Best Oil Lamps & Lanterns Reviewed for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Unfortunately, we were not gifted with nocturnal vision, and it’s a bummer but we get by. A good oil lamp will help to lessen the blow by providing an ample light source that needs to allow you to comfortably operate on the darkest of nights. Furthermore, the best oil lamp needs to do it in a way that can be added comfortably to your setting and not impair yours in any way. The way an oil lamp performs the important tasking of casting light in the darkness was a critical factor when I was selecting the products for this best of list.
Another trait that I needed to keep forefront in my mind was how long these lamps were capable of sustaining a flame. While many of the oil lamps I reviewed could maintain a flame, they needed to do so without becoming hazardous and without becoming more of a problem to maintain than a remedy. The oil lamps I selected are able to maintain flames anywhere from 6 hours and upwards of 45 hours and can conform to nearly any need.
Similarly, the size of the fuel tank was a component I tried to manage when choosing these oil lamps. Aside from determining how long it can sustain a little the amount of fuel inside a lamp will determine the weight of the lamp, as well as determine how often you need to refuel. Lamps that need to be refueled more frequently were given a lower rating while lamps that could withstand use for a few days were given a higher rating.
A more commonly overlooked trait of these lamps that I attempted to conqueror was how much the lamp costs to run. The amount of fuel that is used may not seem very important but if you need to buy a gallon of kerosene or other fuel every day that lamp isn’t very sustainable. All of the lamps on this list consume anywhere from 20 milliliters to 1.6 fluid ounces of oil per hour. There is a slight variance depending on the accelerant used.
If you have ever been in a situation before where you needed an oil lamp you already know how important it is that your lamp is able to sustain the light without putting off too much heat. Excessive heat from these lamps can burn your flesh and be very unpleasant to carry. Combating the heat output I selected oil lamps that used heat-resistant materials or handles that were further away from the flame.
While a candle seems like it would be a simple solution it can't compete with a truly good oil lamp. While functionally the candle can maintain a flame it can only be used in a room or area that has no wind, rain or other elements that may extinguish the flame. Some of these oil lamps are capable of being used outdoors and in inclement weather such as rain or snow.
Proper maintenance is a requirement of nearly every specialized tool and oil lamps are no exception. From the refueling requirements to the wick exchanging this lighting solution has its drawbacks. Most of the oil lamps I picked were capable of storing ample amounts of fuel and or used a fiberglass infused wick which is capable of burning for extended durations.
With these lamps using a source of fuel, a primary trait when selecting these lamps was how easy they were to refuel. While an oil lamp may have the capabilities of light an entire room if it takes 20 minutes to refuel chances are it’s going to end up being more of a nuisance to use that it would be to simply sit in the dark. Most of the oil lamps I included were able to be refueled with relative ease and some even included a plastic funnel to provide an added convenience.
With events such as the great Chicago fire reportedly being the catalyst in the ignition of the fire that killed 300 people and left over 100,000 residents homeless safety was my primary focus when selecting these oil lamps. Trying to be as safety conscious as possible I chose products that either used adjustable wicks in order to maintain a low flame and products that used less fuel so in the event of a tipping the flame would be more manageable. Its recommended using a level surface every time you use an oil lamp.
While an oil lamp might have an astounding candlepower and have an enormous fuel compartment it is only good as long as it is functional. The oils that are used as accelerants in oil lamps can be extremely detrimental to the oil lamps and over time damage them. Trying to ensure I found higher quality products I included options that were more resistant to wear.
Kerosene, in particular, is an extremely corrosive accelerant. This corrosive is also amplified when combined with higher temperatures making it particularly strenuous on your oil lamp. Materials I found were more resistant to corrosion were glass, and steel that has been galvanized and I made sure to select oil lamps that used these materials.
If you’re as clumsy as I am it is only a matter of time before you knock over your oil lamp. If it were simply a drink this wouldn’t be the end of the world but with an oil lamp, this mistake could be a costly one. I chose a number of different oil lamps that had a wider base for added stability or were wall mounted that would be up and away from the most range of motions.
Much like the fuel operational cost the wick that is used with your oil lamp can be an additional expense when buying one of these lamps. The wicks used in the oil lamps featured on this list used either a cotton wick or a fiberglass wick. Cotton wicks are quite good at “wicking” the accelerant and providing a long-lasting flame however they do produce some residue or soot. Fiberglass wicks are capable of lasting nearly indefinitely with normal use and it doesn’t produce flame or soot.
With the use of glass and small metal parts, it is likely that over time and with use these oil lamps like any product can break or become damaged. A good manufacturer that stands by its product often includes a warranty. I tried to ensure that these products offered some type of warranty and those that did were given a higher rating.
In life sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. Including things like a few extra wicks or spare parts is a subtle but nice addition that is provided by some of the better oil lamps. A few of these oil lamps come with these bonus items and did play a small role in their placement on this best of list.
10 Best Oil Lamps
1. Dietz #1 Little Wizard
This smaller more compact oil lamp produced by Dietz is an exceptional choice and is featured at the very top of this best of list. Its compact and original design make this a stylish oil lamp that can accommodate most rooms and can be stored away quite easily during the times that you do not need them. The little wizard is available in two different designs, a standard design and a design that has a smaller fuel tank. Another nice aspect of this oil lamp is there are two different colors to choose from which is more than others offer.
Long Lasting Light
With how unpredictable the recovery time is on any power outage that may occur it is vital that your oil lamp is capable of sustaining the entirety of the duration. The Dietz little wizard in its standard design is able to maintain its flame for up to 45 hours on 36 oz. of fuel. The other design with the smaller fuel tank is about half the size of the original and is able to maintain a flame for 23 hours on 17 oz. of fuel.
Substantially Larger Fuel Tank
The Dietz Little Wizard has a massive fuel tank that can hold 36 oz of fluid. This huge tank ensures you won’t need to refill it very often.
Cost and Value
Falling somewhere in the middle for pricing while being just as effective and providing a substantially long lasting light this oil lamp provides a perfect balance between price and quality. This oil lamp is rated as having 9 candlepower ensuring it to provide ample light even in the darkest of areas.
2. Feuerhand Hurricane
The Feuerhand Hurricane lantern by Vermont Lanterns, much like the Dietz collection, is a classical representation of an original oil lamp. This galvanized steel lantern is painted with high-quality rust, heat, and scratch resistant powder coated paint that will help your oil lamp hold its own against the test of time. This lantern is sure to work in all water conditions, unless you live underwater, and will provide an exceptional source of ambient light.
Multiple Color Options
The Feuerhand Lanterns powdered coated paint comes in an assortment of color options allowing you to choose a color that suits your preferences or homestyle. With its functional characteristics, these paints are a welcome addition to the lantern.
Great in Emergencies
The light that is cast and 10-ounce fuel capacity make this a great choice for emergency lighting. This lantern comes with additional wicks to ensure when you lose power you're completely prepared.
Cost and Value
As one of the most expensive products on the list, the price was the key factor in positioning. While the price is higher this is a case of you get what you pay for. The higher quality steel, powder coating, and the all-weather capabilities speak for themselves and really provide a bang for your buck feeling.
3. Firefly Fuel Wine Bottle
This Hand-Blown Borosilicate Glass Globe is an interesting addition to this list and is a feature in the number two spot. This oil lamp was made to sit atop a glass wine bottle and has a wick that will lower into the bottle where your fuel will be stored. This wick is low sitting in the glass globe and rather rigid which provides a long lasting light and saves you from having to buy wicks as frequently. The larger globe on this oil lamp provides more air circulation which in turn produces a larger flame.
Unique Universal Design
The use of the interchangeable globe contributes to this being a nearly universal oil lamp. The globe can be stored easily while not in use but is nearly specific to being used on bottles of wine and the company provides a list of compatible bottles.
This oil lamp is hand blown which enhances a few key traits of this lamp. Hand blown glass is much lighter than your standard production commercial glass. Hand blown glass is thin and smooth preventing any glare or noticeable blemishes on the glass which will give an untarnished all-encompassing light.
Cost and Value
Coming in on the lower to the middle ground when it comes to the pricing on this list the oil lamp glass globe is a very strong contender. The simplicity in its design compliments the lower price and makes for a purchase that has great value.
4. Lamplight Montana
The lamplight Montana oil lamp is better suited for an indoor environment. It can easily be used as your standard table lamp but is also capable of being mounted on a wall should you want to provide a more ambient mood. The brushed copper metal has a moose and tree stamped onto the shade of the hood that adds a refreshing touch of artistry to a generally ordinary item.
This oil lamps wall mounting capabilities definitely contributed to its positioning on this list. The ability to be wall mounted serves a dual purpose, during a normal daily routine you can use your electrical lighting and the stylish sconce would be an aesthetic addition to your room. Should you need them in an emergency they would be in a great position to be easily used.
The brushed copper and artistic etching give this oil lamp a very rustic appearance that would go well with any room and provide a sense of natural beauty.
Cost and Value
Before you run out and buy one of these well-designed lamps, they are towards the upper middle and higher priced points for the products on this list. While not unaffordable it was a contributing factor in its positioning. The unique traits and stylish appearance more than makeup for the cost of purchasing this lamp.
5. Dietz Original 76
With such a long history in the manufacturing and production of oil lamps, it should be no surprise that the Dietz Original 76 was chosen for the third place and best value choice on this list. It falls nothing short of what you would imagine an old-time miner would have used when excavating tunnels for minerals with its classic design. This oil lamp has an operational cost that is well below most on this list which ensuring you could sustain this for a substantial amount of time.
Regardless of why you need to use an oil lamp, being portable is a key design trait for any one of these wonderful oil lamps. The compact design of this Oil Lamp is particularly beneficial should you need this lamp for an outdoor lighting solution which can be easily added to your outdoor equipment.
When you purchase this oil lamp it comes prepared with a wick and simply needs oil to be added. Additionally, each of the parts on this lamp can be ordered individually allowing you to easily replace any parts that may be damaged during use.
Cost and Value
As the most cost-efficient choice on this list, the value is inherently higher than the other oil lamps on this list. The pricing is nearly identically
6. The Modern Transcend
This hand blown oil lamp is made nearly entirely of glass and has a very contemporary vibe. This work of art would compliment any home with a contemporary design style very well. The floating glass ball fuel tank is clear and reveals the fuel source which can be dyed for further aesthetic appeal. This oil lamp is among the smallest of lamps to be featured on this list and has a fuel capacity of 2.7 ounces.
The modern and fully glass design is a unique and tasty approach to the oil lamp line up. These tiny lamps are perfectly suited for a peaceful meal and can double as emergency lighting.
Dyeing For Fuel optional
The option to add dyes to your fuel bring out a unique customizable addition to this lamp. When lit lamp has a slight glow to it from the dye that is eye-catching but not distracting.
Cost and Value
These lamps are quite expensive considering the small size and fuel capacity. The price will rival that of the highest on this list and what's missing is a sense of substance to the product. The most redeeming trait is the modern design which will embrace any new contemporary homes.
7. Vermont Lanterns Brass Mini
This mini lantern out of Vermont Lanterns is a well balanced and simple approach to your oil lamp needs. As one of Vermont Lanterns best-selling lamps, the generic design makes this oil lamp easy to add to any home and provides a great source of light for up to 10 hours. This lamp can be mounted using a mounting bracket that it can be lifted out of easily and would make a great light for a hallway or bathroom.
The simplistic appearance will conform to nearly any home. The simplicity used in the design of this lamp ensures no moving parts or mechanical features will become more of a burden than a blessing when using this lamp.
The mounting system used with this lamp can be placed in a hallway to be used for general lighting or even placed in a garage for use during an emergency. These lamps are rather tiny and could fit in a cabinet should you not want them mounted on a wall.
Cost and Value
These lamps are very affordable as one of the cheapest products on this list. The fuel capacity and candlepower are lacking slightly but the price was my biggest concerns with this lamp. It can only hold 2.5 ounces of fuel and has 2 candlepower so it won’t be lighting entire rooms.
8. Crisa Clear Pedestal
Modeled in a more classical and vintage style this oil lamp is a well designed and exquisite and will surely bring a bit of charm to any room. Measuring in at 18 inches tall this oil lamp is more of a permanent fixture and while it can be placed outdoors indoor use is more accommodating to the larger design. This oil lamp uses a bronze plated burner and the flame can be adjusted.
The antique style gives this oil lamp a sense of higher quality. This oil lamp is not one you will see often and that is sad really. The antique design is very appealing and is reminiscent of a modern and rustic collision.
Much Larger Option
This oil lamp is not very portable and quite bulky. While normally that may seem like a trait this oil lamp nearly doubles as a piece of art. The bronze plate and glass frame meld together forming a very entrancing source of light.
Cost and Value
If it was not the most expensive oil lamp on this list it surely would have a higher rated and be one of the more valued items. All of the cheaper oil lamps can accomplish the same basic function and with this oil lamp, you really feel like you’re paying for the design and not functionality.
9. Glo Brite by 21st Century
The Glo Brite made by 21st Century is a beaded lamp that that is 8 inches tall. It has an hourglass shape and has a more elegant look and feel. This oil lamp is substantially cheaper than the other lamps on this list and uses a chimney design. Being a two-part system you would need a burner base for this model of an oil lamp. While it may seem more troublesome this allows you some room for customization as well as the ability to choose your fuel tank size. With less use, you could select a smaller base, and with more use, you could find a base with a larger fuel tank.
The light rays that are coming off of the fire are captured in the glass of your lamp and then refracting it out across the room seemingly amplified with the hourglass design.
With a height of 8 inches, this chimney will be a little shorter than other chimneys. Keeping in mind that the 8 inches would be added onto the height of your base the shorter chimney was the clear choice of the Glo Brite product line.
Cost and Value
The Glo Brite Beaded lamp is one of the cheaper products on the list. The biggest variable would come from the price of your chosen base and some of the cheaper options would still keep this oil lamp on the lower end of the price scale for this list.
10. LANMU Bottle Tiki
This oil lamp wick uses a simple and easy to use fill and dip instant light source. The wick is made with fiberglass which will burn for a very long time and won't need to be replaced quite so often. This bottle based oil lamp kit will fit in most whiskey and wine bottle sized mouthpieces and the copper adapter can be reused on a new wick should you burn yours out. These bottle oil lamps come with a cap that can be used to extinguish the flame and will help to prevent spillage.
The universal design and use of rubber grommets allow the wicks to fit into most bottles. While it is adaptable to any bottle this trait makes these oil lamps better for an outdoor feel. The easy to use implementation and lack of a frame allow for easy storage and versatility.
Extremely High Value
While limited in its uses to mostly outdoor or emergency lighting the lack of a frame keeps the price of these oil lamps extremely low. The long-lasting wick and extinguishing cap will keep these oil lamps running for the foreseeable future.
Cost and Value
The high value comes from the 6-pack or 3-pack choice regardless of the one you buy, their lifetime will exceed that of the best oil lamps. The limitations of only being able to use them in a bottle are the one hindrance of the oil lamp.