Did you know power outages across the US are on the rise? Severe storms and overloaded grids are some primary causes, but many people still lack an emergency lighting plan.

For prolonged electrical outages, you may find burning candles, using batteries or a portable backup generator to be too problematic. So what’s the solution to receiving hours of light when the power goes out?


Short on Time? Here’s Our Top Pick

Dietz #2500 Jupiter Oil Lantern


Oil lamps are an ideal answer for emergency lighting that works indoors and out. Oil lamps have been a source of illumination throughout history, and having a lamp on hand for power outages makes these events less stressful.

In this article, you’ll learn what to look for when buying an oil lamp, and read reviews of the top oil lamps for home use, so you’re ready when the next power outage strikes!

What To Look For When Buying an Oil Lantern

Oil lamps come in different shapes and styles, but to make a smart purchasing decision, you need to take a closer look at these four factors below.

Oil compatibility

Modern-day oil lamps are made to burn “lamp oil” which is kerosene refined to produce minimal, if any, odor or smoke. You can also run an oil lamp on:

  • Paraffin oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Olive oil
  • Hemp oil
  • K-1 Kerosene

Using some alternative oils can put off an unpleasant odor or be dangerous to burn indoors, so it’s safest to purchase clean-burning lamp oil for emergency use.

Every oil lamp will recommend oil compatible with the unit. Some camping lanterns run on inexpensive kerosene which you should never burn indoors. Some oil lamps work with two types of fuel.

Consider where you’ll need light during a power outage and choose an oil lamp that works best for that location.

Size of lantern

Table oil lamps are typically medium in size and are simple to move from surface to surface to provide light for food prep, writing, or reading during power outages.

Wall oil lamps are usually smaller in size and come with wall mount brackets, which is an excellent way to light a room and keep the lamp away from pets and children.

Hanging oil lamps come in small to large sizes and utilize a handle for carrying and hanging the lamp anywhere you need light. Hanging lamps feature a base suitable for placement on flat surfaces.

Burn time

Oil lamps burn an hour on average for every half ounce of oil. This basic measurement can help you decide which fuel reservoir size will provide you with sufficient hours of light before refilling the lamp.

The length of the wick has a dramatic effect on burn time. The shorter the wick, the longer the oil lasts. For bright light, the wick must be longer and burn more fuel to maintain the larger flame.

Fuel reservoir size

The fuel reservoir size determines how long an oil lamp burns. For power outages, you can expect the need to burn your lamp for a minimum of 8 hours, which most oil lamps can easily handle.

Oil lamps should state on the package how many ounces the fuel reservoir holds. For example, a 12-ounce fuel reservoir should burn approximately 24 hours.

Decide how many hours would be convenient for the oil lamp to burn before needing to refill the reservoir. During an extended power outage, you may find filling a small reservoir oil lamp every 6-8 hours to be bothersome.

Take into consideration that all reservoirs need an air gap of at least 1/2 inch at the top to allow safe oil expansion, and you need to refill the oil when the level drops to one inch above the bottom end of the wick.

Also remember that the larger the fuel tank, the more the full lantern will weigh.

Top Oil Lanterns for Home Use Reviews

Coleman Powerhouse Dual-Fuel Lantern

The Coleman Powerhouse Dual-Fuel Lantern gets a high score for providing bright light on both Coleman Liquid Fuel and unleaded gasoline. The bail handle is convenient for carrying or hanging the lantern. Durable materials hold up to outdoor exposure in all weather.

Check current price on Amazon.com

Pros:

  • Dual-Fuel technology (Coleman Liquid Fuel or unleaded gasoline)
  • Dependable operation in any weather condition
  • Adjustable knob for brightness control

Cons:

  • Only for outdoor use
  • Price a bit high
  • Basic lantern design with mantles

Dietz Jupiter Oil Lantern (Black)

The Dietz #2500 Jupiter Oil Lantern can provide light for days on its large fuel reservoir. The tall lantern provides light with adjustable brightness. The lantern has an attractive design and uses a wide wick for stronger light.

Check current price on Amazon.com

Pros:

  • Works with lamp oil or kerosene for indoor/outdoor use
  • Large fuel reservoir allows several days of burn time
  • Durable construction with a broad base to prevent tip-overs

Cons:

  • Large size best for stationary placement
  • Hole to place match for lighting wick a bit tight
  • Paraffin oil not recommended

Feuerhand Hurricane Lantern – German Made Oil Lamp

The Feuerhand 10″ Hurricane Lantern features a seal inside the tank to ensure leak-free use. The size is small enough to store in a cabinet or be a decorative item inside your home. Made of galvanized steel with a powder coat finish to resist rust.

Check current price on Amazon.com

Pros:

  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Crack-proof/heat-resistant SUPRAX globe
  • Works in all weather conditions

Cons:

  • Shorter burn time
  • Wick adjustment and bar lock hard to operate
  • The paint could bubble if the flame burns too high

Clear Pedestal Style Oil Lamp

The Clear Pedestal Style Oil Lamp has an attractive antique design ideal for year-round display inside your home. The clear fuel reservoir allows the addition of colored oil for more charm. The tall shape and wide wick provide a strong glow.

Pros:

  • Hours of burn time
  • Beautiful, tall design doubles as a decor piece
  • Provides enough light for reading

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Burner fastens counter clockwise which may cause confusion
  • Pedestal base may need re-gluing with stronger epoxy

Lamplight Chamber Oil Lamp

The Lamplight Chamber oil lamp is an attractive and affordable way to light your home during power outages or just for mood lighting. Can burn up to a full day on a reservoir of oil. The glass base features a finger handle for safe transport between rooms.

Check current price on Amazon.om

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Burns for up to 25 hours
  • Works as a decor piece when not in use

Cons:

  • Poor quality/thin materials
  • Best for indoor use
  • Wick tends to stick in the adjustable mechanism

Conclusion

Oil lamps may not have been your first thought when planning for emergency power outages, but now you see that they are an affordable, convenient solution to provide the light that keeps your family safe and comfortable.

Once you learn how to properly light an oil lamp, you’ll find they are an easy and reliable light source everyone should own.