Getting Started: Illumination

Illumination is a critical component in your emergency kits. You can certainly spend a lot of money on illumination but you can also provide very good lighting on a very modest budget. Again, you can start small and add more as your budget allows.

Candles & Lanterns

The humble candle is inexpensive, has an extremely long shelf life, burns for a long time, and also looks really cool. Have some candles in your home kit. Candles are affordable, long-lasting, and reliable. Check your local dollar store for extremely affordable and long lasting candles. Be sure to place candles on a heatproof platter or plate and never leave a live flame burning unattended. Upgrade to some indoor Lanterns to provide additional, long-lasting light.

  • Good: [Home Kit] Keep a good supply of candles at home in case the power fails.
  • Better: [Vehicle Kit] Candles in your vehicle kit can be used as fire starters. Add a small lantern such as the Streamlight Siege AA. This lantern can provide white and red light and has a red blinking distress mode.
  • Best: [Home] Add a lantern such as the Streamlight Siege AA or Streamlight Siege. Be sure to have plenty of spare batteries. You may want multiple lanterns depending on the size of your house. You can use the small lantern from your vehicle kit in the house and keep a larger lantern in the house also. Multiple lanterns provides more light and redundancy in the event that one lantern breaks.


Flashlights are extremely useful around your home, vehicle, and outdoors. Be sure to select high-quality flashlights that are durable and water resistant (waterproof is better). Do NOT trust the cheap, give-away flashlights since these are less reliable and they normally generate less light.

  • Good: [Home/Vehicle/Hiking Kits] Select a durable, bright flashlight and have plenty of spare batteries. Have multiple flashlights in your home kit.
  • Better: Select a small, bright, durable, waterproof tactical flashlight that can used as an everyday carry (EDC) light.
  • Best: Add a very high-powered tactical flashlight to your light collection. I have a small EDC light and I also have a larger and more powerful light. Be sure to have spare batteries for all of your lights.