Candle lantern

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slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,078
148
Devon
I've been looking for a well made candle lantern for ages but can't seem to find anything suitable.

I do not mean something like the Uco lanterns but something much more robust. If I could design my own it would have two or three glass sides, a back reflector, and be made solidly out of metal, eg brass.

It can be old or new, but something made for purpose to provide a decent light rather than those light weight ones sold cheaply for looking pretty.

I want to use candles rather than oil as I keep bees and have a plentiful supply of wax.

Anyone know of anything suitable or any key words to look for when searching Ebay and such like?
 

slowworm

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May 8, 2008
1,078
148
Devon
I noticed them when you posted them up and would pick one up if I found one.

However, I want something which will produce more light in one direction so it really needs a reflector of some sort.

Student / lace candle lamps have a reflector but are a bit top heavy and I'd like the flame protected like a lantern.

I've also seen cartridge lanterns that seem ok but I'd need to modify them a fair bit to turn it into a table top lantern and I'm not sure I fancy doing that to something antique or very expensive.
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,078
148
Devon
Ideally something more directional / focused.

I was hoping some of the survivalist / off grid / prepper type shops would sell something but haven't found any shops that have anything suitable.
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,078
148
Devon
I think many people would last longer with a few candles rather than oil lamps. Plenty of places stock candles, holders and various lanterns but I've not found anything that's built for long term use.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
See if you find one,
I think many people would last longer with a few candles rather than oil lamps. Plenty of places stock candles, holders and various lanterns but I've not found anything that's built for long term use.
I have a couple of old brass ones, with three glass sides and a mirror at the back. I can't say they're bright, but they do let the candle burn peacefully and they do reflect a very mellow golden light. I only use them at Christmas, tbh.

Thing is, candles, even very good ones, are sooty, and it's an oily/waxy soot that sticks to the glass and the mirror and they're a right footer to clean, and if you want the light out, then it needs doing often.

Best advice is something that comes apart really easily. When candles were all that well to do folks burned, it was cleaner by far than fish oil, they had a seperate mirror that was fastened behind to reflect the light, or like the lacemaker's or scholar's water filled globe that gave a spot of good clear light.
Lanterns aren't really the best for giving that 'spot' of light, iimmc.

You might see if you could source a bullseye glass and fit that to the front panel and see if that gives a focus point ? But then the height of the candle and the height of the flame would need to be in the 'right' position for that to work to best effect.

Best of luck finding something :)

Just had a thought, JohnC made a little opening brass candle box that sat almost lantern like, and I'm sure the polished back and sides of the case reflected the light.
No idea if I can find a link, I think it was on the old vBulletin forum, but if anyone can help, have at it :D

M
 

SimonL

Full Member
Oct 13, 2010
95
42
Farnborough, Hants
See if you find one,


I have a couple of old brass ones, with three glass sides and a mirror at the back. I can't say they're bright, but they do let the candle burn peacefully and they do reflect a very mellow golden light. I only use them at Christmas, tbh.

Thing is, candles, even very good ones, are sooty, and it's an oily/waxy soot that sticks to the glass and the mirror and they're a right footer to clean, and if you want the light out, then it needs doing often.

Best advice is something that comes apart really easily. When candles were all that well to do folks burned, it was cleaner by far than fish oil, they had a seperate mirror that was fastened behind to reflect the light, or like the lacemaker's or scholar's water filled globe that gave a spot of good clear light.
Lanterns aren't really the best for giving that 'spot' of light, iimmc.

You might see if you could source a bullseye glass and fit that to the front panel and see if that gives a focus point ? But then the height of the candle and the height of the flame would need to be in the 'right' position for that to work to best effect.

Best of luck finding something :)

Just had a thought, JohnC made a little opening brass candle box that sat almost lantern like, and I'm sure the polished back and sides of the case reflected the light.
No idea if I can find a link, I think it was on the old vBulletin forum, but if anyone can help, have at it :D

M
Hi Toddy,
Not sure if this was the thread you were referring to, but it looked pretty close to me ;)
https://bushcraftuk.com/community/index.php?threads/tin-candle-holder.52264/
Cheers
Simon
 
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slowworm

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May 8, 2008
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Devon
Thanks for the replies. I am aware of the differences between candles and oil lamps as I've used both. I've seen some lovely oil lamps but most seem top heavy and I would not be happy using them indoors. Cost wise our bees wax is free and doesn't smell horrible.

Anyway, there's loads of candles and various holders, lanterns etc for sale and I'd hoped there would be something suitable. I could make something but that'll join a very long list of things to make.

I've seen the tin box lamps, nice little things but not what I've after. I've found this site making copies of the American Civil war lanterns and the two lanterns look interesting. The pioneer lantern could be easily modded with a better reflector and a glass chimney.

https://www.civilwarsutler.co.uk/?s=candle&post_type=product
 
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Toddy

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Mod
Jan 21, 2005
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Kind of weird that only the wall mounted gimball lamp has any sootcatcher though.

The soot is a major issue, especially in modern houses, and with what we now know about breathing it in.

M
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,078
148
Devon
I often look at 2nd hand oil lamps and don't ever recall seeing a soot catcher on any of them. I would rarely use one inside regardless.

I came across that site whilst looking up the difference between kerosene (old heating oil), paraffin and lamp oil and it was interesting they recommend purified kero rather than paraffin or lamp oil, partly to keep the soot down.

https://www.dhr.nl/dhr-decorative/blogs/what-oil-use
 

SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
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Perthshire
I know you said you weren't interested in a Uco but you can buy reflectors for the UCO. A downward reflector and one that will focus the light where you need it, accepting it's just a candle.
 
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Toddy

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Mod
Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
I often look at 2nd hand oil lamps and don't ever recall seeing a soot catcher on any of them. I would rarely use one inside regardless.

I came across that site whilst looking up the difference between kerosene (old heating oil), paraffin and lamp oil and it was interesting they recommend purified kero rather than paraffin or lamp oil, partly to keep the soot down.

https://www.dhr.nl/dhr-decorative/blogs/what-oil-use
The soot catchers got absolutely filthy (lamp black) and metal ones were often rusty and disposed of in the days when unused oil lamps were considered a decoration. If made of glass, which was easier cleaned, often then called a "smoke bell", many just didn't understand what they were and didn't realise that they were part of the lamp set up.


Wall mounted ones, above gimbal lamps, like this set, aren't quite so rare.

 

GuestD

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Feb 10, 2019
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Anyone know of anything suitable or any key words to look for when searching Ebay and such like?
Check out Ikea candle lanterns. Loads of cheap stuff to modify. Somewhere I've got one with a spring loaded candle tube I made and fitted. Small stainless steel bowls with a bit of polishing make good reflectors. These are £7

 

slowworm

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May 8, 2008
1,078
148
Devon
Interesting about the soot catchers, thanks Toddy.

I do have an Uco lantern and a couple of cheap lanterns like the Ikea one but they're a bit flimsy for what I want. I may well get round to modding the lanterns why I find something suitable.

In the meantime I'll still look for a purpose made one.