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Yesterday, BBC news reported that there are now “Lantern Patrols” in Wales, looking for fallen sky lanterns so they could prevent the wires from these lanterns from getting into the winter hay for their livestock. We understand the farmers’ concerns and wish that everyone would choose our sky lanterns over the competition. If they would, the farmers would have nothing to worry about.

The concern is over the wire that most floating lanterns use to support the paper lantern’s base, as well as hold the fuel cell in place. As the rest of the lantern degrades, the wire takes longer to rust and eventually fall apart and during this time, it can end up in the hay that is harvested for livestock, or can be errantly eaten by the livestock while grazing in the field. As soon as the first reports came out on this some months ago, responded with the introduction of the Eco Lantern which was specifically designed to ease these concerns. We actually had this product in the works prior to these reports and pushed on our manufacturer to get production going post haste to help be part of the solution. This was the first wire free paper lantern to hit the market and they have sold well.

However, we were not done there. We wanted to be and are the first sky lantern vendor to eliminate wire from all of our traditional sky lanterns and we have done so. Today, if you purchase our traditional Chinese lanterns or our cylindrical lanterns, you are getting a product that is 100% wire free. In fact, aside from some of our special novelty lanterns, all of our floating lantern products are wire free. Wales farmers should note this and encourage those flying lanterns to use ours.

Regarding some of the other concerns, our response to this is for everyone to follow the instructions included with each of our sky lanterns. If you intend to launch sky lanterns over anything larger than a stream, please be sure to contact the proper authorities to let them know of your launch. There have been many false alarms because floating lanterns have been misconstrued as signs for assistance on the water. While there really is little similarity, reports from locals cause the coast guard to go investigate unless a phone call is placed ahead of time by the responsible sky lantern launcher.

Likewise, the instructions are very clear about launching lanterns in windy conditions. Aside from potential damage to the paper lantern itself, a windy launch alters the flight path of the lantern quite a bit. Rather than rising up high in the air, it is carried more horizontally by the wind. This makes our recommended clear area for launch not be enough space and can also potentially not allow enough time for the lantern to be cool to the touch by the time it sets back down after the flame extinguishes itself.

With careful and responsible use as well as responsible purchasing decisions Wales and the rest of the UK can continue to use Sky Lanterns. If other manufacturers cannot get on board with wire-free designs, it could ruin the fun of Chinese Hanging Lanterns for everyone.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 26th, 2010 at 7:50 AM and is filed under General News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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