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I bought a Coleman lantern that takes 4 D-cell batteries that lasts up to about 30 hours on high and 60 hours on low. Now I'm thinking that D-cells are pretty expensive. I might need 200 for one year at that rate. I could buy oil lamps and burn kerosene but I wonder if candles would be better. What candles do you people think would be best for providing light? Where do you buy them? How much do they cost? How long do they last?
 

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You can find candles that are designed to be slow-burning, but I would think that the most sustainable soure of light would be oil lamps, as one could use many different fuels to burn those.
 

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edirPsmaP
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What about a solar LED Latern?

I also have these Oil wicks from Hobby Lobby that give off the same amount of light as a votive candle and the oil lasts a REALLY LONG time! I bought 6 packages. Gave one to my mom and one to a friend and I still have enough to put one in every room of my house!
 

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If you're going the candle route, take a look at 10-hour votive candles. These are the type they sell for weddings, restaurants... They're available at many stores for about 20 cents each. Now, be advised, they're not very bright and you'll have to burn several at a time.

Have you considered a Coleman lantern that burns white gas and/or gasoline? One of those running on low will give more light then probably 50 candles or a couple of the battery operated lanterns.
 

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I have a couple of hurricane lanterns and many bottles of clear smokeless lantern oil. Each lantern holds about ten ounces of oil; if you keep the wick turned down low, they will burn for a very long time and put out a decent amount of light. I refilled mine not too long ago, and have used it three times when the power went out for about four hours each time, and it still is at least half full.
 

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Over the last couple years we have bought about 60 led solar landscape lights. Some are around the house now and can be brought inside to use as emergency lighting if the need arises. Half of them have not even been activated yet so the batteries will be fresh. We're taking a camping trip in Sept. and plan on taking a dozen or so along to provide our lighting needs.
 

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Over the last couple years we have bought about 60 led solar landscape lights. Some are around the house now and can be brought inside to use as emergency lighting if the need arises. Half of them have not even been activated yet so the batteries will be fresh. We're taking a camping trip in Sept. and plan on taking a dozen or so along to provide our lighting needs.
If you take a wide mouth mason jar and put a circle of tinfoil in the bottom and then take just the top(with the light in it) off the solar stake and sit it on top of the jar-the light bounces off the tinfoil and it makes a really nice little table light. We used them when the power goes out like that. Now this is only for the bigger ones- the little dollar store ones I haven't found any glass vessel they will sit on but they are small enuf to just grab like a flash light.
 

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If you take a wide mouth mason jar and put a circle of tinfoil in the bottom and then take just the top(with the light in it) off the solar stake and sit it on top of the jar-the light bounces off the tinfoil and it makes a really nice little table light. We used them when the power goes out like that. Now this is only for the bigger ones- the little dollar store ones I haven't found any glass vessel they will sit on but they are small enuf to just grab like a flash light.
good idea!!
 

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I have a couple of hurricane lanterns and many bottles of clear smokeless lantern oil. Each lantern holds about ten ounces of oil; if you keep the wick turned down low, they will burn for a very long time and put out a decent amount of light. I refilled mine not too long ago, and have used it three times when the power went out for about four hours each time, and it still is at least half full.
That is also my main back up lighting. I have about 2 dozen of them I have purchased over the years. I have 25 gals+ of lamp oil and about 30 gals of kerosine. I also have the old style railroad lanterns that hang outside. Been collecting the citronella lamp oil for a while too for them. Keeping skitters at bay might help out too.

Jimmy
 

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Seeking The Truth
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I have a couple of hurricane lanterns and many bottles of clear smokeless lantern oil. Each lantern holds about ten ounces of oil; if you keep the wick turned down low, they will burn for a very long time and put out a decent amount of light. I refilled mine not too long ago, and have used it three times when the power went out for about four hours each time, and it still is at least half full.
We have 8 of these and a few gallons of lamp oil.When I was a kid when the power went out we used kerosene lamp,a lot safer than gas.
Pams idea is also a good one,we still have these cheap little lawn lights going for 8 years now,never changed the battery,the sun keeps charging them.
 

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Seeking The Truth
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If you take a wide mouth mason jar and put a circle of tinfoil in the bottom and then take just the top(with the light in it) off the solar stake and sit it on top of the jar-the light bounces off the tinfoil and it makes a really nice little table light. We used them when the power goes out like that. Now this is only for the bigger ones- the little dollar store ones I haven't found any glass vessel they will sit on but they are small enuf to just grab like a flash light.
I'll try this next storm or power outage,thanks.:wave:
 

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If you take a wide mouth mason jar and put a circle of tinfoil in the bottom and then take just the top(with the light in it) off the solar stake and sit it on top of the jar-the light bounces off the tinfoil and it makes a really nice little table light. We used them when the power goes out like that. Now this is only for the bigger ones- the little dollar store ones I haven't found any glass vessel they will sit on but they are small enuf to just grab like a flash light.
:melikey: Thanks :kiss:
 

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You're welcome guys! I'm sure that you could probably find a prettier glass jar to use if you want tho.. I was just desperate for light after a storm one year. Saw all the little lights in the yard and the ol' light bulb went on. Don't forget that you can use the older solar path lights to charge the double AA batteries too... we used them in the small portable radio we have. One day's charge seemed to last the whole night for the radio.. but if you really want to charge them well you have to run out at dusk and remove the batteries and then charge them again for a whole day.
 

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For another alternative light source, check out what Illac Diaz did in the Philippines. Solar powered, soda bottle light bulbs.

Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light)

P.S. to moderators: perhaps move this into the Energy & Electricity section?
 

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I am a little teapot
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I just bought an oil lamp and some clear lamp oil from ChinaMart. It was about $8 and the oil was a couple bucks. It's really pretty and while I just got one to try, I'd say several would light up a nice size room.
 

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performing monkey
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For another alternative light source, check out what Illac Diaz did in the Philippines. Solar powered, soda bottle light bulbs.

Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light)
I know there's all kinds of what-if-this & what-if-that scenarios, but opening a window during the day lets light in too, or a skylight, or glass block installed in the ceiling and/or walls...

it's a very clever use for what would otherwise be a waste product, but it's just a prism, a method which has been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years

ships had what were called deck prisms:


you can google 'vault light prism' and 'pavement light prism'

many ancient cultures used focused reflectors to light some areas also

P.S. you want to see something REALLY weird... google 'Dendera Lightbulb'
 

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Good ole country folk
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We have a wide variety of emergency lighting options and have tested and continue to test.

Candles--combination of votive, long-burn emergency sticks, 200 hour soy jars (clearanced at $2.50), used with mirrors for reflection.

Oil lamps with plenty of fuel in storage and spare wicks

Propane lanterns hooked up to bulk (20lb) tank

White gas lanterns with plenty of backup fuel

Garden solar lamps

LED flashlights and headlamps with rechargable batteries

LED Christmas lights powered by a 200watt inverter hooked to a spare car battery. Battery is presently charged when generator is fired up. Will get a small solar panel with charge controller in the near future.

Small mirrors purchased at dollar stores provide reflection and maximum light output.
 

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One word of advice on candles that you get on clearance--try to find scentless candles as when you light several candles for light around the house and you are using scented ones the stink will knock you out. Now I try to keep at least 100 of the little tin/tea light candles with no smell on hand and we just put them in a mason jar (or the bigger baby food jars) with a rectangle of tinfoil on one side so that it reflects the light out-one in every room with two candles and a pack of matches and the lid on.. that way every room has an emergency light in case of power outage at night. back ups for the crank flashlights.
 

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You're welcome guys! I'm sure that you could probably find a prettier glass jar to use if you want tho.. I was just desperate for light after a storm one year. Saw all the little lights in the yard and the ol' light bulb went on. Don't forget that you can use the older solar path lights to charge the double AA batteries too... we used them in the small portable radio we have. One day's charge seemed to last the whole night for the radio.. but if you really want to charge them well you have to run out at dusk and remove the batteries and then charge them again for a whole day.
I haven't looked at them, but how do you charge batteries with a solar light?

I have thought that if you had a bunch of these lights, you could charge them in the day and use them for lights in the house. If I was a little more savvy about it, I would figure out how to use them for other purposes.

I saw solar yard lights last week at Home Depot for 3.99 each. 25 of these would be $100. Maybe there are cheaper ways of using solar?
 

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Candles, while nice and do give off limited light, are not the safest way to go. I do have a bunch and will use or trade them in an emergency situation. We have a large dietz lantern and several oil lamps. A good supply of lamp oil and wicks. There is a flashlight in every room and vehicle, but batteries will only last for a while.
 
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