Let there be light ...

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by *Andi, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Lets look at alternatives ... the grid is down ...

    candles ...
    battery-powered lamps ...
    oil & kerosene ...
    propane lamps ...
    solar powered lamps ...
    chemical lights ...

    Now each has their own ... pro and con ...

    So for the most part, I'm looking for input ... your own pro and con list... (and if you have followed my post... large scale solar and wind are out :wave:) :gaah: just the way it is ...
  2. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member

    I love candles. I have them stockpiled. If all fails:
    1. Candles are cheap
    2. Candles provide heat
    3. You can cook small items with them if you have enough

    Solar lamps are nice too. Unfortunately, there is probably 5-6 months decent light here during the year.

    Battery lights are fun too :)

  3. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    Generator. :ignore: :p :D

    We have about 5 dozen solar landscape lights. The newer models put out a significant amount amount of light. Drill a few holes in a piece of wood, jam the ground spikes of 3-4 of them in the wood and you have a nice bright portable lamp. We also have about a dozen wind-up flashlights.
  4. Ezmerelda

    Ezmerelda Well-Known Member

    I have candles, oil lanterns, battery powered lantern and flashlights, as well as one wind up flashlight.

    My solar landscape lights hardly put out any light at all, but they are about 5 yrs. old...maybe it's time to buy some new ones!
  5. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

    ...all of the above.

    60 different kero lamps and "barn" lanterns
    6 Alladin keros
    100 gallons of kerosine

    15 big totes full of pillar candles and devots from Wallyworld's day-after-Christmas 75% off sales from several years,
    1 tote full of tea-light candles

    6 miner's carbide lamps with 50# of carbide (the original "flashlight")
    8 propane lamps with cartrideges galore and a refill fitting for the cartridges
    12 coleman lanterns
    2 Petromax
    2 cases of chem-sticks
    Dozens of battery-powered lights, some rechargeable
    Several solar-powered lamps

    ...I collect everything I can from sales, auctions, yard and garage sales to use for barter later WTSHTF...
  6. lilmissy0740

    lilmissy0740 Well-Known Member

    I have a few candles. We will just head to bed when it is dark. :)
  7. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    And that's probably the best way to go. Up with the sun and down with the sun, just like our animals. :)
  8. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    Not yet mentioned but worth consideration is a power inverter sitting on top of a good deep-cycle marine battery. This, coupled with some CFL's can offer probably hundreds of hours of light and then re-charge the battery and do it again.

    Another (more efficient then the inverter) option is 12v or 24v DC lighting, again attached to deep-cycle marine batteries.
  9. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Now my hubby and son can do that ... but I can not ... :dunno: After 5 hours sleep, I'm up... Always been that way ... don't see me changing my ways. ;)

    Thanks all. :D
  10. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    One word of advice-buy up all the unscented candles you can afford! I always have tons of the big glass jar candles as I buy them on black Friday sales for under $2 and keep them for gifts...
    Well after a week without power and thinking that I don't have to worry about candles, I got pretty sick of the smell of those stinky things! When you are having two or four or more of the big candles lit the smell almost becomes unbearable!
    Now I stock up on the little tea light candles in the bag/box of 25/50/100 when ever I can.. I even have two candles a box of matches in lidded mason jars(jelly sized) in every room for emergencies. Sure only two per room doesn't sound like enuf but they are only to get you to where ever the whole family is.
    I even talked my daughter into keeping several around her house after we lost power for a few hours one evening and she only had one candle and no flash lights.
    I have also stocked up the crank flashlights and we love them.. one in every car and in each bed room. Plus two in the package yet for back up. and quite a few of the solar path lights.. I found that if I took the top black part with the panel and the light off it fit right on top of a mason jar! and it will be safer for children at night than a candle. I even used them in my jack o' lanterns one windy Halloween... I got tired of trying to keep the candles lit!
  11. Kai22

    Kai22 Well-Known Member

    We live in an area where we lose power for at least a full week or two every winter.

    I stockpile candles. We also have lots of battery operated lanterns and a couple of the hand crank ones too (love those).
  12. Centraltn

    Centraltn Well-Known Member

    How bout a solar panel just to charge a few deep cell batteries to run our water pump, primarily but also for lights.... then wire in some nice RV lights that you can run on DC and not worry about a power hungry inverter. Saying that (*that is a plan for future installations) I have about 6 Alladin lanterns that give off the light of a 60 watt bulb, 5 table type and one hanging ceiling fixture, 12 extra glass globes/chimneys for them and 12 extra mantels and about 20 gallons of Kerosene stashed
  13. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    The Alladin lanterns are in my list to pick up... I have tons of candles and oil lamps (and the oil ;)).

    And thinking of a propane lamp (wall mount) in the dining area.

    Thanks all, for some more :idea: ... :D
  14. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    I’m there too, did that for years when I used to work for a living. Out the door when light enough to see, back inside when too dark to see. Only issue is after dark in the winter. Short days make for several hours of inside time where some light is required. In my past life I used kerosene lanterns. Downside was needed lots of kero and they took maintenance to keep them burning clean. Upside is plenty of portable light when needed.

    My plans are to use the little tea light candles in a small reflector type lantern. It puts out enough light to navigate, cook or read. I only have the one and have never seen another, it was an x-mas gift. It has a reflector on one end and a magnifying glass lens at the other. It actually will illuminate my living room enough to see the walls across the room (14'). The dollar store has bags of the candles from time to time and I always stock up. Not sure how many I have but at least enough to use 2 a day and my supply will hold out for several years. Downside is not really bright (it’s no 100 watt bulb for sure!) and candles last about 4 hours, so need lots of them. Upside is burns clean, not an attention getting glow from outside the house and it is a directional light, not broadcasting 360 degrees.

    I do have a few crank-up radio/flashlight combos and the headlight things that fit around your head... and quite a few batteries for them. Upside is instant lighting, portable and clean burning. Downside is what to do when batteries run out or recharger breaks down.
  15. Momturtle

    Momturtle Well-Known Member

    Candles and kerosene lamps, for short term, with plenty of kerosene stored. For extreme situation and long long long term - have learned to make little oil lamps from fired clay that use just about any kind of wick. They can burn a variety of oils (lard even in a pinch), vegetable and animal. Also purchased a small, manual oil expeller that makes oil from rape seed which really works and burns in the lamps. The rape is a brassica that is extremely easy to grow, not only is it tasty as a green but the oil (Canola oil) can be used in cooking and lighting. They are not great light but they worked for many years even in pioneer days.
  16. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    I have candles, oil lamps, one lantern. Life will be harder when TSHTF so we will probably be up with the chickens and to bed with the chickens.
  17. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    One time when I was at Lehman's (been there twice) I got these wicks that have what amounts to a bottle stopper on them and they're made to turn a wine/liquor bottle into a lamp. You'd fill an empty booze bottle with lamp oil, stick the wick in and you're ready to go. Not the ideal choice because there's no chimney-you get a naked flame. They work well and are another option in a pinch. You just have to empty a bottle of hooch to get the lamp body. *darn*

    I haven't used ours in a good while-a two year old and 2 cats aren't the best scenario to use one of these.
  18. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

  19. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    I spent .99¢ on one of those at the thrift store about a month ago and it came with the little glass chimney -fits right on the wine bottle I looked them up online and they make all types of the glass chimneys for them. I ended up buying something for less than a buck that is worth over $14! And it is quite pretty to use.
  20. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Did a search for "oil lamps from fired clay" ... and came up with some very cool youtubes. :congrat:

    Very nice ... I think I can do that. :D