Let There Be Light and Please Give Me Options!
So, every night after the blackout you’re faced with darkness. This imposed blindness magnifies your fears and soon every little creak in the house has you imagining the worst! Is it a burglar? Or is it the neighbors, breaking in to steal your food and supplies? Put an end to your wild imaginings by shedding a little light on your surroundings.
Fortunately, you have a few options for lighting during a blackout situation. Plan now to have a selection of lighting options set aside to provide the appropriate illumination for reading, crafts such as knitting or making paracord bracelets, and board games with the family to pass the time.
Candles – inexpensive and comforting, candles can provide a fair amount of light as you and your family sit around the kitchen table, and as you move from room to room. Think in terms of using several tea lights, one or two tall tapers in candlestick holders, even using those thick fragrant candles Aunt Mary sent to you from South Carolina the past three Christmases! Regardless of their size, all of these candles can make a dark and cold room seem downright cozy! If possible, use them with a wind shield around them for added safety, since even the smallest candle is capable of starting a house fire.
Keep in mind that candles don’t have to be store-bought. Even in the middle of an emergency living situation, you may have the materials needed to make DIY candles. Consider these:
DIY Tuna Torch — You can make a candle that will burn for 2-3 hours, simply using a can of tuna (in oil) and a small piece of paper towel. WATCH VIDEO
DIY Tea Light Candle Lantern — You will shake your head when you see how simple this candle is to prepare, using things you may already have in your home, so no cost involved. And you can modify its construction, using fatter candles or different size containers. WATCH VIDEO
DIY Melted Crayon Tea Lights — You can actually create your own tea lights by melting the kids’ crayons! Who knew??? WATCH VIDEO
DIY Crayon Candles — This informative video will also make you laugh! WATCH VIDEO
Flashlights – a great source of light, flashlights are relatively inexpensive to buy and practical, often running on rechargeable batteries. (Do not buy cheap flashlights!!!)
Here is one which I can recommend from personal experience. It’s the EcoGear FX Tactical LED Flashlight Kit. It is water resistant (good choice, since our home is on the waterfront!), has a zoom function (from wide to narrow), gives you 5 light modes (high, medium, low, strobe and S.O.S.), and gives you a beam distance up to 700 feet.
It is not the big, bulky flashlight my dad always carried in the truck, but it has proven to be big on quality and function!
We had originally ordered a different (but similar) flashlight but were seriously disappointed with the construction and quality. Several of the fittings did not line up and the flashlight would not turn on (a rather important feature!) Completely different story with the EcoGear selection!
Lanterns – Throwing off more light than candles and flashlights are lanterns, particularly those with a reflection shield. These lanterns can be battery operated, LED, solar or fuel operated. Don’t underestimate your lighting needs. Sitting in the dark with no lights to read by and no television to watch can be a drag, and unsettling emotionally, as well. Whatever you choose, if they don’t incorporate a reflective shield, prop up a mirror behind them for the best reflection possible.
There is an excellent nice-sized lantern for you to consider that is powered by 3 “D” batteries. This lantern, which is highly ranked by more than 1200 reviewers on Amazon has an average battery life of 295 hours. Rather than providing ultra bright light for specific tasks, this lantern provides soft glowing light to illuminate a large area. The lantern we’re looking at is the Streamlight 44931 The Siege Lantern. We’ll be looking next at solar lanterns, but there is a place for each type in your disaster lifestyle.
Solar Lanterns – There are currently some very nice solar powered lanterns on the market. Even with a great many to chose from, we have a real affection for the Go Solar Lantern. Its dimensions are 5″x5″x4.5″ and it weights only 4 ounces. Sounds wimpy, but a single solar charge to its lithium battery yields 6 to 12 hours of light before recharging. The price is low enough that you’ll want to stock up on its variety of colors. Oh… and did I mention? The lantern is waterproof! So you can float it in the pool or safely leave it outside in the rain!.
Another solar lantern which gives great light is the Evinis LED Solar Rechargeable Lantern. Very compact at 3.5″x5.5″, this .74 pound lantern provides over 24 hours of continuous operation before recharging. It also contains outlets to charge your cell phone and tablets.
And here is a favorite of mine… it’s the Consol solar-powered LED lantern and table light, a solar light in a glass jar. This option can be used indoors or outdoors. It provides great light in my living room, dining room and bedroom, and is perfect lighting out on the deck.
Solar Charger – All of these great products will be useless to you if you have no way to recharge them. Solar chargers come in all shapes, sizes and price points.On the hand-held side is this Solar Powered Charger for Phones, Pads and Electronics. Since it charges via 2 USB ports, any of your devices having a USB cable can access these ports for charging.
Then, take a look at the Aukey 21W Solar Charger. It is light weight and folds to the size of a book. With two USB charging ports, it features iSmart technology assuring the safe and appropriate delivery of power to your iSmart phones and devices. It is fast charging and is weather/water resistant.
As you can imagine, every day brings countless new products to the market. As we select products which appear to bring something new, we will bring them to you on The Survival Gene.