Basics of Emergency Lighting (Part 2)

Previously, we discussed emergency lighting using candles, flashlights and lanterns. In this section we’ll discuss how car light strips can be used along with generators.

Car lights
A really creative idea that we came across was using car’s under-carriage strips. These lights are flexible and shouldn’t take up a ton of energy. If you needed to tack them on to a wall or ceiling they would be really easy.

If you have the means to get a generator, you’ll need to decide on purchasing a permanent or portable generator. The Learning Center at StateFarm, mentions that a permanent generator “remain permanently outside the home and on standby. They run on an existing fuel source – either liquid propane or natural gas – and are capable of generating enough wattage to re-energize your home only seconds after it loses power.”

Make sure that you have a qualified electrician look at how you set up your permanent generator. If they are hooked up incorrectly, they can lead to “back feed” of a home’s wiring. These generators can also be fairly expensive.

[Portable generators ]offer a more affordable option, when only a few vital electrical items are needed during a power outage. These generators are smaller and can be wheeled out of the garage. Their primary fuel is gasoline, so they should never be run inside the home or any enclosed area, where deadly carbon monoxide gas can accumulate.

In order to select the best backup generator for yourself and your family, determine just how much power you would need in the event of a blackout. What could you do without for a few days? Hot water? Cold food? Check the manufacturer information for each appliance to find out the wattage of your necessary appliances, and then tally their numbers. A portable generator may be your best option if you stay aware of your energy consumption, and hold to using the wattage limit of the generator. Depending on the model, portables can generate between 2,500 and 4,500 watts. By using energy wisely, you’ll still be able to comfortably endure a blackout. (Read full article at StateFarm’s Learning Center.)

If you are wanting more information about generators, please read a post that we sent out a while back.

There are a lot of options for emergency lighting needs. While some might just be getting started with their lighting needs, others might be well prepared. Just be sure to be prepared to give yourself peace of mind in an emergency situation.

3 thoughts on “Basics of Emergency Lighting (Part 2)”

  • Terry

    Years ago during I lived in Virginia. One of the hurricanes that came thru our area resulted in a power loss. I had 'prepped' with a deep cycle battery and an emergency light with a lighter cord connector. Unfortunately, the light in question wasn't designed for continuous use plugged in to a power source (had D-cell batteries for primary power). The power connector port overheated and melted.
    I hadn't thought of using these car undercarriage lights. What a great idea! Thank you! I will have to look into a few. They will go great with the 'portable' DC power supply discussed in part 1.
    I bought a portable generator (5kw) after Hurricane Ike. We have not had the necessity to use it yet, but it's here just in case. I do not have a connector to my home yet, but I'll be able to run a cord to the refrigerator and chest freezer. I hope to soon (this year, maybe next) have an electrician come out and install transfer switch so I can also run ceiling fans and lights also. That will be about the limit of my little unit, but that's way better than "roughing it".

  • Dale

    A while back my grandkids came to visit. I got out the camera, turned it on and got a dead battery signal. I have 4 solar yard lights on my gate. I pulled out the batteries and got over 100 pictures before bedtime. The yard lights also provided interior lights when my power was out for 5 days.

  • Robert Haefner

    about these portable gas generator. they should be run about every 3 months with a load (electric heater) and the fuel turned off to let the carberator run dry. because when you need it , the engine may run, but it may not put out any power!

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