How To Light Your Home Without Electricity

The prospect of imminent wintertime power disruptions fills some people with anxiety or even terror. The tranquility that occurs when the deafening hum of domestic equipment is silent, however, has always held a sentimental appeal for me. The warm glow of candles or oil lamps gently illuminating a space transports me to a simpler time when life was more meaningful.

With the exception of five major appliances: the water heater, washing machine, air conditioner, electric stove, and well pump, we are virtually entirely solar powered. For each of them, we have non-electric backups in place, which we switch to on a regular basis.

Lighting is one of the most straightforward areas to look for non-electric options. And you can get a lot of the things you need for very little money.


Candles are a cheap (and sometimes even free) method to light your house while you’re not connected to the grid. I’m usually on the lookout for bins labeled “free goods” at yard sales, where you can often get candles for free. You can try your hand at creating your own candles if you’re the crafty sort. After all, a couple hundred years ago, practically everyone did it!

Oil lamps

Another fantastic alternative for lighting your home without power is oil lamps. Kerosene, lamp oil, olive oil, and even animal fat can be used to power them. Because of the strong aromas kerosene emits, it must be used in a well-ventilated space, which isn’t always possible when it’s chilly outdoors. Try to select a company that sells a non-toxic, safe-for-indoor-use “clean burning” oil while looking for the correct fuel to burn. A smokeless, odorless lamp oil is an excellent option.

There are a variety of oil lamp styles to select from, including wall mounted, table top lamps, Aladdins, hanging lights, reading lamps, and so on. They’re all excellent for their intended functions. Secondhand stores and yard sales are great places to get inexpensive oil lamps. To keep those lamps burning, you’ll need to stock up on wicks as well.

Solar Lights

When it gets dark outside, we like to put external solar lights (you know, the ones people use to light up their walks at night) around the inside of our home. We placed the solar lights outside in a jar every morning to soak up as much sunshine as possible. When it becomes dark outside, we bring the lights inside and carefully put them throughout the house to help light up gloomy bathrooms and corridors. Our solar lights have rechargeable batteries that need to be replaced after a while, but they’ve lasted over a year and are still running strong.

Flashlights and Battery Powered Lamps

Flashlights are an excellent off-grid illumination source, especially for short-term or emergency use. Solar flashlights are an excellent choice that will save you money in the long run since you will never need to replace the batteries!

Battery-operated lighting or lanterns are also useful. They’re safer for youngsters to use than oil lamps, and there are no unpleasant aromas or annoying emissions to worry about.

Solar Panels and Led Lights

We decided to adapt the existing light fixtures in each room to handle solar electricity because we had a modest 1000 kW solar panel kit installed in our home. We simply changed our old Edison type light bulbs with LEDs to do this. Yes, they cost a bit more up front, but they last a lifetime. They also require a little amount of energy. Our previous lights used 60-75 watts apiece, while the new LEDs use only 6 watts to illuminate the same amount of room, making them very easy to power with solar energy.

We’re also good about keeping lights turned off during the day or when no one is in the room. When your power is limited, you become acutely aware of the need of avoiding wasting it.

Outdoor Lighting

We wanted the security of outside motion sensor lights at the corners of our home and at the entry ways when we moved to off-grid lighting. Our local hardware shop has several solar motion lights that were reasonably priced. They performed their job and were simple to set up.

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