For everyone who likes to spend his free time in nature, among his equipment there would certainly not be missing a lamp, flashlight or lantern, especially if you are going to spend the night under the star. Once you fall prey of the dark wilderness, the lamp becomes an indispensable companion.
Lamps currently are available on the market in vast variety, categorized according to purposes of use, different models and sizes. There is no problem to buy a flashlight that lasts just enough time for the holidays. On the other hand, it would be necessary to know that a large selection of quality products are being sold in stores, capable of lasting a really long time even for the most demanding users. To correctly choose a lamp, it is crucial to know some information about it.
Types of lamps
Handheld flashlights – their obvious advantage is compactness, it is produced in an array of sizes, from miniature pen-sized model to large flashlight with a cone of a 15 cm diameter.
Table lamps – are great for the illumination of the entire room, perfect for large family tents, cabins or cottages. It is can stand on flat surfaces or hang from above.
Headlamps – flashlights fastened on the forehead with straps around the head. They are ideal for anyone on the go with the need to have both hands free. Thanks to headlamps, you can shed a light toward wherever you are watching. The headlamps have been discussed in a previous article, therefore we will focus on the two remaining types of lamps.
The core of most lamps is the light bulb. The classification of light bulbs depends on the luminous intensity, energy consumption and service life. All lamps are installed with four basic types of bulbs:
- Classic bulbs – 3-6 V, 10-20 m range, 4-10 hours battery life ;
- Krypton bulbs – 50 m and above range, 10 to 45 hours battery life, emitting up to 70% more light than ordinary light bulbs;
- Halogen bulbs – 10-50 hours battery life, emitting up to 200% more light than ordinary, high durability;
- Xenon bulbs – providing up to 150% more light than ordinary light bulbs.
Another light source could be LEDs, used mainly for electric lamps and headlamps, as well table lamps using gas or liquid fuels. Mantles are mounted on the burner, ensureing that the lamp gives a warm, bright light. Unfortunately, it is more susceptible to shocks, maintenance and replacing require a certain skill level, it enables indefinitely and uncontrollable light output. With lamps having this light source, therefore, careful treatment is needed. Another interesting light source may be an emergency luminescent tube in which light comes from a chemical reaction.
While the intensity of light is decided by the type of light bulbs, the functioning time of the lamp is determined by the type and number of battery cells. Generally, you can say that the higher the quality of the battery, the longer the lamps operate.
- Primary batteries– among which the most often used is the 1.5V alkaline battery, which can not be recharged
- Rechargeable batteries – the most used are NiCd or NiMH batteries with a voltage of 1.2 V, very economical, they can be recharged, and completely replace multiple primary batteries
- Propane, butane, gasoline, kerosene – used for table lamps, when used in a tent, it is necessary to ensure sufficient air flow, and a safe distance from flammable objects.
The lamps are indispensable especially for campers and for all who have a camping spirit. Table lamp is able to create a sense of well-being, without the presence of an actual table. It is suitable for lamps not only outside, but also in mountain cottages, cabins, and caravans, serving larger groups of campers.
Gas lamps on the market have gas cartridges as the most abundant source of fuel, which are more commonly used for the stove. Gas lamps can be divided into two types – the screw-piercing cartridges and regular cartridges, which always form the base. These lamps are very simple to operate and, therefore, are also popular.
Even if the liquid fuel is available basically everywhere, the popularity of petrol lamps is not taking off. Their disadvantage is particularly unwieldiness, heavy weight and complicated operation. The fixed part of the lamp, in fact, consists of a pressure vessel for fuel. Starting the petrol lamps takes much more time and noise than with gas lamps, which gains more advantages in comparison.
Perhaps the best choice is the electric lamps, which provides clean soot-free light, for which the light source being LED or fluorescent light. Their construction is based on the classic table lamps. These lamps do not need maintenance on separate parts. If necessary, replace only the battery. Their obvious advantage is also water resistance.
The cheapest and easiest lamp is certainly a candle lantern. Its sleeve is made of metal and glass, which partly prevents the flame from be blown out. Its advantage is lightweight, but its light output can not compete with other table lamps, it’s more of an ambience light.