Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lanterns and Lehmans!

I can’t believe I have done 175 Blog posts and have not mentioned one of my favorite suppliers of, well, just about anything related to preparedness. If you have something you need to procure and have not been able to find it, this is the place to go. I love Lehman’s! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lehman’s they are located in Amish country and have things you haven’t even thought of. Anything that relates to doing things the old fashioned way, from butter churns to cook stoves to lanterns and everything in between. They even have things you didn’t know you needed; so many kinds of kitchen and other gadgets you’ll be amazed and what you find that you didn’t know you needed. You can find them online at and can shop online or they will send you a catalog. I have to admit, I have spent hours and hours browsing through their catalog and looking at all the amazing stuff.

I’m always glad when spring comes and it starts getting warmer (slowly) and the days begin to get longer. I really don’t like to be cold and I don’t like to be in the dark either; at least not when my eyes are open. I remember as a child having a power outage (yes we did have electricity when I was young) and my mom would pull out the emergency candles and light them until the power was back on and they’d be stored until we needed them again. We didn’t have a lot of outages and never for very long but there were always candles.

I love candles but I would feel very unsafe using them for an extended period of time, especially if there were young children around. They don’t last too long, don’t give off very much light and would be dangerous to carry from one room to another. But, they are definitely better than nothing.

A few winters ago, it seems we had severe weather and lost power several times. We have oil lanterns that we keep for emergencies. During one of these outages, we decided to see how much light they gave off. We have a buffet in our dining area that has a mirror on the back and so we set the lamps on that and found that the mirrors reflected the light making it seem even brighter. We were able to read by the light – although with my eyes I probably want to read too long but we could see well enough to read. I guess that is probably the ultimate test.

We have not only several oil lamps but replacement wicks, mantels and a couple of extra chimneys as well as lamp oil. I do have some candles as well but I think over an extended period of time, lanterns would be our primary light source. All of the oil that we have purchased is “Ultra Pure” oil and safe to use indoors.

One thing I have noticed in my research of preparation items is how things have evolved over the years. Preparedness stuff has become much more high tech and that is good and bad. It is more difficult to find a good old oil lantern with extra wicks, mantels etc. than it used to be. So many Solar lanterns instead which is great but I don’t want solar for my main light source – seems like forever since we’ve seen the sun here. I not only want to have the equipment that I need but extra replacement parts that I may not be able to get when I need them. I’d much rather have them and never use them than need them and not be able to get time.

As I’ve been working on my blogs this week I am amazed at the waiting period to receive preparedness items from most suppliers. Some will give no guarantee as to when your order will be shipped and others are promising a minimum of 6-10 weeks before shipment while many items are listed as “temporarily out of stock”. If there is anything you have been putting off getting don’t wait any longer. Get it on order as your receiving time may be several months in the future. Lanterns should be on you MUST HAVE LIST. Chose the lanterns you want; just be very careful about buying the ones that are under $10 and cheaply made. I am not promoting any brand but I really like the Aladdin brand lanterns, like the one in the picture above. You need to feel save when you use them. As they always say, “You get what you pay for”! Check them out at, or any other preparedness supplier. Don’t think you need lanterns? Read the following article:

Oil LampsBy Marlene Affeld - September 23, 2010

Brass and glass oil lamp
Avoid calamity by being prepared for home emergencies. Power blackouts are common in most of the United States. Brownout or blackout from an excessive drain on the power supply; devastating tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards take down power lines; and lightning knocks out transformers. Wise homeowners prepare in advance for the disasters they can anticipate. An adequate water and food supply, emergency shelter and medications are absolute necessities in any survival kit. Many home owners maintain a supply of old-fashioned oil lamps to provide needed lighting in an emergency.

Types Of Oil Lamps
Used for centuries in cultures around the world, there are literally thousands of different oil lamp designs and sizes. Brass, copper, stainless steel, glass and ceramic have been crafted by lamp artisans into unique lighting vessels. Since 2000 B.C. people have used oil lamps in stables, palaces, ships, factories and homes. Modern homeowners have a choice of styles designed for safety and function.

Hanging or Wall Oil Lamps
To light the interior of your home during a power outage, hanging oil lamps with downward reflectors will cast light into the darkest corners of a room. Since they are hanging, there is no danger of them being knocked off of a table or dropped. Brass or copper hanging lights are available in sizes from 10 to 22 inches. The metal and glass design is very attractive. Wall lamps made of metal and a glass globe have reflectors/wall protectors that radiate a warming light. Antique enthusiasts love vintage lamps, but quality replica lights are available at home supply or hardware stores for a reasonable price. Fill your lamps and make sure the wicks are properly installed to ensure operation during an outage.

Commonly Used
Although some homeowners may stock oil lamps for use in an emergency, they are widely used daily around the world. People who do not have an adequate source of electric power, those living off the grid and groups such as the Amish who do not believe in the use of electricity count on the light provided by oil lamps to conduct their daily lives. They are an attractive, safe and cost effective replacement for candles.

Approved Lamp Oils
Use only clear lamp oil. Dyed or colored oils burn poorly, clog the wick and may damage or stain the lamp

Lamp Usage Warnings
Never use liquid candle wax, gasoline, paint thinner, wood alcohol, diesel, turpentine, mineral spirits or white gas in any type of wick lantern. You should never use aviation fuel. Anti-freeze additives in the fuel can be fatal if inhaled.

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