Emergency Lighting Guide

Emergency lighting need not be technologically marvelous. Some waterproof matches and a few candles could be all you need to get through a short-term disaster situation. Of course, any sensible emergency preparedness veteran will tell you that you need flashlights and lanterns as a minimal emergency lighting plan, so add them to your  emergency supplies list if they are not already on there.

There are also convenient headlamps and lights which keep your hands free, light sticks you shake and snap to provide illumination, and good old-fashioned fire to cast light (and heat) on your situation. Here are a few emergency lights and items you should consider packing for any disaster preparedness situation.

Candles and Light Sticks

When most people think of candles, they immediately picture an image of the traditional rod-shaped variety. But for survival purposes, there are 12, 24 and 36 hours survival candles in pots which inexpensively provide lots of illumination. Standard candles of just about any kind will do in a pinch, and take up very little of your emergency survival budget.

Light sticks are also available to provide emergency lighting for up to 12 hours. You shake or bend the stick, and then snap, with a luminescent glow as your reward. Recently LED glow sticks have appeared, complete with flashlight, flasher and whistle, that can last for hours at a time.

Flashlights & Headlamps

There might not be a more versatile emergency lighting product than a flashlight. Headlamps are also awesome, because they come with straps which hold the light in place on your head, allowing you to keep your hands free for other survival activities.

Both of these types of emergency lighting can be found at several different price points, meaning that planning for lighting in an emergency situation is attractive to every budget level. Don’t forget backup batteries. Combination flashlight, lantern, AM/FM/Weather radio products powered by a crank deliver emergency lighting and other excellent survival features.


Lanterns come in hand-held and larger sizes. They can be battery powered or run on propane or kerosene. The benefit is illumination for a much larger area than provided by candles, flashlights or headlamps. Solar powered lanterns are also available.

This type of emergency lighting is indispensable when you have reached your predestined bug out location (BOL) or built a permanent shelter. In any type of emergency survival situation you absolutely must see what you are doing and what is going on around you, and lanterns get the job done admirably.

Waterproof Matches

Aside from being able to provide much-needed fire for heat, light and cooking, waterproof matches are also an excellent source of localized illumination. Sometimes you only need to see what your immediate environment offers, and waterproof matches prove versatile in this and many other survival scenarios.

Emergency Fire Starter

You will see this piece of survival gear mentioned throughout our website. That is because fire provides so many necessary functions. Affordable and dependable key ring models are available, allowing you to start a fire quickly and safely while producing a wider range of illumination than a focused flashlight or headlamp.


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