Lighting: This is the one thing people normally associate with power outages. You are sitting at home and you are cast into darkness. The TV silences. As a child, during summer thunder storms that would knock out power I was excited. I would run to get the flashlights and candles, it was just like indoor camping! Today I am less excited about the power going out, but I do love listening to the rain pelt against the windows!
During the summer, long days would allow you to still have light for reading or board games until close to bedtime. However other parts of the year (or the globe), a power outage can mean many hours of darkness before sleeping.
As you may never know how long the power will be out, do you have a plan to provide light in your home or learn to do without?
This article is number 5 in our power outage series, if you want to read the others:
- 5 Steps to Evaluating Water Security during a Power Outage
- 8 Steps to Evaluating Food Preparedness for Power Outages
- 7 Steps for Maintaining Proper Sanitation during Power Outage
- 7 Steps for Heating Your Home During a Power Outage
Lights without Power
The go-to light source the minute the power goes out. This little flashlight is my favorite, and a great portable option, but be sure to stock extra batteries. For a longer term power outage of a few days, be sure to choose flashlights that don't require a power source to be recharged but rather choose battery operated ones.
#2 Reduce your need for lighting.
While it may not be necessary at first, aligning your daily schedule with the sun will reduce your need for light.
- Align your sleep schedule. Normally you may wake at noon and stay up until 3 am, but this will require much more additional lighting (in whatever form), then if you went to bed closer to sunset.
- Do activities as a group. Rather than having everyone sitting in different rooms with their own lights, bring everyone together and share the light source.
- Your average taper candle will burn an inch an hour. So your 10-12 inch candles equals to 10-12 hours. How many candles are in your home, and how long will they last form? Taper candles are portable and tall, great for casting gentle light for moving about. Here is a box of 30, 10" candles which would give you 300 hours of light.
- 100-hr candles. They do make an liquid candle that claims to be +100 hours, shown here. These are not as portable, and more expensive per burn time then the standard taper candles.
- Don't forget last year's Christmas gift candle! Those Yankee candle and other odd ball candles in glass jars can also be burned as a light source, even if you don't consider them part of your survival gear. Bonus: Your house will smell nice?
- With any candle, be sure to stock fire starting supplies like matches and lighters. I find the best matches are cheap, but I splurge for the Bic Lighters when it comes to reliability.
#4 Mini solar lights.
Small portable solar lighting can be a great light source that doesn't require stocking batteries, or burn down like a candle.
- Garden solar powered lights can a greater renewable source for light. Leave them in a sunny window during the day and have a small portable light for walking around at night. They can be found at the Christmas Tree Shop, Family Dollar or online here.
- Handheld solar flashlights can combine the reliability of a flashlight with the rechargeable power of the sun. It's like bottling the sun for later use!
#5 Large lanterns
Large lanterns can be used for lighting up a whole room or tent.
- Solar powered lanterns provide a renewable source of energy (assuming it's sunny). LED lights do provide bright light for less energy than traditional lights, which pushes it's capabilities further.
- More traditional camping lanterns like this one run off oil or propane. The length of burn-time will depend on the flow of propane and how bright you set it to be. This is a bulkier option as you also need to store extra propane tanks. But if you are storing propane for heating food too, then adding a lantern may not be as cumbersome.
Headlamps are great for quick trips to the bathroom at night. While large headlamps are great when the power is flowing, smaller battery powered ones may work better during a power outage. Small LED ones are inexpensive and can provide hands-free light.
#7 Fireplace or campfire.
For situations where it is safe to be outside with a campfire, enjoy sitting around a campfire at night rather than sitting inside burning candles or your propane lantern. Likewise, a home fireplace could also provide light for reading or playing games. Lighting options don't have to come from technology.
Steps To Take Today
- Evaluate you home for your current lighting options.
- Invest in candles, lanterns and headlamps.
- Stock up on basic supplies: batteries, matches and lighters.
There are many options for providing light during a power outage beyond candles. The first step is always to try and minimize the amount of light you need in the first place, then ration your options in case the power outage lasts for a long time. However there are many solar rechargeable options that work well and don't use up resources.
Are you ready to light the way during a power outage? What is your plan? Thanks for reading!
Did you miss our other articles in the power outage series?