Light Without Electric

We have to start thinking about electricity as a luxury. I use more than I should, but I probably use less than most. I’m always trying to find ways to cut back and one way is to save on lighting.  I need my laptop to work, so I can write to you good people, but I don’t need the light bulbs running.

One guy really impressed me with this simple idea to light a dark place during the day. Alfredo Moser a Brazilian mechanic had an epiphany when he figured out how to harness the light of the sun to brighten up dark areas. Using a plastic soda bottle, he pokes a hole through the roof just under the diameter of the bottle. He fills the soda bottle with 2 caps of bleach to fight off algae then fills it with water. Now, pushing up through the bottom of the roof, he puts the bottle in place. To seal out the rain, he uses epoxy to seal the edges and it never leaks. To get maximum absorption of light finish the top with a black cap which could be electrical tape and that’s all there is to it.

Each of the bottles can produce up to 50 watts of light. This is really catching on in many countries that don’t have electric or need to cut the power bill. This would be an excellent application for garages and sheds. Every bottle you add multiplies the light and this is just a simple and amazing way to stick it to the electric company.

I’m a fan of oil lamps! Sitting to read a book with a lamp on just shoots me back in time. Oil lamps are not only stylish: they are economical. You can find them easily new or at antique shops. I usually don’t have to pay more than $6.00-$10.00 to brighten things up.


The main worry with oil lamps is safety. Cats, children and even mistakes can bump an oil lamp onto the floor making a horrible scene right out of an old cowboy movie. Safety is the number one concern, so I recommend hanging the oil lamps. Put a hook in the ceiling over the area where you read and hang your lamp or buy a wall hanger like you would use for plants. Wherever you place your lamp, please make sure it’s a secure place!

The obvious candle is also perfect for saving energy. Not only can you buy them easily; you can also make your own with animal fats. I save my deer tallow and make deer tallow lights for the cost of a wick. When you have a cow or pig butchered, don’t let that lard and tallow go to waste: they make fine candles.



It’s just as simple as melting your fat and pouring it into a vessel. Used vegetable cans will work just fine: don’t forget to add the wick. Put the candles in a safe place. Use the same cautions with pets and children. If you would like a more focused light, use a candle box that has a reflector behind it.

Enjoy every bit of the ambiance created by these lights and take enjoyment knowing that you aren’t adding to your electric bill!

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