Lantern

From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Lantern (disambiguation).
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StoneLantern.JPG
Stone lantern

A lantern is a portable lighting device used to illuminate broad areas. Lanterns may be used for signaling, or as general light sources for camping. Dim varieties are often used for decorative purposes.

Some lanterns are battery-powered and have a lightbulb, often of the fluorescent type. They are easy to use and comparatively durable, but much less bright than propane or liquid fuel lanterns.

Propane lanterns are more complex in design. A lantern of this type is typically screwed onto the top of a propane bottle. A fuel tube runs upwards from the bottle, then turns downward and is open at the end. The end is capped off with a small bag-shaped piece of loosely-woven fabric called the mantle. The mantle must be burned before its first use. Propane flowing from the fuel tube catches fire, and transfers its heat to the mantle, which incandesces like the filament in a lightbulb. For protection, a cylindrical glass shield called the globe is placed around the mantle. Propane lanterns are very bright, and can easily be used as reading lights.

Liquid fuel lanterns work in a similar way except the fuel, which may be special lantern fuel or even gasoline, is poured into a tank at the bottom and then the tank pressurized with a small hand pump. Liquid fuel lanterns are more common in North America than elsewhere in the world where the fuel (see portable stove for a discussion on fuel) is easily obtained.

The simplest technology used for lanterns is the candle. Candles give only a weak light, and must be protected from wind to prevent from flickering or complete extinguishment.

Decorative lanterns exist in a wide range of designs. Some hang from buildings, while others are placed on or just above the ground. Paper lanterns occur in societies around the world. Modern varieties often place an electric light in a decorative glass case.

Many people in North America keep kerosene (paraffin) lanterns in their homes. These are usually made from glass and highly decorative but have the added advantage of being a usable source of light in case of electrical failure. Metal kerosene lanterns of the type often seen in old movies are often sold to campers. They're rarely seen in campgrounds, however.

See also

nl:Lantaarn ja:灯籠

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