Monday, April 12, 2010
Light - When The Power Goes Out - Part 2
Oil lamps are easy to use and inexpensive. The basic requirements are a container to hold the oil, a wick. Most of them have glass coverings around the flame and come in hundreds of designs and styles. They come in free standing, hanging or wall-mount design. You can burn almost any oil in them, including
olive oil, nut and seed oils, hemp oil, vegetable oils, fish oil, mustard oil, Castor oil... you name it. Other kinds of fuel are coal oil, white gas, and kerosene, also known as paraffin oil. Some fuels burn cleaner than others, and give off different odors. There are a dozen or more different sizes of wicks used, depending on the lamp. We have lamps that use 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8". I keep this lamp sitting on top of a bookshelf, filled and accessible all the time. We've had to use it many times when the power was out.
Here are a few more samples of styles of oil lamps:
Pressure lamps/lanterns use a "mantel" instead of a wick. The fuel is pressurized, usually by you pumping a lever. These give off a much brighter light than a wick lamp. I'm not going to go into detail here about how they work. When you shop for lanterns or lamps, you can learn the details specific to whatever you buy. We have a Coleman lantern and an Aladdin lamp, like the ones in the pictures.
Lamps and lanterns are usually not very expensive. Neither are the accessories for them: wicks, mantels, fuel, extra chimneys (the glass covering). Now is the time to do a little shopping, and stock up on plenty of fuel, wicks, mantels and matches.
And here is one of my little candle lamps that I didn't include in the last "Light" post.