January 26, 2018
modern post light

Choosing Between Gas or Electric Lanterns

Looking for a beautiful copper lantern for the exterior of your home? You may wonder which style will look best in your yard, but an important question to consider is whether to go for an electric or gas lantern. Lantern & Scroll offer fixtures in both fuels so that you can have the look you want regardless of fuel.

Why Choose Modern Post Lights

Modern post lights and lanterns powered by any fuel add to the safety and curb appeal of your property. You might want a post or column lantern in your yard to illuminate your driveway or sidewalk leading up to your home or even light your entryway for yourself or guest. The lighting looks great handing on a fence, retaining wall, or other permanent structure or mounted on your siding above flower beds or near water features in the yard. Post lanterns allow you to enjoy your deck or patio far into the night. The light from either a gas or electric lantern can do the job of lighting the area. Should you choose gas or electric operation?

The Case For Electric Lanterns

If your yard is wired with electric power, installing electric lanterns is an easy way to illuminate the yard. By using LED, incandescent, or fluorescent light, you can get the amount of light you want. The bulbs are long lasting, especially if you choose the more expensive LED models; you only have to replace them and dispose of the old one every few years when they burn out.

Electric lanterns are quiet to operate, and safe around children and pets since they produce no heat. You can even have them wired to come on with a timer, a handy touch if you want the lights to come on at dusk so that you home is always shown to best advantage. Since the lantern is only on when light is low, operating an electric lantern is more economical.

The Mesmerizing Appeal Of Gas Lanterns

Some people prefer the flickering light of a gas flame that can reflect off surfaces like glass windows and patio doors, ponds, pools, and lawns, which make gas lanterns are an appealing choice. Once installed, a gas light produces stronger, more intense light, but these lanterns are highly regarded for the soft, ambient light they project. Since the flame flickers, the might not offer enough light in area where you need it. You may need additional light.

While they are highly popular, they present some things to consider.

Installation Costs. In the absence of a nearby gas line, installing one might cost $1,000 or more per line. Installing a gas line is not a DIY project, but should be put in by a licensed professional in accordance with National Fuel Gas Code ANSIZZ233.1. . The installer must use ¼” copper tubing that is either internally tinned or treated to resist sulfur corrosion.

Operating Costs. In addition to installation costs, gas lanterns cost an average of $10 per month each to operate, but can cost three times as much to operate, depending on gas prices in the area. The flame is always on unless you extinguish it. If you have a manual igniter, you will have to relight the flame with a match. Gas units with electronic ignitions can be turned on with a switch.

Dying Flames. The flame can extinguish with a wind gust or air draft. You can protect the light with an optional wind guard, but it is not recommended to block the vent holes on the bottom of you lantern with pennies or anything else as excess heat can be built up in the unit. The wind chimney offers extra protection at the tip of the burner to further block any wind that gets into the lantern.

Well-ventilated Location. Because gas lanterns are noisy to operate, put off a lot of heat, and can dispel carbon monoxide, they should only be used in areas away from children and pets and in areas that are well-ventilated. They are best for outdoor operation or in semi-enclosed areas such as outdoor kitchens, porches, verandas, or courtyards. Depending on local code, some models may be used indoors if they have an electronic ignition or are C.S.A. Certified to comply with ANSI Standard Z21.42 for indoor or outdoor use. However, Lantern & Scroll recommends that you install your gas lanterns outdoors. If you want the look of a gas flame indoors, a flame simulation feature is available.

Fuel Flexibility With Lantern & Scroll

If your home has nearby gas lines, you have a choice of which type of lantern to choose. Since when you work with Lantern & Scroll, you can obtain many designs with gas or electric operation, you can even plan your exterior light to include both fuels. While you might choose a post/column lantern from our CharlestonGeorgetown Cities, or Yacht Basin Collections with natural gas or propane, you can add additional exterior and interior lanterns that coordinate in electric.

Regardless of the fuel you choose, copper is an excellent material for exterior lanterns. Our lights are made from 20 and 32-ounce copper, which ensures that they will last. Unlike lights made from nickel, aluminum, or composites, which have a three or four-year lifespan before the weather destroys them, genuine copper and brass lanterns only become more beautiful with age. Rather than rusting, copper develops a patina that gives it the look of antique bronze. How the product look will vary according to your climate, so while copper in seaside climates may develop a greenish tone within a few years, this may not happen elsewhere for decades. Most copper deepens in color to “patina” in about three years.

To see our collections of gas and electric lanterns, view our collections online. For help in deciding about the best lanterns for you, call us or visit our Charlotte showroom.