The laboratory alcohol lamp serves primarily as a source for heat for all kinds of laboratory activities. Some things to note about alcohol lamps include;
- Alcohol lamps are perfect for a laboratory, no matter what kind of science they are involved in, if they do not have a source of gas available.
- These kinds of lamp include common alcohol in order to produce a residue-free and smokeless flame that is easy to see; just as effective and useful as those provided by Bunsen Burners and other sources of heat. The flame, however, is a little cooler than that provided by a Bunsen Burner.
- Alcohol lamps are observed as a small jar, with a special kind of lip which is able to hold onto a round cotton wick. Most of these lamps are provided with an extra lid too; this fits on top of the wick so it can be extinguished, in order to prevent evaporation of the alcohol fuel inside when the lamp is not in use.
- Once the fumes have been ignited by another source of heat (basic implements such as matches and cigarette lighters are able to do this, as the lamp only requires the initial flame) the lamps burn at a temperature that can differ between 500 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the location of the reading within the flame.
- Alcohol lamps are generally used when a low heat is needed. They can be used for projects like laboratory experiments, heating things in science projects and within woodworking.
- Alcohol lamps appear to have vanished from most labs these days, however. They do not seem all that common any more due to the common use of the more practical disposable plastic inoculators.