I have a shed without electricity. I'm trying to set up to use mostly hand tools. I'm considering oil/kerosene/propane lanterns for night-time light. Anybody have any luck or advice on this approach? Would lanterns offer enough light to work by?
Forget Kerosene. Their light is too dim and dull. I suppose a more modern camping lantern would work. My Coleman gas lantern puts out the equivalent of a 100 watt bulb. Maybe a couple of those would work. Be mindful of the potential fire hazard from dust and flammable finishing chemicals. Any way you can run even an extension cord out to the shed?
I am not sure if you are going for a purist approach and trying to go totally without electricity or if it is by necessity. I totally understand and have been at both places. I am guessing it is necessity or you would have left out the propane. I agree with JohnK about the kerosene and oil being pretty dim, if I had no other options I would go with propane. I would look at the extension cord route if at all possible.
While I prefer all hand (or foot-powered) tools, I do use some electricity. I would stay away from flames in a woodworking shop. Dust and vapors add up to Whoosh - Bang -Nasty!
Camp lanterns like Coleman are safer, but give a very harsh light. The LED lantern sounds good, especially if you can bounce the light from the ceiling or roof -aluminum (aluminium over there) or white paint!
I've got a couple of rechargable LED Coleman lanterns that would probably give enough light -- you might want to look into those. Kerosene lanterns are definitely too dim; I've got a house in NH with no electricity, and the kero lamps we use up there are barely bright enough to cook by, if you don't mind not being able to tell which spice container you're holding. (Meals up there are either simple, or really unpredictable...)
If your goal is to be completely electric free for whatever reason, there are oil lamps that are brighter: they're expensive, though, because they require polished backs and complex glass shades to spread the light. I'm not sure where you'd get them new, but I ran across one in an antique shop for a couple hundred dollars. If it was me, I'd go with the LED Colemans and a solar panel and charging system to keep them running.
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