Emergency Survival Lights

This article is intended to present an overview of some of the most effective and affordable solutions for survival lights.

Any large scale manmade or natural disaster – ones that a survivalist like you would want to prepare for ahead of time – the first thing we can expect during such a crisis is to see most of the civic amenities that we build our lives around going down, electricity included. And if history has taught us anything, it would be the fact that during most of these tragic events, be it due to a hurricane, earthquake or war, power outages could last for days (and sometimes even for weeks).

lantern2Just to give you an idea of how things could go down south all of a sudden, there’s always the possibility that earth will hit by a solar megastorm in the near future. Those of you unfamiliar with it, if earth ever crosses paths with a solar megastorm, it will leave behind a catastrophic effect by damaging our power grids, satellites and vital electronic resources that could potentially push our civilization back to the dark ages. Based on our level of preparations, it may take anywhere between months and a decade or more to fully recover from the impact. Even if we get lucky the next time it takes place in the coming 6-7 years just like this report suggests, there’s no way for you to be sure that luck will always be in our favor.

Well, we are not asking you to panic or even get scared. The point here is that it’s always in your best interest to stay prepared to handle even the worst kinds of power outage. And considering it won’t cost you any significant money or effort, it doesn’t actually make any sense to let your guard down.

Here, we will discuss about the most commonly found and affordable types of survival lights:


Candles are probably the most widely available and affordable alternate source of survival lights you will find in the market. They hardly need any introduction as pretty much everybody at some point of their lives have used one – either as part of some religious ceremony, during a power outage, or for any other reason. Because they are affordable, you can purchase and stockpile them in bulk. Store them in a dry, room temperature place and they will last for years.


  1. Inexpensive
  2. Easily available
  3. You can leave them unused for several years and still use when the need arises.
  4. They usually burn for a long time
  5. Candles also give you mobility – you can carry them along pretty much anywhere


  1. Unless special measures are taken, candles are more or less useless in windy spots because the flare won’t last long.
  2. Relatively low luminosity – you will typically need several candles to illuminate a larger area.
  3. Because of the burning flame, they can be risky if precautions are not taken. Must be kept at a safe distance from inflammable materials.

Flameless or battery powered candles

Just like ordinary candles (read: burning flame candles), battery powered candles also make one of the most popular solutions for survival situations. They are safe to use and gives you more or less the same lumens of light along with a pleasant scent without the fire hazard.

Any typical battery-powered candles can guarantee you night-light brightness for as much as eight hours a day. Better still, they usually function at optimum before battery replacement becomes necessary. When it comes to battery usage, any 3 x 6 inch flameless candle runs on two C-cell batteries. Most of these candles come with a battery life of approximately 500 hours.

The average luminosity is more or less the same as that produced by a 7-watt night light.


  1. You don’t have to worry about fire hazards.
  2. Easily available.
  3. You can use them in pretty much anywhere – even when it’s pretty windy out there.
  4. Affordable – not as much as burning flame candles, but affordable nonetheless.
  5. Lasts long – any typical battery-powered candle comes with a battery life of nearly 500 hours.
  6. Lightweight, hence adds to mobility
  7. Replaceable batteries.
  8. Flickers like burning flame candles.
  9. Often comes with a sweet fragrance.
  10. Pretty decent luminosity.


  1. Just like any other electronic item, it may break down if subjected to lots of rough handling.

Solar powered lantern

Lots of companies these days are offering many different types of inexpensive and durable solar powered lanterns for survivalists/preppers like you. These lanterns make an awesome choice as an alternate source of survival light because they don’t need any battery or fuel to operate. Just keep them outside during the day and bring them in after dusk for easy lighting. Solar powered lanterns usually come in varying strengths – the more luminous they are, the faster they burn out. However, most of these lanterns allow you to adjust the luminosity based on your requirements.


  1. Relatively cheap.
  2. Easily available.
  3. Comes in a variety of strengths.
  4. Lightweight, hence adds to mobility
  5. Does not require fuel or battery to operate.
  6. Allows mobility


  1. You can’t charge them on a cloudy or rainy day.
  2. Based on your usage you may have to charge them every single day.

Glow sticks

Glow sticks are useful in both indoor and outdoor conditions – which means it doesn’t matter whether you stay put or bug out when a crisis breaks out, you could always count on them for some easy and safe lighting. No fire hazard, and no fuel or battery needed.


  1. Safe to use – no fire hazard.
  2. Inexpensive
  3. Light weight – adds to your mobility no matter where or how you travel.
  4. No battery or fuel required.
  5. Can be used as perimeter lights – all you would have to do is hang them from tree branches, or poles using duct tape.


  1. Fragile – even though many manufacturers are emphasizing on the robustness of their products, glowsticks can be easily damaged if subjected to rough handling.
  2. Relatively low luminosity – they’ll illuminate the surrounding area, but not the ideal choice if you are looking for a bright light.

Hand crank lights

As the name itself suggests, hand crank lights are mechanically powered lights that require no fuel or batteries. Just the muscle power of the user is what it takes for these to operate at optimum. And by muscle power, we don’t mean that you must be a strong man to operate a hand crank light. Even a kid can operate one seamlessly. The user only needs to wind a small crank for a minute or so and the light is instantly ready for use.

Winding/turning the crank will activate a small, built-in generator which, in turn, will charge the batteries. A high-quality hand crank light may require no more than 60 seconds of winding for producing an hour of light.


  1. Inexpensive.
  2. Easily available.
  3. No fuel or batteries are required.
  4. Lightweight, hence adds to mobility.
  5. Efficient for both indoor and outdoor usage.
  6. No fire hazard.


  1. Relatively low luminosity.

So those were some of the most useful, affordable, and easily available sources of survival lights. If you have any question or want us to add your preferred alternate source of light to our list, please feel free to let us know using the comment box below.

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