The downside of anything electrical is you are then at the mercy of
finding a long-term power source.
We have a few battery powered LED & CFL flashlights/lanterns that we use
for sporadic/short term use. Rarely left "on" for more than a couple of
minutes at a time. We keep crank lights by the bedside to make our
way to a better light if we awaken to a house without power. This
minimizes the need to keep fresh batteries on hand.
We run a cord to a nearby UPS and use table lamps with CFL's for
power outages. This lets us have a fair bit of light in several
locations. That way, we don't have to buy (and STORE!) lanterns
that are SOLELY used in the absence of power -- along with keeping
batteries for same.
I opted for propane for the disaster kit instead of white gas for
similar reasons: I can keep propane on hand for the BBQ grill,
camp stove and propane torch (plumbing). Storing white gas
*just* for an emergency/camping means it's something "extra"
instead of something that can find other "normal" uses.
[Currently looking into a propane genset in lieu of gasoline;
diesel would be preferable -- but then we have to store diesel
fuel instead of siphoning FRESH gasoline from a vehicle!]
What do you do if the power goes out and you are not in bed? There are
better solutions. I have a few lights like these
They serve as a night light in the hallway and if power goes out you
have a bright light that can be used as a flashlight until you take
whatever steps you need.
Sounds like a good idea. How long do they last? I wonder if an LED
would last longer? My battery lights are good for about 40 hours. That
translates to about 4 or more days if power was out very long.
As a former volunteer FF, and former black and
white film developer, I can find my way in the
dark if I'm home and know the landscape already.
If I'm in public, always have two light sources
with me, and some times three or four.
We have MagLites in holders (clips?) by the front and back doors.
I have a flashlight hanging under my office worktable. And,
one in the garage.
We had a pair of something similar (Coleman, IIRC). While plugged in,
they kept the batteries charged. Also had an electroluminescent strip
on the front to act as a 24/7 nightlight. In an outage, you could
unplug them and carry them like a flashlight.
But, the charging circuit was notorious for cooking the battery pack
(nowadays, you could probably just plop some NiMH cells in but this
was a NiCd -- not easily replaceable)
Dunno. We've never had an outage of more than ~1 hr. Rough calculation:
battery pack is 7AHr @ 24V. So, roughly 170WHr. CFL is 13W yields
~13 hours (assuming 100% efficiency). Guesstimate half that?
No question! As would a smaller (wattage) CFL. But, my goal is not
to have to have "special" things to address unusual, infrequent events.
E.g., if 6 hours wasn't enough, I'd unplug the extension cord and
run it over to another UPS -- that has been *off* for all this time
(you have to make sure your UPS will start in the absence of AC line
voltage; some won't).
I figure at 4 days, "light" is probably the least of our concerns! :>
The point of the propane lantern/camp stove was that I could always
"steal" a can of propane from the torch kit, in a pinch. A gallon
of white gas (for a lantern) doesn't help me when I need to sweat
a joint on some pipes! :>
All of our power lines are above ground, so if we have a bad windy storm
and trees drop branches, someone is going to be without power. We had
some bad spring storms that did a lot of damage all over which is when
we had the 3 day power outage. A winter ice storm nearly put the entire
city out of commission, and many businesses, including grocery stores
and gas stations had to set up big generators so people could get
groceries and pump gas. The average person either got lucky and bought
a generator, had one already, or just did without power. The average
length of time people were w/o power was 5 to 10 days depending on what
part of the city you lived in, but some people on the outskirts of town
were w/o power for 4 to 6 weeks. It was a mess.
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