power goes out

How To Be Ready With Light When The Power Goes Out

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I decided to write this post today because we all need to be ready when the light or power goes out. I read a comment from a reader that said his neighbor always borrows his flashlights and brings them back beat up or with chips of paint on them. I got the giggles, who would need to borrow a flashlight? Are you kidding, someone needs to borrow a flashlight. Okay, my friends, we need to check with our family, friends, and neighbors and make sure everyone has a flashlight or two. In my case, I have ten or more. I have several solar ones and a few that need batteries. If you missed my Emergency Bed Bag post here it is. You can easily make them from old pillowcases.

I have to explain why I got the giggles about borrowing flashlights, it has nothing to do with light or power outages. Mark and I used to have the cutest neighbor who almost every Sunday called to borrow some flour, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and chocolate chips. I always got the giggles and would say to her “What are you making, cookies? Let me just make them and bring them over.” I had the best neighbors, and I giggle about that story to this day.

So when a reader mentioned he had someone borrow a flashlight, I said, “Who borrows a flashlight?” So this is why I am writing this post today, to make sure everyone has some flashlights, lanterns, or some sort of light source if we lose power. And we will, it’s a given. Please remember the batteries, store lots of them.

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I remember a reader said she used those solar lanterns lining her sidewalk up to her front door for safety reasons. She said she had them for two reasons, one for safety and that they are perfect to bring in at night in case the power goes out. You can get those driveway lights just about anywhere and they are fairly inexpensive.

One thing to consider is if you want to wear a headlamp for several hours, I get a headache just thinking about that one. But, they are great and Mark and I learned how important they are when we took our C.E.R.T. Community Emergency Response Team classes. We had to walk into a gymnasium that was totally pitch black to do some training to help wounded people. We could not have done that class holding a flashlight and needing to use our hands to bandage and splint people’s arms.

Our kids and grandkids would love using a headlamp to play games when the power goes out. I can picture four of my cute grandkids lined up on the couch smiling with different colored headlamps. Gotta love it.

When The Power Goes Out:

Solar Ones

Larger Goal Zero

Pros: time 7-48 hours, built-in crank, built-in solar panel, USG charger, emergency red light

Cons: a little pricey but so worth the cost, remember no batteries required

Battery Ones

Gear Light LED


Pros: Fairly inexpensive

Cons: Need batteries stored or it won’t work

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Goal Zero Lantern

Pros: 360 light, USB hub, if you have the power you can recharge it on your computer, folds up and easy to transport

Cons:  It’s not really a con but you do need to purchase a Goal Zero Nomad solar panel accessory required to recharge it with solar.


LE Headlamp LED

Pros: fairly inexpensive and easy to use if you want your hands free to work on something

Cons: they must be on your head to see anything, and may give you a headache

Yard Lights

Solar Powered Yard Lights

Pros: fairly inexpensive, check out your local stores for clearance ones, free power from the sunshine

Cons: hard to use since they have to be held upright, but you could jerry-rig something to hold them

LUCI Lights:

Thanks to Deborah for this great tip. LUCI Lights

Pros: Totally solar, lantern, flashlight, and emergency light all in one light. You can turn them on and off.

Cons: Slightly pricey, but not really for what you get.

You can get flashlights and lanterns just about anywhere, please get more than one in case you run out of batteries or they just plain break and will not work. If the power goes out, you’ll be glad you have several options to have light in your home. I don’t know about you, but at night I would love to have some light source to light up the room. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected.

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  1. I follow your blog and you have given me much food for thought about being prepared for emergencies and I have started stockpiling little by little.  We are moving to our retirement home on the end of a dirt road…very nice and quiet, but the last place to be serviced when the power goes out.  LOL.  Thanks for your insights.

  2. Thanks for info! How do stored batteries stay charged?

    And I live in Michigan! It’s seldom sunny! Has anyone complained that solar does not work here? Or is ineffective? Or if bomb disaster, solar won’t work?

    Thanks for your ideas and answer!

    1. Hi, CKC, I have trouble keeping batteries charged where I live. We are lucky to get 6-9 months shelf-life out of them. You can crank most flashlights if they are made that way. I do not recommend Sun Ovens to areas where they have very little sunshine. They will not work. Here’s the deal, if things get really bad we may have to go to bed at 7:00 P.M. if we have zero batteries that work or zero sunshine to store power via solar panels. I could go into so many scenarios like if we had a grid down/EMP, the car batteries would not be able to charge our flashlights. Most solar flashlights have an adaptor to charge them just like we charge our phones, tablets, etc. in our cars. If things get so bad like Ted Koppel wrote about in “Lights Out”, we will have total chaos. May God bless this world. Linda

      1. There are many other other ways to have light such as candles, oil and gas lamps. a wick in  a dish of animal fat or vegetable oil will give light. If you want electric light and solar, wind and water power are not feasible a small human powered generator is an option.

          1. HI, Google “human powered generator” and there are many other human powered things as well. Youtube is another place you can find them.

  3. flashlights. I live in Orange Texas, where we received en excess of 30 inches of water from Harvey. I had 11 people and 8 dogs in my home for 2 days without power. The first thing i did was give each of my guests a flashlight . The were CREE Q5. they are about 3 inches by 3/4 in of machined aluminum. Led bulbs that put out about 300 lumens of light from one AA battery. I buy them from ebay for $3.00 and free shipping. if u buy 10 the total is $20.00 and free shipping. My wife, bless her heart, fed everyone using a two burner coleman stove. We still had city water but were prepared to use our old well if need be. We could have probably survived for a month without outside help but it wouldn’t have been pretty.

    1. Hi, Gene, you are my hero having that many flashlights and feeding people in your home. My readers will see this comment, I love it! We need the best batteries and as many as we can get cheap. I just saw them on Amazon, I added that link, 6 for $21.00, thanks for the great tip. I’m going to order some of those right now. I love hearing stories about people helping others and having water and food to share with others. Glad you and your wife are okay. Great comment, Linda

  4. We love our Luci lights here in FL. They are highly rated at Amazon and we love them too! The nice thing about them is you can turn them on or off, unlike a yard solar light. They cost around 20 bucks and keep going and going. I first heard of them when I was watching a youtube channel of people who live in their cars, vans or RVs on the road. Boondockers love them. My cousin had one in the car, and while he was driving the interstate, a person got behind him, right behind, and turned his brights on him. He pointed the Luci light toward the back window and put on the setting that flashes and the guy turned off his brights. I’m going to try that next time I’m in a similar situation. We have Luci lights charged and ready. Helped us through Hurricane Irma and the glow is long lasting and fantastic.

    1. Hi, Debbie, I need to go order some of those Luci lights, I think you told me about them. I’m on it. Wow, being on the interstate is getting crazier every day, so glad your cousin is okay. Great comment. I’m ordering some right now. Great reminder, Linda

  5. We just had Hurricane Irma. I have 8 of the solar yard/sidewalk lights that I stuck into a bucket during the day in the sun to recharge. At night they were spread throughout the house. A nightlight in the bathrooms and kitchen counter. Two in the great room, one in each bedroom. Previously bought the flashlights in your picture above at the Dollar Tree using them when more direct lighting was needed like reading a book and playing board games. Think I will be getting more headlamps!

    1. Hi, Erika, I hadn’t thought about bringing in the yard lights in a bucket, duh, that is an awesome idea! I love it. Today was a friendly reminder to check our flashlights, yard lights, lanterns or whatever. Good job, Erika! Linda

    2. Something I figured out while camping is that sometimes you need the light above the ground a number of feet (less intense light nearby, but the light extends further than if it was closer to the ground). Most of the yard lights come on a pointed stake to push into the ground. These stakes fit perfectly in a piece of pvc stuck in the ground. So push the pvc pipe into the ground and then stick the landscaping light into the piece of pvc. It’s more like a streetlight that way. Also, if your best solar charging area is filled with 2-3′ tall vegetation, then you could push in a pvc pole or 2 and then the solar panel on the landscaping lights would be above the vegetation and getting good sun.

  6. I bought several solar and crank combination lanterns, just in case. We have a flashlight in just about every room. I like the ones that are crank. We also live close to Amish country, so we have several oil lamps.

  7. Have needed a lantern for YEARS, but couldn’t decide which one.  Thanks to this article, my Luci light will be here Thursday!

  8. I didn’t see any mention of oil lamps, did I miss it?
    You can buy inexpensive oil lamps and oil at WalMart. You can also get antique, but perfecrly usable, oil lamps at antique shops for about $15.
    Just be sure you have plenty of wick.

    1. Hi Mr.Gray, I did write about oil lamps in my book, but I’m going to add all of these ideas to a post. This way my readers can print the articles. Thank you so much, Linda

  9. I bought several solar light strings! They give off enough light to light up a small room at night. should work well in a tent or line a path outside. Am looking for solar lanterns now.

  10. I have the solar path lights stored away and intend to have children do the job of taking them outside every morning to recharge. One thing I would like to caution people about is that you need at least 7 lumens of light in those path lights to halfway light up a room. Read the box carefully. The kind at the Dollar store have about 1.5 lumens, hardly enough to go to the bathroom by. The 7 lumens is the brightest I have seen at home improvement stores and Walmart, and they will cost $10 each. So go for the good ones. In each room of the house, I will have a nice vase of soil to stick them into. So much safer with children around, and they give a soft light for people who have to get up in the night with babies, to go to bathroom, or change security watch.

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