Oil Lamps

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Have you ever dreamt of designing your house in a cozy, old-fashioned way inspired by Charlotte Bronte or Jane Austen books, especially in 2023? Indeed, the atmosphere in those novels is tempting, elegant, and bewitching, so it is hard not to imagine yourself in this setting. One of the inevitable components of this atmosphere is oil lamps, which are not only giving cozy lighting instead of flammable candles but also are sources of long-lasting emergency lighting and heating elements.

No matter whether your interior design is compatible with oil lamps, you should consider having one at your house, especially if it is located outside the city and there is a possibility of a power outage or getting lost in the trees. Basically, you can run out of other lighting options at any moment, so having an extra one is always in demand.

Stay with us to find tips on how and why to use oil lamps, what are their perks and possible dangers, and which lamps will bring you the best experience.

Why Use Oil Lamps?

There may be many reasons why you can use an oil lamp instead of other sources of lighting. For example, you may need one in case of a power outage at home or when using torches is impossible. Many people prefer lamps because of the equipment used with them, which is better than kerosene in terms of the frequency of using oils in daily life. However, the most popular reason for choosing oil lamps is still their design which is easy-to-use and attractive.

How to Use Oil Lamps?

Although it seems that there is no need to navigate one on how to use oil lamps, there are really some details that are not known to everyone. Moreover, you can explore several tips on how to increase the effectiveness of the lanterns which you did not think about earlier.

Let’s get to know how the lamp is functioning. Obviously, the fire comes from the burning of oil in the wick. So, the mechanism is simple: oil is poured into a container, one tail of the wick is placed inside so that the whole wick is soaked in oil, while another tail is burned by fire.

Indeed, it is very easy to make the lantern do its work, so you can even make one by yourself. Many oil lamps are also covered with glass coverage so that the fire does not come out and does not endanger the surrounding environment.

Oil lanterns are also highly useful in terms of their long-lasting period of providing light. You can use any oil to refresh the lamp. What is more, you can buy several wicks to change them and make the fire brighter and more intense.

You can also consider using different types of oil for the oil lanterns. Surprisingly, any option you use at home will suit oil lamps, so you can use olive oil, fish oil, seeds oil, vegetable oil, and many others that are found at your place. However, note that some products in natural oils include most though oxygen, so the wick can fail to burn. Therefore, you should try everything to find and choose the most workable oil category.

Oil Lamps Safety

Oil lamps are not likely to be used in indoor conditions, so the best locations are those outside and without heavy wind as the oil inside the lamp can splash and put out the light. If you use oil lamps at home, it is very unlikely to use kerosene as fuel since it may be toxic.

What is more, do not live oil lanterns without attention for a long time, especially at night. There were numerous cases when oil started to overheat and burn by itself which caused some emergencies and fires. Do not use lamps in close contact with respiratory ways as it may result in breathing difficulties and lung contamination due to carbon monoxide contained in combustion products. That is one of the reasons why oil lamps are unlikely to be used in family-owned houses.

Also, do not add new oil to the oil which is being used or to the hot lamp. It is widely common to have a monoxide detector at home when using oil lamps.

In general, the best purpose of oil lamps is to carry them with you to the outside locations. This experience will bring no harm to the home environment and your health, moreover, it is hard to run out of oil when bringing lamps to outside locations as there is always enough oxygen that will carry the needed nutrition to the light.

Also, do not forget to always check the quality of oil and wick before burning the oil lamp. Old oil can turn on the process of oxidation of the lamp core material.

Types of Oil Lanterns

Nowadays there exist numerous types of oil lamps of various forms and purposes available at any shop which has an indoor products category. They are not considered to be very popular items, so the average price is not very high for a common man.

The lanterns may vary in color and forms of material, time of usage, and wicks. There are many items found in the shops, so you can always choose what is better for you depending on how you are going to use your oil lamp. The intensity of light is regulated by the material and length of the wick, while the duration of lamps depends on the size of the container and the contact between wick and air.

One more interesting fact to read about oil lamps is that in ancient times they had a widespread image of the spiritual component. Nowadays lanterns are rarely categorized by their imagination, yet historians may divide them into several groups according to the purposes for which they were used. Some of them were made to explain messages from the outer worlds, others to navigate the way through spiritual confusions.

Nowadays, lamps are rarely used in this way and are brought to encompass the interior and support their owners through the dark times (power outages and lack of lighting on the streets). So, you should pay attention to valuable characteristics such as the lamps’ materials and quality.

Finally, always read the feedback on the preferred products. Real experience is the most reliable factor for choosing an oil lamp.

Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

Are Oil Lamps Safe to Use Indoors?

Oil lamps are better not to be used outdoors. However, if the electricity or battery-operated torch runs out, you may use an oil lamp at home. However, remember about safety and do not leave lanterns at close distance to one’s respiratory organs.

Do Oil Lamps Smell?

True oil lamps burning in a proper way are not giving off any smell since there are no components to smell. You may only feel the smell of the oil itself (hot olive oil lamps will scent like olive oil, obviously). Sometimes there can also appear a smell of the material of which the lamp itself consists.

Do Oil Lamps Cause Fires?

Surely, yes. All lighting sources that use fire are elegant yet highly dangerous items, especially when used indoors. In many cases, lanterns use oil, which means you will operate with boiling hot oil and fire while using light from the lamp.

What Does an Oil Lamp Symbolize?

From the oldest times, the light was perceived as one of the sacred items and symbolized positive spiritual meaning. It was used in oil lanterns haunting and later became a companion of reading and writing activities.

Are Oil Lamps Toxic?

Combustion of oil brings carbon monoxide to the surrounding air by the burning of oil, charcoal, or kerosene, so it is almost impossible to avoid it.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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