Category Archives: Oil and Oil Lamps

Which wicks for oil lamps or oil candles?

Oil lamps have been used for thousands of years.   The early oil lamps used various plant based oils, olive oil is thought to have been the oil primarily used in the Mediterranean. The wick used was any fibrous material, typically linen, papyrus or other plant fibers.  Thankfully now wick are easily obtained and are made either from:-

Cotton Wick. A cotton wick will not burn for ever and will have to be replaced.  They are the most common wick used, but they do have slight disadvantages.  If the oil lamp is lit and left on until there is no oil left the wick will keep on burning.  The heat produced when it is not burning oil but itself can produce so much heat that the oil lamp may shatter.  So remember never to leave a room when a candle or oil lamp is alight.  We also sell wick which has an metal collar, 4mm in diameter in 15cm lengths. Metal collar at widest is 1.2cm and the part that goes down into the oil lamps is 5mm in diameter.  The wick  should be adjusted so that it is between 1/4″ to 1/2″ above your lamp.  Experiment with the height until you get a smooth flame shape.

                                 Cotton oil lamp wick        Wick with metal collar

Fiberglass Wick. Fiberglass is the most satisfactory wick. It used the oil efficiently and economically, is smoke free and gives a good flame shape.  It’s big plus of course is that it does not burn itself, just the oil, so does not need to be replaced.    Experiment with the height of the wick above the lamp, but for a smooth topped flame I would suggest that about 1/4″ above the top of the lamp is about right.

Indoor or outdoor use?  All our wick are suitable for both!  Except:-

Bamboo Torch Wicks  Our replacement wicks for outdoor bamboo torches.
bamboo torch wick

So enjoy your modern oil lamps, a far cry from the basic lamps used in Roman times and before!
old oil lamps old oil lamp











How to use oil and oil lamps

How to use  Oil Lamps and Pure Refined Lamp Oil.

1. Lamp Oil. Our pure refined lamp oil is very clean and long burning. It is impossible
to give an accurate burning time as much will depend on the size of the wick etc. However as a very rough guide about .05 of a litre will burn about 1 hour, so it is a very economical way of giving out a warm flickering light. Pour it carefully into your oil lamps, we sell a small plastic funnel which makes it easier.

small round oil lamp           glass-covered-wick          

2. Wicks. Candles on the web sell a variety of wick for oil lamps. Make sure
that the wick is always dry. It should be about 2-3mm above the wick holder. This is not
artibitary but gives an idea. You will soon see once lit if the lamp is burning with too small or large a flame. Every now and again if carbon has accumulated on the top trim it slightly.
If you find it difficult threading a new wick through its container stiffen it by wrapping celloptape around the top. Make sure you  remove the celloptape before you light the lamp!

3. Coloured Lamp Oil. Since 2009 the EU has forbidden the sale of coloured lamp oilin bottles. However we sell small bottled of coloured tint which are great, especially since you can mix the colours
N-Oil-tints                      lamp with coloured oil


4. We do not advise scenting the oil in any way as scented oil burnt in an oil lamp does not produce much scent! This is because in order for the scent to diffuse you would need a well of hot oil which of course an ordinary oil lamp does not have as the oil burns straight off the wick.