After the successful operation of my Candle-lamp design, I decided to research oil burning lamps.
The benefits of using oil as fuel for a ceramic heater inspired me to create my newest design, this Radiant Heat Oil Lamp. The metal and ceramic radiator assembly is almost identical to the one used in th Candle-lamp, however the higher calorific value of the paraffin lamp oil means that this device puts out more heat.
The oil burns more steadily than a wax candle fuel source, and the flame remains at a constant distance from the radiator assembly.
It is important to keep the wick trimmed very close to the top of the glass wick holder in order to keep the flame at an optimum size. I’ve noticed if the flame height exceeds an inch or so, some of the hydrocarbons do not completely burn and instead ride the heat up into the ceramic and create soot problems.
I am amazed at how long the burning oil lasts when compared to the wax candles. This lamp burns all of my waking hours and the level of the oil in the reservoir drops no more than two or three centimeters.
And lamp oil is cheap! I was able to buy 64 fluid ounces for 5 dollars. This should last my one lamp 2 months or so burning 14-16 hours per day. A variety of fuels will all work in this lamp as well. One I would like to try is olive oil. I’ve read it burns cleanly, slowly, and emits a pleasant odor.
The fiberglass wick I use also does not burn down as long as there is a fuel source wicking up from below, and there is no mess from dripping wax or charred wick.
Lastly I would like to comment on this lamps many decorative options. Of course the ceramic radiator assembly can be painted, as done with my Candle-lamp design. Another great option is to fill the base with aromatic, or visually interesting objects, such as potpourri, sea shells, or pine bows. This will not only look interesting, but the oil will slowly become infused with the scent of the items it envelopes. I am also in the process of developing a lighted LED base, that will illuminate the oil reservoir with colored light!
The simplicity, efficiency, and cleanliness of an oil lamp in this application is, in my experience, the best choice.