So the lights go out and you feel around to get the flashlight that you had stashed in its secure location on top of the refrigerator (stepping on somebody’s blocks and toy soldiers in the dark on the way) and to your horror you find that your handy flashlight isn’t there! Someone used it and didn’t put it back. So you stumble through your house to your bathroom and find the flashlight you keep there with dead batteries. Yep, this actually happened at my house once.
Fortunately, I believe in having a backup plan, and usually a backup to that backup plan, so what else can you use to get some light in your house while the power is out? Here are 9 great emergency light sources when you’re not using your trusty flashlight. And for the purpose of this post, I’m excluding everything that works like a flashlight (headlamp, keychain lights, crank/shake powered flashlights, etc.).
1. Any backlit electronic device you have handy. Your cell phone, laptop, tablet computer, mp3 player, even an indiglo wristwatch will give off enough light to get you to another light source. There are cell phones equipped with a flashlight, but just the glowing face gets you a good amount of light to go by.
2. Lighter. Your lighter isn’t going to put out enough light to eat dinner by, but it can get you enough light to find another source of light. This is the first of a few of our light sources that are an open flame. Of course use caution and don’t use the open flame lights if there’s a possibility your gas line is leaking, if you’re going to fall asleep, or around other flammable objects. You all know that, right? Okay, on with the list.
3. Candles. Keep a few somewhere you’ll be able to get to them fairly easily. Don’t bury your box of candles out in the shed under a bunch of other boxes. Keep some in the house ready to be lit for emergency light.
4. Fire. This works outside of course, but if you have a fireplace or wood/coal stove in your house, you can use it to get some light going. And a good fire will also give you heat which you may be needing with no power.
5. Light sticks. These are great for the kids for a morale boost. They put out a fair amount of light, but are a one time use product, so you’ll want a handful of them on hand if you’re planning on using them frequently or for much light.
6. Gas stove. The flame from a gas stove isn’t very “bright”–it burns mostly blue flame, and it’s not at all portable, but it is a source of light.
7. Oil lamps. You can use these with lamp oil, cooking oil, or kerosene. Oil lamps can be purchased at camping type stores or online, or if you’re crafty you can make your own.
8. Solar outdoor path lights.. The kind on a stick that light up your walk at night. These are awesome. They come in varying strengths, and they don’t require any fuel or batteries–just put them outside during the day and bring them in at night for some easy lighting. You probably already own some.
9. Camping lantern. These are the lanterns that use Coleman type fuel either in a pressurized tank or in the screw on bottles. They put out a lot of light. Make sure you have fuel and extra mantles if your lamp requires them. There are camping lanterns that are battery powered as well. These lanterns are great for lighting entire rooms.
There you go. No reason to go about living in the dark even if all your flashlight batteries are dead. Enjoy some light with one of these alternate emergency lighting sources.