Lamps & Oil FAQ

Modern Lamp Oils have come a long way in safety and clean burning properties compared to fuels of the past. The formulas make them very difficult to accidentally ignite, and offer sootless and odorless operation. We have tested them all over the years and Vermont Lanterns offers a variety of our favorites for sale. You can also purchase lamp oil locally at many hardware and department stores. Paraffin based lamp oils have a higher flash point of 180F – 200F. This makes them extra clean burning, but does restrict the wick size, see specifications below. Order lamp oil here.

Download a PDF of our Care & Safety Intructions here:

Download a PDF of our Hurricane Lantern Instructions here:

1. Ultra Pure Clear Lamp Oil, 24 fl oz, Canada. (Paraffin based for 5/8″ and smaller wicks)
2. Aladdin Lamp Oil, 32 fl oz, USA (Top shelf kerosene based, works in all lanterns, required for larger wicks 7/8″+)
3. Firefly Safe & Green Lamp Oil, 32 fl oz, USA (Bio/Eco friendly for 3/4″ and smaller wicks, works with some larger wicks)
4. Sterno Softlight Lamp Oil, 1 Gallon, USA (Paraffin based for 3/4″ and smaller wicks)

Approved fuels for indoor / outdoor use in Tubular Hurricane Lanterns and Large (7/8″+) Flat Wick Oil Lamps:

1. Lamplight Farms® Clear Medallion Lamp Oil, Flash Point: 145 Degrees Fahrenheit
2. Klean-Heat® Kerosene Substitute 128oz, sold by Home Depot, Flash Point: 145 Degrees Fahrenheit
3. Crown® Clear Lamp Oil, Flash Point: 141 Degrees Fahrenheit
4. Genuine Aladdin® Lamp Oil, Flash Point: 141 Degrees Fahrenheit
5. MVP Group International Florasense® Lamp Oil, Sold by Wal-Mart. Flash Point: 142 Degrees Fahrenheit
6. Recochem Clear Lamp Oil (#14-573, Sold in Canada) Flash Point: 124 Degrees Fahrenheit
7. Firefly Safe & Green Lamp Oil, 32 fl oz, USA (Bio/Eco friendly. Works up to 7/8″ in Hurricane Lanterns)

NOTICE: While kerosene can be used, we do not recommend it due to higher soot and odor. Dyed kerosene or dyed lamp oil will eventually clog the wick and inhibit proper operation. It can also permanently stain the lamp or lantern. WARNING: NEVER USE gasoline, mineral spirits, alcohol, diesel, or any other explosive fuel in a wick lantern of any type.

1. Safety Instructions: 

  • Never leave a burning Lamp or Lantern unattended! Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do Not Overfill with lamp oil. Only fill 80%, or below the top seam of any lantern. Lamp oil needs free space for heat expansion during use, overfilling can cause leaks. Hurricane Lanterns will leak out the side arms if overfilled.
  • Keep Safe Distance from flammable objects and materials during use. Comply with fire safety regulations.
  • Warning: The top of lanterns and the glass get hot during use, use caution when handling.
  • Never Use: Gasoline, Alcohol, Mineral Spirits, Diesel or Tiki Torch Fuel. See Approved fuels in section #2.

Lamps & Lanterns have 3 main parts. The tank/font that holds oil, the burner & wick, and the glass chimney or globe. Some models have other unique features, but this covers most models.

2. Fueling, Only use Approved Fuels:

  • Standard Lamp Oil: (Aladdin, Lamplight, Medallion, Crown, Florasense, Klean-Heat) for all wick sizes.
  • Paraffin Lamp Oil: (Ultra Pure varieties, Sterno Softlight) or Safe & Green Lamp Oil are more odorless and suitable for wick sizes 5/8” and smaller. Paraffin will not work in larger wicked lamps. Citronella Lamp Oils or Kerosene can be used outdoors only.
  • Filling Regular Lanterns: Remove Glass, unscrew burner counter clockwise (left) to remove from lamp.
  • Filling Lamps with Tank Caps: Unscrew the tank cap for fueling. (Hurricane Lanterns, Aladdin Lamps)
  • Only Fill tanks to 80% capacity to allow room for heat expansion and prevent leaks. Use a small funnel if needed.
  • Once filled, place or hang a lantern in a level upright position. Do not transport when filled.
  • Do not refill during use. Always let lamp cool down before refueling.
  • Allow wick to soak up fuel for 10-15 minutes before first lighting.

3. Lighting:

  • Regular Lanterns: Test fit glass chimney on burner before use, adjust prongs for proper fit if needed. 
    Remove the glass chimney and light the wick. Replace the glass chimney and adjust the wick.
  • Hurricane Lanterns: Use the lever to raise the globe and light the wick, then lower it back down and adjust the wick.
  • Nautical Lanterns: Remove oil tank and burner from the base of the Nautical Lantern to light and fill.
  • If smoke is visible, the wick is too high. Adjust it down until a clean even flame is achieved.

4. Adjusting the Wick:

  • Use the wick knob to raise or lower the wick and adjust the flame height. Safe flame height is 1/2”-3/4”
  • Flat wick models: Keep wick below dome opening of burner for normal operation, turn down if soot visible. For Nautical and Mini Patio models without a burner dome, keep wick 1/8″ visible for safe flame height. Turn down is soot visible.
  • Round wick models: Keep the wick flush to the opening or 1/8” visible for safe flame height. Turn down if soot visible.
  • Extinguishing: To turn off, slowly lower the wick until flame extinguishes. Do not lower too far, or wick may fall out of burner. Raise wick up again to confirm flame is not present. Alternatively you can lower the flame and gently blow it out.
  • The wick will need trimming occasionally. If the top is charred, trim wick straight across or match the curve of the dome opening on the burner. Replace with new wick when it no longer reaches the bottom of the tank. To change wick remove the burner, and feed new wick thru bottom of burner.
  • Recommended wick length: Small/Mini lamps: 4” / Medium lamps 6” / Large Lamps 8”.

5. Cleaning the Glass / Brass Lantern Care:

  • Allow to cool down, then clean Chimney or Globe with glass cleaner, or  a homemade vinegar/water/soap solution.
  • Our Brass is not lacquered and will patina naturally with time. Polishing with brass/metal polish will restore original shine.
  • Our Antique and Pewter finishes are sealed/lacquered and do not require polishing.

6. Remember to Exercise Safety at all times:

  • Follow the Safety Instructions and guidelines above.
  • Ventilate and allow for fresh air if using indoors. Let the lantern cool down completely after use.
  • Mount Wall Lanterns and hooks securely to wood or studs. Use appropriate wall anchors if needed for your setup.
  • We recommend a minimum of 18″ in ceiling clearnce from the top of the chimney for wall lanterns with a smoke bell. For models without a smoke bell 24″ minimum is recommended.
  • Mount a Smoke Bell (Optional accessory) 2-3” above the top of the glass chimney.

Enjoy your Lamps & Lanterns and please contact us with any questions, we are happy to help!

Copyright © Vermont Lanterns® – All Rights Reserved

Visual quick setup guide for our Mini Series Oil Lamps. Always read full instructions included with your Lantern.

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