Vintage Swiss Military Kerosene Floodlight Projector

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Vintage Swiss Military Kerosene Floodlight Projector

Vintage Swiss Military Kerosene Floodlight Projector

If you’re a military history buff or just want to get outdoors and off the grid for a while, feast your eyes on a rare (and bright!) blast from the past. Kerosene floodlight projectors were born out of the W.H. Tilley company who began making pressure lamps in their factory near London in 1818. During WWI their lamps were so popular that “Tilley lamp” became the generic name for most of the kerosene lamps made at that time.

Introduced in 1937, the Tilley Model FL6 Floodlight Projector was used extensively during WWII. Troops would use them at night to light up remote airfields, border crossings, prison camps and other installations where electricity was scarce or non-existent.

After the war, the Tilley FL6 floodlights were also used for commercial mining operations, and the model continued to be made until around 1969. During that time some minor changes were made but the construction and method of use remained the same throughout the period. Versions of these outdoor floodlight projectors were used by Swiss military forces from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Think of these as big Coleman-style camping lanterns, only much brighter! Similar to smaller lamps, the Tilley FL6 features a hand pump to create pressure for pushing burning kerosene into a fine mesh mantle. Once the lamp is warmed up, pump the kerosene tank and you’ll soon have a floodlight! A parabolic mirror behind the lamp reflects and concentrates a beam of approximately 3,000 candlepower. No electricity required!

Vintage Swiss Military

Armored glass covers the lamp for added protection and durability. Each Tilley floodlight includes a rare spiked stand which allows the projector to be secured into the ground and tilted upwards or downwards, and swing 360 degrees. When mounted to the tripod, the floodlight stands approximately 6 feet tall.

Designed to burn ordinary kerosene, each Tilley FL6 also comes with a special handmade solid wood storage and transport box.

The portability, sturdy construction, efficient use of fuel, and lack of reliance on electricity make these outdoor floodlights perfect for camping, backpacking, and overnight hunting or fishing trips. Use them without the tripod and place them on a cement wall, table or any flat surface. They’re ideal to have on hand for the inevitable power outages during hurricane season.

Many other online sites are sold out of these, but we have plenty. And our prices are much lower! You can find tons of fascinating history online about these vintage floodlights, as well as helpful information on proper use. The International Coleman Collectors Club has a forum section highlighting some of their members’ great reviews of their own Tilley FL6s. One member, “Uncle Fred,” even mentioned us!

Check out these floodlights that are among the very rare and unusual items available in our Miscellaneous Militaria category, military-related items that are of historical interest and are still useful in the modern world.