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Bright Ideas for Blackouts : International edition : Tuesday, 12 December 2017 04:21 DT : a service of The Public Press
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Bright Ideas for Storms and Blackouts

     by Tim Matson

(Green Living readers may remember Tim from several issues ago when he was profiled as "the pond guy." It turns out he is somewhat of a luddite version of a renaissance man, as he is also a an expert on the subject of non-electric lighting.)

  • As storms, heat waves, and fires continue to hit most of the country, blackouts are happening with increasing frequency. Why? We've got more people and vulnerable power lines. Be prepared.
  • Keep a supply of candles handy. Seven day emergency candles come in their own protective glass pedestals for stabilty, drip prevention, and wind shielding. Beeswax candles have a honey sweet aroma, burn much longer than paraffin candles with no chemical fumes, and they're made from a renewable resource.
  • Kerosene wick lamps are inexpensive and reliable I recently bought one for five bucks at the local hardware store, and it works great. No batteries to fade, rechargers to forget, or bulbs to burn out. Try the new paraffin fuels for odor free burning.
  • Aladdin mantle lamps are as bright as a 60 watt bulb, and if your heat goes off they can be used to help keep a house warm.
  • Outdoor lanterns provide good all-weather lighting for driveways and entry paths, and a handle for carrying in the dark. Some of the new lanterns have a cooking holder to heat liquids and food, and for added safety, a pedestal base with stakes for stabilty.
  • Wood stoves with fireview windows will keep you well lit and warm when the grid fails.
  • Fuel lamps with round or double wicks give you twice the light of a single wick lamp.
  • Liquid propane mantle lamps are installed on the wall for the ultimate in stabilty and brightness. Make sure not to install in small poorly ventilated cabins or RVs, and use a CO2 alarm.
  • Antique kerosene lamps, Aladdins, and original Dietz lanterns are highly valued by collectors. Some lamp companies make collector's editions of lamps and painted glass shades. They make popular wedding and anniversary gifts, not to mention adding a special flare to your emergency lighting.
  • Renewable non-petroleum illuminants are gaining popularity. In addition to beeswax and soy candles, special lamps are made to burn olive oil and other vegetable fuels. Enjoy a 100% green blackout!
  • Keep your wicks trimmed and chimneys clean. When the power goes out these lights shine.

Tim Matson's updated new book is The Book of Non-Electric Lighting: The Classic Guide to the Safe Use of Candles, Fuel Lamps, Lanterns, Gaslights & Fireview Stoves. Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont.quiet zone
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