A while ago, when we were cleaning out the shed, I found some old kerosene lamps I had squirreled away for a later date. I gave them a cleaning, oiling and polish then hung them up in the humpy as a bit of decoration (also to store them safely). Last week I bought myself some 12 volt (DC current for stand alone solar power) lights with the idea of making my lamps into a night light (or mood lighting). I tucked a little bar of LED bulbs into each lamp, bullied my reluctant partner into wiring them to a switch (electricity is not something I am confident in at all) and switched them on…
The result was a light so powerful it rivals daylight. Everyone who was looking directly at them when I switched them on had retinal burn. Those little LED bulbs sure do give out a lot of light. We used it as a night light for one night (in summer it is handy to be able to see where you are treading at night because of frogs, snakes and spiders going about their business) but the blinding light disturbed everyone in the house, including the birds. The birds, fluttered, muttered and squarked all night. I think we will have to keep them for when we need a lot of light (operating theater perhaps? Landing helicopters at night?).
I also bought one of those little strings of fairy lights that are so popular at this time of year, it is powered by two tiny button batteries. Having one lamp left over, I decided to stuff the tangle of lights into the glass flame cover of the lamp and tuck the switch into the cap. I switched this one on wearing sun glasses just in case. It twinkled with multicoloured points of light, just like a lamp filled with captive fairies. I now have a movable lamp which is very pretty and can be left anywhere I need a bit of light.
I love the look of the old lamps hanging from the ceiling and now they are useful. The lamps are still fully usable as kerosene lamps; their wicks and burner assembly is all still intact if ever I need to use them as they were intended to be used. I love them. What do you think?