Published at Sunday, September 23rd 2018. by Tammi Jensen in Lantern Lights.
The simplest form of a lantern, and most likely the first, is the candle lantern. A candle is placed in a metal box with glass sides and an open top. We all know of the kerosene lantern, also referred to as a hurricane lantern. This type lantern was commonly used from the 19th century into the middle of the 20th century. This lantern, or a version of, is still used by campers and other outdoorsmen. The kerosene lantern is ruggedly built for portability. The metal chimney and side tubes supports the glass globe and enhance the draft of air reaching the flame. Horse drawn carriages, railroad cars and ships were other early uses of the kerosene lantern.
In the Victorian era, gas lanterns were the staple, with a traditional Hexagonal shape and forged in bronze or copper. In modern times, many lanterns are still made of copper or brass, some with lacquer coating, or you can get the same look in a cost-effective, powder coated, lightweight aluminum, for a hard-wearing finish.
The use of the kerosene lantern declined after electricity became widely available and improvements to battery operated devices were made. Today, the kerosene lantern is largely a collectors item and is never lit. The kerosene lantern of the 19th century has largely been replaced by modern fueled lanterns and battery operated fluorescent lamp models. Because handling liquid fuel is dangerous, most modern lanterns use a small disposable steel cylinder to enclose the fuel and is simply disposed of when empty. This fuel is most likely propane. Of course, there are lanterns in use today that use kerosene, diesel and ethanol.
Beyond the fueled lantern and the battery powered lantern is the LED lantern. Due to advancements in technology and a reduction in cost the LED lantern is widely available. LEDs have become brighter, more rugged and usually run longer than fluorescent and other bulbs.
In order to determine your final choice of outdoor lighting pieces you have to decide on where they should be placed. It is best to light only the corners that will be used during the dark hours - the sitting spaces such as tables and chairs, benches and chaise lounge areas.
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