---Glow Storm---

Bull-Dozer

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One particularly cold October some years back my insurance company decided a local wind storm was my fault and therefore refused to pay for the downed tree limbs that ripped the utilities out of the back of my house. I fought it and was told it would take a few weeks to get an adjuster to show up because (get ready) the wind storm had caused extensive damage in the area. Corporations will be the death of us.

Anyways, long story long, here is the good part. I am guessing most people would rush to pay to avoid sitting in the dark no matter who or what happened to be at fault. Not me. Not because I'm tough or heroic, on the contrary I am just flat weird (so says friends and family).

Walking Dead was all the rage at the time, I was giddy. I took it as a chance to semi-cosplay as a postapocalypse survivor. I fired up a small generator, spooned through canned food, found alternative ways to charge devices, cooked on gas and cold-camped (using layers instead of a heat source). The house was pitch black and dead silent.

Not wanting to burn through batteries feeding headlamps, handhelds and lanterns I dug out a shoebox full of glow sticks. The old ones were too dim or so I thought. Turns out they were perfect for lighting the edges of stairs and anything I didn't want to break a toe on. I figured glow sticks are much less costly than an injury in many ways.

The newer, brighter, larger glow sticks worked wonders for lighting entire rooms with a single stick, once my eyes adjusted of course. Usually I would have to cover half to three-quarters of a stick or it would be too bright to sleep. Granted my house is small and the rooms are white so that helped.

I was not so much concerned about the expense of batteries versus glow sticks but more about what worked best for the time being. I held out for just over three weeks. They cracked first and I won. Not only did I get to burn off old stock and eventually resupply, I got to experiment and gain some life lessons.

Now I keep that shoe box packed full of glow sticks and label each new batch with the purchase date. The glow stick stashes have also spread to backpacks, vehicles, fishing and outdoor kits and so on. I like the idea of having an immediate buffer to spare more serious battery powered illumination, especially for longer low level function that would otherwise drain batteries like that of a night light. Plus, who doesn't like messing with glow sticks? They're just plain fun.

Do you have any non-battery and/or non-electrical powered backups for alternative or supplemental lighting? I invested in a couple of candle lanterns but nothing beyond that. I would love to hear ideas on anything else I could stock for future insurance battles.
 
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Bull-Dozer

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other then candles nope. Never really liked glow sticks. Guess I used them so much in the service and they didn't do much other then to mark a position or something like that.
---thermal guy--- I had the opposite experience, we were never issued glow sticks which I always thought was weird. Instead we all sprung for little button cells lights, about the size of a large zipper pull. If you had one with a fresh battery you could trade it for quite a few MRE jalapeno cheese packets. Me being a fat kid, I usually traded.
 

letschat7

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For some reason the gov took my glow stick as evidence in 2018. When they gave it back this year it still worked.
Good quality ones are hard to come by. I remember there being an outer case that covers them when not in use when I was in the Civil Air Patrol. I'm curous about the IR ones but don't want to waste the money.
 

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letschat7

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They took an RPK, FN Minimi, 3A body armour with plate, British Pounds, Gen3 NVG, some multicam uniforms, some Truecrypt encrypted data, 7n6, documents, Ratnik 2020 equipment, an Abloy key, and some flashlights. Just silly things.

Probably due to flagrantly violating the weapons laws and various national security concerns.
 

letschat7

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I figured if I ever get into Honey Bees, for honey mainly, I would also make dip candles. In my community there used to be a honey festival at the school with all kinds of Bee related things going on. There I seen a vendor make them two at a time. I've read a little bit up on it too but don't have much time in my schedule.
 

Poppy

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I've never used a glow stick as a light source. I never imagined that they would be any good. Well except as a signaling device. Tie a string to it and swing it around.

So my friend, I am a little surprised that you used it as a night light, especially at about a buck a piece, when you have so many flashlights and batteries.
 

Poppy

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Jar candles from hurricane Isabel that were left from the Christmas Eve ice storm in '98. Bonus, my home smells like a pine tree.
Yeah, my daughter keeps a number of scented candles around the house. Sometimes the house smells like apple cinnamon, other times like honeysuckle vanilla.

The light of a single candle probably puts out 10 lumens. That's enough to navigate a room.
 

Bull-Dozer

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I do like candles so long as they are in a sturdy lantern and placed where nothing can possible catch fire. I usually put my candle lantern on my stove to burn blessed candles. Just as with firepits I enjoy watching the open flame. The lantern itself is interesting too. It's amazing how much heat even a tea cup candle puts out. The roof of the lantern gets too hot to touch in no time.

Unfortunately, I do not trust my neighbors nor the public at large to pay enough attention to detail to safely use candles long term. Not so bad when emergency services are up and running but any large or long term disaster and I am afraid that tired, hot/cold, hungry/thirsty, exhausted, unprepared people will accidentally burn down entire neighborhoods.

That is probably why I like this site so much. Flashlight enthusiasts are usually into preparedness to at least some degree.
 

Bull-Dozer

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I do like candles so long as they are in a sturdy lantern and placed where nothing can possible catch fire. I usually put my candle lantern on my stove to burn blessed candles. Just as with firepits I enjoy watching the open flame. The lantern itself is interesting too. It's amazing how much heat even a tea cup candle puts out. The roof of the lantern gets too hot to touch in no time.

Unfortunately, I do not trust my neighbors nor the public at large to pay enough attention to detail to safely use candles long term. Not so bad when emergency services are up and running but any large or long term disaster and I am afraid that tired, hot/cold, hungry/thirsty, exhausted, unprepared people will accidentally burn down entire neighborhoods.

That is probably why I like this site so much. Flashlight enthusiasts are usually into preparedness to at least some degree. I just remembered I do have a handful of hurricane lanterns. Will have to write about that next.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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I do like candles so long as they are in a sturdy lantern and placed where nothing can possible catch fire. I usually put my candle lantern on my stove to burn blessed candles. Just as with firepits I enjoy watching the open flame. The lantern itself is interesting too. It's amazing how much heat even a tea cup candle puts out. The roof of the lantern gets too hot to touch in no time.

Unfortunately, I do not trust my neighbors nor the public at large to pay enough attention to detail to safely use candles long term. Not so bad when emergency services are up and running but any large or long term disaster and I am afraid that tired, hot/cold, hungry/thirsty, exhausted, unprepared people will accidentally burn down entire neighborhoods.

That is probably why I like this site so much. Flashlight enthusiasts are usually into preparedness to at least some degree.
I hope to never live in a multi-person facility like an apartment building or nursing home, you are only as safe as the least safe person in the building. It only takes one careless or incompetent person to burn the whole building down. I don't even like having my next door neighbor as close as they are--their fireworks fall into my yard every July.
 

Bull-Dozer

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---IMA SOL MAN--- I hear ya! This year we took all kinds of cardboard fallout from shells bursting just above the trees. It was mainly from a neighbor two doors down on the 4th. After each detonation I could hear scraps coming down and punching through canopy all around. Like a mini war zone. Good times!
 
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