Keep your home well lit in a blackout

A blackout doesn't need to ruin your evening

When the lights go out nothing else matters until you can see. Sure, you can make light with a fire, but that’s significantly dirtier and less convenient than just turning on a light. Keep lights in places that are easy to find when you can't see well. The right light can change a dark situation from miserable to enjoyable. 


Look for portable, lightweight lighting. Your first go to is something hand held and waterproof. Headlamps can feel bulky but they are especially handy because they allow you to keep your hands free while getting your light pointed directly where you need to see.

Portable lamps

Set the bar higher than a small wind up lantern and candles. You may have gas lanterns for camping, but for portability and reliability, pick up a couple battery lanterns. Lanterns don’t need to be dim. Look for something in the 700+ lumens range for real visibility.

Consider lanterns that take both rechargeable batteries and alkaline batteries. Before a storm I make sure the rechargeable batteries are charged up. Alkaline batteries may be drained when you need to use them, but you can always drop a fresh set into your lantern and you're good to go. 

One winter I ordered food on the way over to a friends house for dinner. It was storming so I threw a lantern in my car just in case. Sure enough, the lights went out. I stopped in front of the restaurant, grabbed my lantern, and entered the dark restaurant, hoping they had made my dinner before losing electricity.

As I stepped inside the entire restaurant erupted in cheers and clapping. When they lost power, not a single person had even a flashlight on hand. They were all sitting in the dark trying to figure out what to do. Now, that’s how to make a grand entrance.

Glow sticks

Easy to store, and easy to use under any conditions. They don’t really provide light you can see with, but they’re handy for keeping tabs on people and things in the dark.


Maglite Mini Mag AA Pro LED Flashlight 332 Lumens - Silver - SP2P10H

The Maglite Mini is just the right size to scatter around the house; two in the kitchen drawer, so the kids don't fight over who gets to hold them, in my Go bag, in the car, and in my day pack. I also bring one with me on the plane when we travel. 

This model runs on two AA batteries, is made of incredibly strong anodized aluminum, and the LED puts out a very bright 332 Lumens. You can also remove the hood to stand it up like a candle. Check it out on
MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern
This funny little light is an inflatable light. They're solar powered and can be fully charged in 7 hours. The design is simple to carry, waterproof, and as long as there's sunlight, you'll have a lantern. Check it out on
Black Diamond Equipment - Wiz Headlamp 
For the kids we use the easy to use headlamps. Available in Blue or Berry

Black Diamond Equipment - Storm 400 Headlamp
For the adults I chose these headlamps with a few more tricks. It's actually light and easy to wear. It puts out 400 lumens of light and is dust and waterproof. The 6 settings let you switch between night mode and various brightness modes to make it easy to work in any condition. Check it out on

LED Camping Lantern, Battery Powered LED 1800LM, 4 Camping Lights Modes
The days of cooking and brushing my teeth by candle light when the power goes out are behind me. Now, when the power goes out I put these around the house so that when we enter a room it's just as bright as a normal evening. 

Tiny in size, this lantern can switch from a wam daylight mode up to a bright white 1800 lumens. It also has a flashing mode, has hanging hooks on both the top and bottom, is water resistant, and can be a power bank to charge other electronics like your phone. Don't forget to keep a charging cable nearby. Check it out on

Glow Mind 12 Ultra Bright Glow Sticks
Water proof, wind proof, and no batteries. Like I said above, they're really more for keeping tracking of people than for shining a light, but that's a great reason to use them. They have little hooks that are easy to hang on gear so you don't lose it in the dark. Attach them to the kids and let the run around in the dark without worrying about where they are. Check them out on

What can you do right now?

Go check the drawer full of flashlights, I know you have one in the kitchen, and check to see the batteries all work. Then take one flashlight and add it to your Go bag. You can always get better gear later. The goal is not to be done, but to do one little thing today that makes you better prepared for the future.