“Oppressive” heat in Deep South states. “Sizzling” temperatures in Arizona and California. “Scorching” temps in New England. “Broiling” heat in the West and Midwest. That’s what The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting for the 2023 summer in the U.S.
If the Almanac is correct, many Americans will be using their air conditioners nearly non-stop this summer. Those massive power draws will result in intentional or unintentional power outages. Or both. And that means dark homes in the evenings.
Today I want to discuss a variety of ways you can create light to break through the darkness. Some of these you’ve used for that purpose. But I’m guessing you haven’t used some of the more unusual ones.
And when I finish with my list, I’m going to introduce you to a product that works great at lighting your surroundings. Whether you’re inside or out.
Flashlights, candles, etc.
Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way first. The quickest and easiest way to produce light is with a flashlight. Keep several around the house and take a couple with you when you go out.
Another is lighting candles. While this is also a quick way to produce light, candles can be a fire hazard. They shouldn’t be left burning when you leave a room or walk away from a campsite.
Oil lamps are another option. Using oil as the fuel source, these lamps have been employed for thousands of years. A textile wick drops down into the oil and is lit at the end. The oil burns as it is drawn up the wick.
Of course, your smartphone can also serve as a flashlight. And you can always provide some light while camping (or in your fireplace) with a fire. Headlamps and glowsticks also illuminate your surroundings. As do battery-powered and solar-powered lanterns.
Lighting with some color
OK, now for some lesser-known ways to light up your life in a blackout. Remember those Crayola crayons you used as a kid? And maybe you still join in some coloring fun with your kids or grandkids.
Because crayons are basically wax, you can light them like a candle and they’ll produce light for about 30 minutes.
Break the point off a crayon and light the paper label at the end. The paper will serve as a wick as the wax melts.
If you tie several crayons together, you can get a larger flame going, thereby producing more light.
I mentioned headlamps a moment ago. As the name implies, it’s a light that ties around your head with a strap so you can see in front of you in the dark.
But a headlamp can also be used to produce a glowing light to set the mood at home or in the woods.
Fill a clear plastic gallon jug with water. Then wrap a headlamp “belt” around the container with the light shining inward, toward the center of the jug.
When the water diffuses and diverts the light, you’ve got a glowing lamp to provide some ambiance.
Crisco, sardines & bacon
Would you like to be able to produce a candle-type light that will stay lit for a long time? Maybe a month?
Just get a large can of Crisco. Using a forked stick, shove a natural fiber wick (such as a mop strand or a cotton t-shirt shred) down to the bottom of the thick grease.
Here’s another idea. Once you’ve eaten sardines out of a can containing olive oil, place a natural fiber wick (like that mop strand I mentioned) into the oil that’s left over so it’s completely immersed.
Then bend the strand up at the edge of the can and light it. It should stay lit for several hours. The downside? It will smell like fish. Bacon grease can serve the same purpose – and will smell better.
So… how about this SoLantern?
There are a number of other good ways to create light at home during a blackout or while you’re camping, and I want to share one with you. It’s the 4Patriots SoLantern. It has a long-lasting battery and recharges with the sun.
This powerful light produces 800 lumens. Which is the equivalent to the light produced by 800 candles. It’s lightweight so you can take it anywhere. The SoLantern has five different light settings and can power up your phone and other electronic devices.
Use it at campgrounds, on RV trips, and in your front and back yards. All at the simple push of a button. Carry it with you to light your path or set it down and read by it.
And this is a great time to acquire the SoLantern because we’re offering one free whenever you purchase four.