What light source do you use when storms knock out the electricity?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yeah I've lived in hurricane land for decades and decades but this year I'm seeking improved illumination.
    We have candles. We have a Coleman lantern. I have a couple of little battery operated lanterns. But I think I'm missing out on modern lighting methods. What do you use?

    We have two neighbors, by the way I am envious, who have large propane tanks that immediately convert the power when the electric goes out. Geez, it makes me feel like a cavewoman, lol. I'm ready to move into 2011 and not have a dreary interior. DDD
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    I'm lucky. I live on the same power grid as the hospital, so my power is always restored quickly (assuming it didn't go out because of a very local line coming down) What I use are candles and flashlights. What a WANT is one of those solar tube skylights - I have very little natural light anyway.

    The BIG stuff I really want are a photovoltaic system with a generator backup. Maybe someday. :sigh:
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    We have one of those big boxy flashlights you can get at Wal-Mart for less than $10. It's put up with a lot of abuse over the last few years and I've only had to replace the battery once. I used to have some cool battery operated lamps but they vanished years ago.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I use candles. Don't have a lantern and flashlights never survive long here.

    Fortunately, in the 3 1/2 years I've lived in this house we've only lost power once, and that was scheduled for maintenance. I'm impressed by it. We had underground electric at my last house and we lost power anytime the wind blew. Hurricane Ike came through here - and it was still classified as a Hurricane - and we didn't lose power, but most of the rest of the city did. We are almost across the street from a hospital. I wonder if that's why.
  5. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I don't know of any different methods not mentioned already, short of having a emergency small generator that can run a few lamps or something. I know many here have one. I have the typical list of things. Flashlights, battery powered lantern, oil lamp, candles. I find the little battery operated lamp I have works best. I am planning to pick up a few, one for each bedroom, for bathroom etc. The one I have is super light, the battery lasts ages, it doesn't take much room to store and it illuminates a large area. I would love fancy gadgets if they exist, but I can't see investing without having expendable cash, on a pricey source of light that is only needed for short outages. Curious if there are nifty options out there too. I'll be popping in to follow this thread. I hate power outages. I need light, I've never outgrown the problem with the dark thing.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It may be heather but normally if a hospital loses power they go to a generator back up anyway.

    We lose power fairly often but not for long periods of time unless it is with a hurricane. Sadly we dont have a generator but really should get one. DDD, you should get one. We use candles, flashlights that need batteries and even flashlights that you crank.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    A battery operated camping lantern. If it happened real often for long periods of time I would look into a generator- just make sure you are familiar with how to operate them safely- they can be dangerous.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    If it's just a short time, we use flashlights and lots of tealight candles! If it looks like it's going to last more than a couple of hours, we have a generator. In the winter months, we usually hook up the generator after an hour, mainly to keep pipes from freezing and heat, but we also have a wood burning stove in the basement for heat. Plus, I can heat up water if I put a pot on top of the stove for washing up. I kind of like when we lose power once in a while.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  9. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    DDD-lights here going out are pretty rare - and when it happens, my house is never out - I must be on a different grid than everyone else.

    But I do have quite a stockpile of candles since SO has that storage cleaning business, and I could probably provide everyone in the neighborhood with a dozen or so each.

    One of these days I am going to get some oil lamps to put aside "just in case" - they and the oil are fairly cheap - in addition to the candles. Most of us here have Earthquake Kits with candles, matches, first aid kits, radio, batteries - remains to be seen if I remember to grab it in the event of a quake-have it in the shed on the patio - accessable but not if the house falls on the shed

  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    We're on the same grid as the old hospital and several senior citizen's complexes, so we don't get the rolling blackouts (remember those?) but when the power does go out, Hubby has several thousand flashlights around. All shapes and sizes. Different colors of lights, too.
  11. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    We rarely lose power for more than an hour or so. I have flashlights in family room, hall closet, and our room. Don't use candles anymore, but did when we lived in WA (where we lost power a lot).

    After a huge storm in '07, we lost power for over 48 hours. The lights (or lack thereof) weren't a big deal. The 3 feet of water in the basement because our sump pump had no power *were* (brand new furnace and water heater - pfft, gone - it was a mess). Plus, Boo's feeding pump is electric - has a battery but it's only good for about a night. When we did an addition to the house the next year, we did have wiring put in for a generator. Now we can plug the generator into a special outlet in the garage, flip some switches in the basement, and the sump pump, fridge, furnace, and Boo's room have juice.

    husband thinks the generator was about $300. I have no idea what the electrician's cost was since it was included in the cost of the addition, but... in my book, well worth it, especially if you live in an area where you lose power frequently. We've had to use it 2 or 3 times since, and I can do it all by myself, so it's pretty idiot-proof. ;)
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    We have HUGE Coleman lanterns. I also have a couple of oil lanterns. I have a few of those huge candles. Some large flashlights. We don't really sit in the dark when the power goes out. I have large rooms......big is necessary, and I have a lot of rooms.......so more than a couple is also needed.

    husband wants a generator. He's been dreaming of one for years. He can keep dreaming between the price of the things AND the price of gas.

    My stove is gas. Cooking isn't an issue. I have a battery operated coffee pot. I'm good. lol
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Depends -

    I have candles - but I have a cat and she's nosey. So if we think the power is going to be out for a length of time? We have a generator. One of the best investments we ever made. We make sure to keep gasoline (20 gallons) in the shop at all times just for it and the tractor. If the lights go out (and they do often) we back feed it to the power and have lights, TV, and air. Confuses the heck out of the neighbors because our generator is a Honda and very quiet so when everyone else looses power, and we have power - they all wanted to know "Well ju's how in tarnation ya'll got power and we tha only ones?" (lord have mercy if armagedon ever happens I'm glad we have ammo.)
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Flashlights and candles.
    Candles get extinguished when we go to bed.
    One Coleman light that is in the garage, gathering dust ...
    The neighbors have generators and they are so loud and intrusive and expensive, it just doesn't seem worth it.
    Yup, tornado season is passing, hurricane season coming up!:groan:
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    When H had the basement and electrical box rewired for the addition upstairs, he had his electrician friend install a special hookup for the generator. It's so easy, I could do it...if I could drag the 8,000 pound generator close enough to the house (it's in the shed out back). Anyway, yes, they are expensive, and yes, they are loud, and yes, they can be somewhat annoying when you're trying to sleep...but having one will save your groceries, keep your pipes from freezing in the winter and the fans going in the summer. When H first said he wanted one, I asked him why. After the first time using it, I'm sorry I gave him such a hard time about it. We don't lose power often, and when we do it's hardly for more than a couple of hours, but we have had times when the power was out for a few days to over a week! And our water doesn't run when we lose power so that means, no showers, no flushing, nothing.

    I remember one time we lost power in the winter months for 5 days when the girls were little - no generator - and thank God there was snow on the ground. I hauled in 5 gallon buckets and let it melt for flush toilets (twice a day only) and for heating up on top of the wood burning stove for washing - like a pioneer! And for some reason, this way of living was like an aphrodisiac for H (I don't know why, my legs were so hairy after a couple of days without a shower - I think he just likes to see me working harder, lol). Anyway, it was fun the first day, after that it was hell.

    I am sooooo glad we invested in a generator!
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    In 2008 when Ike came through we lost power for 3 days. If was ONE WEEK after husband had bought the small gennie. So we had power for the fridge and freezer, and small amounts of lights, but not for the water heater or cooking. We grilled all week.

    But for shorter outages? Maglite and candles. Our Coleman lantern vanished...
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, I have to admit, that stuffy, mildewy smell when the AC has been off for a few days is worth a generator ...
    We can use the outdoor grill for meat, and we don't freeze more than a wk's worth at a time.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have learned a couple of things from you guys so far. I didn"t know that there were quiet generators. I didn"t know that it could be rigged up to an inside switch. I still don't know what a "gennie" is, lol. We have lost power twice in the past three weeks. Ace (anxiety filled Boxer) had alot of problems with the darkness of the house....and after an hour of nighttime darkness I get "antsy". During '04 when we had three back to back hurricanes we went on average for five days with-o power. I don't mind cooking on the grill but no A.C. and no fans and no illumination were stressful. Oh yeah, I didn't know there were battery operated coffee pots. That would be huge for husband. We do have one neighbor who works at Home Depot and he has one generator that provides power for their kitchen and one adjacent room. Even that would make life nicer.DDD
  19. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    husband uses the battery packs from his Craftsman tools for Craftsman flashlights. They only last maybe three or four hours. If power goes out for a long time, we have a generator and a Genswitch on the electric panel that he installed a few years ago, after we lost power in an ice storm for three days. The Genswitch powers up a minimal amount in the house like a the heater or air conditioner, a few lights, a few outlets, the fridge/freezer and the water pump (when needed).
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    DDD - I didn't know, until Ike, that you plug a gennie (generator) into the wall and it backfeeds. You just have to do some other stuff like turning off the main breaker. I don't handle that. If husband is out of town? I'm going to my parents'!!!