Some notes from a power outage last night

Stress_Test

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First let me say that it's very rare for there to be a long blackout in the area I live. I can't remember the last time we had one that went for more than 1 or 2 minutes. This one lasted about 4 hours.

The main lesson I got from this is that power outages in the summertime suck! Because it's friggin' hot and there's nothing you can do about it other than throw some water on yourself every now and then.

Anyway, the power cut off at about 7pm, so there was still quite a bit of time before actual darkness hit. I decided that even though I had a good number of AA Nimh and lithiums on hand, I'd stick to my "around the house" lights and save the AA stuff as my backup "go to" lights.

At first, for a low level area light, I used the RiverRock Nightfire 2C. This light starts out very bright (~100 lumen) but falls off quickly to about 30 to 40 lumens. However, it will run a looooong time at that level, which makes it a great blackout light.

However, my new best friend during all this was....... The Fenix E01! That's right, the lowly, much maligned, purple ringed beam, E01. In the complete darkness, it put out plenty of light to walk aound, and even did a fair job of illuminating a room in ceiling bounce. I was surprised by how bright it seemed, but it makes a big difference when there's NO ambient light at all. And I didn't worry about run time at all, because I knew I had a few AAA alkalines lying around, and each one would give me something like 7 hours of runtime. 15 bucks well spent!! lol :twothumbs

I occasionally looked out the windows to see how my neighbors were doing (I live in an apartment complex). Some windows showed some dim light, and I would occasionally see some obvious flashlight usage, but the majority of them were dark. I felt really sorry for anyone relying on nothing but a cheapo 2D or 2AA incan, or candles!

There was a lot of traffic (people probably trying to escape the heat, or out looking for lights and batteries!) but I didn't see hardly anyone walking outside. I did see two local neighbors, who live in a house close by, walking with some kind of led light that was pretty bright, but I had no idea what it was; bluish beam, fairly floody.

I thought about going outside and trying out some of my lights, but it was so damn hot I didn't want to do anything but sit still and try not to sweat to death! :sick: Plus I don't like to call attention to myself either, and high power flashlights in a blackout tend to do that! :eek: But, I was ready to step outside and light up the area if the need arose!

All in all it was an interesting reminder about how complete the darkness is when ALL the lights are off, which is something us city dwellers tend to forget!


Maybe the next one will be in cooler weather :grin2:
 

Flying Turtle

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Sounds like it was an enlightening outage. That's about the right length for one. It really does give an appreciation for how little light is needed when the power goes down.

Geoff
 

SilentK

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Lucky. Last major outage i got was 6-8 months after katrina. However, during katrina, seeing as i lived in mississippi, i got a week of no electricity. :nana: But that was a shame, because all i had was mag-lites, a propane lantern, and those led lights that run off of coin cells where when the cells die you might as well throw the thing away. it was all that was needed at the time, and it worked quite well. i got maybe 2 or 3 that lasted around an hour or so, and dozens on pulses that have ruined hundreds worth of electronics. Everything gets a UPS now. :)
 
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sappyg

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thanks for sharing your notes. i finally broke down and got an E01 and believe me i will order more of them. i should not have ignored this flashlight for so long.
i turned in on in a theater lasts night between scenes and it was WAY more light than i needed.
 

thedeske

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I deal with power outs of 1 to 3 hours every year (old ind building) but this is the first time I'll have a few lights to go with the old candle collection.

A test with an LD01 on low and medium in the office made me smile. I have options this year. Nice
 

Zeruel

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What?!! You didn't run outside and blast your lights to your heart's content? :twak:
 

Buckeye

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Last September during Ike. We lost power for 26 hours. My Fenix E0 was all I needed to get around the house. I used my P3D to walk the dog and medium was too bright for the conditions.
We were lucky, some people around here were out of power for 8 days.:eek:oo:
 

Grubbster

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We were out for 7 days after an ice storm this past winter. I found the best things were low level lights, lanterns, and head lights. We kept lanterns in each room and head lights on each person. Hand held lights were almost not needed.
 

musket3

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Why not use your lights to help the power company locate the problem? A pole number and cross street location of any downed wires reported to the power company will help them get the problem repaired quicker than without that information. Just don't get too close and try to be a hero. Don't touch anything and keep a safe distance. Yes, I used to work for a utility company, retired now.
 

Oddjob

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It's funny how total darkness can be enlightening. I made the same discovery when I went camping with my E01's soon after I got them. Even though I had much brighter lights with me, my wife and I each used an E01 on a neck lanyard a large majoirty of the time (this summer I'll be using a McGizmo Sapphire :))
 

SilentK

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Last September during Ike. We lost power for 26 hours. My Fenix E0 was all I needed to get around the house. I used my P3D to walk the dog and medium was too bright for the conditions.
We were lucky, some people around here were out of power for 8 days.:eek:oo:

Lucky!?!?! Sounds more like to me that you got screwed. Only 26 hours? Sounds like you should have moved in the house down the street. :twothumbs XD
 

Stress_Test

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Why not use your lights to help the power company locate the problem? A pole number and cross street location of any downed wires reported to the power company will help them get the problem repaired quicker than without that information. Just don't get too close and try to be a hero. Don't touch anything and keep a safe distance. Yes, I used to work for a utility company, retired now.

If I'd actually heard a transformer go ka-boom, then yeah maybe. Or if I'd heard a car hitting a utility pole or something. But I was inside and the power just cut off abruptly, so there was no way to know the cause (found out today though that it was a component at a substation that blew out).

And my car was showing 50 miles to empty, and no power means no gas stations operational, so I wasn't going to drive anywhere unless for emergencies! I normally try to not let the tank get so empty, but I kept putting off the refill. Oops.
 

Joe18

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This kind of reminds me that as much as I would like to blow all my money on flashlights and stuff, I have to realize how many times a year I'm really going to need a 500+ LM light let alone a 200 LM light. Usually my Target re-branded River Rock AA light does the job.
 

Duodec

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If we are home when power goes out, we can shut down the computers and other UPS protected items as quickly as possible unless they are really needed.

Then we have nearly fully charged 1100-1500 watt UPS's to run little niceties like a desktop fans in the summertime. Sometimes a portable light with a low wattage CFL bulb. Phone base station if we want to keep the cordless phones going. We'll generally get several hours out of each unit, up to 10 or so depending on load. Its no A/C but its still a big help. And so far we haven't had multi-day outages to deal with.
 

AusKipper

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And my car was showing 50 miles to empty, and no power means no gas stations operational, so I wasn't going to drive anywhere unless for emergencies! I normally try to not let the tank get so empty, but I kept putting off the refill. Oops.

Sounds like someone needs a jerry can :)


hehe. i normally keep a low profile with all the brights I have when the power goes out. i don't want to attract too much attention

+1 on that, I always wonder what will happen if we have a power outage for longer than 24hours and i start up a generator.... will i have 20 people show up at my door wanting help? or will it go missing the next night...
 

tygger

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Sounds like someone needs a jerry can :)


+1 on that, I always wonder what will happen if we have a power outage for longer than 24hours and i start up a generator.... will i have 20 people show up at my door wanting help? or will it go missing the next night...

Good point. Depending on the outage duration, that could become an issue. Or even if you don't have a generator, it may be wise to resist the flashaholic urge to do beamshot comparisons all over the neighborhood due to the perfect lack of ambient light conditions. :whistle:
 

Sgt. LED

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When it's night and I'm ready for bed the generator goes off and comes inside with me.
mad71.gif
 

zipplet

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I have a 40Ah AGM SLA sitting in the corner of my room hooked up to a charger that keeps it topped up. It is wired to some LED lights I put along the ceiling and above my desk, and to a multi-level light I wired into my brothers room. There are also some 12V DC vehicle receptacles connected to it and a 600W inverter for emergencies.

It's great for keeping a small netbook running for a long time to listen to music / watch movies (USB DVD-ROM :) ) to pass the time and to have a lot of comfortable light. Sure I have too many flashlights but it's nice to have lights setup ready to go with the flick of a switch too.

The downside is we get neighbours coming to our house wondering why our power is still on!!! compounded by the fact that I usually tailstand flashlights in a few rooms around the house to help out my family. Last time it was funnier because my desktop PC was still running on UPS (it's a beefy APC one that holds for 30-40 minutes as I overspecced a bit :duh2:) and I was watching the end of a DVD with the sound up quite loud :popcorn: :grin2:

Of course, all the neighbours are using candles and - and only if they are lucky - very brown sickly beam incans with almost dead batteries :barf:
 

Lynx_Arc

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I have lost power a few times at this place I live it was about 4 times a year for up to 8 hours till an ice storm took out half the city for about a week. I realized during a spring outage having battery powered fans were a must so when Target put some on sale I got a big one that takes 8D cells but has a DC input jack also and two 3v desk fans along with a few personal fans. I found that for most things about 3-5 watts of light in flourescent or LED was good for working on things and playing cards while low power 5mm LEDs worked for most other things. A car charger and a stockpile of both regular and charged batteries helps to. Now I have a portable dvd player also and I am looking to get a 12sla battery to run it off of.
when I get a bunch of extra money I am considering a generator so that any outages of more than a half a day will not have me cleaning the fridge and replacing food as I lost a freezer full twice in a year that can add up to a bit of money.
 
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