The Dietz oil lantern, excellent for outdoor entertaining, especially when the breeze is too strong for candles.

Hurricane Lanterns

Invaluable Exterior Lighting

Great for Outdoor Entertaining

These all-steel oil-burning hurricane lanterns are great for outdoor entertaining and dining. They stay lit in a breeze, when candles blow out. The lanterns are themselves conversation pieces and produce a warm candle-like light that no breeze-proof LED can mimic. I love the all-steel construction, which is impressive when you study all of their complicated stampings and bent wire articulations.

Hurricane lantern refueling is simple (especially with a small funnel), but wick maintenance can be slightly complicated. One must understand the various flips and tumbles of the different lantern sub-assemblies. When time to maintain or repair a wick, I recommend a YouTube search if you are not mechanically inclined. (I found this great hurricane lantern video with little effort.)

Double Up

Consider deploying at least two hurricane lanterns; they work great in pairs.


These lanterns burn lamp oil (including the citronella variety), available at most any hardware store or home center. Well-stocked grocery stores might have it too. The wicks can be harder to find locally, but a good hardware store should stock them. Consider acquiring spare wicks when you purchasing the lantern(s); these wicks do not burn away especially quickly, but not having one when you need one is invaluable.

Invaluable Gifts

For new homeowners, especially those with a patio, deck or yard, hurricane lanterns are invaluable house-warming gifts. (And they come with their own "warming" puns.) They also make great host gifts for just about any informal outdoor or pool-side party.