The power is out and the lights are off. Being able to light your home using an alternate means makes everyone more comfortable and safe. You may already have some of these lighting products on hand. Others require advanced preparation. Having them on hand before you need them makes a stressful situation easier to deal with. Does this Spark an idea?
This category includes some of the oldest products know to man. Candles and oil lamps come to mind. These are cheap and easy to find at nearly every large retail store. Candles are easy to store and don’t require a lot of storage space. Oil lamps can be incorporated into home décor until they are needed for emergency lighting. Storing fuel for them is something of a problem because lamp oil and kerosene need to be kept in a cool place away from sparks and accidental spills. The open-flame lighting products present a high fire hazard and are not generally recommended for use unless they are the only available means of illumination.
Flashlights are familiar emergency lighting products found in many homes. Variations on these include headlamps that provide hands-free operation as well as battery-operated lanterns and table lamps. Keeping fresh batteries on hand is the key to ease of use in an emergency. Having a set of rechargeable batteries charged up and ready to go is a viable alternative.
Another option is hooking up a household lamp to a 12-volt battery. This entails using an inverter and battery cables to connect the lamp to the battery. By using compact fluorescent (CF) light bulbs in household lamps, you will be able to light a room in your home for several hours. Know do this and have the supplies on hand well before you need them.
The camping supply departments of many stores will sell glow sticks, or chem lights. These are small eight-inch tubes that release a chemical reaction that emits light when cracked. These do not have an on-off switch and don’t provide enough light for reading. However, they are useful for providing background lighting in a room, are portable and are safe. This is a good item to have on hand if there are small children in the home. They are also very affordable.
If the power goes out, those solar-powered garden lights on the patio can be brought indoors. While most don’t provide quite enough light for reading, they are good for background lighting. The type with a flat base is especially good because they can be placed on tables without rolling off a flat surface. Once again, your favorite camping store may have solar-powered lanterns. The key is keeping them charged when not in use. Many of the better solar lights will provide up to eight hours of illumination before they need recharging.
If you have a small generator, you may be able to power your room lights and some small household appliances. Make sure you understand hook it up safely before you need to use it. This is one emergency lighting strategy that takes lots of advanced preparation and knowledge.