A lantern is a tool used to light up the area around it and can be portable or fixed. Lanterns have a candle wick, or some type of light source enclosed in a clear frame so that the light can shine through. A basic lantern may use a candle as its source of light, where the candle is placed inside the container, so that wind won’t put out the flame. Lanterns can be made from various materials, although metal is the most common, and are used for signaling, decoration, as torches, and in different cultures during celebrations and religious events. Lanterns date back for thousands of years and Egypt and China were some of the first civilizations to use them. Back then, the Chinese created them from all types of materials including animal hide. Before this, the only light around was the light from the sun or moon in the sky.

Decorative Lanterns

Decorative lanterns come in all different shapes and sizes. They’re used to brighten up spaces while also adding charm. They can hang from buildings, be used on patios, and are even seen in museums. The Chinese use paper lanterns during their Chinese festivals and during the Ghost Festival, where they place lanterns shaped has lotus in the river in honor of their ancestors. During the Chinese New Year celebrations, there are usually sky lanterns sailing in the wind. The Chinese also have been known as the first to catch fireflies and place them in jars to use them as lanterns.

Fueled Lanterns

Fueled Lanterns
Fueled Lanterns

Fueled lanterns can be very dangerous since they are flammable and should be handled with extreme care. If you’re using a fueled lantern in an enclosed area, fire or serious injuries could be a result. The wick on fueled lanterns can be lit using gas, such as kerosene or white gas. The very first kerosene lantern was invented in the 9th century. Some portable mantle-style fuel lanterns can now use propane or butane. Since these lanterns use a small disposable container to fuel them, these types of fuel lanterns have proven to be safer.

How Lanterns Have Evolved

Today, mostly electrical lanterns that are powered using batteries are used. Some can even be recharged from the grid or by solar energy. These types of lanterns come in handy during camping trips or emergency situations. Battery-powered lanterns are more convenient and safer as they produce less heat than other types. Nowadays, simple wick lanterns can still be found. They are cheap, last long, but are not a good source of light. They require steady wick trimming and good cleaning often. Over the last couple of decades, LED lanterns have become increasingly popular. These types of lanterns use LED lighting and are more energy-efficient than other types. They have become very affordable, they’re flameless, and don’t give off any heat. No matter what was put in the lantern to illuminate a space, all of the lanterns had one thing in common and that was to provide more efficient light.

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