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Thread: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

  1. #1171

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by Treeguy View Post
    What model?

    I have an MS 311. Wish I had more call to use it!

    On the original topic, with 1170 posts (yes, I read through them all!!!) I still have something to add. First, I'd say that in my 50 years, I've probably been through 100 or more power outages, but most are only minutes in length. I've been through three our four that lasted days -- all due to ice storms.

    I camp for 10 days every summer, so I have a bunch of lights and batteries and a lot of practice using them. I don't know what I'd need exactly for a five day outage, but I'm sure I have plenty. In the past when we have had multi day outages we have always used candles for background light. We have some of those that are in jars. We'll set one on the counter in the kitchen, one on the fireplace hearth, and one on the counter in the bathroom. That done we can walk around the house safely. Since we're not talking about an ongoing emergency, but simply a lack of power, there are no real safety issues. Since we have a fireplace, there is an ABC extinguisher handy in the living room.

    I enjoyed reading about the Maglite forever mod, and I plan on working on something like that soon.

    So here are the a few things that I feel like haven't really been covered that I can add to the discussion:

    1) I have a car jumpstarter that I use for starting my riding mower in the spring. It's a SLA battery with jumping cables. It also has a USB port and a CLA. It's 10 amp hours. One of those USB laptop lights would probably run for a year on 10 amp hours.

    2) When the power is out we play music. Reading music requires light. In the past I've had to set up multiple lanterns to get enough light on the music stand. My wife recently bought a LED music stand light for gigs that runs off of either a wall wart or three AA batteries. Problem solved!

    3) A 3xAA set of white Christmas lights provides nice general illumination for eating.

    4) I have an Energizer 55 lumen 3xD battery lantern (discontinued). It's waterproof to 2m. It has a built in hook on the bottom, so you can hang it. We use it camping over the table and it provides nice light for playing cards or whatever. We used it for a week last time on one set of old, previously used D cells. In a power outage I could hang it from a ceiling fan for lighting a room.

    There was some discussion a few pages back on how to get information in an emergency situation. My parents were just outside the evacuation area when hurricane Matthew hit Georgia. Both cell and land lines were down. I was able to get information about their area though, because the police department was on facebook and city hall was on twitter. I also found that just searching FB for the name of their town provided lots of pictures of the damage to the area. The point here is that even though their cell phones were out, others in the area had them, and FB and twitter were useful.

    Back to our general situation -- our house is set for heat because we have a wood stove and at least two years of wood (hence the chain saw ). We have gas hot water. I have a propane grill, and also a propane wok burner, so 2x20lb propane tanks. I have some bottles of water in the basement to last at least a few days, but we live within 100 feet of a 30 sq mi lake. I keep a bottle of Clorox with the EPA dilution for sterilizing water written on it. We live close enough to city hall and the police station that I can walk there to get information if things go on for more than a few days. Where we live the greatest potential threat the nuclear plant. We need to be able to either shelter in place or evacuate, as instructed.
    Last edited by PiperBob; 02-16-2017 at 12:30 PM.

  2. #1172

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Oh, one more idea that comes from camping. I have some cheap solar landscape lights that I use for marking tent ropes. They're 1.2 lumens or something. They have a NiCd AA in them. They run a long time on a charge (supposedly 8 hours on a 400mAh battery), and have an on/off switch. In a power outage they would be handy for providing background light in a room or hallway, especially with a better battery.

  3. #1173
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by irongate View Post
    For the price it better be nice!
    Yeah, the Powerhouse is way too much.

    You can get a 100+amp hour sealed cell deep cycle pure lead AGM battery along with a USB charger, a 12V socket adapter, and a small inverter and still have $100 left over for the price of the Powerhouse. Plus, the Pure Lead AGM battery will likely last considerably longer(PL AGM has a cycle life up to 900 cycles), has double the warranty, and when it dies you don't have to throw out all the accessories like with the Powerhouse. You just buy a new battery and you are good to go again. For the price of the powerhouse you are getting into the price range of a 1000 watt inverter generator as well.

    The Powerhouse is nice and it is definitely compact and light compared to other options but really, if you need this much capacity you are going to be carrying it by car or leaving it in a stationary place anyway. I personally don't think this is a very good option for a large capacity reserve power source unless you need the lightest and most compact option and have money to burn.
    Last edited by Tachead; 02-17-2017 at 08:14 PM.

  4. #1174
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by PiperBob View Post
    Oh, one more idea that comes from camping. I have some cheap solar landscape lights that I use for marking tent ropes. They're 1.2 lumens or something. They have a NiCd AA in them. They run a long time on a charge (supposedly 8 hours on a 400mAh battery), and have an on/off switch. In a power outage they would be handy for providing background light in a room or hallway, especially with a better battery.
    I switched mine out to Ni-Mh AAs.
    I can swap them with rechargeable or alkaline AAs if I need to use them for extended periods.

  5. #1175

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodLust View Post
    I switched mine out to Ni-Mh AAs...
    For long term use one thing to understand about NiMh cells compared to NiCd in this type of application is that a NiMh cell is more prone to damage because of high heat situations. NiCd cells are primarily used in the solar lights because they can endure the higher heat conditions for longer periods without as much decline in their performance.
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  6. #1176

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by filibuster View Post
    For long term use one thing to understand about NiMh cells compared to NiCd in this type of application is that a NiMh cell is more prone to damage because of high heat situations. NiCd cells are primarily used in the solar lights because they can endure the higher heat conditions for longer periods without as much decline in their performance.
    Not to mention most of those cheap solar landscape lights can't charge up more than a nicad anyway especially in the winter on cloudy days.
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  7. #1177
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Thanks! That's good to know.

    I'm near equatorial so solar is a good option. Always full sun if it's not raining. Downside of living in a tropical country, it's hot and humid! In terms of cold vs heat, it's easier to layer up than to keep cool in a power outage. Especially an extended one. Shelf life of food is also shorter.

    It was about 20-21C/70F for the previous week (that's our winter temp in the city) and people were already complaining. A lot were getting sick too. I crave the cold and I still had my air conditioner turned on. Which is why I'm in Canada, US, Japan and Korea almost every month. I look forward to the winters. ⛄❄

  8. #1178

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodLust View Post
    Thanks! That's good to know.

    I'm near equatorial so solar is a good option. Always full sun if it's not raining. Downside of living in a tropical country, it's hot and humid! In terms of cold vs heat, it's easier to layer up than to keep cool in a power outage. Especially an extended one. Shelf life of food is also shorter.

    It was about 20-21C/70F for the previous week (that's our winter temp in the city) and people were already complaining. A lot were getting sick too. I crave the cold and I still had my air conditioner turned on. Which is why I'm in Canada, US, Japan and Korea almost every month. I look forward to the winters. ⛄❄
    I agree as it gets hot and humid here a power outage in the heat of the summer can be very deadly to some as we have had temperatures in excess of 110 on rare occasion. A few years back the LOW temp at night was in the 90s luckily the humidity wasn't up adding much to the heat index. Even solar panels and battery banks can't handle the power requirements of central AC here in the summer so when the power goes out you are stuck using water and battery fans and buying ice for ice chests.

    Personally LEDs are so much more efficient on lighting that unless you need wireless powered lighting it makes little sense to invest money in solar powered lights they tend to underperform and not last very well in use.
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  9. #1179
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    I have a 1hp inverter air-conditioner and I'm checking the wattage. I have to do more of the math but I might be able to run it off a portable generator.

    Evaporative coolers only really work if there's someplace to evaporate to.

    It's still a bit hard to justify a generator purchase for the off chance of a power outage but when you need one, you really need one!

  10. #1180

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Not to mention most of those cheap solar landscape lights can't charge up more than a nicad anyway especially in the winter on cloudy days.

    Some of mine have on-off switches, so one could have several charging for multiple days.

    In the context of the thread though, people are hacking together low lumen lights for general illumination. The solar lights are already made -- just keep one in the cabinet next to a pack of alkaline batteries.

  11. #1181

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by PiperBob View Post
    Some of mine have on-off switches, so one could have several charging for multiple days.

    In the context of the thread though, people are hacking together low lumen lights for general illumination. The solar lights are already made -- just keep one in the cabinet next to a pack of alkaline batteries.
    I agree. A dim solar light used primarily for a power outage of reasonable (not extreme length) the solar charging is not really needed if you have cheap alkalines or other batteries to toss in it as the nicads are usually from 400-800mah to run half the night while an alkaline AA has 2800mah or so should run for half a week or so maybe a week.
    I have several Energizer 1D accent lanterns (outdoor garden lights) that run for 100-200 hours off a single D cell with earlier generation 5mm LEDs in them probably todays 5mm LEDs are twice as efficient.

    To put it bluntly... single 5mm LEDs can run a LOOOOOOOOONG time off batteries such that having to recharge a battery to power such a light in a power outage often is probably not needed.
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  12. #1182

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Had a power outage from storms at 2:30am this morning. Normally that wouldn't matter but my 2 year old was scared and woke up. So we came down and played for a while. Used the MX25L3C Nichia to ceiling bounce some light. Perfect!

    It lasted 25 minutes, which is the longest I can remember in 36 years...other than one other time but I was out of town then. So being crazy prepared is still not a top priority for me.
    GOOD TINT!

  13. #1183

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    This is going to sound blasphemous on a flashlight site but candles are also great to have around during an outage.

  14. #1184
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries? (for lights and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by PiperBob View Post
    Some of mine have on-off switches, so one could have several charging for multiple days.

    In the context of the thread though, people are hacking together low lumen lights for general illumination. The solar lights are already made -- just keep one in the cabinet next to a pack of alkaline batteries.
    Mine have the switch.
    I have these. They can stand on their own without the stakes and they make nice table lamps.



    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Johnson View Post
    This is going to sound blasphemous on a flashlight site but candles are also great to have around during an outage.
    I discourage open flame indoors in our household. Plus it will add to the heat. I do have a stash for emergencies though. I'm also getting a UCO candle lantern.

  15. #1185
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    Emphasis mine.

    I would advise people to avoid candles at all costs during an outage when the fire department may be stressed out or nonexistent... When our power is out after a storm I walk around to all of my closest neighbors and make sure that they have flashlights. If they don't I will lend them one (with batteries) so they won't have to burn candles next to MY house. I stock candles for trade goods but I wouldn't trade them to anyone who lives within a couple hundred feet of me...

    A 9v Pak-Lite and two lithium batteries will provide 2,000 hours of runtime. Very few have put by enough fuel, food and water to take them through the runtime that a Pak-Lite and a spare battery will deliver.

    To deliberately plan to use an open flame for light when there may be no fire department or even water to put out a fire would seem flippant, especially when there are so many affordable alternatives in the 21st century.
    I thought this post from Sub Umbra ,who had experience with hurricane Katrina IIRC, was worth reposting. With all the LED options available I can't see much reason to use a flame producing device indoors for lighting unless you are in cold weather without heat.The fire potential isn't really worth the risk IMO. If you want the additional heat that candles will provide because you are in a cold weather environment I would suggest a lamp or lantern of some sort where the flame is at least enclosed.

    Pak-Lites still represent an easy and reliable light source for power outages. They will run a long time even on alkalines and 9V batteries will probably be easier to find in stores (in the U.S. at least) than basic AAA,AA,C and D if there is a run on emergency supplies.
    Last edited by ZMZ67; 03-01-2017 at 07:53 PM.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  16. #1186
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMZ67 View Post
    I thought this post from Sub Umbra ,who had experience with hurricane Katrina IIRC, was worth reposting. With all the LED options available I can't see much reason to use a flame producing device indoors for lighting unless you are in cold weather without heat.The fire potential isn't really worth the risk IMO. If you want the additional heat that candles will provide because you are in a cold weather environment I would suggest a lamp or lantern of some sort where the flame is at least enclosed.

    Pak-Lites still represent an easy and reliable light source for power outages. They will run a long time even on alkalines and 9V batteries will probably be easier to find in stores (in the U.S. at least) than basic AAA,AA,C and D if there is a run on emergency supplies.
    +1. I'm trying to put together some 5mm 'candle flicker LED' lanterns for my parents. The LED's are available on ebay under various descriptions, whole assembly should be so cheap that I don't mind storing alkalines in them indefinitely.

    I also like battery operated fairy lights. I've a string of warm white, running on 3 or 4 AA's from Ikea that gives really comfortable "background lighting".

    The other thing I've come across recently are cheap, battery operated PIR sensor lights (from banggod etc). I figure they will be useful for supplemental lighting in bathrooms or staircases etc. automatic nature means there's no stumbling around in the dark, they don't need to be left switched on in unoccupied rooms and people won't forget to turn them off once they leave the room.

  17. #1187

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by gravelmonkey View Post
    +1. I'm trying to put together some 5mm 'candle flicker LED' lanterns for my parents. The LED's are available on ebay under various descriptions, whole assembly should be so cheap that I don't mind storing alkalines in them indefinitely.

    I also like battery operated fairy lights. I've a string of warm white, running on 3 or 4 AA's from Ikea that gives really comfortable "background lighting".

    The other thing I've come across recently are cheap, battery operated PIR sensor lights (from banggod etc). I figure they will be useful for supplemental lighting in bathrooms or staircases etc. automatic nature means there's no stumbling around in the dark, they don't need to be left switched on in unoccupied rooms and people won't forget to turn them off once they leave the room.
    You may be able to find candle flicker type LEDs at stores like Dollar Tree.
    As for the PIR lights I bought a cheap one and it doesn't work right and is not adjustable. It turns off about 10 seconds after it is tripped and then hard to turn back on again. It operates off 1AA battery. PIR lights have a constant current drain on them which often isn't listed that will slowly drain the battery even when not tripped.
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  18. #1188
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by gravelmonkey View Post
    +1. I'm trying to put together some 5mm 'candle flicker LED' lanterns for my parents. The LED's are available on ebay under various descriptions, whole assembly should be so cheap that I don't mind storing alkalines in them indefinitely.

    I also like battery operated fairy lights. I've a string of warm white, running on 3 or 4 AA's from Ikea that gives really comfortable "background lighting".

    The other thing I've come across recently are cheap, battery operated PIR sensor lights (from banggod etc). I figure they will be useful for supplemental lighting in bathrooms or staircases etc. automatic nature means there's no stumbling around in the dark, they don't need to be left switched on in unoccupied rooms and people won't forget to turn them off once they leave the room.
    I use several Dorcy Motion Sensor Night Lights (model # 41-1076) around the house. They produce plenty of light to see my way around and output is warm on the ones I purchased. They are a little pricey at $14.99 but I bought them on sale for a bit less.They are cheaper than Pak-lites, work reliably and battery life seems to be pretty decent using L91 lithiums. I may try eneloops the next time I replace the batteries and see how they work. Alkalines are a no go for me as they just leak to often. I don't know if the current models are still warm as they appear to be cooler white in the picture on Dorcy's site. Forgot about them in my earlier post because I am used to their presence and they really don't get any attention until the batteries give out.
    Last edited by ZMZ67; 03-04-2017 at 05:28 PM.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  19. #1189
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    You may be able to find candle flicker type LEDs at stores like Dollar Tree.
    As for the PIR lights I bought a cheap one and it doesn't work right and is not adjustable. It turns off about 10 seconds after it is tripped and then hard to turn back on again. It operates off 1AA battery. PIR lights have a constant current drain on them which often isn't listed that will slowly drain the battery even when not tripped.
    Ah yes, good point about the constant drain, I'd forgotten about that! I don't think I've the gear/knowledge to test standby current draw but will look into it. Thanks!

  20. #1190

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by gravelmonkey View Post
    Ah yes, good point about the constant drain, I'd forgotten about that! I don't think I've the gear/knowledge to test standby current draw but will look into it. Thanks!
    If you have a decent ammeter (VOM) you can create the gear to test it by taking two thin pieced of metal and making a sandwich by putting a non insulating thin piece between then to connect to ammeter leads when slide between a battery terminal and one of the batteries.
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  21. #1191
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    PM to StarHalo.

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  22. #1192
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    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    If you have a decent ammeter (VOM) you can create the gear to test it by taking two thin pieced of metal and making a sandwich by putting a non insulating thin piece between then to connect to ammeter leads when slide between a battery terminal and one of the batteries.
    Whoops forgot to report back! I received the Arilux AL101N (it's a white plastic, PIR warm-white LED light that throws light down against a plastic reflector) and measured 38.4mA when LED activated, and 0.06mA on standby. Not the most sensitive DMM in the world so I don't have micro amps setting.

  23. #1193

    Default Re: Power Outage, How many Lumens, How many batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by gravelmonkey View Post
    Whoops forgot to report back! I received the Arilux AL101N (it's a white plastic, PIR warm-white LED light that throws light down against a plastic reflector) and measured 38.4mA when LED activated, and 0.06mA on standby. Not the most sensitive DMM in the world so I don't have micro amps setting.
    60uA isn't bad for standy drain it would take perhaps drain about 5ma a month at that rate which is fine even a AAA battery has 800ma or more it would probably self drain faster than that. It is when you get up past 0.1ma drain that it starts to be noticeable. I had a 4AA tap light with electronic switch with a 4ma standby drain on it that after I figured that out took it out of service and gutted the circuitry it would drain a set of batteries in a week or two without ever turning it on.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

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