Survival Lighting

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by BobR1, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. BobR1

    BobR1 Well-Known Member

    I live in the country, and I have almost all my life. We have power outages every now and again. They might last a few hours or a few days in an ice storm, you never know. After the lights go out is not a good time to address this problem.
    The wife keeps oil lamps around the house. I just looked and she has 7 oil lamps, and 3 Alladins. We have another 5 Dietz Lanterns of various sizes also.
    Most of the oil lamps are antiques. They are normally better quality than new ones made in China.
    The mechanism that runs the wick up and down is the weak point. Check and make sure the wick goes up and down smoothly.
    You also need a few other things to go with your light source. The big one is lamp oil. I believe Indoor Kerosene is the samething. Then you will need matches to light the lamp, or lantern. If you are prepairing for the lights being off for a while, extra wicks are also handy to have. Make sure you have the correct size for your equipment, they might or might not all be the same size.

    Alladin Lamps seem to be great at first glance. We have never used ours in the 11 years we have had them. We have friends who live off grid 24/7, and have for years. They gave them a try when available before Y2K, and decided they were more trouble and expense than they were worth. They went back to the old oil lamps.

    A pump up Coleman Lantern is a good addition also. They put out more light than Dietz Lanterns. Now a Coleman Lantern is not as bullet proof as a Dietz Lantern normally is. A Dietz is pretty much light and it works. A Coleman has mantles that are fragile. You also have a pump that can dry out, and a generator that can mess up. With a Coleman being more complicated, you need to use it with some frequency so you can get it going when needed. It also works better when used frequently. Keep spare mantles for it also.

    Propane Coleman Lanterns are pretty good for a short term power outage also. They are normally easier to get running, and keep running than a pump up one. Now the other side of the coin, they require a propane cylinder to be portable. You will need several spare cylinders of fuel for an extended outage, or a method to refill the cylinders from a larger tank. They will also work with hoses from a barbecue tank.

    A flashlight is also a good addition for the short hall. Little ones have gotten into style lately with folks I hang out with. I still keep full size 2 D-Cel battery Mag Lights in the cars, and around. I like them for several reasons. One they are hard to loose, and easy to find. The second is if you might need to swat someone or something with one, they have the shape, size, and weight to do some good. You can get parts and keep them working, and even upgrade them. They are fairly inexpensive to buy. CHECK THE BATTERIES. When you have a flat, etc is not the time to discover your batteries are dead.
  2. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    You can get spare parts of the oil lamps. We'd recommend having several globes on hand along with extra wicks. Our exereiences with the Aladdin lamps are that they are a pain and the mantles are very fragile. They need constant attention to keep from sooting up the mantles. Number 1 fuel oil works well for kerosene lanterns and is MUCH! cheaper than lamp oil. The red dye makes it look nice too.

    Coleman lanterns are noisy and expensive to use. They might be fine for temporary use but we wouldn't recommend them for the long haul. The same with the Coleman propane lights. You can get an expension pst to use them with a 20 lb. refillable bottle and it get the light up at a conveneint hieght. The 20 lb bottles are much more economical to use than the 1 lb. disposable bottles. They just arent as convenient.

    Get some LED bulbs for your flashlights. The batteries last much longer and the light is bright enough. Use solar powered driveway lights for reading lights. Set them outside to charge during the day. You can also use them as solar battery chargers for AA batteries.

  3. BobR1

    BobR1 Well-Known Member

    I had never given the solar drive way lights any thought before for indoor lighting. That is a good thing to know about.
    The next time I am in West Plains I will need to stop by The Battery Station, and see what bulb conversions they have for Mag Lights. That is after I inventory my lights, and see what I have. The last Gun Show I went to they had a Gerber Splitting Mall that looked pretty good. They are starting to handle quite a few Prepairedness related products. Good People besides being the best/cheapest source on batteries around. They do mail order also.
    The Battery Station 303 Washington Ave, West Plains, MO 65775
    The Battery Station Lithium Lead NiMH NiCad Ion Batteries 417-257-7799
  4. Ponce

    Ponce Well-Known Member

    I have six gasoline generators 350 W, two 1,200 W, two 240 W and one 5,000 W........three of them for myself and the other three for trading.

    One 120 solar panel that goes with one 12 V deep charge battery, this one is for my alarm system

    From Harbor Freight.....3 boxes with 3 solar panels each, each panel is of15W,
    two sets to use in the house and one set for spare.....with a 12 V deep charge battery.

    Coleman lanterns about 5 or six of them, two of them with a double lamp.

    Oil lamps about five of them, with spare wicks and 50 gallons of oil.

    LED flash lights about 20 of them and with about 200 batteries.

    Around 150 regular candles and 20 big fat candles from the $ store.....they no longer sell this, got mines about five years ago.

    Wind up flash lights five of them.

    Solar chargers 5 of them and 2 regular chargers.

    I have more forms of lights around somewhere but I forgot what the heck they are.
  5. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    :eek: you lost track of preps! :eek: :lolsmash:
  6. Ponce

    Ponce Well-Known Member

    My whole property is a prep station.......four car garage full, chicken coop full (no chickens) two storage huts full, spare room full, upstair den full........I made myself a prisoner in my own home by all that I have........nothing but drunks, druggies, food stamps eaters, welfare bumbs and so on in my Micky Mouse one mule of a least I live six miles away from it.
  7. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    Ponce, can you give me just a vague idea of how long one bottle of 32 oz. medallion lamp oil will burn...just anywhere close will do--I have 5 bottles and will get more..

    I have 3 oil lamps.

    Thanks in advance and anyone who burns, I'd like to know this answer:scratch..
  8. vn6869

    vn6869 Afraid, very afraid

    Ponce, just how long do you fiqure it will take them to get the six miles to your place? And what do you plan on doing then?? How much do they know about your preps??

    I have heard this about a lot of rural areas, nothing but food stamp eaters,
    welfare bums, and druggies. Concerns me about moving away from the city.

    OoOps off topic I'm sure.
  9. TimB

    TimB Member

    One thing I keep in our cars and home (as well as w/ the preps stored away :) ) is light sticks. They are small, light, and last (shelf life) 1-4 yrs. depending on how they are stored.

  10. mtnmom

    mtnmom Active Member

    We used to burn oil lamps a lot when I was a kid (grew up amish) and a standard oil lamp burns a long time if you keep the wick trimmed and don't turn it too high.

    I can't remember exactly how long but we would burn one all night in the hallway so we could see to go to the bathroom - and one lamp full of kerosene would last several nights.
  11. BillM

    BillM BillM

    When the lights go out

    When the lights go out we have some cole oil lamps and usually burn one upstairs and one down Stairs until bed time. If I want to read or we play cards, I will use the colman lantern. At bed time all the lamps go out.
    We both have one of those little key chain led lights that used a watch battery. We each wear one on a lanyard around out necks. They put out a supriseing amount of light and you never have to look for it. I use them when camping or walking in to my deer stand before daylight also. You have to hold the switch closed so you never forget and leave it on. You get about a thousand hours of use out of one. I have just used the lighted dial on my wrist watch to orient myself in the dark when I didn't want to show a light.
  12. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    short term, we have the generator and about 400 gal of gas, long term we have lamps and about 100 gaL of k-1 Kero. for TEOTWAWKI we have a couple thousand candles,a couple dozen bee hives who are making more wax for more candles.
  13. MrSfstk8d

    MrSfstk8d Well-Known Member

    I believe it was brought up in another thread (would have to do a search) but some kinds of seed oils can be used for lamp oil, as well as olive oil. Of course, the lamp itself has to be made to that purpose. LotsOLead mention of bees wax from thier own hives got me thinking of what to grow for your own oil as well. I'd have to look to be sure (I will later, lol) but I believe it was rapeseed oil that burns nice and clean. Take into that, rapeseed is from flax, the flax can be woven into wick as well, I think. Double Duty Crop!
  14. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    Rapeseed has been renamed canola ,and under some conditions(not hot enough) burning it gives off noxious gasses
  15. MrSfstk8d

    MrSfstk8d Well-Known Member

    More specifically, CANOLA is a cultivar of the flaxseed (rapeseed) developed by a Canadian intitiative. It is CANadian Oil Low Acidity, to have lower blah blah blah free acid content in it for some industrial/agricultural/food purpose I don't remember. That said, I'm not really sure, without further research, what small scale growth seed oils would be the most efficient and safest lamp oil sources.
  16. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    We have oil lamps & oil, lots of candles, matches, lighters, a Dietz lantern, flashlights & tons of batteries, and two LED lights you wear on your head. I would like to get some solar powered flashlights and yard lights. A lot will change when the balloon goes up. Go to bed with the chickens and get up with the chickens will be the norm for us. All of us will be doing more physical labor and welcome the early bedtime I'm sure.
  17. 41south

    41south Well-Known Member

    We have colemans, both gas and propane, lots of LEDs, some coal oil lamps, aladdins and plain wick types, and we have mining or wheat cap lights, but in a TSHTF situation, the small LED headlamps are the ones I would reach for, bar none and I grew up underground with a mining light on my head. Trust me on this folks, those LEDs are the BEST, they will last a long time with minimal battery drain. We time tested two of them, they burned from 4:00 PM Friday till 10:00PM Sunday and were finally getting dim, but were still usable, on two AA batteries, unreal battery life. Quality batteries are a must also.

    My favorites for in home emergency use came from harbor freight, they look like a coleman battery table or camping lantern, but are solar recharge units, but can be charged with a charger that comes with them. Just turn the little handwheel and thats it, no matches, not heat and no danger of fire.

    They are not very bright, but there is no danger with them, like candles or coal oil lamps. And they sell for about 20 bucks each at harbor freight.
  18. kyfarmer

    kyfarmer Well-Known Member

    I use oil, propane and have a couple of multi fuel coleman lights. White gas or unleaded plus the old stand by candels.
  19. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

    We use our outdoor solar lights whenever we have power outages.
    Just want to bump this up on the list because now is a good time to find outdoor solar lighting on sale (that is, if you didn't already buy enough on clearance at the end of last summer);)
  20. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?


    This thread does need a bump. :D

    DO NOT "burn" any fuel for "light", unless it is also winter and you need the heat. I do like the cheap "catholic" candles and keep many on hand, but only as a last resort. Liquid fuels and propane are more valuable for other uses than light.

    The little outdoor solar lights are GREAT for many uses! The little tiny ones have rechargeable "AAA" batteries in them, which is what most LED headlamps use (3 each). The larger ones are usually "AA" batteries inside.

    If you are not handy with a soldering iron..... you NEED to be! I have been been doing a lot of "parts swapping" with various eBay solar cells and using the charger circuit in these lights to make some really cool little solar battery chargers that will charge AAA, AA, C and D cells. I haven't made one yet for 9-volt, but don't need to. I don't use many 9 volt batteries.

    The cheap solar cells that these lights come with are covered with just a "poured-epoxy" coating. This gets cloudy over time. The lights only fail usually when the solar cell doesn't get much light to pass through anymore. You can buy inexpensive quality solar cells that do NOT have the epoxy coating that gets cloudy over time. You just have to solder them into place. If you do not break them, they will last 30 years. The math is very simple to do to make sure the voltage and milliamps are correct.

    12-volt lighting for RV's and boats has really come a long way. I have some LED "floodlamps" that are 12 volt that put out nice light, and a LOT of it! A few small (1-watt or less) LED lamps will run off of a car battery for weeks, and put out MUCH more light than an oil lamp.

    There are also 10, 12 and 15 watt CFL lamps that are 12-volt. These use more juice than the LED lights, but are a more usable and natural type of light bulb. I hang one from a tree branch when I am setting up a campsite at night. PLENTY of light to cover a whole area. Will run all day easily from a car battery.

    Everyone in their preps needs a good solar panel and some 12 volt lights. You can use your car battery in a pinch to run several lights, but a good deep-cycle battery will provide more power over a longer period of time.

    I also have a few 12-volt car lighter plug adapters that mave "multi-ended" connectors, and a switch that will let you select 3-4.5-6-7.5 and 9 volts. I also have a random selection of resistors that I can use to drop 12 volts down to nearly any DC voltage I need.