The gas lanterns for our home were provided by Bevolo. All opinions are our own. If you’re not currently looking for gas fixtures, all of Bevolo’s lights and lanterns are available as electric fixtures, as well.
Last November, Julia and I went to New Orleans for our anniversary — I lived in Louisiana for a couple years, once upon a time, and had always wanted to take her there and show it off because it’s such a unique place. In fact, I often say if you want to experience another country but don’t have a passport, go to Louisiana. It was such a fun trip, and we came home with a love for fresh cracklins and gas lanterns.
Fast forward a few months. While adjusting to daily changes brought on by a global pandemic, we discover mold on the exterior of our home and make the decision to go all-in and completely redo our exterior (with design help from some amazing friends). And as design plans started, we thought back to those evening walks through New Orleans and the homes lined with gas lanterns, and knew we wanted to capture that vibe with our home.
Does that transformation blow your mind? It does mine, and I watched it happen (albeit slowly) every day. And while there are so many closeup detail shots we still owe you, as we’ve shared the gas lanterns we’ve received a lot of great questions that we want to answer in case you’re considering adding gas lanterns to your own home. But if you want to skip some reading and cut to the chase, we think you should go for it. :)
Exterior Gas Lantern Q&A:
“Are they really gas? Do you have to run a gas line to each?”
Yes! They hook right into our home’s natural gas line in our crawl space under the house and split out from there to each of the fixtures. There is one valve that cuts gas to all of the lanterns at once, and then there are individual valves where each line splits if we need to cut the gas individually, plus valves at each of the fixtures to turn the burners off themselves.
“What model are your lanterns?”
These fixtures are made by Bevolo, and they’re the absolute best. The wall sconces are their Cotton Exchange original bracket (which is best for mounting on combustible surfaces like our Smartside, as the flush mount must be mounted to stone or brick) in the 22-inch height, and the hanging lanterns are the French Quarter Yoke lantern in the 24-inch height.
“Do they give off enough light at night?”
Gas lanterns are definitely not meant to be a main source of light. They give off enough light to see, but additional layers of light would be helpful. We have cans up front to help give more light when needed.
“Do they stay on all the time? Do they have a switch?”
Yes. There is a valve on each burner so you can turn them off easily, you just need to relight them manually each time. There is no switch for these, so we just leave them lit.
“Are they difficult to install?”
The difficulty depends on your situation, but the installation must always be done by a licensed HVAC professional. Each lantern is its own gas fixture, and code requirements must be met for having shutoffs, etc.
Where we had so much of our home opened up for our exterior renovation, running new gas lines was pretty easy for our installers. The best thing to do is consult with a licensed HVAC professional on where you would like your lanterns installed. They can look at accessibility of current gas connections and let you know what it would take to add the new lines.
BUT! In situations where running a gas line isn’t an option, all of Bevolo’s fixtures are offered in electrical units as well, so you can still get the amazing quality and look. We’re using a couple of those for our balcony, actually.
“How does it affect the gas bill?”
The lanterns use a little more gas than a pilot light on a gas fireplace, and the impact on your bill depends on how high you make the flame. We haven’t noticed any unexpected jump in our bill not explained by the recent dip in temperatures.
“Are they safe? Any fire hazard?”
This was probably the most asked question, and we get why, especially given our experiences. But really the concern comes from most people not living in places where you see gas lanterns. Gas lanterns have been used longer than light bulbs and, when installed by licensed HVAC professionals, are very safe. Basically no different from having a gas furnace, or gas fireplace, or gas water heater.
Of course gas lanterns are an intentional decision in the plan of your home, but we’re so happy we went for it. Every person who comes to our front door experiences their warm, welcome glow and they’re just one more detail that is helping turn this home into what we knew it could be.