The Tilley Pressure Lamp.
How does it work?

On pressurising the fuel tank, Paraffin, (kerosene), is forced from the fuel tank through control tap and into the vapourising tube. The vapourising tube is pre-heated by methylated spirit, (alcohol), in a torch cup clipped around the tube.
A fine spray of hot paraffin leaves through a fine jet at the top of the vapourising tube and on entering the mixing dome vapourises into a gas. Air mixes with the gas and the mixture leaves the burner through a ring of holes, it then passes into the mantle which is suspended below.
Inside the mantle the gas burns and causes the mantle to glow with a bright white light. As the
vapourising tube passes through the centre of the mantle the heat from combustion continues the process started by the pre-heater torch, this feature also gives a clear shadow-free light.
Inside the vapourising tube is a cleaning needle which 'pricks' the jet every time the lamp is turned off. Should the jet block in use it can be cleared by quickly turning the lamp off then on again. A match should be kept at hand should the lamp fail to re-light.
This vapourising principle also applies to other paraffin, (kerosene), lanterns manufactured by other companies such as Vapalux, Bialaddin and the 'swan neck' lanterns such as Coleman, Optimus, Magnalux, Anchor, Petromax etc.

Tilley PL53 Lantern, Pre-War

Lighting procedure for the Tilley Stormlight is as follows:-
1) Make sure lamp is turned off.
2) Unscrew pump and ensure there is sufficient paraffin in the tank, approx. half full, replace pump.
3) Should you be re-lighting the lamp and know there is sufficient paraffin in the tank, always loosen pump to release any pressure present then retighten pump.
4) Ensure mantle is in good order, (see 'fitting new mantle' if absent or damaged)
5) Soak preheater torch in methylated spirit.
6) Clip preheater torch around vapouriser stem, light and slide up under glass.
7) LEAVE THE LAMP ALONE!!, don't fiddle!, when the methylated spirit begins to burn down give ten to twelve full strokes on the pump.
8) Just before the methylated spirit goes out, turn on the lantern and the mantle should light with a gentle 'Pop' and give a slightly yellow light.
9) Allow to burn for 30 seconds or so then give several strokes on the pump, (up to forty), until the mantle is burning bright white and the lantern gives a steady hiss. Over-pumping will cause yellow flame outside the mantle and can damage the tank.
To extinguish the lamp simply turn the control knob off.
Older models have a small 'nipple' on the tank, if working, (and they seldom did), a rod will rise flush with the top of the nipple when pressure is correct. If the light begins to fade or the mantle strongly 'pulses' light give additional strokes of the pump to restore brightness.  

Fitting new mantle. Access the mantle by springing the lantern handle slightly apart and lifting off the enamelled hood. Ensure all of the old mantle is removed, especially any 'string' in the groove around the brass burner body.
Fit the new mantle by sliding the larger opening over the spigot and stretch it into the groove around the burner body. Then stretch the smaller end into the groove at the bottom of the spigot.
Arrange the fabric of the mantle evenly around the burner to ensure correct shape when the mantle is burnt. Replace enamelled hood back on the lantern ensuring the vapouriser tube passes up into the centre of the spigot.
When the spirit torch is applied for the first time after fitting the new mantle will burn and smoke. This is normal, after burning the mantle will have the property of white ash and is very fragile, DO NOT TOUCH!
With practice it will take less time to light your lamp than read these instructions!.

Last updated on 01/02/19

Click here for Pre 1960 Guardsman lamp exploded view

Click here for X246b Stormlight exploded view

Return to

price list
price list
price list
price list
price list

Copyright 1999 Base Camp. All rights reserved.