Can You Light Your Home Without Electricity?

It’s difficult to imagine now, but for the vast majority of human existence, people did not have electricity to light the inside and outside of their dwellings. 

It wasn’t until 1882 that Thomas Edison brought electric lights to parts of New York City after forming the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York.

Even then, however, it would be another half-century before gaslight and candles were replaced by electricity. By 1925, approximately one-half of American homes enjoyed electrical power. Of course, it grew rapidly from there.

But as we know, the grid supplying our homes with electricity has become more and more vulnerable through the years. As power outages increase in frequency and duration, we need to be ready to light our homes without electrical power.


Today I want to discuss a number of different ways to accomplish this. You’ll note that some of them are not as safe as we would like. Fortunately, there is one very safe and reliable way.

Perhaps the most obvious way to light the inside of your home is with candles. Obvious, but not particularly safe.

In addition to the fire hazard, paraffin-based candles can produce toxin-filled smoke you and your family do not want to be breathing.

You’re better off using safer candles including those made from beeswax, soy wax or coconut wax. Regardless what kind of candles you use, be sure to have non-flammable holders for them.

Oil lamps

Oil lamps are another option for lighting your home. They can be fueled with kerosene, olive oil or lamp oil. Or even animal fat. The same open-flame concern exists here as with candles.

Kerosene can put off a strong odor. So it should only be used in a well-ventilated room. That’s more challenging during cold weather.

The brand of oil you use should be labeled as smokeless, non-toxic and safe for indoor use. In other words, a clean-burning oil.

As far as the lamp itself is concerned, you can choose from tabletop lamps to wall-mounted lamps to hanging lamps and reading lamps. Make sure you have plenty of extra wicks on hand.

Flashlights, etc.

Flashlights are another choice when you are suddenly left powerless by extreme weather or another cause. Their portability is an advantage. But make sure they are in working order and are kept in easily accessible places.

Some people like to keep a small LED flashlight by their bed. And if you have solar-powered flashlights, you won’t have to worry about replacing batteries. Other battery-powered light sources include some lamps and lanterns.

There are no odors or fumes to worry about with these items. Headlamps are especially advantageous when you need both hands to work on something and require light.

Safety is another advantage with flashlights and battery-powered lamps and lanterns. Your kids or grandkids can handle them with ease. Using rechargeable batteries will save you plenty of money in the long run.

Solar lights

Solar lights may be better known for their outdoor usages. But there’s no reason why you can’t use them indoors when needed as well.

Especially by placing them strategically in different places in your home to light up dark areas.

Some people place their solar lights outdoors during the day to soak up plenty of sunlight. Then they bring the lights indoors when darkness sets in. This saves on electric bills and comes in very handy when the power goes out.

There are many ways to light up your home during a power outage. But solar lights are your safest and most cost-effective option.  You can check out one of my favorites here. And guess what? It’s brand-NEW.


  • Claudia Serles - November 10, 2021

    I bought 3 before they hit the shelves…..I love them and will get more for gifts. Thank you for providing another way to make our lives better…

    Claudia Serles

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