Some things to consider when you are looking to purchase a gas lantern:
- Does it have a door? This sounds like a silly requirement but there are a lot of lanterns on the market today that do not have a door. If the flame blows out it is necessary to take the glass out just to light the lantern. I have replaced many lanterns for homeowners who replaced their existing lanterns just because it was so difficult to light their lanterns without a door.
- Is your lantern going to be exposed to harsh conditions and cold weather? Consider a solid top instead of a glass top. The tops of the lanterns get very hot. If cold rain and sleet hit a glass roof it can crack the glass creating a maintenance issue for the homeowner. If your lanterns are under a roof or on a porch that should not be an issue. But if it is exposed to cold rain, sleet or hail consider a solid roof.
- Does the gas line enter the lantern from underneath the burner stem? This is a safety issue. A lot of lighting stores sell a wide assortment of gas lanterns. Some of these are imported from China and may not be built to what we consider normal standards. I have seen lanterns that have the gas line coming in from the top of the lantern. Be sure that the gas line enters the lantern underneath the flame.
- Is your lantern made out of copper? Gas lanterns get extremely hot. Paint and other finishes will peel and fade over time creating a maintenance issue. Copper can withstand the heat and forms a beautiful patina that requires no maintenance. This is especially important in environments that are extremely corrosive like Florida.
- Is the lantern large enough? Many clients ask me for lanterns that are small in size. Electric lights can be small and it is not a problem. However, gas lights need oxygen to stay lit. If the lantern is too small it may not stay lit. Most gas lanterns should be at least 20 inches in height.