Author Topic: Lighting during an emergency  (Read 15135 times)

Offline Roknrandy

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Lighting during an emergency
« on: September 27, 2008, 11:44:56 AM »
OK I admit I'm a flashlight junkie!!  ;D All my lights are LED of one type or another. Most of mine are toward the long run time end vs brightness. I do keep plenty of batteries on hand for a long power outage (probably several months instead of weeks) and I have multiple ways of recharging. as many of you know, when the powers out you don't need a light for around the house that can be seen five miles down the road. I have several that will run 400 hours on 1 battery (9volt lights) so with three or four lights and several batteries I could probably run for a year without a charge. I do have a couple that can light up something 200 yards away but they will generally eat a set of batteries in an hour. I even stock up on spare parts and o-ring/thread lube to keep everything up and running. Heres the bulk of my stuff.







*I have several lights, chargers and head sets that are packed in the cars and my bucket kits
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 03:11:08 PM by Roknrandy »

dreadstalker

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2008, 12:06:13 PM »
Along with your flashlights you might want to consider some long term alterantive lighting for the house.

Kerosene lights aren't expensive and make great backup.

The solar powered yard spot lights give off plenty of light and the solar powered walkway lights can certinly help light up a room.

Candles are easy to make and right now they are also pretty cheap to buy and easy to store.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2008, 12:42:17 PM »
Along with your flashlights you might want to consider some long term alterantive lighting for the house.

Kerosene lights aren't expensive and make great backup.

The solar powered yard spot lights give off plenty of light and the solar powered walkway lights can certinly help light up a room.

Candles are easy to make and right now they are also pretty cheap to buy and easy to store.
I've got all the above and propane lamps also. I even have several compact (14 watt=60 regular) fluorescents that I use with my deep cycle battery/inverter unit to light up several rooms (dimly). Most of the time at night when you need to walk around or look for something a very dim light is more then enough to do the job.

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2008, 01:22:58 PM »
Hi...my name is Tactical Badger...and I'm a flashlight addict.

My emergency lighting is mostly candle lanterns and kerosene lanterns.  I do have a couple LED lanterns, but I prefer the kerosene or candle lanterns. 

I found "emergency candles" at my local dollar store 10 for $1.  The last at least five hours each.  Not bad for $.10 each.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2008, 01:33:52 PM »
5 hour candles for a dime each is a great deal. Grab a couple dollars worth and stash them, I figure my candles will be for trade since I have plenty of batteries (I hope) and can recharge.

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2008, 03:17:34 PM »
Suffice to say...I have a metric crapload of them. ;)

Offline Stein

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2008, 09:24:08 PM »
I am working on a mobile room light which will have a Walmart tool box on wheels as the base.  Inside the toolbox is the deep cycle and inverter.  On the outside are 120V and 12V receptacles.  The toolbox has retractable handles like luggage.  For room lighting, I am making a box bolted to a spring clamp so you can attach the CFL light wherever convenient.

Obviously, you can also use the inverter to charge cell phones, battery chargers or run many 12 V or 120 V devices.  Long term, I would like to put some type of easy way to charge the deep cycle from the vehicles without having to pop the hood.  The goal is to have something my wife can easily deploy if I happen to be out of town.  Haiving it all contained and on wheels makes it very easy to use, but stores compactly in the closet.

If I am in town, I will likely be wiring up the neighborhood up until power comes back on. 

Pictures to follow someday if I am not overly lazy.

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2008, 12:37:40 PM »
We have solar powered lights outside in the backyard. We've also got oil lanterns that we have used during blackouts. We have a large supply of dripless candles, a couple flashlights & a hand crank fluorescent lantern that my wife gave me for a birthday present.

Offline javaguy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2008, 09:27:38 PM »
This happens to be a very pertinent topic for us, we had a recent line of thunderstorms move through the area, and it was around 10:00 PM when the power was lost.  It was off for approximately 4 hours.  not a big deal of course - the kids were in bed and I really didn't want to work any longer on my laptop anyway, nevertheless it prompted me to check our supply of lamp oil, and take a light stick inventory.  I quickly realized that my small supply of light sticks had aged, and were probably unreliable.  I am not sure of the shelf life but I have had them fail when they became over 2 to 3 years old. Might have been bad luck.

I went shopping for light sticks on the Internet and was able to buy a small supply of 50 to have on hand - 4" green - handy, safe, available light in an emergency.  They were like $.60 each after shipping.

Roknrandy - you are seriously set up with flashlights!  Do you have a recommendation for an LED flashlight that is rugged, relatively compact, and can accept AA batteries?  I would like to get a few of them to have on hand.

I have also been thinking that a solar panel capable of recharging AA batteries would be a good long-term solution for keeping those flashlights charged. Any thoughts on that appreciated as well
thanks!

Offline creuzerm

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 11:43:12 PM »
Well, I don't have that many flashlights. Not near that many. You can only hold a couple at a time... LOL

Flashlights, I have an older AA minimag, and a new AA LED minimaglight.
I just picked up today a cheap POS (Point of Sale + Perice of Shit) 10 LED white light, 5 LED IR, and Laser Pointer Flashlight. Metal housing. On sale at ACE for 1/3 of the $10. Total spur of the moment. The IR was pretty cool walking around seeing how well the cats are litter trained. I found a few corners the cats and I will need to discuss...

I have a few of those hand crank flashlights. I have also given one to each of my family for thair cars. I watch for when these are on clearance at the local stores. They make great generic gifts for all ages.

I have a couple of those big 'offroad vehicle brand' all in one radio/light/flasher/florescent lites left. I picked up 4 of them after Christmas last year when they went down to $7.50. No, really, that's like 1/10 the price. I watched the price drop every week for almost 2 months. Then I went and grabbed 4 of them. Somebody was standing there while I did that and said something. I mentioned how useful they are, and what a great price, and what a great gift they would make. Well, they grabbed 2. Somebody else saw this, and they grabbed a couple. I singlehandly caused that entire endcap to be cleaned out in 2 minutes of a product that sat there for 2 months without selling 5 items. Rather funny! I have given 2 of them away to people who showed interest in preparing - kinda a welcome to the club present.

I have 2 solar powered lanterns. I love these. They take 3 standard AA batteries. Currently they have 1200mah in them, this is easily fixable. They also come with a wall block and 12v car adapter in the screw off base. Again, I picked these up on clearance, $5 off the $22 price. These are pretty cool. Just leave them in a window and they keep charged, even without Low Self Discharge batteries. A friend bought one on my recommendation, and was quite disappointed in the brightness. I find that they are bright enough to read by if you hold the book close. I think he was wanting to light up a campsite like you would with a propane 2 mantel lantern. A matter of expectations I suppose.

I have 2 decorative oil lanterns and a hurricane lantern. The decoratives I got on sale at chinamart. I actually paid full price for the  hurricane lantern - probably the only light on this list I bought at full price. I have 2 gallons of oil at this point.When I am in need to buy something this week on my $20 prep items allowance, and nothing's on sale, I get oil and those small propane cylinders.1 of each, and $10 rolls over to next week.

I have a magnet mount 'headlight' on a long cord for in the truck. This has been used twice, and it paid for itself, easily. It's so nice to change a tire with a light bright enough to reflect off the pavement and light up the area.

I have a rechargeable flashlight + air compressor + 12v power source for a cell phone charge for the truck. This needs new battieries, as I have worn them out. It may be cheaper to just get a new unit though. This is a very handy tool to have, I seem to be always filling other people's tires.

I have a few dozen 'decorative' candles laying about, and picked up a package of 48 tea lights on sale at IKEA for like a  buck a couple of months back.

I have a propane lantern, This thing gives off TONS of light.

Everywhere I have lights that require flame, you will find a lighter laying around. Have you ever tried using a flint and steel to light a oil lamp? It takes a bit of doing, and the sparks leave marks on the metal finish. Once you get it figured out, it's not bad. Run up the wick, hold the knife steady, pull the flint part away sharply. I have done this twice now, once in the complete dark. Just to see if I could. I don't ever expect to need to be able to do it, but, hey, it's a challenge. You gotta own the little challenges, right?

Batteries, I got batteries everywhere. I am starting to get the new LSD Low Self Discharge or 'precharged' rechargeable. A flashlight does no good if the batteries are out on it. I also have some bulk packs of alkalines. If somebody asks for a flashlight, I 'freshen up' the batteries for them and drop my spendy rechargables for some fresh alkalines for them. The batteries are more dear to me then the light. I tend not to lend stuff out if I can't afford to not get it back
I have a couple of battery chargers. On of them has both a wall block and a 12 volt car adapter. I also have a small 12 volt power inverter I keep in the truck.

I carry a cheap pen sized AA flashlight and a lighter with me all the time. The flashlight has a bit of clear duct tape rapped around it's silver plastic body. This makes identifying it by touch easy and I know wihch end is the business end. When the power goes out in these windowless office buildings, you get a strange look when you 'usher' people to safety - outside, when the power goes out midday. The clear duct tape doesn't look like duct tape, it looks like a soft grip handle on it. A few feet of duct tape is handy to have with at all times too. The lighter I carry is a cheap refillable disposable that you slide to light. Really kinda cool, You can use it with gloves on, a very handy feature in cold areas. It can be refilled. It costs a buck at most places I have seen lighters. You loose it, oh well, but you don't have to toss it when it's empty. A very good feature in this day of disposable consumerism.

I don't have a generator. I live in an apartment complex, and the gas storage, noise, and simply trying to maintain possession of a generator would be more trouble then it's worth.
I don't have lightsticks, as they tend to stink of consumerism to me, being single use disposable and all. Not very bright either. I suppose if I could find them on clearance cheap enough somewhere... Little kids love em, and you don't have to worry about the kids running the batteries out needlessly.
No road flares, signal flares, or such. These may be useful though. When I see them on sale...

One important thing to point out is improvised light. The knowledge of how to make your own oil lamps out of vegitable oil and a shallow pan. How to build a wood fire. How to make one bright without being huge - anybody know how to do this, I haven't figured this one out yet... How to make a torch out of materials at hand.

Another thing to think about is light discipline. The only light on for miles might be an invitation to trouble. Or at least a curious knock on the door from a neighbor craving somebody to talk to. My grandma was 16 when Pearl Harbor got bombed. To this day, she still has blackout curtains for all her windows stored away. Just something to think about... I never had any trouble after hurricanes, but I tried not to run regular lights when i had the genny running at the place I was staying. Just fridge the fridge and freezer for a couple of hours in the morning and evening.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2008, 07:06:56 AM »
javaguy believe it or not, of all the lights you see I only keep batteries in two of them. One of the square 9v lights and a CR123 light. All the others are kept in the box unloaded so I don't have to worry about batteries popping in them (I've already had two good lights ruined because of battery leaks). I keep the 9v light with me at all times when it starts getting dark so I can see when I walk around the house at night when everyone else is in bed. 95% of all tasks at night can be done with very little light, I have a couple of retina burners for the "bump in the night" uses. Most all my lights are for long/low light usage. I have single AAA lights that run almost 20 hours off 1 battery and several 9v lights that will run 400 hours of one battery.

The yellow EverReady light has had the bulb replaced with a niteize bulb that is very dim but the run time test I've done with duracell batteries shows I get 52 hours of two AA's. It's very dim but in total darkness it's very easy to walk around. The same bulb (I probably have 5 in my box) will run a two D mag type light for 150 hours. I have no life so I play with flashlights and do my own runtime test  :-[ As for the solar charger, all my chargers I looked at first to make sure I could plug them into 12v and 120v so I can use my battery/solar cell setup and charge everything. Like I said before, I've got nothing better to do then sit around and think of stuff like this.

As to a single AA light (I do prefer single cell lights over mult-cells) you need to get a price range and then find a light in that range. I can give you a couple suggestions that range from 19.91 to 129.95  :-\  Light sticks are ok to mark a door or a staircase but I don't really like them. I've used some that expired 10 years ago and they still work, they just aren't as bright or run as long.

Something creuzerm hit on is light discipline, thats why most of mine are very low and long runtime. You dont need a 10 million candle power light to walk around the house with  :o I kow they are cool but they have short run times (mabey an hour or so) and they will light up the entire neighborhood. I never use a flame type light in the summer....too damn hot already no need for more heat.

Offline javaguy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 10:11:32 PM »
On a canoe trip with my brother, he had brought along a couple of these UK Lights.  4AA, VERY bright, waterproof, tough, etc.  When I got back I picked up a couple and they've worked out well.  Make great gifts.  Yellow makes them easy to find.  Only drawback is that in very cold weather the switch was a little hard to work.  LED seems like it would be the way to go for survival-prep.

http://www.brightguy.com/products/UK_4AA_Xenon_Flashlight_w_Switch_(AS2).php

An LED version
http://www.brightguy.com/products/Mini_Q40_eLED_Plus.php

I know what you mean about needing a light at night after everyone else has gone to bed.. The UK lights are way too bright - sometimes after loading my Ipod with Jack's latest I can use it to light my way back upstairs :-)

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2008, 06:58:29 AM »
I partial to Fenix lights. If you check out this https://www.fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath=22_52 page its the specials they have. If you order a single AA (L1D) or the double AA (L2D) you get a AAA free. I have several of their lights and the adjustable level is great. Now if you want to step up a little then go here https://www.fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath=22_65 and get the better light but no freebie. Order from fenix store and get a lifetime replacement https://www.fenix-store.com/information.php?info_id=5. I've had several key chain AAA's for a few years now and only had one stop running. Drop them an email, got a reply, sent it back and got it replaced in a week. The guys there are great to deal with.

Offline ClarkB

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2008, 01:06:27 PM »
I found a terrific flashlight buy at Sam's Club.  3 watt super-bright 150 lumen LED flashlight, with a gasketed aluminum body.  It is about 6" long, and comes 2 to a pack for $28, so $14 each and they include batteries.  They run for 20 hours on 3 AAA batteries.  In case you don't know, 150 luimens is considered a tactical light, used to blind an opponent.  It is THAT bright - it has no problem reaching past the end of a football field.  I bought 8 lights (4 twin packs) and have been very pleased.

I have many rechargeable AAA batteries, and a couple of high-speed eveready chargers which can recharge 4 batteries in 15 minutes, from 115 volt AC or 12 volt DC.  This provides a regular supply of continuous bright light for strong illumination, or to flash at an adversary in the dark, thereby blinding them.  I have a number of other lower wattage LED lights, and some of those lights you shake to get a few minutes of illumination; but those lights at Sam's are a bargain since 150 lumen lights typically start at around $70 and go up to twice that.  I highly recommend them.     

Offline Beetle

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2008, 01:45:59 PM »
I love Coleman lanterns that run on "white gas". I have eight of them plus mantles and fuel and they throw down some light. They run for days on a tank of fuel I find them all the time for cheap at yard sales, I think because people don't know how to use and maintain them plus everyone seems to be into propane. I use them in the barn or when I'm in the woods late. I also have stoves and heaters. Coleman rocks

Offline javaguy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2008, 02:34:40 PM »
I love Coleman lanterns that run on "white gas". I have eight of them plus mantles and fuel and they throw down some light. They run for days on a tank of fuel I find them all the time for cheap at yard sales, I think because people don't know how to use and maintain them plus everyone seems to be into propane. I use them in the barn or when I'm in the woods late. I also have stoves and heaters. Coleman rocks

Man I love those Coleman lanterns as well - they seriously put light on the subject and last for a looong time.  I wonder if they make a variant that runs on other fuels as well.  I have a couple propane lanterns  - good stuff.
Thanks all for those recommendations for lights .  Fenix and Sams Club - I am going to check those out.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2008, 03:02:57 PM »
They have dual fuel that run on gasoline, but I get the Coleman fuel for free.

ottowolf

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2008, 05:29:07 PM »
I have to agree with creucern haveing the only lighted house on the block dose atrack attentionion. during a recent power outage , ii,d powered an outside light with my truck and inverter. the wife heard noises outside. the kids from down the street came to see why I had light and they didn,t .

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2008, 03:15:27 PM »
I have to agree with creucern haveing the only lighted house on the block dose atrack attentionion. during a recent power outage , ii,d powered an outside light with my truck and inverter. the wife heard noises outside. the kids from down the street came to see why I had light and they didn,t .

This is why I mentioned light discipline earlier in the thread, Your taught that in the military and after reading lots of info about Katrina and other disasters I definitely stick to it.


freedomrik

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2008, 05:21:34 PM »
Dont forget the simple light stick......


Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2008, 08:14:08 PM »
I partial to Fenix lights.

I always heard they were awesome. But the one I bought was a lemon.


They have dual fuel that run on gasoline, but I get the Coleman fuel for free.

If it is a local deal please PM me (Private mail message). If it is a work thing then never mind :-S

I have to agree with creucern haveing the only lighted house on the block dose atrack attentionion. during a recent power outage , ii,d powered an outside light with my truck and inverter. the wife heard noises outside. the kids from down the street came to see why I had light and they didn,t .

This is why I mentioned light discipline earlier in the thread, Your taught that in the military and after reading lots of info about Katrina and other disasters I definitely stick to it.

Hooah bro.
Guys a red filter is a useful thing to have for your light of choice (Surefire, Maglight or Fenix)
The light does not travel very far. Try shining one on your lawn, then take a walk and try to find that illuminated lawn!

Offline sardog

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2008, 08:19:35 PM »
I fell into a once in a lifetime deal about two years ago. I was friends with a man that bought pallets of damaged and returned goods from high end outdoors retailers. He sold the serviceable goods on ebay.
A short time later he found out his partner was cashing the people's checks and not sending the merchandise. His partner was charged with fraud and the remaining pallets were auctioned off. Very few people showed for the auction. Everyone else went for the ski equipment and other toys, I purchased a whole pallet of Coleman lanterns and stoves for $1.00 !  After getting the pallet home, I assembled 13 white gas lanterns, 10 duel fuel lanterns, several propane lanterns and and about a dozen other various types of stoves and lanterns. Plus a ton of spare parts and a lifetime supply of mantels.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2008, 10:07:14 PM »
Damn, you lucky bastard!!! jackpot
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 11:01:15 PM by Bailey »

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2008, 06:10:11 AM »

I always heard they were awesome. But the one I bought was a lemon.

Give them a call and talk to them to see what they can do for you.

Offline Doc Savage

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2008, 06:57:46 AM »
I am a big fan of the small Coleman LED lattern.  Don't have a model # but they are 6 inches tall and yellow.  They are about $12 at wal mart, have a long run time, and are very handy. 

millerized1

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2008, 07:26:06 AM »
I've got 4 oil lanterns, but my future project looks a bit like this:

.....project is to put at least 4- 5mm high output white LED's in each room (living/kitchen areas 4-6 LED's, bathrooms 2 or 3, bedrooms 3 or 4), from the top down.  Locating the holes approximately 2' out from the center of each wall, drill a 4.5mm hole from the bottom up, starting with the drill in reverse as to not rip the drywall paper.  Drill it through into the attic, and mark the hole with a piece of coathanger so you can find it from above.  Find the hole in the attic, and using a stop on an 7mm drill bit so it doesn't go the whole way through, drill into the existing hole. (you will put drywall dust into the area below, so remember that your SO might have a problem with you doing this ;)) The extra room is so that the LED won't go the whole way through.  Since most of the light comes out the end of the LED's, just peek it into the room (1/16-1/8" protrusion).  This ensures an almost invisible LED from below.  Solder the leads onto the 14ga wire you've run through the attic, back to the 12V car battery and solar charger, push the LED lightly into the hole and drop on a bit of caulking to keep it in place.

I don't plan on putting a switch in each room, but it can be done, just a bit more wiring.  If I need light, I'll probably not complain about having it available everywhere all the time.  Some folks are afraid of the dark.  Running LED's off of a 650CCA 12V car battery will last for quite a while, so battery life won't be much of an issue either.  Plus, it IS an emergency, and you're not going to have the same light you usually have with your 32 lamps pushing 60-100-130W bulbs.

I've got the LED's, wire, charger and the battery....just need the wife to leave for a weekend ;D

(I'd thought about using IR LED's (got a bag of 100) for night vision, but I didn't plan on using these outside of emergency/ break-ins) but wearing a set of NVG's around kinda defeats the purpose of emergency lighting. )

Of course, your experience and wife may vary. ;D

Offline Stein

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2008, 08:45:00 AM »
Pretty cool idea, 1-2 LEDs in each room.  I can imagine maybe 20 of them throughout the rooms, halls, kitchen, hallway, etc to give just enough light to move around.

I think I remember seeing a new type of LED that was basically the LED equivalent of a flood light.

Let us know how it went.

millerized1

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2008, 09:12:04 AM »
Gotta get the wife out of the house first....or maybe just shopping for a few days....

Nawh, nevermind.  That woman can SPEND!!!!! I'd HAVE to have low cost electricity to make up for her spending spree ;)

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2008, 09:39:54 AM »
 :o Everytime I am at the store I have to keep myself from buying lighting. Always tell myself 'you already have enough!', but I am not always convinced. I have a hurricane lantern, and will most likely buy another one soon. I have a head lamp that my family laughs at me for having. 3 AAA batteries and on the 'red light' function can last up to 70 hours. It has an option for up close and far away lighting which lasts 50 hours, and if you have it on full blast it will last 20 hours! Add the fact that I have a solar recharger and I am plenty happy.  :D I have flashlights all over the place. I even have a wank-light in case I run out of batteries. Though, I thought it was not a good idea to keep a kerosene lantern on in a house because of the gases released...much like a propane stove, ect. What I would like to do, if I can get the money, is to get a solar panel with enough deep-cycle batteries to keep most of my equipment working for awhile. Right now I just have to make due with my rechargeable batteries, and solar battery charger.

GroundPounder

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Re: Lighting during an emergency
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2008, 09:50:27 AM »
Let me throw another thought into this thread....

Learn to maneuver around your home in the dark without a light.   There may be occasions where you dont want to use any lighting.  A couple of situations I can think of are:

1. You have an intruder in your home and you dont want to give away your position.   
2. You are in an area that has a forced evacuation and you decide to stay and dont want to give yourself away.
3. You find yourself in the dark because of a sudden power outage

Turn off all the lights and practice.  Its not as easy as you think if you have not done it.  Be sure to wear some shoes!  It hurts to hit those toes!