Solar Yard Lights

What to Use for Emergency Lighting

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Have you ever had the power go out while you were in the room of a large building that didn’t have any windows? If you haven’t, imagine for a moment what it would be like to try and navigate out of that building while experiencing complete and utter darkness, while at the same time not hurting yourself while running into anything. This has happened to me before and I won’t lie, it was rather eerie. You couldn’t see a hand if it was about to smack you in the face. I think bat caves have better lighting than what I experienced that day. Let’s talk about what to use for emergency lighting. In case you missed this post, How To Store Your Food Storage

Related Topic: Communication Options for Your Family During a Disaster

Emergency Lighting

What to Use for Emergency Lighting

The same thing could happen to you the next time you’re dealing with a natural disaster or a simple power outage in your home. Maybe you have your own business that needs emergency lighting so that your employees or customers are able to evacuate the building safely. This is why it’s important that you have emergency lighting already set aside for you so that you aren’t fumbling around in the dark. Here’s what to use for your emergency lighting so that you’re prepared after the power has gone out. 


One of the most obvious forms of emergency lighting that should be in everyone’s emergency kit is a flashlight, and don’t be afraid to have more than one. It wouldn’t hurt to have one for every room of your house, but some may consider that a bit overkill. Just remember to have plenty of extra batteries on hand. Goal Zero Solar Flashlights are my favorite. If you stock battery-powered Flashlights, don’t forget to stock batteries and rotate them as needed.


Lanterns are something nice to have, not only when you’re camping, but also when you’re needing more illumination than what a flashlight can provide you. No, I’m not suggesting you get the type of lantern that has a real flame, because a fire could take place in your home by accident, besides the smoke the unit puts out. This Wakeman outdoor 3-in-1 lantern would be a great option in your home because it comes not only with a lantern, but a flashlight, and a lighted panel as well. These collapsible camping lanterns are also super bright and seem indestructible.  

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Rechargeable Flood Lights 

Another valuable lighting tool to have would be a rechargeable floodlight, which is great not only for every outdoor activity that you can think of, but also when your vehicle is broken down on the side of the road and you’re needing to see under the hood or to change a tire at night. They’re waterproof and also come with a lower strobe brightness mode that you can use in your home, should you choose to. 

Portable Generator

When your power is out for a longer period of time, you may want to think about having a portable generator that can not only keep your lights on, but power important appliances like your refrigerator or microwave. 

It will give you peace of mind that you’re not losing hundreds of dollars worth of food, and you don’t have to continually rely on a small flashlight to be able to see.  

The two downsides I think of when it comes to a generator are, first of all, most homes don’t seem to have them set up prior to a power outage. That means there’s the possibility of being in the dark for a period of time until you have it up and running. The second issue is having to store the fuel to run the generator, and then making sure the fuel stays fresh enough to use when needed.   

Battery LED Lights

Battery LED Lights are another great idea that you can already have implemented the next time the power goes out. LED lights do an excellent job lighting up rooms while running on batteries instead of electricity. You can find them pretty cheap at Walmart and they’re very easy to install.  

Motion Detector Lights 

When you’re still looking for battery operated lighting, you may want to look at battery operated Motion Detector Lights. They won’t look ridiculous in your homes like the emergency lighting that you would find in grocery stores and public buildings. You know which ones I’m talking about. 

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There are even ones that you can buy which come on the moment that they sense motion in a room. Just remember to change out the batteries every so often so that they work when you need them most. 

LED Emergency Spotfire Lights

Maybe you’re looking for lighting that is of higher quality than a cheap one from Walmart, along with a battery that will last you for a much longer period of time? I’ve got the perfect answer. An LED Emergency Spotfire Light will work wonderfully. Don’t be confused with the Spotfire light beams that are put on vehicles. There are ones you can put in your home and would be great for businesses to have as well. On average, their battery life will get you about 50,000 hours of usage. 

Cellphone Lighting

If you don’t happen to have any of these emergency lighting options in place, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily stuck in the dark with all hope lost. These days all you have to reach for is your cell phone, and there’s a good chance it’s already attached to your hip like it is for everyone else. Most cell phones now come with a screen light built into them and come to life simply by shaking them. My iPhone has a nice flashlight that is pretty bright and is turned on by pushing the flashlight icon. I’ve found that they light up a room rather well, even better than some flashlights out there.

Your cell phone charger that plugs into an outlet will be useless when the power has gone out. Unless you have a cell phone power bank that you can plug your phone into to keep it charged, it’s only a matter of time before the flashlight on your phone goes out. 

Outdoor Solar Yard Lighting

A reader once suggested having Solar Yard Lights because they not only light your walkway in your front yard, you can bring them in the house if the power goes out. Then take them back outside to recharge when the sun comes out. It’s a win-win for everyone.

What to Use for Emergency Lighting  

Final Word

When an emergency situation strikes, it’s always best to be prepared with a backup, especially when it concerns your lighting. Several of these lighting options are what businesses use for their emergency lighting. Also, try not to resort to using candles like our parents did when the power went out. That just opens up more possibilities to your house catching on fire. May God Bless this world, Linda. 

Copyright Images:  Yard lights AdobeStock_247736215 by JangYeon     

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  1. We have flashlights. Battery operated candles, and real candles. Plus the oil lamps. I usually put a candle in our bathroom sinks. We don’t have any cats. I have quite a few jar candles that I’ve made. Some scented, some not. We also have jar candles that we’ve gotten as gifts. I’ve made candles out of the glass yogurt jars. Did I mention I like candles? I have tea lights and taper candles as well.

  2. If power goes down, here’s a really good idea, but it does involve a candle. On the plus side, it will last at least 72 hours. Take a large can of Crisco (has to be this brand) and a taper candle. Measure the candle along the side of the can plus about 1/2 to 1 inch higher than the can. Cut the candle to that measurement then push it down into the middle of the can. Now you have a light that will last a long time (depending on how long you burn it. Apparently, when Crisco was first invented, the people who made it knew it could be used for lighting because it has a little flame icon on the can. I learned this a long time ago and it works rather nicely. It does put out a little heat, so it can help you stay warm, a little, if power goes out during the winter. Again, caution should be made when using this and it must be placed in safe location if you have small children or pets that might knock it over. Pam

    1. Crisco candles work real well and burn a long, long time. However, once they burn down some, the flame is inside the can which keeps the light from spreading in the room. Another way to make these that overcomes that problem is to find the largest Mason jar that you can find and heat the Crisco enough so that you can gently pour it into the Mason jar until almost full. Then finish with the taper candle in the middle. What you have then is a very large jar candle that also burns a long, long time but gives light all around. And, to snuff it to be relighted later, just replace the Mason jar lid.

          1. Hi Linda, oh I love it. I love sharing and seeing ideas I haven’t thought of. Great group. Merry Christmas to everyone! Pam

  3. We have enough flashlights, lanterns, solar yard lighting (including extras in the shed not yet deployed), oil lamps, jar candles, battery candles, emergency liquid candles, etc, etc. as well as a 3K inverter generator to the point that I could probably provide lighting for one of the runways at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. So, I do not think we will ever be left in the dark. Oh, and I forgot that we also have several rechargeable LED spotlights that light up downrange items like a flamethrower. Can we say overkill on lighting? LOL!!! All that being said, I also have planned a more permanent 12volt lighting system using a large sealed AGM deep cycle battery with charger/maintainer and wiring it to several permanent 12volt lights in the house. That will be a project for this spring.

    1. Hi Harry, oh my gosh, I got the giggles when I heard you could light the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport! Now, we’re talking!! I love it! It feels so good when you know you are prepared for the worst and will survive it! Great tips and new ideas for me as well! Linda

      1. Yep, I sometimes come up with so many ideas that it boggles my own mind. LOL!!
        One thing about solar landscape lights–here in the Texas Hill Country it is almost impossible to use their pointed end to shove them into the ground. I take that end off, drive a two foot piece of steel rebar halfway into the ground and then set the solar light over that rebar. That makes it easy to pick it up and take wherever you need light. Also, it makes it easy to replace in case the light goes bad. We have an extended circular driveway and have 18 such solar lights along that driveway. That makes it easy for visitors to see where the driveway goes.

        1. Hi Harry, I was thinking I will need to do that with my hard desert red clay!! Oh, I can visualize how beautiful those 18 solar lights along your driveway must be! The lights make a yard or driveway so beautiful! Linda

  4. I’ve been practicing with my solar walkway lights. I just lift the solar top with the led bulb off the stick (usually a twist), then I rubber band it on a clear juice container filled with water. It projects more light. Last about three hours. I bought solar Christmas lights this year…love them. I am determined to get away from anything that could burn my house down… :). Merry Christmas Linda!

  5. We found flashlights that set in a plug-in stand on the wall. We plugged them in at the nearest outlet to the doors of each room. When all else fails & you are disoriented you just head for the light & the door is right there. They come on automatically when the power goes off. They have made life easier more times than I like but am always happy I bought them.

    1. Hi Josal, oh those lights are great when the power goes out! I have two of them. They give me a sense of security, knowing they will turn on when the power is off. Linda

  6. Chemlights
    The dollar tree even has them. Give one of the bracelets to the kid and you’ll never not know where they are.

  7. Great post, Linda.

    I suppose if we had a long term power outage, we would all rise with the sun and go to bed at sundown like they did in the old days!

    I have 2 Amerelle Emergency Lights For Home by Amertac, 2 Pack – Emergency Preparedness Power Failure Light and Flashlight, Automatically Lights When the Power Fails – Portable, Rechargeable – 71134CC from Amazon. What I like about these is that they plug into the wall outlet (I know, drawing juice all the time) but when the power goes out, the light comes on.

    I also have candles galore and candle holders that are safe and secure; oil lamp with lamp oil; head lamp flash lights; handheld flashlights; battery operated led lights; 100 hour emergency candles; tea lights for light as well as a tea light heater; Coleman camp lantern, etc. I love the idea of solar but where I live we only average 136 days of sunlight per year so solar is pretty iffy except in the summer. Oh – my emergency radio is also a flashlight – it can be charged by solar, windup as well as battery. I might have more that I am not thinking of right now! I made up Emergency Lighting kits and gave away to neighbors: they include 100 hour Emergency candles, matches/lighters, tea lights with a solid candle holder (base) and directions on how/when to use them. I used my empty pantry cans to house the kit and put a large label on the can.

    All in all, I feel pretty good about my lighting situation. Need to get more batteries, though!!

    1. Hi Leanne, you are rocking with preparedness! I love all your light ideas. I don’t think we can ever have too many types of lights. I do not like the dark, so I have so many options as well! Life is good! Linda

    2. I like your idea of following the sun!! I suspect that is the best idea yet. Lately I want to go to bed when the sun goes down, power or no power.

  8. I have multiple ways of lighting my home. I bought flip lights for every room and stocked up on rechargeable batteries. I have a solar battery charger also.We also have head lamps,solar lights and oil lamps. I have an emergency radio that has a light,powered several ways with solar,plug in,battery bank and wind up. I would also like to mention that with a recent mini power failure, I discovered I can’t use my oven on my gas stove as it’s regulated by electricity. I can use the burners on top of the stove as they can be lit by a match or lighter. But, that being said, I am so glad I bought a camp cook stove that has 2 burners and an oven that runs on propane.Thank you for another great post. God Bless and keep on prepping

    1. Hi Judy, I knew that about the gas ovens or at least mine is like yours I guess. I bought a Camp Chef combo, the best purchase for baking bread or cooking pancakes! We need several ways to cook, bake, or whatever. Life is good when we have options for cooking or baking! Linda

  9. Our new home came with a full house generator, and is open concept wIth fewer walls and several large windows for natural light. Harbour Freight often offered free flashlights, so we have about 20 of them. Add 18 large jar candles, 10 medium jar candles, and over 200 tealights. Glo in the dark sticks and glowballs add to our inventory . Personally I still like the ideal of following the sun.

  10. I have LED USB rechargeable headlamps and a car battery booster that can recharge them many times. Both bought for other purposes but handy nonetheless. At least with a headlamp you still have your hands free for other purposes. They also have a red bulb you can use to keep from wrecking your night sight. As well as that I have a candle lantern with back reflector and top shield and all sorts of candles for the lantern and just regular emergency candles. I have a Biolite lighting system with several individual lamps that can be daisy chained or used individually and are USB rechargeable. They can also be recharged using the little wood fired cooking stove that’s part of my emergency/camping gear. Pretty slow to do it that way but it’s at least an option. I try to keep on top of having things charged and ready to go and there’s a headlamp beside the bed at all times, also a booklight. My apartment faces north so solar recharging isn’t really an option, no direct sunlight on my balcony except during a few months in the summer.

    1. Hi Alice, I love the headlamp idea for sure. I think we all like to have more than one source of lighting just in case one doesn’t work or whatever. I like the battery charger booster idea. It feels so good to have more than one option that’s for sure. Merry Christmas! Linda

  11. Regarding flashlights, here’s a YouTube video displaying (by brand and part number) flashlights that require just one battery — one D, one AAA, etc. In an emergency you can get useful light from whatever batteries you can scrounge from the kid’s toys and the toothbrush and the carving knife. These are cheap lights, widely available from Walmart to Amazon to eBay. Of course you need to know what to look for. The listing begins at 2:18 meaning you can jump ahead and skip the la-de-dah at the opening of the video.

  12. Tough call on portable generators between large enough to power essentials but small enough to require a minimal amount of gas. I settled on a 2000w starting with 1800w running to power my refrigerator and possibly my nat gas stove electronics and/or a microwave. Much deliberation about starting and running wattage needed for frig. In actual use for a two day outage found it worked admirably for my frig along with taking care of two of my neighbor’s frig.

    I’ve stored gas stabilized with StaBil for a good two years using it up eventually for my lawn mower.

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