What are the different types of lamp oil? (with photos)

Colorless lamp oil.

People used oil lamps for centuries to light the house before the invention of electric lighting. Many still rely on these bulbs to provide light during a power outage or for outdoor events and camping trips. These lamps burn a special type of oil made from refined kerosene and designed to burn cleaner than traditional fuels. Buyers can choose from several types of lamp oil, including standard and ultra-clean varieties, as well as organic and specialty oils.

Colored lamp oils can be used to create ambiance and mood.

Traditional lamp oil consists of refined kerosene, or paraffin, and is made from hydrocarbon molecules produced during oil refining. This oil burns effectively but produces several unwanted side effects as it brightens a room. Like many kerosene-based products, it produces a lot of soot and smoke when burning. This creates an unsightly mess and leaves a layer of dark residue on the lamp and surrounding surface. Depending on the lamp design, this oil can reduce visible light because of the dark layer it creates.

An oil lamp.

Ultra-clean or ultra-pure lamp oils are made from standard kerosene, but are distilled multiple times to reduce pollutants. This results in a very clean burning oil that serves as one of the most popular types in use today. This oil burns cleanly and leaves less soot residue on the lamp and other surfaces. It also helps users maximize visible light by keeping the glass soot-free, and reduces the amount of pollutants entering the home’s air.

A kerosene lantern.

Some eco-friendly consumers have also opted for organic oils made from vegetables and other plants. These oils tend to be more expensive, but they burn cleanly and help reduce the user’s dependence on oil. Ancient people depended on castor oil, which comes from castor beans. Modern users generally prefer products made from olive oil, vegetable oil, or any amount of beans or seeds. These oils do not introduce harmful gases into the air and do not produce the soot associated with kerosene.

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Throughout history, many people have used scented or colored oil as part of religious or cultural ceremonies. Today, these oils can still be used in this way, or they can simply be chosen for the environment they create. Colored products can be used to create a specific mood or tone within a room, and those scented with essential oils or perfumes can add pleasant fragrances to the home.

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