Published at Sunday, September 23rd 2018. by Melisande Lemelin 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.
The good news is that the styles today are much more varied than they were in the days of David Copperfield. While old world styles are still very popular, modern designs have taken significant creative leaps, accommodating every home and garden scenario.
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.
Homeowners who want to include a new outdoor lighting system should first make a list of what they wish to achieve through their lighting system. One thing to consider is whether or not you want to have lantern lighting at all times, or only when it is needed. If you only want it when needed then the aforementioned options of an infra-red system or a motion detector system are the best methods. You should also determine whether you want to create a specific atmosphere in your garden, around a seating area, on a porch, or a deck. There are limitless effects that can be created with the right outdoor lantern lighting system and lighting layers.
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 The kerosene lantern of the 19th century has largely been replaced by modern fueled lanterns and battery operated fluorescent lamp models.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.
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