home | candles | electrical | forum | links | contact us

Now you need some lights...

What can I put inside?

When you're deciding what kind of lantern you want, a very important consideration is the source of illumination inside.

Here are some things to consider: Where will this go? If it's indoors and/or stationary, the lantern can be more delicate in its construction and can be lit with candles, glow sticks or even ordinary light fixtures if you have access to a plug.


Candles are traditional, east to find, and inexpensive. They give a warm, lovely light and are very appealing. We'll dedicate a whole page to lighting with candles and other open flames here.

Glow sticks

If the lantern is to be mobile, as part of a procession or an outdoor event, consider the possible weather. Might it rain or snow? Is it very windy? Candles are beautiful but may present problems if you are trying to light them in wind or rain, or while wearing gloves. Consider a glow stick or battery-powered light in this case.

Intact, glow sticks are pretty safe, but the contents are mildly toxic, so don't let the kids smash them open. They're pretty tough and not too expensive, but they are not recyclable and not reusable, so if you like to light up frequently or are concerned with the garbage you generate, glow sticks might not be the choice for you. They are also best in lanterns where they are close to the surface being lit (I.e. small pop bottle lanterns) since they are not as bright as most bulbs. The colour of the glow stick will also directly affect the colour of a lantern, so keep that in mind.

Here's a video explaining how to make your own glow stick mixture. No, it's unlikely you would actually do this yourself, but pay attention, kids, and you'll learn something. Maybe you can sweet-talk your chemistry teacher into an extra-credit project!

home | candles | electrical | forum | links | contact us