How to Light Your House During a Blackout (Without Buying a Generator)

“Power outages can be seriously obnoxious. No Internet, no TV, no lights. On top of that, they can be dangerous, especially in the cold. A prolonged outage is always a danger during a serious storm, no matter the kind. And while it might not happen, you always want to be prepared. Obviously the biggest hurdle you’ll face during a power outage is going to be lack of power. And keeping your phone/laptop/tablet charged isn’t just a matter of convenience, sometimes it’s your only two-way connection to the outside world. Chances are a power outage is going to take out your primary heating source, and that can be pretty rough. Fortunately there are some things you can do to get ready ahead of time.”

How to Light Your House During a Blackout (Without Buying a Generator)

It’s the dog days of summer, even at 10pm your neighborhood is just slightly warmer than the surface of Venus, and everybody in town’s got their A/C units cranked up to 11. Which would explain what triggered the rolling blackout that has now left you and yours sitting in a darkened home. Just because you’re going to swelter until the power comes back doesn’t mean you need to do so in the dark. Here’s some ways to lighten up the situation without having to resort to a pricey generator.


Remember your old friend fire, the glowing body of gas generated by the combustion process? Turns out, it’s still really good at producing light, and with the right accouterments you can use candles to set a room alight without, you know, actually setting it alight.

 One utilitarian option is to raid your emergency go-bag for its 100 hour candle. These 1-pound light grenades burn liquid paraffin, which produces odorless, smokeless light for the better part of three days. And since the fuel is sealed in the container with only the wick exposed, you can safely snuff it out, store it, and use it again for the next blackout. Just make sure you open a window for ventilation.