An Oil Lamp For Preparedness

feuerhand-german-oil-lamp

An oil lamp (hurricane lamp) could be a valuable commodity (for the sake of preparedness) during a power outage event, and will also provide a unique ambiance for occasional use and enjoyment during non-emergencies.

When the power goes out and the lights go out with it, an oil lamp is a practical source of emergency lighting for a room (or rooms) and will burn brighter than an ordinary candle while setting more stable and secure.

Here are a few tips about oil lamps, and an estimated cost-per-hour to operate one…


 

Brightness Of An Oil Lamp

An oil lamp (or hurricane lamp) will burn brighter than a candle. It varies from lamp to lamp (due to design), however generally speaking an oil lamp will produce several (or more) candlepower of light.

For example the following high quality (made in Germany) Feurhand oil lamp will output 7 candlepower: Feuerhand Hurricane Lantern – Oil Lamp

‘Candlepower’, although mostly an obsolete measurement these days, was once used to express levels of light intensity in terms of the light emitted by a candle of specific size and constituents. Given that we’re talking about oil lamps, it seems appropriate. So for the example above, that particular hurricane lamp outputs the equivalent of 7 candles…

 

Lamp Oil

Generally, an oil lamp will burn about 0.5 ounces of lamp oil per hour.

While a hurricane lamp will burn a variety of oils, there are quite a number of choices out there for purpose-made ‘smokeless’ lamp oil. One cost-effective choice that I’ve found is the following ‘Firefly’ lamp oil, sold by the gallon (128 ounces) which mathematically calculates to an operating cost of about $0.10 (10 cents) per hour, given its current price.

Firefly CLEAN Lamp Oil – Smokeless

One gallon of lamp oil will last about 256 hours. If you operated an oil lamp for 6 hours a day, one gallon of lamp oil would last you about 42 days…

Tip: If you have old (rancid) olive oil (for example), you can burn that too.
Tip: Keep the oil lamp at least half-full for most effective wicking.

 

Cut and Trim The Wick

The wick itself doesn’t burn, it’s the oil that burns as it is drawn up the wick.

To get the brightest light and the least ‘smoke’, trim the wick to a point by cutting an angle on each side such that the middle is the point.

Some people like the flame to be curved and cut an arc into the wick, while others simply cut straight across.

A wick will last a long long time if it is properly drawing lamp oil.

Tip: Trim the charred edge of the wick before starting a new burn.
Tip: If the flame height is adjusted too high, the flame may smoke.

 

SAFETY

An oil lamp produces flame. Take all logical precautions to ensure safety. Consider the location where it is placed, such that it’s less likely to be bumped or knocked over. Obviously if you have children in the house, you need to be particularly concerned about the safety thereof.

The chimney of an oil lamp will get very hot – even after it’s ‘off’ for awhile, so be careful.

Don’t add oil to a flaming or hot lamp.

Regularly clean the chimney as soot builds up.

To put out the flame of an oil lamp, blow a quick burst of air down the chimney (cupping your hand at the top edge of the chimney will help direct the air blast).

 
Lets hear your own suggestions, tips, and experiences with oil lamps…

79 Comments


Click here to vote for MSB -Top Prepper Website

  1. A Patriot October 29, 2015
    • Dixie Lou September 5, 2016
  2. Heartless October 29, 2015
    • Dixie Lou September 5, 2016
    • Dixie Lou September 5, 2016
  3. Peanut Gallery October 29, 2015
  4. taxdn2poverty October 29, 2015
    • Hildegard October 30, 2015
      • taxdn2poverty October 30, 2015
        • NRP October 30, 2015
        • firestarter October 30, 2015
  5. CrabbeNebulae October 29, 2015
  6. j.r. guerra in s. tx. October 29, 2015
  7. Stardust October 29, 2015
  8. JJ October 29, 2015
    • NRP October 29, 2015
      • JJ October 29, 2015
      • Hildegard October 30, 2015
        • Illini Warrior October 30, 2015
  9. Pioneer Woman October 29, 2015
  10. randy October 29, 2015
  11. Pioneer Woman October 29, 2015
  12. Anonymous October 29, 2015
    • Dixie Lou November 11, 2016
  13. John October 29, 2015
    • Ken Jorgustin October 29, 2015
      • John October 29, 2015
        • Anonymous October 30, 2015
          • Hildegard October 30, 2015
          • Ken Jorgustin October 30, 2015
    • Thox Spuddy October 29, 2015
      • John October 29, 2015
        • Kathy October 31, 2015
      • Hildegard October 30, 2015
      • NRP October 30, 2015
  14. Uncle B October 29, 2015
  15. epo3 October 29, 2015
  16. Kulafarmer October 29, 2015
    • Thox Spuddy October 29, 2015
  17. me October 29, 2015
  18. 21Bravo October 29, 2015
    • Thox Spuddy October 30, 2015
  19. canadagal October 29, 2015
  20. No joke October 30, 2015
  21. clark October 30, 2015
    • Hildegard October 30, 2015
    • KATSI October 31, 2015
  22. Fireman Matt October 30, 2015
    • KATSI October 31, 2015
  23. Living the dream October 30, 2015
  24. Lynn October 30, 2015
    • A Patriot October 30, 2015
      • Lynn October 30, 2015
  25. NRP October 30, 2015
  26. mtrotorhead October 30, 2015
  27. GoneWithTheWind October 30, 2015
    • Thox Spuddy October 30, 2015
      • GoneWithTheWind October 30, 2015
  28. Elvis October 30, 2015
    • NRP October 30, 2015
    • Thox Spuddy October 30, 2015
      • KATSI October 31, 2015
  29. E52rgr75 October 30, 2015
    • KATSI October 31, 2015
      • e52rgr75 November 1, 2015
  30. NRP October 30, 2015
    • Thox Spuddy October 31, 2015
    • Satori October 31, 2015
    • Thox Spuddy October 31, 2015
      • NRP October 31, 2015
  31. clark October 31, 2015
  32. Thox Spuddy November 1, 2015
  33. NRP November 2, 2015
  34. JustAnOldGuy November 6, 2015
  35. BEG November 11, 2015
  36. FRISBROB March 30, 2016
  37. Anonymous July 30, 2016
  38. Skibum April 24, 2017
  39. Kay-Cee June 30, 2017
Click here to vote for MSB -Top Prepper Website

Visit our TERMS OF USE & Comment Policy

For off-topic discussion, visit the latest:
'Weekly Preparedness' post

For the most recent comments from all articles:
'Recent Comments' page

Leave a Reply

Email optional - will not be published
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!