Why This is Important

If the power goes out for any extended time, emergency lighting will become very important for safety and comfort.

Indoor or Outdoor

Our recommendations in prioritized order as follows:
Crank Lights
1. Crank or wind-up lights. The LED ones provide the longest time between wind-ups. These are a good foundation for your lighting backup. Since no batteries are needed, these should last through multiple pandemic waves.Solar Lights

2. Solar lights. Battery-powered but convenient since the sun recharges the battery.

3. Lights/lanterns that use batteries. These come in a variety of shapes, from the traditional flashlight to battery-powered camp lanterns. Get replacement LED bulbs to lengthen the lifetime of batteries.

WARNING for using the following Alternate Lighting Ideas:

The following alternate lighting sources involve open flame and are less desirable and much less safe, especially in a household with pets or children.
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(1) If used indoors, provide ventilation with a window or door open 1 inch, with the lamp/lantern placed close to this opening.

(2) Place all open-flame emergency lamps/lanterns on a fireproof surface. Have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Oil Lamps
4. Oil lamps/lanterns that use wicks. These are proven technology. Wicks are more durable than mantle-type lights. Two issues are smell and amount of light. LED lights are safer.
  • A high grade kerosene or lamp oil will minimize the smell.

  • The “cold blast” type (some Dietz lanterns, for example) provides brighter light than does the “hot blast” or “dead flame” lanterns. See for more information.

5. Candles. Last choice, since they are a fire hazard. Improve lighting by placing in front of a mirror or a piece of tin foil. Improve safety by putting the candle down in a mason jar or similar container, so the flame is sheltered.

White Gas Lanterns

Outdoor only

Lamps/lanterns that use propane or Coleman fuel/white gas.

Essential Supplies

Safety Matches
Keep all matches, lighters and fuels away from children, and away from heat sources or other high risk areas

Use safety matches (NOT “strike anywhere” matches, as these may start on fire just from accidental dropping)
  1. Batteries - lots of them. Consider a solar charger and rechargeable batteries<Disposable Lighters
  2. Safety matches
  3. Disposable lighters
  4. Fuel - check with your fire department for safe storage