OK so it happened. The electricity is out and there you sit at 6:00PM in February in the dark. Or do you? Have you planned ahead? Do you have a light source? What are your options?
Here are a few things to think about.
1. Candles - Candles will provide enough light for you to get from room to room without tripping over the kid's toys. They are easy to find and I store a bunch of votive candles in a box in the kitchen. You can buy pillars, jars, votives, tealights or standard emergency candles. You can get them scented or unscented. I have a candle in just about every room because I like them.
2. Flashlights - Again, a flashlight will get you from room to room safely but it's hard to actually accomplish much when holding a flashlight. You can get your standard battery powered flashlight or a wind up flashlight. If you choose a battery powered flashlight, make sure you have plenty of extra batteries. If you use rechargeable batteries, make sure your battery charger has a solar option in case you need to use it long term. We have a wind up flashlight by Innovage that works really well.
3. Oil lamps - These are new to me. I just started collecting them a few months ago from Freecycle. There's a huge variety of types and styles. There are very basic clear glass lamps and fancy antique lamps and everything in between. Whichever type you'll use, make sure you have lamp oil and extra wick. Make sure you have at least one of them that's ready to use so that when the power goes out, you are not trying to find the oil & wick & figure out how to put it together. Right now I have a total of four oil lamps. I'd like to get a few that will mount on the wall in the livingroom at some point as well.
4. Emergency lighting - I love these. It's a prefilled portable ready to use indoor emergency candle that will burn for 100 hours. I paid about $10 for two of them. The flame is totally enclosed in the unit so it's safer if you have kids or pets. The one I have is by Lamplight Farms.
5. Wind up lanterns - I have two wind up lanterns that I got from LL Bean. They put out enough light to read by if you put the book next to the lantern. We have a small hook over the bed so that we can read in bed if we loose power. They each have a handle on top so they are portable if you need to move from room to room. They are easy to find as I have seen them in our local Walmart. Just look in the camping section.
6. Solar lights - along the same lines as a candle is a rechargeable sun jar. This is on my list of things to buy. It's solar rechargeable so after the initial investment, it's free. There's no flame so it's safer around kids and animals. You don't have to worry about having batteries, oil, wick, etc. or trying to find a source for them in case supplies are limited.
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I understand that you can also make your own oil lamp although I haven't tried it yet. You can go here for directions: