According to research, the average American consumer will experience at least two power outages per year, and these power outages will last at least 200 minutes. You’re probably thinking, a 200 minutes power outage doesn’t seem that long, but always remember, that is just an average calculation. Some power outages can go from one day and even six days. That is why it is better if you have emergency lighting prepared at your home. For most of us, emergency lighting often includes buying candles. That is why here are all the things you need to know before you purchase emergency candles.
Are Candles the Best Option for Emergency Light?
Most of us probably grew up with candles as the first choice for emergency lighting. That is because back in the day, most flashlight rechargeable batteries weren’t that common yet. Indeed, we also do not have any solar-powered flashlights then. But today, there are a lot of products you can use for emergency lighting, and some of these include:
- Oil lamps
- Glow sticks
- LED lamps
- Propane lamps
The major red flag when using candles as emergency lights is a fire hazard. In some disasters such as earthquakes, you should never light a candle because main gas breakages are a risk.
But, candles also have some benefits that make them a worthy option, and these are:
- Candles are cheap
- They do not require any batteries to operate
- Candles can produce heat, thus making it a life-saver, especially if you do not have any alternative heating option,
- You can make your own candles
- You can reuse the wax
There are also disadvantages when using candles as emergency light, and these are”
- It could easily tip over and cause a fire
- It cannot be used when there is a main gas break
- The flickering of the flame can sometimes be annoying
- You will probably need a lot of candles to provide ample lighting for your room.
Keep in mind that in order to be effectively-prepared when it comes to emergencies, you need to have different emergency lighting options. It would be best if you didn’t have to settle for candles. You also need to have flashlights, solar lights, and rechargeable batteries. We also advise that you stock up on emergency candles so that you will be prepared when an extended power outage happens.
What Type of Candles Do You Need?
While decorative candles also provide ample lighting, they are not built for emergencies. Can you imagine the smell of 14 different scented candles light all at once? That will surely be obnoxious. That is why if you’re looking for some emergency candles, here are some things you need to remember:
- Number of Wicks – Candles with multiple wicks are perfect because you can adjust their brightness by lighting or extinguishing wicks. However, keep in mind that candles with multiple wicks often calculate burn time by one wick. That is why a candle that has three wicks might have a burn time of at least 36 hours. But when you light all three wicks at once, the burn time will go down to only 12 hours.
- Burn time –The candle’s burn time depends on a lot of factors. But, it mostly has to do with the amount of wax used when making the candle. You can expect at least 7-9 hours of burn time for every ounce of wax.
- Stability – The last thing you want for your emergency candle is toppling over you. That is why when it comes to emergency candles, we suggest you pick the ones that come in a glass or a container. Tapered and thin candles are also okay to use. Remember to put it in a suitable candle holder to not topple over.
- Type of wax –If you want to have a slow-burning candle, then soy wax is the way to go. The most common type of candle in the market is the paraffin candle, but it can be potentially toxic, primarily when used for a long time. A paraffin candle often has a smoky residue when it burns, making it harder to reuse.
How Many Candles Do You Need?
When you’re preparing emergency candles, you need to determine how many hours of lightning you will need per day and how many days you’re preparing for. At a very minimum, you should prepare at least three days’ worth of emergency lighting. After this, you need to determine how many hours of illumination you need per day, and do not forget to calculate how ample is the space you want to illuminate.
Making Your Own Emergency Candles in your Home
If you run out of candles, you can just make it on your own using household items. Here are some things you can use as wax for your candle:
- Kraft Velveta Cheese
- Cheese wax
Aside from these, you can also make oil candles by using regular oil. You just have to stick a wick in it using vegetable oil.
Reuse Your Emergency Candles
As we mentioned, one of the advantages of using candles as your emergency lighting is that you can also reuse them. All you have to do is save the wax that drips off, but it can be a little tricky for those candles that come in jar and tea lights because you actually have to get the old wax out of the holder or jar. Once you have extracted all the used wax out, you can melt it again in a double broiler then pour it in cake molds that have a wick inside.