Gas Lamps

Question:

I was looking into purchasing a gas lamp for my home.  After falling out of my seat over the price (~$300+ for even the most basic of models) I was disappointed to find out that these lamps run 24/7.  There is no OFF/ON switch.  I thought that perhaps there would at least be some way to "light" the lamp or even an electronic ignition similar to what’s on my heater.

Response:

I was looking into purchasing a gas lamp for my home.  After falling out of my seat over the price (~$300+ for even the most basic of models) I was disappointed to find out that these lamps run 24/7.  There is no OFF/ON switch.  I thought that perhaps there would at least be some way to "light" the lamp or even an electronic ignition similar to what’s on my heater.

I have no idea what you were looking at but propane camping lamps are typically less than $50 and some of them come with electronic ignition. REII http://www.rei.com/ sells one model for $16 and the Coleman twin mantle version for $30. Even if you went with the expensive and fancy gas lamps made for indoor use in homes they can still cost less than $90/each. http://insiderweb.com/lamp_gas_inside_prices.htm You could also use one of those Aladdin style oil lamps.   These can be had for as little as $50 if you shop around. All of these can be turned off. There may not be a switch but there is always a gas valve, wick or the ability to blow them out. Last time I looked I couldn’t find an on/off switch or electronic ignition on any candle, camp fire or sandwich. That said, I don’t know what you need a gas lamp for. Technology has advanced in the last couple of hundred years and there is a very good reason why people prefer electric lights. Even for remote cabins a battery operated light, perhaps charged from a solar panel, is often preferred to a gas lamp. Anthony

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I was looking into purchasing a gas lamp for my home.  After falling out of my seat over the price (~$300+ for even the most basic of models) I was disappointed to find out that these lamps run 24/7.  There is no OFF/ON switch.  I thought that perhaps there would at least be some way to "light" the lamp or even an electronic ignition similar to what’s on my heater. I have no idea what you were looking at but propane camping lamps are typically less than $50 and some of them come with electronic ignition. That said, I don’t know what you need a gas lamp for. Technology has advanced in the last couple of hundred years and there is a very good reason why people prefer electric lights. Even for remote cabins a battery operated light, perhaps charged from a solar panel, is often preferred to a gas lamp.

Well there are advantages to gas lamps. When youve got mains electricity you use electric lights: no cleaning, much less heat, and you dont have to actually go up to the light to press the lighter. But when youre running on high priced solar leccy, I would say gas lighting becomes a genuine option. It is very cheap compared to solar. The one significant problem is the heat they give off. In a hot climate they can be attached outside a small prupose window with a reflector, so you get the light but not the heat. The other issue is reliability. I used to use electric backup lighting, and had several failures. When I went over to gas, I’ve had no failures in 10 yrs, and relatively tiny running costs. If you want the ‘light switch’ function, you could use the switch to control a gas solenoid to switch on and off, and to drive a small sparking circuit to light it. Not exactly off the shelf, but you cna do it. Regards, NT

Response:

If you want the ‘light switch’ function, you could use the switch to control a gas solenoid to switch on and off, and to drive a small sparking circuit to light it. Not exactly off the shelf, but you cna do it.          ^^^ Regards, NT

Be ye Irish me lad? That had to be the most appropos mis-spelling I’ve read lately :) Needed that laugh! ben

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I was looking into purchasing a gas lamp for my home.  After falling out of my seat over the price (~$300+ for even the most basic of models) I was disappointed to find out that these lamps run 24/7.  There is no OFF/ON switch.  I thought that perhaps there would at least be some way to "light" the lamp or even an electronic ignition similar to what’s on my heater. I have no idea what you were looking at but propane camping lamps are typically less than $50 and some of them come with electronic ignition. That said, I don’t know what you need a gas lamp for. Technology has advanced in the last couple of hundred years and there is a very good reason why people prefer electric lights. Even for remote cabins a battery operated light, perhaps charged from a solar panel, is often preferred to a gas lamp. Well there are advantages to gas lamps. When youve got mains electricity you use electric lights: no cleaning, much less heat, and you dont have to actually go up to the light to press the lighter. But when youre running on high priced solar leccy, I would say gas lighting becomes a genuine option. It is very cheap compared to solar. The one significant problem is the heat they give off. In a hot climate they can be attached outside a small prupose window with a reflector, so you get the light but not the heat. The other issue is reliability. I used to use electric backup lighting, and had several failures. When I went over to gas, I’ve had no failures in 10 yrs, and relatively tiny running costs. If you want the ‘light switch’ function, you could use the switch to control a gas solenoid to switch on and off, and to drive a small sparking circuit to light it. Not exactly off the shelf, but you cna do it. Regards, NT

I don’t understand why they haven’t already come out with some type of OFF/ON function with particularly the outdoor lamps…  Those are surely not needed during the day-time and that means you’re burning  twice as much gas as you really need. Do you think they’ve not done this because gas is so "cheap"?  Seems like an awful waist to run the thing 24/7. Your idea sounds like a good one.  I’m a EE, but still would have reservations about putting anything "home made" into a natural gas line. Jason

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I was looking into purchasing a gas lamp for my home.  After falling  out of my seat over the price (~$300+ for even the most basic of models) I  was disappointed to find out that these lamps run 24/7.  There is no  OFF/ON switch.  I thought that perhaps there would at least be some way to  "light" the lamp or even an electronic ignition similar to what’s on my  heater. I have no idea what you were looking at but propane camping lamps are typically less than $50 and some of them come with electronic ignition. That said, I don’t know what you need a gas lamp for. Technology has advanced in the last couple of hundred years and there is a very good reason why people prefer electric lights. Even for remote cabins a battery operated light, perhaps charged from a solar panel, is often preferred to a gas lamp. Well there are advantages to gas lamps. When youve got mains electricity you use electric lights: no cleaning, much less heat, and you dont have to actually go up to the light to press the lighter. But when youre running on high priced solar leccy, I would say gas lighting becomes a genuine option. It is very cheap compared to solar. The one significant problem is the heat they give off. In a hot climate they can be attached outside a small prupose window with a reflector, so you get the light but not the heat. The other issue is reliability. I used to use electric backup lighting, and had several failures. When I went over to gas, I’ve had no failures in 10 yrs, and relatively tiny running costs. If you want the ‘light switch’ function, you could use the switch to control a gas solenoid to switch on and off, and to drive a small sparking circuit to light it. Not exactly off the shelf, but you cna do it. Regards, NT I don’t understand why they haven’t already come out with some type of OFF/ON function with particularly the outdoor lamps…  Those are surely not needed during the day-time and that means you’re burning  twice as much gas as you really need. Do you think they’ve not done this because gas is so "cheap"?  Seems like an awful waist to run the thing 24/7.

I’ve never seen anything like that: maybe its cos youre in America :) Your idea sounds like a good one.  I’m a EE, but still would have reservations about putting anything "home made" into a natural gas line.

Well you wouldn’t need to. There are water controlling solenoids that have the coil outside the piping, and use nylon parts in contact with the water. They are designed to work at water mains pressure without leaking. I would expect they’d work fine with gas… I’d want to test the installation properly for any leakage of course. You’d need the solenoid to be clsoe to the light, not one solenoid for several lights. You cant let air gt into the gas pipe when the light is off!! As for the sparking lighter, that would be inside the globe, not inside the gas piping. A small motor and a flint would be a simple way: a cap or relay gives the motor a pulse only. Better in fact would be a catalytic lighter. There are portable gas soldering irons that use a catalyst to ignite the gas. If that will produce a flame – I’m not sure – it would be simple, and safer too. If there were any gas leak the gas would be burnt off rather than accumulating in the room. I guess its not done cos theres so little market for gas lights. Regards, NT

Response:

If you want the ‘light switch’ function, you could use the switch to control a gas solenoid to switch on and off, and to drive a small sparking circuit to light it. Not exactly off the shelf, but you cna do  it.          ^^^ Regards, NT Be ye Irish me lad? That had to be the most appropos mis-spelling I’ve read lately :) Needed that laugh! ben

Hehe. You’re not the first one who’s said that :) Regards, NT

Response:

Your idea sounds like a good one.  I’m a EE, but still would have reservations about putting anything "home made" into a natural gas line. Well you wouldn’t need to. There are water controlling solenoids that have the coil outside the piping, and use nylon parts in contact with the water. They are designed to work at water mains pressure without leaking. I would expect they’d work fine with gas… I’d want to test the installation properly for any leakage of course. You’d need the solenoid to be clsoe to the light, not one solenoid for several lights. You cant let air gt into the gas pipe when the light is

off!! *Don’t use a water solenoid for Gas!* Natural gas can react with some metals, making them brittle, and may also react with some plastics causing brittleness or softening. The resulting failure would be catastrophic. There are solenoids designed for natural gas, used in modern gas furnaces, ovens, and dryers. Some of these solenoid sets include ignitors and a safety shutoff if the flame goes out. As for the sparking lighter, that would be inside the globe, not inside the gas piping. A small motor and a flint would be a simple way: a cap or relay gives the motor a pulse only. Better in fact would be a catalytic lighter. There are portable gas soldering irons that use a catalyst to ignite the gas. If that will produce a flame – I’m not sure – it would be simple, and safer too. If there were any gas leak the gas would be burnt off rather than accumulating in the room. I guess its not done cos theres so little market for gas lights. Regards, NT

High temperature gas catalysts must be hot to work. Low temperature gas catalysts use platinum – an expensive material. For that reason, most gas ignitors use either a spark or a hot wire for ignition – much less expensive. CM

Response:

kids have these little hand squeezed doodads that spark as a wheel spins inside. put a motor on it, and wala, (or boom). we used to have propane lighting when we were offgrid. it had a gas valve on the lamp. never though about automating it with a gas solenoid and a sparker. too easy just to walk over with a match. — Steve Spence Subscribe to the Renewable Energy Newsletter & Discussion Boards: http://www.green-trust.org Renewable Energy Pages – http://www.webconx.dns2go.com/

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I was looking into purchasing a gas lamp for my home.  After falling  out of my seat over the price (~$300+ for even the most basic of models) I  was disappointed to find out that these lamps run 24/7.  There is no  OFF/ON switch.  I thought that perhaps there would at least be some way to  "light" the lamp or even an electronic ignition similar to what’s on my  heater. I have no idea what you were looking at but propane camping lamps are typically less than $50 and some of them come with electronic ignition. That said, I don’t know what you need a gas lamp for. Technology has advanced in the last couple of hundred years and there is a very good reason why people prefer electric lights. Even for remote cabins a battery operated light, perhaps charged from a solar panel, is often preferred to a gas lamp. Well there are advantages to gas lamps. When youve got mains electricity you use electric lights: no cleaning, much less heat, and you dont have to actually go up to the light to press the lighter. But when youre running on high priced solar leccy, I would say gas lighting becomes a genuine option. It is very cheap compared to solar. The one significant problem is the heat they give off. In a hot climate they can be attached outside a small prupose window with a reflector, so you get the light but not the heat. The other issue is reliability. I used to use electric backup lighting, and had several failures. When I went over to gas, I’ve had no failures in 10 yrs, and relatively tiny running costs. If you want the ‘light switch’ function, you could use the switch to control a gas solenoid to switch on and off, and to drive a small sparking circuit to light it. Not exactly off the shelf, but you cna do it. Regards, NT I don’t understand why they haven’t already come out with some type of OFF/ON function with particularly the outdoor lamps…  Those are surely not needed during the day-time and that means you’re burning  twice as much gas as you really need. Do you think they’ve not done this because gas is so "cheap"?  Seems like an awful waist to run the thing 24/7. I’ve never seen anything like that: maybe its cos youre in America :) Your idea sounds like a good one.  I’m a EE, but still would have reservations about putting anything "home made" into a natural gas line. Well you wouldn’t need to. There are water controlling solenoids that have the coil outside the piping, and use nylon parts in contact with the water. They are designed to work at water mains pressure without leaking. I would expect they’d work fine with gas… I’d want to test the installation properly for any leakage of course. You’d need the solenoid to be clsoe to the light, not one solenoid for several lights. You cant let air gt into the gas pipe when the light is off!! As for the sparking lighter, that would be inside the globe, not inside the gas piping. A small motor and a flint would be a simple way: a cap or relay gives the motor a pulse only. Better in fact would be a catalytic lighter. There are portable gas soldering irons that use a catalyst to ignite the gas. If that will produce a flame – I’m not sure – it would be simple, and safer too. If there were any gas leak the gas would be burnt off rather than accumulating in the room. I guess its not done cos theres so little market for gas lights. Regards, NT

Response:

Jason, I have ten of these gas lamps in my house.They have on/off levers. http://www.newenglandsolar.com/catalog_pages/catalog72.htm – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I was looking into purchasing a gas lamp for my home.  After falling out of my seat over the price (~$300+ for even the most basic of models) I was disappointed to find out that these lamps run 24/7.  There is no OFF/ON switch.  I thought that perhaps there would at least be some way to "light" the lamp or even an electronic ignition similar to what’s on my heater.

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