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A good bright oil lamp for reading?

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I have several oil lamps purchased from Walmart, but they don't produce enough light to read by - or even cook by at night.


Can you recommend a specific type of oil lamp that is good to read and cook by?


If you have an Aladdin and can share which type you have, that would be helpful. Thanks.


What do you think of Dietz?




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Another thought... putting a mirror behind an oil lamp gives you more light. It's still not like a 100 watt light bulb grin but it helps.


I know that Lehmans used to sell oil lamps with a built in mirror. Don't know if they still do.

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Dietz are ok for area lighting, or going out to the barn. They are not bright enough to read by. I have several Alladins and they are all great. They put out a bright light and don't smell as bad as the cheaper lamps. They do use a lot of kerosene or oil but you can turn them off and use the other lamps if you don't really need good light for working or reading.

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The walmart oil is ok.


You will want spare chimneys for all the lamps. The alladins also use a mantle. To me that is the biggest drawback to them because it is fragile and expensive. I like the lamps that hang on the wall with a bracket because they are already set up to light and you don't have to move them around. They all have a cap on the side of the reservoir to refill so you don't have to take them apart to fill. I've heard that spraying the mantle with hairspray before moving the lamp will preserve the mantle, but I have never personally tried this and do not know how well it works. I'm allergic to hairspray and not likely to try it.

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Get an Alladin or Alladin type (circular wick) oil lamp. They give off 2 - 3 times the light of a regular oil lamp. Alladin (or Alladin type) lamps are not cheap.


Another possibility are the Petromax or Butterfly pressure lanterns. Again, not cheap, but they do throw A LOT of light. The Butterfly is a Petromax clone. This site has the Butterfly for $68




These lanterns use kerosene.

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One of the really good oil lamps will cost 200$ plus at Lehmans, but they have a wonderful variety of them to choose from.

I am light sensitive so actually an oil lamp or a candle or two is fine for a quick read at night for me.


Also one can make pretty stable emergency candles with tuna or cat food cans ( similar size), wicking for candles and parrafin or other candle wax types. The three flames would be sufficient for reading or getting things cooked. A tuna can will also fit into a 6" clay pot ( it has to be clay, not plastic!), two pencils or sticks laid across the edges and another 6" clay pot put upside down will offer radiant heat to huddle by, or say, keep in the bathroom to warm up some if the house is cold. The tuna can emergency candles are a good addition and can be reused of course. Using three wicks, they throw out some good light.

i just lit one in my very dark kitchen. The three flames put out alot of heat, also give you plenty of light for about 4 ft around the candle, plenty of light if you are careful to do chores or cooking and enough light to read something by as necessary, probably because the can is so low to the surface it is resting on. Those three wick candles could probably heat up some soup or tea for a person also. Good thing to keep in a BOB in the car with winter coming on, as well.

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Try 3 mirrors, like what you see in a clothing store, only smaller, and the relative size of you "lamp" & behind the lamp, to reflect threw & around the lamp TO your work area. If hubby is a wood craft type guy, or handy, he could make a stand to hold these Mirrors. OR if you can get some really shiny mettle, bend it to “shape” ( according to need) leaving “feet” ( bent at 90 degrees) to make a stand. . . . 1 foot this way, the other 2 feet the OTHER way...


A fresnel-lense ( like a cars brake light, ribbed so to speak) could help, glass is best. They come in flat, curved, round, square, oblong, rectangle. They concentrate the light, ( Light houses use them to concentrate & increase the beams power).


They do come in plastic also, I have 2 on my vans rear window, I use then to help me back up, I get a distorted view, but can see slightly downward, ( so I don’t BUMPER someone something)/// Being plastic, I dip them in water, then to the back glass, suction-vacuum then hold it in place. So you could conceivably do the same with plain glass & “Van Eyes” ( available in many auto stores)., and a glass free standing picture frame. If so, watch the heat close! ! ! !


Aluminum foil lining 2/3's of a LARGER hurricane lamp shield-or chimney, as some call them, ( like the decorative glass things people use to “shield” a candle, say on their dining room table). The hurricane lamp shield MUST be Much larger than the lamp, or the heat will build tremendously.



For reading by an oil lamp, reserve at least 1 lamp to light just before you do read, with a WELL-TRIMMED wick , and a CLEAN globe, BECAUSE a well trimmed wick burns the BRIGHTEST right after being lit, and remains bright, until it burns down a bit, and the GLOBE soot up, and slowly cloud the inner side. My Grand parent was an old time brush arbor preacher, and learned to reserve 1 lamp to read by, as the “preaching” cam after many songs, etc, thus darker, as these meeting were generally at night!


I hope these suggestions might be of some help.

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wave This is what my Sister did to all of her walls in the kitchen and living room. Now it is bright. Lit up the rooms during the 2 storms the last few weeks while we were without electricity when she used her lanterns.


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