Use Oil Lamps For Emergency Lighting

During a power outage, nothing beats the utility of oil lamps.

During a power cut, nothing beats the utility and practicality of oil lamps. The “technology” involved is well over 100 years old but, if you find yourself sitting in the dark, a few oil lamps can brighten your surroundings until the power is restored. Oil lamps can be purchased at many local hardware stores, home improvement centers and gift shops. As with any emergency, preparation is the key to dealing with it. Does this Spark an idea?



1. Fill each of your lamps with lamp oil and check them on a regular basis. Lamp oil is slightly volatile and will evaporate over time. You do not want to be stumbling around in the dark trying to find your bottle of lamp oil after the lights have failed.

2. Remove the chimneys from your lamps and clean them with household window cleaner. Clean them on a regular basis; this is another task you don’t want to have to do if the power has gone out.

3. Place your lamps strategically around your living area. If the power suddenly fails, you’ll be able to light one without having to walk too far in the dark.

4. Maintain a small supply of kitchen matches near every lamp. If you have small children, keep the matches and the lamp well out of their reach.

Lighting the Lamps

5. Remove the lamp chimney and raise the wick slightly.

6. Strike a match and light the wick. When it burns brightly across the top, carefully replace the chimney atop the burner assembly and slightly lower the wick back down. It will take a few minutes for the lamp to begin glowing brightly.

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7. Swivel the reflective mirror behind a wall lamp to direct the lamplight into the center of the room. The advantage of a mirror-equipped wall fixture is that you can direct the light in a specific direction. The mirror captures and intensifies the illumination.

8. Move a table lamp to any location where you require more illumination. A table-top lamp emits light in all directions.

9. Monitor the oil level in the lamps. During a sustained power cut, it may be necessary to extinguish a lamp, allow it to cool sufficiently and refill it with lamp oil.