View Full Version : Recommend kerosene lanterns for indoors

07-26-11, 19:28
I have been shopping for emergency kerosene lanterns/lamps for power outage.

Anyone have recommendations?


07-26-11, 21:32
Good question, as I am interested too.

On the subject, does kerosene create any harmful byproducts such as carbon monoxide when burned indoors?

07-26-11, 21:55
Lanterns; Propane or kerosene? (https://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=66064)

07-26-11, 22:19
Dietz is the original, be sure to get name brand dietz. There are many chinese knock offs of these lamps and they are quite dangerous. I have a case study somewhere about a tourist that died in Australia I believe when a knock off kero lantern exploded at a rustic resort they were at and the resulting burns ended up being fatal. The survival school I teach for in Central America will only use authentic Dietz because they have reliably worked for decades.

Just a Jarhead
07-27-11, 04:30
Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give a thorough review of what I know since I researched this extensively in the past & have some experience here.

I own a very simple, unelaborate Aladdin lamp , (similar to this one http://www.aladdinlamps.com/Product_View.asp?StockID=C6193) with a mantle for nearly 20 years. It's part of my hurricane/survival gear for here in south FL. Have used it many times but in particular, Hurricane Wilma had me without power for 2 weeks and this was used every night. Home page: http://www.aladdinlamps.com/Index.asp
I have never owned a Dietz. They may be great I just don't.

What I do know is that while an Aladdin lamp is not pressurized, the mantle of an Alladin lamp is made of special material that incandesce's (glows) to produce approx the equivalent of 60 watt bulb which is like no other lamp that I am aware of when I researched lamps. In comparison, most kerosene lamps will only produce the equivalent of about 5-12 watts of light. I searched but I could not find anything referencing the output of Dietz lanterns so we could compare.

I also know that the Dietz lamps do not recommend kerosene (not even K-1) for indoor use which is what the OP asked about, only for use outdoors. http://www.lanternnet.com/faqs.htm
This is most likely because they do not burn hot enough to burn off any odor and the lack of "hottness" will cause a kerosene lamp to give off more black soot residue which is noxious and which an Aladdin will not do. There is no odor at all (or it is extremely minimal) and kerosene is the only recommended fuel for an Aladdin lamp. http://www.aladdinlamps.com/ViewPage.asp?PageID=2. Use of kerosene in any lamp other than an Aladdin will probably require adequate ventilation and will probably leave a black soot residue on walls and ceilings with much use. Kerosene lamps can be very dirty. This absolutely was not for me which is why I went the Aladdin route, along with the brightest output available that I could find.

Here's a study on keorsene lamps for devoloping countries dated 2003. No sure if it will help but it may. http://evanmills.lbl.gov/pubs/pdf/offgrid-lighting.pdf
One noteworthy point I took away was that the larger wicks (22mm) obviously burnt the brightest. The Aladdins have a 1" wick underneath the mantle which is equivalent to 22 mm.

This is what wikipedia had to say http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene_lamp

I will say that the Aladddins are more delicate and fragile (especially the chimney's) and not suitable for outdoor use. A Dietz looks much more rugged like your typical camp lantern. So depending on your use an Aladdin may not be suitable. Aladdins also put out a lot of heat and will warm a room. In my research and experience from what I have found, there is nothing like an Aladdin lamp on the market today. The closest thing (but brighter yet) would be a Coleman pressurized lantern that uses Coleman fuel or white gas, which is definetly not safe for indoor use due to its pressurization and highly combustible white gas. I'm always wanting to learn so if anyone knows of any advancements please let me know.

07-27-11, 09:27
Kerosene is a carbon based fuel, more a sibling to Diesel than a cousin. Burning kerosene gives off the same carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. I would not recommend burning kerosene lanterns indoors.

Just a Jarhead
07-27-11, 11:12
I mostly use Ultra Pure lamp oil (liquid paraffin) & have several gallon cans of K-1 as a back up. Lamp oil is in the same family as kerosene, but it has been purified to make it burn cleanly. The burning of lamp oil produces fewer pollutants than burning kerosene. It is more expensive though. If burning K-1 I would definitely have a window cracked.

Otherwise, millions of people across this country lit their homes with Aladdin lamps using kerosene prior to the widespread adaptation of electricity with no ill effect. It was the most popular lamp in the nation for decades. The Aladdin mantle burns the impurities that standard wick lamps put into the air.

ETA: The Aladdin website will tell you not to use lamp oil, ultra pure or otherwise and to use only K-1 kerosene. When I bought my Aladdin they actually recommended Ultra pure. They have since changed this due to wicks clogging (paraffin) and pooling. I can attest, and others will also if you do a google search, that we have had no ill effects with the operation of our lamps, ie. wicks clogging, pooling etc, using ultra pure lamp oil and I will continue to use it as long as my supply last at which time I'll switch to K-1 kerosene. When I used my lamp it was typically for 4 hours at a time. Aladdin now sells a very clean kerosene through it's Dealers which I have not tried yet. Cleaner than K-1 they claim. Think I'll pick some up today. There's a Dealer close by. If anyone gets an Aladdin get an extra (or 2) mantles, wicks, chimney's.

ETA: probably a good idea to have a window cracked no matter what since the flame of any sort is sucking the oxygen from the room. At least if the flame gets dim, open a window.

07-31-11, 14:36
Kerosene is a carbon based fuel, more a sibling to Diesel than a cousin. Burning kerosene gives off the same carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. I would not recommend burning kerosene lanterns indoors.

So much for my NG water heater and stove..:blink:

CO and CO2 are a produced by any thing that burns. Proper ventilation, is a clue.

Kerosene lanterns have and will be used for years with no ill affects.

High Tower
07-31-11, 19:26

Is there an adverse smell to the kerosene laterns? We used kerosene heater on the farm and I would prefer not to have that smell anywhere in a dwelling. I'm just curious if they would be similar...

08-01-11, 13:18
I also recommend Aladdin lamps. I have several and use them in the winter months every day. Not only do they put off excellent lighting, they also produce a nice low heat.
The only time that there is a strong smell of kerosene is if the lantern runs out of fuel, otherwise the odor is negligible.
If you choose to buy Aladdin lamps, do yourself a favor and stock up on extra mantles. Some mantles seem to last for years, others can have a short life and disintegrate if the lantern is bumped. The mantles are very delicate once they are put in use.

High Tower
08-01-11, 15:42
Good to know. Thanks!

08-01-11, 21:51
Dietz is the original, be sure to get name brand dietz. There are many chinese knock offs of these lamps and they are quite dangerous. I have a case study somewhere about a tourist that died in Australia I believe when a knock off kero lantern exploded at a rustic resort they were at and the resulting burns ended up being fatal. The survival school I teach for in Central America will only use authentic Dietz because they have reliably worked for decades.


I was surprised to read that Dietz seems to have moved production to Hong Kong back around '56???

09-15-11, 20:27
Just a tangential thought on this. If stocking Kerosene for lanterns, it might be a good idea, depending on where you live, to pick up a Kerosene heater. They'll heat more efficiently than wood, and it might not be a great idea to have a smoke column coming from your home depending on the situation.

A lot of great info here:


09-16-11, 11:21
I've settled for the simple kerosene lanterns. They are easy to take care of and are 'forgiving' when you (or someone else) let them run out of fuel and char the wick. Wicks for these "hurricane lanterns" are inexpensive and easy to find.

I get my lanterns from Kirkman and I get their Kirkman #2 (http://www.lanternnet.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WKL&Product_Code=WTK2-HR) with reflector, the lantern is made in China (like almost all of them except Feuerhand (http://www.garrettwade.com/bright-tin-hurricane-oil-lamp/p/51T01.01/)) but the reflector is made in the US (hence the price). I also have one of these (http://www.lanternnet.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WKL&Product_Code=WTK2528&Category_Code=WKL) permanently on the wall in the bathroom.

I have used all the oil lamps that I have for testing purposes and for real (two weeks without power after Rita and three weeks after Ike). It was during the real events that the simple oil lamps got to shine the best. The complex lamps (pressurized, round wick, etc.) tend to be more finicky in usage and maintenance. Not anything impossible, but it seems just another chore on the list that you don't need in situations like that. But if you want to work on your car in pitch dark then a pressurized oil lamp will work best, just pay attention and keep it pressurized. If you let the pressure drop too much (i.e. you are not there when it happens) the mantle chars and needs to be replaced, but the lamp is hot and needs to cool down first, forcing some unintended downtime. Nothing impossible just aggravating.

You can get 5 gallon containers of K1 kerosene at home improvement stores, or at the pump in some rural areas. One of those containers will get you by for quite some time. I tend to have two of three on hand, that stuff doesn't go bad.

The Kirkman website has a wealth of information on oil lamps and fuels but some digging is required.

09-16-11, 13:08
I have collection from various decades of USA made Dietz lanterns, they all work no mater the age. They can be found at flea markets, tag sales etc for $5-10 with parts lamps for next to nothing usually available. Everyone seems to agree they are for the outdoors or a well ventilated space only, not an enclosed room. There are expensive one out there but they tend to be the collector type, the common barn lamp is all over the place.The only breakable part is the glass globes, the consumable is the wick and kero. Just look around for the USA made ones, your holding a piece of forgotten American history in your hand.

09-22-11, 20:59
I probably have every type of lantern made over the years even one made by Petromax that burns just about anything, and for my 2 cents I would say don't get any of them as LED lights have made them as obsolete as the M4 did to the bow and arrow. First a cheap LED head lamp will allow you to do anything that a lantern will do (why light up an area where you are not looking), 2 rechargeable AA batteries will last longer than a couple of 1 lb propane tanks, Most of the Lanterns either uses a very fragile element are they use a wick which hardly puts out any light. All children need to be careful around lanterns because they can get burned and can cause a fire. The propane are probably the best if use indoors and the easiest to take care of. For the price of fuel and a lantern you can buy a couple of head lamps for your children and a solar battery charger and batteries. Also LED lights you don't have to worry about rain as it can cause the glass on a lantern to break when hot. The cheapest way to light a house in a SHTF situation that I came up with is use several of the $2 garden solar lights that Walmart sell (about 2 in each room) and for reading and working use a head lamp. Even a small child can use a headlamp. Save your fuel for cooking Also they make LED lanterns also. Don't take my word thought get a LED head lamp and see for yourself by turning all the light out.

09-23-11, 11:11
Whatever you buy spend a few extra bucks on something good.

I bought 2 really cheap Kerosene ones from Wally World like a year ago...the wife actually wanted them as "decoration" which was fine with me, they were actual functioning lanterns.

Anyway when Irene rolled through a few weeks back we lost power for 4 days, I took one into the garage to fill with kerosene. Well I filled it and didnt even use it taht day but when I woke up the next morning all the kerosene had leaked out all over my counter top :mad:

So I grabbed the other one to fill up and see if that was ok, and the damn fill cap broke off right in my hand. Anyway, needless to say they're good for decoration but no good for actual use...

09-23-11, 12:14

I was at Cabelas and they just happened to have Dietz lanterns so I bought one. The fuel tank is quite a bit larger than I expected. Test fired it and all works well.

I appreciate all the advice given and just to be clear, I also have LED headlamps, battery and a couple of Coleman Lanterns for camping.

09-24-11, 19:24
Kirkman makes a quality modern Dietz Kero lamp. I have one, along with an old original. Exactly the same.

I also have an Aladdin.

The Dietz do work well indoors, as does the Aladdin.

By the way, the Aladdin produces a known quantity of heat. 2000BTU at normal brightness! Remember that 1000 watts is equal to 3400BTU. The real world equivalent is that 2 functional Aladdin lamps produce the same heat as a 120 V, 1500 W electrical heater.

09-24-11, 21:52

These little lamps take a 5/8" wick so fuel consumption is very low. But light output is directly related to fuel consumption but these lamps can burn a long time before refuel.

What is unique is the burner assembly is the burner is not a typical #2 unit. It burns exceptionally clean, with virtually no fumes or soot and yet with the reflector it put out enough light to be able to navigate around the room easily.

I picked these lamps up about 5yrs ago and have two mounted in every room in the house. I paid $12.99 each and it appears the site we purchased them from no longer sells them.

09-28-11, 01:17
Why kerosene may I ask?

I have several Coleman Dual Fuels that I run unleaded in for lighting both in emergencies and at my cabin. Doesn't smell at all and makes light like no other. I can usually get 10-12 hours out of a tank lighting a room bright enough to read by. The mantles are a little fragile, so it's a good idea to keep a lot of spares, luckily, they are real cheap at Wally World. I prefer the gas lantern for fuel commonality. Everything I have for SHTF purposes runs on gasoline.

Aladdin lamps are really nice for home lighting though, I must say. I have one that gets used with candles for family meals and it is plenty bright and does burn cleanly on K-1.