Carbon footprint of a paraffin lamp versus a battery lantern

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Jackroadkill

Full Member
Nov 21, 2016
124
47
Newtown, Powys
I've been thinking about using a paraffin lamp for use in my camp but I'm not sure whether or not to go for it. Obviously, a paraffin lamp is by far the nicest way to illuminate the place but the carbon footprint must be quite high. This got me to thinking - which has the higher carbon footprint (throughout its' life, not just in the moment), a paraffin lamp or one powered by batteries?

If anyone knows I'd be interested to hear, as this would inform my choice of light source.

Thanks,

JRK
 

Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
2,317
544
Cornwall
Unless you can regulate the power of the battery, then use the paraffin, regarding your carbon footprint, I assume you wont be using electricity when camping, as you would do if back home, so your carbon footprint is probably in the minus.
Overall I would say the paraffin lamp has the lower carbon footprint over its life, the only time I have ever worried about my carbon footprint is when I used to work at Stanlow Oil Terminal, as you used to get covered in carbon black, and it did make a mess of your car if you didn't change you boots when you got in.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
I believe that there's a psychological merit in the "warmth" of a candle flame.
The carbon dioxide released is, at least, available once again to the living green plants for uptake in photosynthesis.
For big light, I have used a typical Coleman pressure lamp. In a tent, just a single candle in a stable holder is adequate.


If I were to try hammock camping, I'm certain that battery-powered lights would be the best choice.
Batteries at the end of their lives still have to be disposed of quite carefully.
 
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Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
I've been thinking about using a paraffin lamp for use in my camp but I'm not sure whether or not to go for it. Obviously, a paraffin lamp is by far the nicest way to illuminate the place but the carbon footprint must be quite high. This got me to thinking - which has the higher carbon footprint (throughout its' life, not just in the moment), a paraffin lamp or one powered by batteries?
I’d say, throughout its life, considering the manufacture of each, the paraffin lamp has a smaller carbon footprint. Not from the burning (a tank of fuel in a paraffin lamp lasts a long time), but from a manufacturing point of view. More can go wrong with electric lanterns, they don’t last lifetimes.

Having said that, I’ve just bought a BudgetLightForums LT1 lantern with all sorts of features. You can change the mode to a cool white or warm glow via different leds in it, it can dim and switch itself off over an hour so you don’t need to get out of bed or worry, even has a candlelight flicker mode. Runs at 5 - 600 lumens. It’s for in my bell tent and camper as a safe option, and by the bedside where I don’t want to flick on a bulb.

I won’t post links and vids, but google Sofirn BLF LT1 if you’re looking at a battery lantern.
 

Jackroadkill

Full Member
Nov 21, 2016
124
47
Newtown, Powys
Thanks all - some good logic. I'll keep my eye open, both for a paraffin lamp for more relaxed solo outings, and possibly a lantern for when I'm accompanied by family, dogs etc.
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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Should you choose the Sofirn lantern, drop me a PM, I have some codes from Sofirn that drop the price considerably for BLF members. Mine came in at £49 rather than the £78.99 on Amazon. Still expensive, but only the price of a couple of Feuerhands and a gallon of fuel, without the fuss and smell of paraffin, finding a lighter, extra care etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Feuerhands I have a couple, also a little Petromax , and a big double wick Dietz that’s wonderful. All for garden or external lighting though, not in the tent or van.
 
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baggins

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Apr 20, 2005
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Coventry (and up trees)
I love my paraffin lamps and coleman duel mantel petrol lamp. the light they give out is way nicer than an electric. however, they are are heavy and bulky, so not so much good for backpacking. Candle lanterns are also great but, these days my eyes struggle with the light for reading etc. As for using batteries, have you looked at the rechargeable options and solar panels to recharge. This is an option we often use, and, while the rechargeable batteries still have a large carbon footprint, especially with disposal, they still last a good few years (up to 1000 charges for some brands).
 
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