Lantern

Lantern

Overview
A lantern is a portable
Portable
Portable may refer to:* Portable building, a manufactured structure that is built off site and moved in upon completion of site and utility work...

 lighting
Lighting
Lighting or illumination is the deliberate application of light to achieve some practical or aesthetic effect. Lighting includes the use of both artificial light sources such as lamps and light fixtures, as well as natural illumination by capturing daylight...

 device or mounted light fixture
Light fixture
A light fixture, light fitting, or luminaire is an electrical device used to create artificial light and/or illumination, by use of an electric lamp...

 used to illuminate broad areas. Lanterns may also be used for signaling, as 'torches', or as general light sources outdoors (such as camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

). Low light level varieties are used for decoration. The term "lantern" is also used more generically to mean a 'light source' or the enclosure for a light source. Examples are glass pane enclosed street light
Street light
A street light, lamppost, street lamp, light standard, or lamp standard is a raised source of light on the edge of a road or walkway, which is turned on or lit at a certain time every night. Modern lamps may also have light-sensitive photocells to turn them on at dusk, off at dawn, or activate...

s, or the housing for the top lamp
Lamp (electrical component)
A lamp is a replaceable component such as an incandescent light bulb, which is designed to produce light from electricity. These components usually have a base of ceramic, metal, glass or plastic, which makes an electrical connection in the socket of a light fixture. This connection may be made...

 and lens section of a lighthouse
Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

.


The simplest technology used is the candle lantern.
Candle
Candle
A candle is a solid block or cylinder of wax with an embedded wick, which is lit to provide light, and sometimes heat.Today, most candles are made from paraffin. Candles can also be made from beeswax, soy, other plant waxes, and tallow...

s give only a weak light, and must be protected from wind to prevent flickering or complete extinguishment.
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Encyclopedia
A lantern is a portable
Portable
Portable may refer to:* Portable building, a manufactured structure that is built off site and moved in upon completion of site and utility work...

 lighting
Lighting
Lighting or illumination is the deliberate application of light to achieve some practical or aesthetic effect. Lighting includes the use of both artificial light sources such as lamps and light fixtures, as well as natural illumination by capturing daylight...

 device or mounted light fixture
Light fixture
A light fixture, light fitting, or luminaire is an electrical device used to create artificial light and/or illumination, by use of an electric lamp...

 used to illuminate broad areas. Lanterns may also be used for signaling, as 'torches', or as general light sources outdoors (such as camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

). Low light level varieties are used for decoration. The term "lantern" is also used more generically to mean a 'light source' or the enclosure for a light source. Examples are glass pane enclosed street light
Street light
A street light, lamppost, street lamp, light standard, or lamp standard is a raised source of light on the edge of a road or walkway, which is turned on or lit at a certain time every night. Modern lamps may also have light-sensitive photocells to turn them on at dusk, off at dawn, or activate...

s, or the housing for the top lamp
Lamp (electrical component)
A lamp is a replaceable component such as an incandescent light bulb, which is designed to produce light from electricity. These components usually have a base of ceramic, metal, glass or plastic, which makes an electrical connection in the socket of a light fixture. This connection may be made...

 and lens section of a lighthouse
Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

.

Traditional and decorative lanterns



The simplest technology used is the candle lantern.
Candle
Candle
A candle is a solid block or cylinder of wax with an embedded wick, which is lit to provide light, and sometimes heat.Today, most candles are made from paraffin. Candles can also be made from beeswax, soy, other plant waxes, and tallow...

s give only a weak light, and must be protected from wind to prevent flickering or complete extinguishment. A typical candle lantern is a metal box or cylinder with glass or mica side panels and an opening or ventilated cover on the top.

Decorative lanterns exist in a wide range of designs. Some hang from buildings, while others are placed on or just above the ground. Paper lantern
Paper lantern
Paper lanterns come in various shapes and sizes, as well as various methods of construction. In their simplest form, they are simply a paper bag with a candle placed inside, although more complicated lanterns consist of a collapsible bamboo or metal frame of hoops covered with tough paper.-In Asian...

s occur in societies around the world. Modern varieties often place an electric light in a decorative glass case.
The ancient Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 sometimes captured fireflies
Firefly
Lampyridae is a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, and commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescence to attract mates or prey. Fireflies produce a "cold light", with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies...

 in transparent or semi-transparent containers and used them as (short-term) lanterns. Raise the Red Lantern
Raise the Red Lantern
Raise the Red Lantern is a 1991 film directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li. It is an adaption by Ni Zhen of the 1990 novel Wives and Concubines by Su Tong...

, a Chinese film, prominently features lanterns as a motif
Motif (art)
In art, a motif is an element of a pattern, an image or part of one, or a theme. A motif may be repeated in a design or composition, often many times, or may just occur once in a work. A motif may be an element in the iconography of a particular subject or type of subject that is seen in other...

. Lanterns are used in many Chinese festivals. During the Ghost Festival
Ghost Festival
The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries...

, lotus shaped lanterns are set afloat in rivers and seas to symbolic guide the lost souls of forgotten ancestors to the afterlife. During the Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival ; is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the Chinese calendar, the last day...

, the displaying of many lanterns is still a common sight on the 15th day of the first lunar month throughout China. In Chinese festivities, the kongming lanterns can be seen floating high into the sky during festivities.

Use of fireflies
Fireflies
Fireflies is a novel by Shiva Naipaul originally published in 1970. It was his first book, a comic novel set in Trinidad. In an essay in An Unfinished Journey, Naipaul described how in 1968 as a final year student at Oxford University studying Chinese, he had been moved to write down a sentence,...

 in transparent containers was also a widespread practice in ancient India. But since these were short term solutions, the use of fire torches was more prevalent.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 lanterns are used in religious processions and liturgical entrances
Entrance (Liturgical)
In Eastern Orthodoxy, an entrance is a procession during which the clergy enter into the sanctuary through the Holy Doors. The origin of these entrances goes back to the early church, when the liturgical books and sacred vessels were kept in special storage rooms for safe keeping and the procession...

, usually coming before the processional cross
Processional Cross
A processional cross is a crucifix or cross which is carried in Christian processions. Such crosses have a long history: the Gregorian mission of Saint Augustine of Canterbury to England carried one before them "like a standard", according to Bede. Other sources suggest that all churches were...

.

Lanterns are also used to transport the Holy Fire
Holy Fire
The Holy Fire is described by Orthodox Christians as a miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter. It is considered by many to be the longest-attested annual miracle in the Christian world...

 from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

 on Great Saturday during Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

.

Modern fueled lanterns



All fueled lanterns are somewhat hazardous due to the danger of handling flammable and toxic fuel, danger of fire or burns from the high temperatures involved, and potential dangers from carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs after enough inhalation of carbon monoxide . Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, but, being colorless, odorless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect...

 if used in an enclosed environment.

Simple wick lanterns remain available. They are cheap and durable, but provide little light and are unsuitable for reading. They require periodic trimming of the wick and regular cleaning of soot from the inside of the glass chimney.

Mantle lanterns use a woven ceramic impregnated gas mantle
Gas mantle
An incandescent gas mantle, gas mantle, or Welsbach mantle is a device for generating bright white light when heated by a flame. The name refers to its original heat source, existing gas lights, which filled the streets of Europe and North America in the late 19th century, mantle referring to the...

 to accept and re-radiate heat as visible light from a flame. The mantle does not burn (but the cloth matrix carrying the ceramic must be "burned out" with a match prior to its first use). When heated by the operating flame the mantle glows incandescently
Incandescence
Incandescence is the emission of light from a hot body as a result of its temperature. The term derives from the Latin verb incandescere, to glow white....

. Such lanterns are very bright, and can easily be used as reading lights. The heat may be provided by a gas, by kerosene, or by a pressurized liquid such as "white gas," which is essentially naphtha
Naphtha
Naphtha normally refers to a number of different flammable liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons, i.e., a component of natural gas condensate or a distillation product from petroleum, coal tar or peat boiling in a certain range and containing certain hydrocarbons. It is a broad term covering among the...

. For protection from the high temperatures produced and to stabilize the airflow, a cylindrical glass shield called the globe or chimney is placed around the mantle.

Manually pressurized lanterns using White gas
White gas
White gas is a common name for two flammable substances. In its most common modern usage, it is used as a generic name for camp stove and lantern fuel, usually naphtha....

 (also marketed as Coleman fuel
Coleman fuel
Coleman fuel is a petroleum naphtha product marketed by The Coleman Company. Historically called white gas , it is a liquid petroleum fuel sold in one gallon cans. It is used primarily for fueling lanterns and camp stoves. Originally, it was simply casing-head gas or drip gas which has similar...

 or "Camp Fuel") are manufactured by the Coleman Company
Coleman Company
Coleman Company, Inc., is an American company that specializes in outdoor recreation products. Historically, Coleman is known for camping gear....

 in one and two mantle models. Some models are "dual fuel," which can also use gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

. These are being supplanted by a battery
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

-powered fluorescent lamp
Fluorescent lamp
A fluorescent lamp or fluorescent tube is a gas-discharge lamp that uses electricity to excite mercury vapor. The excited mercury atoms produce short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor to fluoresce, producing visible light. A fluorescent lamp converts electrical power into useful...

 models by many manufacturers including Coleman. Liquid fuel lanterns remain popular where the fuel (see portable stove
Portable stove
A portable stove is a cooking stove specially designed to be portable and lightweight, as for camping or picnicking, or for use in remote locations where an easily transportable means of cooking or heating is needed...

 for a discussion on fuel) is easily obtained and is in common use.

Many portable mantle-type fuel lanterns now use fuel gases that become liquid when compressed, such as propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

, either alone or combined with butane
Butane
Butane is a gas with the formula C4H10 that is an alkane with four carbon atoms. The term may refer to any of two structural isomers, or to a mixture of them: in the IUPAC nomenclature, however, butane refers only to the unbranched n-butane isomer; the other one being called "methylpropane" or...

. Such lamps usually use a small disposable steel container to provide the fuel. The ability to refuel without liquid fuel handling increases safety and additional fuel supplies for such lamps have an indefinite shelf life if the containers are protected from moisture (which can cause corrosion of the container) and excess heat.

The leading manufacture of kerosene mantle lamps
Kerosene lamp
The kerosene lamp is a type of lighting device that uses kerosene as a fuel. This article refers to kerosene lamps that have a wick and a tall glass chimney. Kerosene lanterns that have a wick and a glass globe are related to kerosene lamps and are included here as well...

 in the United States is the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company, which has long produced an extensive line of utilitarian and decorative mantle lamps. A specialized cylindrical wick with a central airflow tube satisfies the high and uniform heating demands of the mantle.

Modern electric lanterns



Lighting fixtures
Lanterns designed as permanently mounted electric lighting fixture
Light fixture
A light fixture, light fitting, or luminaire is an electrical device used to create artificial light and/or illumination, by use of an electric lamp...

s are used in interior, landscape, and civic lighting applications. Styles can evoke former eras, unify street furniture
Street furniture
Street furniture is a collective term for objects and pieces of equipment installed on streets and roads for various purposes, including traffic barriers,...

 themes, or enhance aesthetic considerations. They are manufactured for use with various wired voltage supplies.

Some rechargeable fluorescent lanterns may be plugged in at all times and may be set up to illuminate upon a power failure, a useful feature in some applications. During extensive power failures (or for remote use), supplemental recharging may be provided from an automobile's twelve volt electrical system or from a modest solar powered
Solar cell
A solar cell is a solid state electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect....

 charger. Solar-powered lanterns have become popular in developing countries where they provide a safer and cheaper alternative to kerosene lamps.

LEDs
Lanterns utilizing LED
LEd
LEd is a TeX/LaTeX editing software working under Microsoft Windows. It is a freeware product....

s are becoming increasingly popular due to energy conservation, improvements in LED technology, and reduced production costs. Mounted lanterns can use LED lamps in the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs. LEDs have become brighter and more rugged. Battery-powered lanterns typically run longer (due to low current draw from the batteries) than incandescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes of comparable brightness.

See also


  • Paper lantern
    Paper lantern
    Paper lanterns come in various shapes and sizes, as well as various methods of construction. In their simplest form, they are simply a paper bag with a candle placed inside, although more complicated lanterns consist of a collapsible bamboo or metal frame of hoops covered with tough paper.-In Asian...

  • Kerosene lamp
    Kerosene lamp
    The kerosene lamp is a type of lighting device that uses kerosene as a fuel. This article refers to kerosene lamps that have a wick and a tall glass chimney. Kerosene lanterns that have a wick and a glass globe are related to kerosene lamps and are included here as well...

  • List of light sources