pressurized kerosine lanterns

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. has anybody any experiance with pressurized kerosine lanterns?Are they as clean burning as white gas or propane?Are they any more or less cost effective to run?Are they as bright as white gas or propane?I need another lantern like a hole in the head, but ''Cheaper than Dirt ''has some on sale for $59-supposedly marked down from $200
  2. Experience? Yup.

    The main difference between kerosene pressure lanterns and gas/propane lanterns is that a preheat step is required to light a kerosene lantern. Most kerosene lanterns have a small alcohol cup that you fill with denatured alcohol and light. The alcohol burns for about 2-3 min and heats up the lanterns generator. The heat step is necessary to get the kerosene fuel to vaporize (similar to glow plugs on a diesel car). Coleman White gas lantern/propane lanterns do not require alcohol to preheat the generator.
    Kerosene pressure lanterns burn as clean as gas lanterns and have very similar light output. I find the kerosene lanterns actually smell a little less (or different) than white fuel lanterns. As far as cost effectiveness, kerosene is about $2 per gallon and white fuel is about $2.50 per gallon. I have found that the kerosene lanterns need to be run “wide open” especially in cold weather to keep the kerosene fuel vaporizing. If you don’t need a lot of light, white gas lanterns can be turned down which can save considerably on fuel consumption.
    The two leading kerosene lantern suppliers are Coleman and Petromax. Coleman currently offers 2 kerosene models. Cost new range from $55-$75 on line. I have seen them go on Ebay (new in box) from $30-$50. Used Coleman Kerosene lanterns are also available on Ebay. They are much more collectable than white gas lanterns and are priced accordingly.
    Petromax lanterns are a German design that has been around for almost 100 years virtually unchanged. The company has changed hands and the lanterns have been offered under Petromax, Geniol, Aida, Hippolito, and the current Britelyt brands. All parts are interchangeable. The Petromax design has also been heavily copied. The lanterns at “CTD” are probably the Chinese knockoff marketed under the name Butterfly. Even Coleman made a Petromax clone called a Col-max.
    The Petromax lanterns utilize typical German engineering. Solid, reliable, top quality. They are simple to rebuild and operate. To solve the preheating dilemma, the Petromax lantern has a built in blowtorch to preheat the generator. They produce an amazing amount of light and a remarkable amount of heat. They are still marketed as being able to burn any source of fuel from diesel to paint thinner. Stick to kerosene and you might live longer.
    Cost of the petromax knock offs range from about 30-50 on Ebay. Used Geniol, Aida, Hippolito will fetch 40-70 depending on condition. Used old Petromax 70-100. New Petromax from Britelyt 100-150 depending on options. I have seen reconditioned “new” Petromax lanterns on Ebay from Britelyt with all accessories going for around $90. An excellent buy in my opinion.
    Advice, Coleman white gas lanterns are cheap to buy, cheap to operate and parts (especially mantles) are readily available in just about any hardware store. Best lanterns on the market. Coleman kerosene lanterns are also very easy to operate but parts can be a bit more difficult to find.
    Advice, if you half to have a Petromax lantern, get a real one. Parts (mantles) are available but you will need to order them from Britelyt. Parts for the clones may or may not be easy to obtain.
    Warning, all pressure lamps produce carbon monoxide. Some people think that kerosene does not produce CO and are safe to run indoors. Don’t believe this. Kerosene may produce less CO but it is still very dangerous to run in a confined space. If you intend to operate a pressure lamp indoors, (and I don’t recommend this at all) never leave the lamp unattended. Kerosene pressure lamps (especially the Petromax) operate under higher pressure than a similar white gas lantern. I have had mantles pop off, break and get holes in them. This can and will melt the glass chimney on the lanterns and/or melt the parts inside the lantern. I have had flames shoot 3 ft high out of the top of a lantern due to poor fuel and have had lanterns go out and produce tons of smoke. Be safe and operate them outdoors only.

    Good luck.

  3. thanks- I think I'll stick to my old Coleman white gas lantern[ and my wife would thank you even more for me not spending money on something I really didn't need anyway-but then again, I never told her I was thinking of buying another lantern- wives are funny about stuff like that- they just don't understand]
  4. Recommend you buy an Aladdin Lamp. You will be much happier with it.

    But its not pressurized. It is bright and safe, however.
  5. Got a 250 watt petromax made in the 50's - Brytelite had all the parts to rebuild it, including the globe.

    Bought 2 150 watt models, with shades for about $150 - GREAT lanterns. They burn everything. Really nice in the summer time when camping, we burn oil of critronella, keeps the bugs away and LOTS of light.