergent (squeeze type) plastic bottles filled with standard kerosene for efficient filling. Better than using funnels because you can see when to stop fueling. No, the kerosene won't dissolve the plastic. Have been using the same ones for years.

When using Aladdin lamps, do not leave them unattended. In addition to the high heat hazzard, if you burn them at maximum they may start to form carbon on the mantle. If you get carbon formation on the mantle, simply turn the lamp down and it will burn off gradually. Like any mantle, it will break if abused. The spare parts to be stored include wicks, mantles, a spare chimney, and a wick trimmer. Extra mantles are most important. I have never had to replace a wick or chimney but you never know!

I purchased mine 30+ years ago from NitroPack. I do not know if they still carry them. They are definately worth looking for. Perhaps others know who still sells them. The technology has been around 100 years. There are Aladdin lamps in antique shops although I have found these to be less desireable than the newer ones. The new ones are sold as fancy ones with expensive glass shades or simple ones with aluminum bodies and simple chimneys. I use the simple ones since I am only interested in utility. The fancy ones are beautiful, worthy of a show piece in any home.

After one severe power outage in the the 1980's. I bought 2 dozen of them and sold them where I was working at the time (in a city), making a small profit , of course. Everyone loved them even though they weren't into preparedness as we are. The same lamps were still on the job when I retired. In my opinion, you will not be disappointed if you decide to get one. I also store 60 gallons of kerosene just for these lamp. The lamps work fine with 30 year old, untreated kerosene. They use so little fuel that these 60 gallons will see me through any uncertain future. For your consideration.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:46 PM
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I have 2 Coleman propane lights and 2 Dietz kerosene lights and use them all. In the summer months I use the Dietz with citronella oil in them on my deck to keep the State Bird of New Jersey at bay. I also take them camping for the same reason. The Colemans I use when camping.

Coleman lights give off more light but are more costly to run, the Dietz can run for about 12 hours on very little kerosene or citronella.
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