Here are a few options…
We like to keep multiple battery-operated flashlights and lanterns throughout the house. If you stock up on flashlights, be sure you also keep plenty of batteries on hand.
*LED options will last much longer than regular lights.
You can also purchase hand-cranked flashlights that do not require batteries. Cranked lights are usually dimmer than battery-operated lights and require cranking every half hour or so. A good choice if you have older kids though, it will keep them busy!
Solar power flashlights are also available, again not requiring any batteries. Only sun.
A headlamp is also very good to keep as it frees up your hands. We always use ours when going down into the basement!
Oil lamps vary in price from cheap, to really expensive. We use and recommend the Lamplight Farms 22300 Classic Oil Lamp – under $10 at Amazon.com.
Oil lamps are very easy to use, see our video on using an oil lamp.
Depending upon your lamp, 32 ounces of oil should last you somewhere around 80 hours. Since you would only light an oil lamp when it is dark, this should last you nearly a month.
We prefer to use paraffin oil lamps. They burn cleaner with no odor or smoking.
Wicks usually last months, but keep extra ones on hand just in case.
Candles are cheap and if stored properly, they last a long time. You will need to keep matches and/or lighters on hand to light them. Tealights are especially cheap. Use them with a candle lantern for better lighting and to reduce the fire risks.
The “100 Hour Plus Emergency Candle” burns liquid paraffin, similar to some oil lamps. It is clean burning, odorless and smokeless which makes it good for indoor use. Pricier than a regular candle, it burns for a little over 4 days – if you were to burn it continuously.
Glow sticks/light sticks are an affordable lighting method but keep in mind that they do not put off much light and cannot be turned off once opened. Younger children will enjoy holding onto these if the lights are out. These are also good to keep in emergency backpacks.
Solar options include solar battery chargers, solar lights, and solar panels to power lights.
We recommend stocking up on multiple lighting options, as different emergencies may prohibit the use of certain methods. Be sure to keep track of what you have stocked, you don’t want to find out all of the batteries are gone AFTER the lights have gone out!