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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure this has been discussed frequently but I did a search and couldn't find what I was looking for.

Anyhow, I'm looking to stock up on some sort of light source. I'm thinking candles but maybe gas lanterns???

Any ideas - if candles are an answer, what do I look for when purchasing (and from who - if you already know)
 

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Pilot
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Check out Kev's videos - He and his wife have some great info on making your own candles. I have tried this myself and it works great! Once you have a few basic components (wicks/glass containers ect) you are only limited by how much wax you have. I made 12 quart size mason jar candles for less than $30, and now that I have the jars the only replacement parts I need to make more are the wicks and more wax. And these things burn for a long time - I would say probably 20 hours each depending on how long the wick is left. Other than candles, look closely at LED lanterns and flashlights too. Once again Kev has videos explaining why these can be a good choice. Hope this helps...
 

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Personally I would stay away from candles as a light source. Candles start fires every year that cost lives. Lanterns are a much safer light source. We use dynamo powered lanterns and flashlights and we also have propane lanterns and few oil lanterns.
 

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Vote 3rd party!
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Yeah, I'm trying to weigh the fire potential from a candle to gas lantern. I never thought about the dynamo lantern.....
 

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Mother of One.
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Candles (with mirrors to boost the amount of light you get from a single candle)
Gas Lanterns (with plenty of gas)
Oil Lamps (with plenty of oil)
Flashlights (with plenty of batteries)

I personally have a bajillion candles, a few oil lamps, and some hand crank LED lantern/flashlights.
 

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Pilot
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and we also have propane lanterns and few oil lanterns.
Good point, candles do start many fires annually, but anything with an open flame has the potential to do so. Especially something with a burning wick and a large volatile liquid fuel supply. Personally I would rather deal with a tipped over candle than lamp oil or kerosene burning on the floor and spreading....thinking Mrs. O'leary's cow...
 

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cute is not always enough
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first, learn how to deal with the dark. most people do not need to have their house lit up like noon on a summer day. if you can not see the bowl then sit down so you do not miss.

I would stay away from anything on fire. Especially if you have kids or pets. buying and stocking these things for long term (or permanent) problems is probably a good idea but stick to battery power for short term emergencies.

buy everyone in the family their own personal flashlight for emergencies and make it a good one. small children could have a MagLite Solitaire (or similar, I just like MagLites) on a string around their neck. adults can have a two AA version or a larger one depending on what they need and feel comfortable carrying around. these should be kept on the person at all times. that way no one is ever stuck.

I really like kev's idea of using those solar powered garden lamps in emergencies. charge them during the day and spread them in dangerous places throughout the house at night: a couple in the bathroom, some on the stairs, night lights for kids rooms, that kind of thing. I plan on buying some for a friend this holiday.

have some cheaper flashlights in the areas you will need to be in. basement stairs, wood stove, entry way, bathroom. put these on your sale item list. I just bought some wind up flashlights that were 60% off. turns out they are pretty good items but even if they are junk they only need to work long enough to get you to your good gear.
 

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Personally I would stay away from candles as a light source. Candles start fires every year that cost lives. Lanterns are a much safer light source. We use dynamo powered lanterns and flashlights and we also have propane lanterns and few oil lanterns.
but oil lantern is like a cockrtail bomb if you drop it itll start a big fire i think candles would be safer but not a better source or light
 

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If you make candles, use lots of stearic acid to make them burn longer. If you use candles, put them in something like a large glass jar or something such that if it tips over will contain the candle and any melted wax, and that has a lid you can put on top to snuff the candle with. Just never leave a candle unattended.
 

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How long does lamp oil store?
I haven't found a real source of info like a manufacturer but people on other forums have said it last 5 years or more, some say even over 10.
 

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I really like kev's idea of using those solar powered garden lamps in emergencies. charge them during the day and spread them in dangerous places throughout the house at night: a couple in the bathroom, some on the stairs, night lights for kids rooms, that kind of thing. I plan on buying some for a friend this holiday.
Those solar garden light still use AA batteries. They still work good though for short term solutions under {1-2 years of use...}


I have about 500 candles that I've picked up from my local St. Vincent De Paul (thrift shop) for 25 cents each. They are the 12 inch tall skinny ones and they burn for 6-9 hours each...

I plan on using them once the depression gets in full swing. I also have picked up many candle holders at the thrift shop for 25 cents...
 

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I'll fix it
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I have a UCO candle lantern and I have the citronella and regular candles for it. The citronella candles are great for keeping away mosquitoes. A very safe alternative and the price is right.
www.candlelantern.com
 

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I'm under the impression lamp oil will essentially store indefinitely. Last winter I was at my parent's home when the power went out. I dug around in their laundry room and pulled out an old oil lamp. My mother said that lamp had not been used since the mid-70's. It burned fine and we had light.

You might transfer the oil from those lightweight plastic bottles to an empty metal Coleman Fuel container or a heavy plastic gas can.
 

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Shuriken snowflake
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I only used bought candles, but when I lived without electricity, I noticed i burn one candle in just two days. Couldn't afford that. Also, kerosene lamps are brighter. I had different types. Never had any accidents with them. I was careful with my table lamps, but I don't think it's easy to start a fire with a safer kind this this:



It spreads the heat on top and the part with the kerosene in it is virtually unbreakable. Of course you might tip it over and it leaks, but that is not really an explosive fire.

Also (Wiki):

Hazardous Fuels
It is fairly common practice in some countries to burn naphtha (a.k.a. white gas, Coleman stove fuel), or gasoline in kerosene lamps and lanterns. This is extremely dangerous and can result in a flash fire or explosion. Solvents such as benzine, acetone and xylene are also highly dangerous, due to toxicity of their vapors and flash fire hazards.
Also I'll continue hijacking with this:

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=25687&
 
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