Best Oil Lamp for Power Outages – What You Need To Know

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Mike Roth

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Reviewed by Tara Dodrill
Safety First

When disaster strikes, the power falters, and your world plunges into darkness. In these crucial moments, preppers and survivalists understand the importance of having a reliable source of light hand. Power outages can throw us a curveball, turning our lives upside down and leaving us in the dark – quite literally.

Introduction to Best Oil Lamp for Power Outages 101

During unpredictable emergencies, the advantages of utilizing oil lamps are numerous. While flashlights and battery-operated lanterns are convenient, the finite amount of energy they possess can quickly dwindle. In contrast, an oil lamp provides a consistent and long-lasting light source that grants extra peace of mind to preppers and survivalists alike.

In this article, we will delve into the benefits and drawbacks of using emergency lamps for power emergencies. We will emphasize why stockpiling oil, wicks, carbon monoxide safety, and learning how to make lamp oil should be an essential part of preparedness planning.

Best Oil Lamps for Power Outage:

Best Overall

Stansport Hurricane

Stansport Hurricane


Durable Steel construction

Can get very hot

Premium Pick



Long Burning (up to 20 Hours)

High-Quality, Rust Resistant

Higher Price Point

Best Budget

Dietz #76

Dietz #76

Fuel Efficient (11 Hours burn)

Classic, Aesthetical Design

Smaller Size

Why Do You Need a Trustworthy Light Source During Power Outages?

The stats and studies are out there, and they’re a bit unnerving. Power emergencies, thanks to everything from Mother Nature’s temper tantrums to human-led infrastructure hiccups, are a reality we can’t ignore. Having a solid preparedness plan means that even when the night is pitch black, you can light your way and take on any challenges that cross your path.

Here’s the deal: having a reliable hurricane lantern when the power goes out is not just a convenience, it’s paramount for your safety and sanity and to prevent carbon monoxide from reaching dangerous levels when you lose power.

  • Safety First: Picture this. The power goes out, and suddenly you’re navigating your home like it’s an obstacle course. A reliable light source, like an oil lamp, reduces the risk of accidents and injuries. You won’t have to worry about stumbling over your cat or walking into a wall.
  • Keeping Calm and Carrying On: Emergency outages can send your stress levels soaring, especially if they stick around for a while. Having a dependable light source, like an oil lamp, can keep your worries at bay, ensuring you’re not left feeling like you’re starring in a horror movie.

Oil Lamp Benefits

  • Trustworthy Companions: An oil lamp is a reliable old friend of the emergency lighting world. They’ve been around for ages and have consistently proven to be a dependable source of light during outages. Unlike their battery-operated cousins that can run out of energy at the worst possible time even when using rechargeable batteries, an oil lamp keeps going, providing light for hours on end. So, even if your power outage lasts longer than a Marvel movie marathon, your mini oil lamp or full-size hurricane lamp will keep shining.
  • Easy Peasy: You don’t need to be a survivalist guru to find an oil lamp. They’re widely available and won’t break the bank. With a little forward-thinking, you can stock up on oil and wicks and be ready for any power outage that dares to darken your doorstep.
  • Budget-Friendly: Let’s face it, outages can drag on for hours or even days. Oil lamps, however, are the frugal choice in the long run, requiring just a little bit of fuel to keep them going. Kerosene lanterns, table lamps, or hurricane lamps are all easier on the wallet than battery-powered lights. Remember to invest in a quality carbon monoxide detector at a reasonable price when using lamps burning kerosene.
  • Portable Power: Oil lamps are easy to carry around, giving you the freedom to move from room to room or even take them on a camping trip and for emergency lighting, as well. Indoor or outdoor use lanterns are far safer lighting options than using emergency candles.

They also offer a sense of self-sufficiency, relying on simple mechanisms that can be maintained by anyone

Best Oil Lamps for Power Outages

Here is a short overview of our recommendations:

Stansport Hurricane

Best Overall

Stansport Hurricane

When it comes to reliable lighting during a blackout, the Stansport Hurricane High Oil Lantern takes the cake. This lantern isn’t just about utility emergency lighting; it’s a beautiful blend of vintage charm and modern functionality with excellent light output. The radiant red finish is a nostalgic nod to the past, making it a striking addition to a campsite or a cozy living room.

The high-quality glass globe ensures a clear, bright light spread without distortion. Furthermore, the glass is high-temperature resistant, ensuring the lantern’s longevity and safety.

An adjustable wick feature allows you to customize your lighting experience. Whether you need a soft glow for a quiet evening or a bright light for reading, this lantern can deliver.

The Stansport Hurricane Lanterns also work with any approved lamp oil – during emergencies, it should also work with cooking oil too. Simply add oil to the fuel tank, and you will not have to remain in the dark.

A special wire design around the glass globe guards against accidental bumps, enhancing the lantern’s longevity and preventing glass. Hurricane lanterns of this type have portable dimensions and ergonomic handles, making the lantern easy to carry around, perfect for both camping trips and home use.

Globally, customers have praised this hurricane lamp for its sturdy construction, bright light output, and elegant design. Its affordability and performance make it a favorite among many emergency lighting options – ranking above solar lights.

The FEUERHAND 276 12562


The FEUERHAND 276 12562

The FEUERHAND 276 12562 Oil Burning Lantern is another excellent traditional illumination solution. This lantern’s design and performance stand out, casting a gentle, reminiscent glow of yesteryears.

The lantern’s classic aesthetics and robust metal construction, available in various colors, make it a statement piece in any setting. It makes an excellent table lamp from both a usage and attractiveness standpoint.

The superior glass lamp globe assures clear and consistent light distribution and can withstand high temperatures, ensuring both safety and longevity. This hurricane lantern boasts more light output than many common brands. The fuel tank is graded to burn indoors safely and also should accept cooking oils in an emergency scenario.

The meticulously designed wick ensures optimal burning and luminance. You can easily adjust the wick to control the light’s intensity.

The FEUERHAND lantern can be fueled with various approved lamp oils, adding to its convenience.

A unique left-handed globe lift adds to its vintage allure, setting it apart from other lanterns. Compact and user-friendly, it’s ideally sized for both indoor and outdoor use.

With a burn time of up to 20 hours on a single fill and an average of 7 candlepower for optimal illumination, this lantern is a reliable and efficient lighting solution.

Many users appreciate its durable construction, consistent lighting, and the sense of nostalgia it brings.

Dietz #76

The Dietz #76 Original Oil Burning Lantern has been a trusted lighting companion for many over the years. With a robust metal construction and available in a range of colors, it’s a classic, reliable choice.

The lantern features a premium glass globe that enhances its visual appeal and provides a consistent and clear light spread.

The 1/2″ wick ensures optimal burning and luminance. It’s easily adjustable, allowing you to control the light intensity.

Compact and portable, this lantern is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It can burn for 11 hours on just 8 ounces of fuel, making it efficient and long-lasting.

Users worldwide acclaim the Dietz #76 Original Lantern for its robust construction, consistent lighting, and the nostalgic feeling it evokes.

Types of Oil Lamps

Types of Oil Lamps

Oil lamps have been an essential source of lighting for centuries, providing light before the advent of electricity and during outages.

Wick Lamps

Wick oil lamps, also known as flat wick lamps, have a long history that predates recorded time. Early wick oil lamps were prone to producing excessive soot and smoke due to inefficient fuel combustion. These lamps consist of a wick soaked in oil and then lit, emitting a soft, warm glow. They are simple to use and perfect for creating a cozy ambiance.

Mantle Lamps

Mantle lamps, also known as pressure lamps, are a more advanced type of oil lamp. They use a mantle made of a special fabric that glows brightly when heated. Mantle lamps produce a brighter and more intense light compared to wick lamps, making them ideal for illuminating larger spaces. However, they require more maintenance and can be more expensive.

The mantle oil lamp emerged in the late 19th century as a revolutionary improvement to traditional wick lamps. In 1885, Carl Auer von Welsbach introduced the incandescent gas mantle, which ignited the gas within the lamp and emitted a brighter and steadier light. Soon, this technology was adapted for oil lamps, giving rise to mantle oil lamps.

Features and Functionality:

  • Wick Oil Lamps:
    1. Typically consists of a reservoir, a wick holder, and a chimney.
    2. The wick, made of vegetable fiber or cotton, is inserted into the reservoir and partially burns to provide the flame.
    3. The chimney helps control airflow, reducing smoke and increasing efficiency.
    4. Designed for practical use, such as reading or household tasks.
  • Mantle Oil Lamps:
    1. Feature a more complex structure, including a brass or metal base, a reservoir, a fuel orifice, a burner, a mantle, and a chimney.
    2. The burner provides a controlled flow of oil that is vaporized through a process of capillary action.
    3. A mantle made of oxidized thorium or other rare earth metals is heated to incandescence by the flame, producing a brighter light.
    4. Favored for their increased brightness and suitability for ornamental purposes.
Features and Functionality:

Method of Illumination:

  • Wick Oil Lamps:
    1. Produce a soft, warm, and somewhat erratic flame.
    2. The design of the chimney helps channel the heat and light in a specific direction.
    3. Ideal for localized lighting needs.
  • Mantle Oil Lamps:
    1. Emit a brighter, steady, and more radiant light.
    2. The incandescent mantle emits an intense white light, making it ideal for lighting larger spaces or for decorative purposes.

Materials and Fuel Sources:

  1. Wick Oil Lamps:
    • Common materials include clay, copper, brass, and bronze.
    • Typical fuel sources are animal fat, vegetable oil, or kerosene.
    • Traditional wick lamps often required manual refilling of the reservoir.
  2. Mantle Oil Lamps:
    • Usually made of brass or metal alloy.
    • Rely on kerosene, paraffin, or oil-based fuels for combustion.
    • The reservoir allows for longer burn times, reducing frequent refills.

When comparing these types of oil lamps, it’s important to consider their pros and cons:

Wick Lamps– Easy to Use
– Affordable
– Low Maintenance
– Provides less light compared to other types
– Requires regular refilling of oil
Mantle Lamps– Brighter and more intense light
– Longer burn time compared to wick lamps
– Can be used outdoors more easily
– More expensive than wick lamps
– Requires more maintenance

Choose the type that suits your style. We have one of each, and this is a good choice if you want to be prepared for anything!

Safety First: Fire Hazards and Carbon Monoxide Production

Safety First

When dealing with power emergencies, oil lamps can be a lifesaver, casting a warm glow over your home. However, safety should always be your top priority. Here are some key precautions to follow:

  • Mind the Gap with Flammable Materials: Keep anything that can catch fire, such as curtains or papers, a safe distance from the lamp.
  • Balance is Everything: Remember, a well-balanced oil lamp is a safe oil lamp. Make sure to place it on a stable surface to avoid any unexpected spills or tip-overs that could ignite a fire.
  • Fuel for Thought: Always use the oil recommended by the lamp manufacturer. Using the wrong fuel is like using diesel in a gasoline engine — it can lead to dangerous fumes or even explosions.
  • Out of Sight, Out of Reach: To curious kids and pets, oil lamps can be as mesmerizing as a shiny new toy – keep them out of reach to prevent mishaps.
  • Never Leave Your Post: Just like you wouldn’t leave your cooking unattended on the stove, never leave an oil lamp burning unattended. Accidents can happen in a blink of an eye, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

By sticking to these safety guidelines, you can bask in the comforting glow of your oil lamp when the lights go out without compromising safety.

Oil Lamp Drawbacks and Safety Considerations

Oil Lamp Drawbacks and Safety Considerations

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room — the potential hazards of oil lamps:

  • Fire Hazards: Oil lamps carry open flames, so it’s critical to exercise caution. Think of it as handling a small campfire in your living room. Safety measures such as keeping lamps away from flammable objects are your best defense against accidents.
  • Regular Maintenance: Much like a car, oil lamps need regular check-ups to ensure they’re in top working condition. Yes, it might seem tedious, but knowing how to care for your oil lamp can save you the frustration of flickering or dim lights when you need them most.

Buying Guide

When the lights go out, a reliable oil lamp can be your beacon in the dark. Choosing the right one, however, can be a daunting task. Fear not, fellow preppers, we’ve got you covered!

Lamp Oil Key Considerations

Let’s shine a light on the main factors you should consider when choosing your oil:

  • Clean-Burning: Seek out lamp oils that proudly display a ‘clean burning’ badge when using the fuel recommended.. These oils are like the best house guests – they leave minimal mess, producing barely any smoke or odor. Perfect for keeping your indoor air clear and your lamp chimneys soot-free.
  • Long Burn Time: When a blackout strikes, you want to be certain your light source won’t flicker out prematurely. A trimmed wick will burn longer than a frayed one.
  • Low Soot: If a lamp fuel oil were to have a resume, having ‘low soot’ listed under its skills would be a big plus. Less soot means cleaner air and less chance of those pesky dark stains on your walls and furniture. Flame height on an open flame impacts soot levels.
  • Fragrance: Some oils come infused with lovely essential oils fragrances, turning a simple lamp into a makeshift aromatherapy diffuser. If you’re the kind that loves a lavender-scented living room or a vanilla-infused kitchen, keep an eye out for these!
  • Safety: Just like a responsible parent, always prioritize safety. Choose oils specifically formulated for indoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions like a safety rulebook.

Remember, never leave a burning lamp unattended. It’s like leaving a toddler with a jar of peanut butter – things can get really messy fast!

Oil Lamp Factors

When choosing the best oil lamp for electricity outages, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.


The size of an oil lamp is essential because it dictates how much light it gives off. If you need to light up a big space, go for a larger lamp that will burn longer. But a smaller lamp might be better for you if you want something easy to carry.


The style of the oil lamp is not only about aesthetics but also about functionality. Consider whether you prefer a traditional or modern design and any specific features you may need, such as a handle for easy carrying or a base that can be securely placed on different surfaces.

Fuel type

Oil lamps can use various fuel types, including kerosene, lamp fuel oil, or even vegetable oil. Each fuel type has its advantages and disadvantages regarding cost, availability, and burn time. Consider which fuel type aligns with your needs and preferences and use it in a well-ventilated area.


Just like any other device, oil lamps need consistent care to work their best. Some lamps might need regular cleaning or wick adjustments, while others come with features that make maintenance easier.

Why are these Factors Important?

Considering these factors is crucial because they directly impact the functionality and convenience of your oil lamp during outages. Choosing the right size ensures that you have enough light for your needs. At the same time, the style adds a personal touch to your emergency lighting solution. The fuel type determines the availability and cost of fuel, as well as the burn time of the lamp. Lastly, proper maintenance ensures that your oil lamp remains in good working condition for years and times when you need it the most.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select the best oil lamp for your outage needs, providing reliable and efficient lighting when needed.

Our Top Lamp Oil Recommendations

Without further ado, here are our top picks to keep your home glowing during those unexpected blackouts:

Paraffin Lamp Oil

This lamp oil is the strong, silent type. It burns cleanly and efficiently, providing a smokeless, odorless light source. Its ultra-pure formula ensures a bright, steady flame, ready to light up your world when the electricity goes out. And with a robust 1-gallon capacity, you’ve got enough table oil lamp fuel to last through even the longest of blackouts.

Olive oil

Olive oil isn’t just for cooking anymore! This kitchen staple can double as emergency lamp oil, burning steadily and giving off a warm, comforting glow. It’s like having a cozy fireplace, but in a lamp. Just remember, due to its thickness, olive oil requires a special wick, so be sure to have one handy.

Palm Kernel Oil

Made from the seed of the palm fruit, palm kernel oil is another great oil lamp candidate. It burns cleanly, providing a bright, steady flame. This cooking oil is like the marathon runner of the lamp oil world, with its long burn time making it perfect for those blackouts that last a bit too long.

Lamplight Ultra-Pure Lamp Oil

Known for its top-notch quality, Lamplight’s Ultra-Pure Lamp Oil lives up to its reputation. Providing a consistent, clean burn, this oil ensures your surroundings remain smoke-free and odorless.

Maximizing Oil Lamp Efficiency

Maximizing Oil Lamp Efficiency

Here are some tips to help you optimize your use of oil lamps:

  • Know Your Lamp’s Oil Consumption: Understanding how much oil your lamp uses per hour is based on tank capacity, is crucial.. This knowledge will help you estimate how long a full oil tank will last. A small oil lamp typically burns about 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of oil per hour, while larger lamps can consume up to 1 ounce per hour.
  • Vegetable Oils to the Rescue: Run out of lamp oil? No worries! Cooking oils like olive oil or canola oil can work as a substitute. Just remember to trim the wick slightly shorter than usual to prevent excessive smoking and soot buildup for indoor use.
  • Wick Care is Essential: Regularly trim the round wick of your oil lamp for efficient burning. A well-trimmed wick will yield a clean and steady flame. Additionally, regular cleaning of the lamp’s chimney and base will keep away any soot or residue, thereby improving the quality of light.

By adhering to these tips, you can extend the life of your oil lamps and maximize their efficiency when you when the electricity goes out.

A Glimpse into the Fascinating World of Oil Lamps

A Glimpse into the Fascinating World of Oil Lamps

From ancient civilizations to modern times, oil lamps have been casting their warm, comforting glow, guiding us through the darkness and illuminating our lives. Let’s embark on a journey exploring their historical significance and pioneering designs.

Historical Significance and Pioneering Designs

Oil lamps trace their roots back to ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Initially, these lamps were simple clay dishes filled with animal fat or olive oil. Over time, their design evolved significantly. The ancient Greeks developed the Aryballos, a small terracotta lamp with a spout for holding the wick, while the Romans introduced the more elaborate Etruscan-style lamp with a handle and a central vertical wick holder.

Diverse Designs and Fuel Sources

As time progressed, oil lamps underwent significant design innovations. In ancient China, beautiful porcelain lamps with intricate motifs were prevalent, while in the Islamic world, brass and silver lamps with filigree designs were crafted.

Furthermore, oil lamps relied on a range of fuel sources, including animal fat, vegetable oils, and natural resources like coal oil and whale oil. The advent of kerosene in the 19th century revolutionized oil lamp usage, offering a more efficient and cleaner-burning fuel alternative.

Historical Context and Significance

Historical Context and Significance

Wick oil lamps have played a significant role throughout human history and are safe for indoor use. From ancient Roman oil lamps illuminating their homes and streets to settlers relying on whale oil or kerosene lamps during pioneering times, these lamps have been a constant companion in our lives.

Mantle oil lamps emerged during the Industrial Revolution. They were a common source of lighting during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, replacing older technologies and contributing to societal advancements.

While wick oil lamps offer simplicity and convenience, mantle oil lanterns deliver higher brightness and longevity.


A reliable light source is essential during an outage or other natural disaster, and oil lamps are an excellent choice, especially during a winter storm. Here are some points to consider:

  • Select a Quality Oil Lamp: Opt for durable, able to provide light, sturdy lights that can withstand emergency outages.
  • Stock Up on Lamp Oil: Secure a sufficient supply of lamp oil to keep your lamps burning for as long as needed. Oil is readily available at your local hardware store.
  • Keep Extra Wicks and Mantles: These parts can wear out over time, so having replacements at hand is wise. Buying extra or a taller globe may also be wise.
  • Safety First: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use oil lamps safely and keep the lamp away from flammable materials.
  • Have a Source of Fire at Hand: You’ll need a way to light it out, so ensure you have a reliable source of ignition nearby.

As a prepper or survivalist, preparedness for an emergency outage is key. Oil lamps, with their reliability and cost-effectiveness, are a valuable addition to any emergency preparedness plan.

By stockpiling oil and round wicks and learning how to make your own lamp oil, you can ensure a reliable and sustainable source of more light even during the darkest times.

Remember, a well-prepared oil lamp setup today could be a beacon of safety in the face of a power emergency tomorrow.