Letter Re: Questions on Petromax Lanterns (and Clones Thereof)

This time I’m the one asking questions: Petromax lanterns. Okay, I know about the upgrades all the way thru BriteLyt, etc. One comment, based on what I read at the Walton Feed website: http://www.waltonfeed.com/petromax.html. They don’t recommend the cooking surface that fits on top of the lamp. Best to read their comments directly. Now there are some good, should I say copies?, but what I’m curious about is the Candle Power/Lumens of the various lamps. The 500 generally is considered to be equal to a 100 watt light bulb. There is a 350 candle power (CP) mantle and a new improvement replacing the ceramic jet with a stainless steel one. There is also a smaller one that doesn’t get much press: The 150 CP version. This is what I’m curious about. I know, being American, I’m supposed to buy the big lantern that is bright as heck. BUT I tend toward lower light levels. I never did like the Coleman gas lanterns. They always seemed like a bazillion watt stadium light to me. Anybody using the Petromax/Britelyt 150? I assume that the fuel lasts longer and it puts out less heat but still a fair bit of light. Any good stories or bits of advice? I’m probably picking up a couple of the small ones (yes, of course, along with spare globes, pump kits, and lots of mantels) next week along with the metal lampshade things and the tree hanger with the chain. Does anybody have opinions on the side reflectors? Thanks, – The Army Aviator

JWR Replies:  I’m an old-fashioned Alladin lamp diehard, so I don’t know much about the Petromax lanterns and their clones. However, I do recommend getting shade kits, because those lamps are incredibly bright–as in retinal-burning bright! Hopefully a SurvivalBlog reader will e-mail me with their collected wisdom about these lamps.