Lighting Methods Without Electricity

Lorna Hordos

Lighting methods that don't require electricity are invaluable whether you're planning to live off the grid, preparing for a power outage, reducing your power bill or simply seeking mood lighting for a romantic evening.

A hanging lamp in a well lit bedroom.

Burning Issues

A young couple in bed with lit candles.

Candles burn oxygen so only use them in well-ventilated spaces and keep them away from drafts, combustibles, children and pets for fire safety. Place candles in approved holders, never leave them unattended and snuff them before taking a nap or going to bed. Natural options include candles made from paraffin, lard or beeswax, with braided cotton wicks.

Fuel or Battery Power

Strand of lights lit up on outdoor wall

If you're planning to use kerosene lanterns or propane wall sconces and chandeliers, refer to the manufacturer's warnings, from ventilation to clearances. As for gas generators, 1,000 watts can power 10 100-watt lightbulbs, while 7,500 watts run some lights and a few appliances; a 12,000-watt hardwired generator can power an entire average-sized home, even the air conditioner and furnace. Battery-powered lights come in numerous forms: flashlights, lanterns, table and floor lamps, under-cabinet lights, motion-sensor nightlights, Christmas or party lights and wall-mounted hall or closet lights.

Sunlight in Dark Rooms

The interior of a nice loft.

Solar tubes act as mini or light-fixture-sized skylights. Hidden within walls and ceilings, the tubes' reflective materials transport sunlight from the rooftop to the basement, a windowless bathroom or dimly lit kitchen. Solar-powered options include lightbulbs, flashlights, lanterns and outdoor fixtures for the entryway, garage or walkway.