Liquid Candles


An oil lamp is an object used to produce light continuously for a period of time using an oil-based fuel source. The use of oil lamps began thousands of years ago and continues to this day, although not commonly anymore. Oil lamps were used as an alternative to candles before the use of electric lights. Today they are used primarily ritually (religious practices) or for ambience.

Oil lamps are quite simple: they have a reservoir for oil, and a wick which dips down into it.  The simplest oil lamps are of the type made in India, and used to this day, especially on Diwali (the Festival of Lights).

I love liquid candles, and other types of miniature oil lamps.  They can be hard to find, though.  I bought some many years ago at a craft store, but have been unable to find any since.  They were made completely of glass and easily refillable. 

What I have seen for sale are lamps like those in the photo above--”disposable” oil lamps.  I do not buy them because they are not refillable and thus not at all green.

Pluses for these lamps are that they are nice for removing wax from a pysanka, and do not smoke as much as paraffin candles.  I also found them great for use with a traditional drop-pull apparatus (the height of the flame didn’t change as it does when a candle burns down).

A big minus is the potential of spillage; knocking over a lit oil lamp means spilling a highly flammable liquid in the presence of a flame.  This makes them a bad idea for classes.

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Mini Oil Lamps