Alernative Light Sources when the Power is Out
What happens when the power goes out and you are left in the dark? Hopefully you have a tactical flashlight close by that will give you enough light to get your things together and get ready for a dark night. You also need to be aware of how much light you are emitting from your home. Too much light can draw attention from those that may not have any.
Here are 4 alternative light sources for a grid down event
Solar Garden Lights
Fairly common in many areas, these little guys are probably the simplest way to harness solar power for light. Although some are reasonably well protected from general weather wear and tear, you will still need a few extra lights lying around just in case one were to give out. Ideally you should purchase ones that charge a small battery (usually AA) that can be used in many different applications rather than a dedicated battery made just for the light. This allows the lights to double as convenient rechargeable battery stations so that you can use flashlights and other tools that require batteries for a long time after the grid goes down.
Any family with kids has probably had a pack or 30 of these colorful writing sticks without ever realizing their preparedness utility! Any color of crayon should work, and for preparation you simply cut tip off of your future candle until it is a little bit below the edges of the paper (this helps it burn better). Once you’ve cut the end away you simply light the paper just like you would a candle wick and enjoy the light until it burns all the way down to the bottom and falls over. Depending on the quality of the wax and paper for each crayon, you can get anywhere between 8-30 minutes of light before it burns out, so try it out for yourself a few times to see what your crayons will do. Just be careful that the kids don’t decide to try it by themselves! If you tie 3-4 crayons together and place a separate wick between them, you can get a bigger, longer lasting flame as well.
And thus do we see that bacon has even more uses than just tasting amazing. The grease that most people tend to collect in jars rather than pour it down the drain is much like wax once it has solidified. Just poke a wick into the greasy stuff and set it alight to enjoy a bacon-scented long lasting candle! You can also experiment with other forms of solidified grease and fat from other sources, though I can’t guarantee that they will smell as good as a bacon candle does.
Of course there are oil lamps that you can purchase and oil to go with them, but a “garbage oil” lamp can be just as nifty and rid you of otherwise useless leftovers. Sardine cans, oil from frying fish and other meat, as well as rancid vegetable, olive etc oil can all be burned in a makeshift oil lamp. Simply place the oil in a stable jar (larger for long burning times, smaller if you want shorter but more numerous light sources) create a floating wick holder such as a piece of aluminum foil with a hole in it and you’re ready to roll. Be aware that some oils (and in particular the rancid vegetable oil) can put off a bad smell on some occasions, which can be counteracted with some sweeter smelling oil in some cases.
Those are only a few options, what advice do you have for dealing with dark in a grid down event?