Letter Re: Common Ground With Greens

James Wesley: While the compact fluorescent bulbs are good at saving energy, even better are LED bulbs. I know they are expensive, but they are coming down in price and can be had at very reasonable prices on eBay. Not only that, but they “burn” cool to the touch and contain no mercury. A broken CF bulb practically warrants a HAZMAT crew! L’s last even longer than compact fluorescent bulbs and are made of plastic so there’s no worries about breakage. I’m building a solar power system for my home, and plan on switching to LEDs. – Dave, RN




Discovering What We Needed in an Actual Time of Need, by M.M.

There has been much talk on many survival/prepper blogs about when and if our electricity goes out. Lots of speculation by folks who have experienced short power outages. My husband and I have experienced numerous, long power outages. They are very common in the remote area where we live. As we are the last house on the power line, when the power goes out we are the last to get our power restored. Our most recent long lasting power outage was in January, when our area experienced a rare ice storm. In 17 years of living in our present home, …




Three Letters Re: Battery-Powered House Interior Lighting

Sir: I enjoy your blog and support you in a small way with the 10 Cent Challenge.  After reading your response to the Battery-Powered House Interior Lighting letter, I want to add some information that I learned at a FAA seminar that I attended.  The FAA is now endorsing blue or green lighting in the cockpit of all aircraft (general aviation and commercial).  The green and/or blue takes less energy output for the eyes to see details.  Also, red lighting can be seen from further away than blue/green (red is used to designate towers and tall buildings at night, where …




Letter Re: Battery-Powered House Interior Lighting

James Wesley: We have frequent power outages.  We bought a [deep cycle] marine battery from Bass Pro Shops that was intended use with a trolling motor.  We keep this battery continuously trickle-charged.   A small inverter from Radio Shack provides 120 VAC for three strings of white LED Christmas lights attached to the uppermost part of the most important wall.  A charged trolling motor battery will keep these efficient lights on for a very long time.  All we have to do is to plug the lights into the inverter socket. Very safe. – Anonymous JWR Replies: It would be much more efficient …




Lighting Alternatives, by Rick C.

Looking at today’s troubling times I cannot help but wonder about how to best prepare for them. I am new to this arena and in the last ten years. Yes its taken me that long, I have come to realize that being prepared is not being some Nut Case, but the very real, important, job of every family to ensure survival. Its too bad most of us are not even aware, or willing to acknowledge what is happening. Only in the last two years have I started to react to this and start preparing my family. I regret my “Head …




Prepping on $10 a Week, by S.W. Michigan Fred

Have you seen the latest reality television show, “Doomsday Preppers”, from National Geographic?  I made a mistake a few years ago – after 20 years of successfully resisting the cries and moans of my children, I gave in and allowed cable television to be installed in my house. Should have known better, but as they say, that’s a whole ‘nother subject.  Now, every week, National Geographic brings us “Doomsday Preppers,” Animal Planet serves up “Meet The Preppers,” Discovery beams in another episode of “Doomsday Bunkers” and the new pay-to-view internet network GBTV fires off a round of “American Preppers.”  Can …




Letter Re: The Perpetual Light

JWR: Thank you for all you do. I recently found SurvivalBlog, and have enjoyed it immensely!   I live close to Wiggy’s [in Grand Junction, Colorado]so when I read about their Amazing Perpetual Light on SurvivalBlog, I thought I would give it a try. This morning, I purchased three of their 4”x6” mini size. They only weigh 10.84 grams, 10.85 grams, and 12.15 grams each (for comparison, about the same weight as the combined weight of 3 or 4 pre-1982 copper pennies). I let them charge in the sun (it is actually mostly cloudy, and hailing) for 30 minutes, and …




Letter Re: The Perpetual Light

James, The Perpetual Light [marketed by Wiggy’s] is in fact a resale of another company’s product, also made in the Grand Junction, Colorado area.  The other company is UVPaqlite.com.  I’ve had their products for close to six months now and I have been using them the entire time.  Some notes on the lights: 1.  The Glow in the Dark Spots (GIDS) are great to mark emergency gear.  I have one on the ends of several flashlights so I can find them if the power goes out.  I also have one on the end of my bed so I don’t walk …




Letter Re: The Perpetual Light

Hi Jim:  I came across a really neat little phosphorescent light source that your readers might like.  It is sold by Wiggy’s, a maker of high end American-made sleeping bags [and a long-time SurvivalBlog advertiser.].  They call it a Perpetual Light and you can use sunlight, headlights of cars, et cetera to charge it up.   Its not a flashlight, its more of a general area kind of light and their pretty cheap.   I  bought one for general camp use and I really like it.   Go to wiggys.com to check it out. – SmokecheckTim Economics and Investing:




Candle Making For Preppers, by Jennifer L.

So, you think anyone can make candles.  Well, now that I’ve made a hundred and have tried to teach my friends, I’m not so sure!   I decided a month ago that I wasn’t going to wait for a TEOTWAWKI situation to figure out how to make them!  I’m making them now and thought I would share my “lessons learned” with you.  I know that all of us have plenty of flashlights, batteries, oil lamps and kerosene lanterns packed away.  But if the poles shift and batteries don’t work, if you run out of oil and kerosene…. then candles might just …




When The Lights Went Out in The Southwest, by R.H.

The following is a chronological list of events and occurrences when the lights went out on September 8th, 2011, or what I like to call “The Great Blackout of 2011”. 3:38 p.m. – I live in San Diego, California, and when the lights went out I was at home taking a nap. For some reason after I got home from teaching that day I was exhausted (probably the heat) and needed to rest.  It was a good thing too because I would need my energy in the hours to come.  While I was sleeping I could hear my phone going …




Letter Re: An Exception to the Upcoming U.S. Light Bulb Ban

Dear Mr. Rawles:  In reference to D.B.C. in Minnesota’s letter regarding rough service lamps and their availability.  I recently read PUBLIC LAW 110–140—DEC. 19, 2007 which impacts incandescent light bulbs has language which directs the “Secretary” to track the sales of “exempted” bulbs and if their sales grow above historical sales/growth levels, then energy conservation standards will be imposed for exempted lamps, including rough service. Here is a partial excerpt from the bill:  ‘‘(D) ROUGH SERVICE LAMPS.— ‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—Effective beginning with the first year that the reported annual sales rate for rough service lamps demonstrates actual unit sales of rough service lamps that achieve …




Letter Re: An Exception to the Upcoming U.S. Light Bulb Ban

Jim: You recently posted a link to an article titled: “Time to Stock up on Light Bulbs”. I appreciate very much the helpful instruction I receive on SurvivalBlog. You put a lot of effort into credible and accurate information. It is with that in mind that I share the following with you. I have been selling light bulbs into the Commercial / Industrial market for 17 years. While it is true “most” 100 watt A19 incandescents are outlawed as of January 1st 2012, NOT ALL are. One quick search under “EISA 2007” category “lighting” will yield the real story. The …




Learning To Prepare, The Hard Way, by Barbara L.

I cannot even remember a time when I wasn’t a “prepper”.  Although until a few years ago, I had no idea of what I was preparing for.  Before the dawn of my awakening, I had serious urges to learn how not to kill plants and flowers. I wanted to grow my own food eventually, so I started with a trip to the local Big Box store, and bought some bare root fruit trees. Now in my mind, they are already dead, so if I could resurrect them, and keep them going, I was on my way. If they didn’t survive …




Weekend Homesteaders, by R.M.H.

This is the story of how two middle-aged city dwellers became weekend homesteaders, and how we bumbled our way through planning and building an off-grid survival cabin. Top to bottom, the project took about two years to complete, working only on weekends. We started out naïve but ambitious, and learned everything as we went along. Our off-the-grid plans actually began with an intriguing documentary. The program posed a series of questions: What would you do without power for two days? For two weeks? For two months? The show went on to explain how incredibly fragile the power grid is, and …