Illumination during a power outage
We were enjoying the wood stove and the warm glow of the Aladdin lamps last night, rather absorbed in talking about the lamps, when I suddenly realized I had no idea of the state of our preps for dispelling the darkness in an extended power outage. I’m a kindergarten prepper compared to others on this list. My goal is to prepare for three months of independence. So I’ve been trying to take stock all day of emergency light sources and things can be improved.
I learned that the Aladdin lamps are good for roughly 10 hours of lighting (probably on low) on a 1 quart fill of kerosene. (I love these fussy little prima donnas!) It seems that my approximately five gallons of kerosene (all designated lamp fuel) would net about 50 days of light, burning four hours a day. Seems we need another five gallons to slightly exceed three months. (My primary concern is earthquakes.)
Battery powered lanterns: We have assorted Coleman battery powered lanterns. Each takes eight D-cells. D-cells are over $2 each now. I looked at the Amazon page for our newest LED lantern and was hurtfully misled by the main advertisement for run time. Scrolling through the specs revealed the actual run time to be about 1/3 what they were claiming in the ad. I think it actually worked out to about $1 for every hour the lantern is used, compared to the Aladdin’s roughly $0.28/hour.
But, once you light an Aladdin, you don’t want to move it. The lantern is good for going out to the barn. D-cells are also necessary for flashlights. I carry a heavy Maglite to the barn every morning and night, partly for illumination, partly because I’m skeered of mountain lions! LOL! Just in case I need to clock a mountain lion in the head (as if I’d get a chance!)
Solar: I read and very much appreciate the recent review of several solar light sources. Here in the maritime Pacific Northwest, it is estimated we get about 26% of available sunlight during the winter. Hubby is extremely resistant to anything solar. We just don’t get any sun.
Generator: As long as the gas and/or propane last, it is possible to run some 120V lights in the house. That would be kerosene-sparing, since a generator HAS to be run to access the deep well pump, and run the septic pump and freezers. The generator was actually the cheapest “lighting” source, but gasoline storage is a problem.
Since I’m the chief cook and bottle washer, I tend to focus on food supplies and redundant cooking resources. Warmth is stored in piles of cordwood. “Power” is stored to the extent possible in gas cans and propane tanks. But plain old LIGHT. Seems I’ve taken it a little less seriously than I should.