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Matthew 5:7
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313 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I want to buy some oil lamps and want opinions from those who have oil lamps. What makes a better lamp, round or flat wicks, tall or short?

I've pictured a few I'm thinking of buying off Ebay. Could you please tell me the pro's and con's of these lamps. Thank you, Heart

Floral Shade: about 15" tall

Ivory Base: 8" tall and it is 3 1/4" wide

Brass base: 12.25" tall and 4.75" across the base

Frosted leaf: 11 1/2" tall
 

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Pleasantly demented woman
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3,760 Posts
Hi All,

I want to buy some oil lamps and want opinions from those who have oil lamps. What makes a better lamp, round or flat wicks, tall or short?

I've pictured a few I'm thinking of buying off Ebay. Could you please tell me the pro's and con's of these lamps. Thank you, Heart

Floral Shade: about 15" tall

Ivory Base: 8" tall and it is 3 1/4" wide

Brass base: 12.25" tall and 4.75" across the base

Frosted leaf: 11 1/2" tall
Some thoughts:

  1. Is eBay the best way to go? Unless you're a collector, I'd say, no.
  2. Glass lamps break. Metal ones don't.
  3. Some of those look tippy.
 

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Go to a local hardware store and see what they stock in the way of lamps, oil, and supplies..... why buy something for extended use if you cannot get supplies locally before something happens............
 

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Matthew 5:7
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you

Go to a local hardware store and see what they stock in the way of lamps, oil, and supplies..... why buy something for extended use if you cannot get supplies locally before something happens............
That is an excellent point, thank you.
 

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Cranky Old Guy
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433 Posts
I went with kerosene lanterns-the Dietz Lil Wizard, and the Kirkman Little Champ with Hood (a bit expensive). I burn Klean-Heat in mine, and it gives off little smoke or smell if the wick is adjusted correctly.

I went with lanterns because I feel better about them not breaking, and they generally work better in wind if outside.

Be careful of cheap lanterns ($5-$8). Good lanterns can be purchased for $12+. I always buy spare wicks and globes just in case.

Look around here for both lanterns, and lamps.

http://www.lanternnet.com/

Hope this helps!
 

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I went into my local hardware store yesterday to look into oil lamps just for a laugh..... the oil is selling for more than double what i bought the gallons of it off island last week....... the wicks were selling for $ 0.99 per package with two wicks per pack (bought all they had which was 12)........ mantles for propane lamps (2 to a pack) were selling for $5.00 a pack.... I buy them through Amazon (when I order other things) or Walmart when I get off island -- the funny part was that the oil and wicks and mantles were in a completely different area of the store than the lamps (both propane and oil) and the bottled propane is in even a different area....... and is selling for $8.00 for a small 1lb bottle....... I don't buy much through this store, but could if an emergency
 

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I have a few Aladdin Lamps. They are expensive but they put out a great deal of light and heat. I use one all winter long to take the chill off of my bedroom. Lehams.com has a great deal of information about them. They run on Kerosene. It will store for ten years. I get a five gallon can at Home Depot for about 35 FRNs. It will last a long time.
 

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I have some of the old fashioned ones with bell globe, but I have been concentrating on heavier globes surrounded with metal, also a good option is to have a handle that allows it to hang. I have been stocking up on kerosene and distributing the 5 gallon container into 1 gallon jugs for bartering or just keeping in more than one place. I attach my extra wicks to the 5 gallon container. Another option that works well is to make holders in your home for solar lights like amny use in the yard. You can simply take the lights from the yard and distribute throughout the house, they are always charged. I good holder is a 3/4" hole in the wall drilled at a angle or a flag pole holder. If you use the hole idea just make a plug for it and it will blend into the wall of drill behind where a picture will cover. You can also charge AA batterys (re-chargeable ones) like Energizer makes just swap out the junk ones in the solar light (better lights have them) and install your Energizer battery.
 

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A good hardware store usually carries oil lamps. Stick with a flat wick and make sure to buy extra wicks. Look for ones that are not top heavy, you don't want one getting tipped over. Keep the wick trimmed.
 

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Matthew 5:7
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Discussion Starter #12
Solar + oil...

Another option that works well is to make holders in your home for solar lights like amny use in the yard. You can simply take the lights from the yard and distribute throughout the house...
I already do this and it is a fantastic way for "free" light. I have bought a bunch of solar lights that hang, over the past few months, and bought decorative hooks to mount them to my walls. This is a great way for light and to recharge batteries.

But now that I have a fair amount of solar, I wanted to check out other sources for light.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I have been collecting lamps for decades. Flat wicks are brighter. The taller chimneys draft better and give a brighter, cleaner burn.

I also have Aladdins but to be honest, they can be too bright for many uses. Though they're great for lighting up an entire room as if you had a lighbulb going.

That said, if I was doing it over, I'd go with lanterns. They're just as bright as a lamp if not brighter and they're less fragile since they're designed to be carried around and used outdoors. Lamp chimneys are very prone to breakage while lantern globes aren't. Good ones like Dietz aren't even that expensive.

There are also kerosene burning pressure lanterns such as the Petromax, but those things are bright like a Coleman camp light. Way too much for most uses. Good for working outdoors or doing fine detail up close work indoors. But other than that, mostly just a fuel hog.
 

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I prefer FNG
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I actually have all of them except the petromax, to many parts to keep working, for good light in an entire room you cant beat the Alladin with a lamp shade. i just replaced my antique ones #6 and #10 beacuse i cant get parts anymore, with 2 new ones from survival unlimited.com. the aluminum base and a #23 burner works great. if your gonna have spare flat wicks on hand why not have spare alladin wicks and mantles on hand they last about 6 months a set, so you dont have to keep a ton of em around. and way better light with about the same amount of lamp oil/kerosene as a flat wick lamp. hope this helps.
 

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My Temperature is Right
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Look at cosmos lamps if you want a really well made lamp. Most lamps made now are pretty cheap knock offs more designed as glorified emergency candles. Almost anything made now puts out about the same light. The 5 dollar chinese lamps work OK but the stampings are of really poor quality and have a lot of burrs cosmetic things that stand out. All burners on less 10-20 dollar lamps are made now are essentially the same so go with the font that you like the best and probably pick up a chimney that you find pleasing.

The cosmos on the other hand is designed to light a room and maximizes light output for the amount of oil consumed. It looks like an antique and will probably be a family heirloom if you buy one.
 

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I told you so!
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I have aladdins , they work great, but you have to watch them all the time, sometimes they flair up could cause a fire, I also have 1 1/2," flat wick lamps from Lehmans that you can read by, also a couple of 1 1/8" double wick lamps that work very well, Lehmans also. JT
 

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Put me in the multiple category too.

We have a couple of plain old flat wick kerosene lanterns, very basic minimal light but useful none the less. Easy long term fuel storage. Use K1 kerosene. But will burn most anything.

Also have a couple of Aladdin's....very pretty, well built and give off a lot of light and heat but not too useful for carrying around....again K1 kerosene is best if you can find it. Much cleaner and brighter. Mineral Spirits also works as well but it's spendy.

I have 50 gallons of fuel or more stored just for lighting the above at any time. However this is all old school stuff.

What we count on now for SHTF lighting are propane lanterns. Easy to use and easy long term storage. Lots of light and heat if need be. Stock up on mantles, a few 20 lb canisters, maybe a dozen 1 lb cylinders, a refill adapter or two for a spare and you're good to go. I have several. Some have been in camps every year for decades and still work just fine.

All that being said my newest lighting SHTF kick though is the new "D" cell LED lanterns that put out 300 lumens.

Kind of a minor obsession I guess but I think we've got all the lighting basics covered. ;)
 

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Chains keep us together.
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old ones are best, their usually tin mechanisms, honestly, i see if I can crush the screw on part in my hand, if i can bend it easy I movve on.
dietz,aladdin, lemans are all good.
 

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Free Mason
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The wife and I were going through our kerosene lamps two weeks ago. We pick them up at yard sales and flea markets. We counted 30 in working order plus 5 that need parts. What we are going to do with 30 lamps I have no idea.

I purchased two new Dietz number 8 lanterns from Lehmans. They are made in China now. The quality is just as good as the old Dietz lamps made in USA.

The older metal lamps can leak at the seams. Be careful.
 
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