Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIY Survival Gear Mods - Maximizing Candle Power - Using The Power of Reflected Light

One of the most common items used for survival to provide light are candles. You can find candles in some form in almost every household. They come in all shapes and sizes and are generally quite cheap and are very affordable. Unfortunately, they don’t normally produce a very effective amount of light. In a survival situation, candles during a power outage can be an extremely useful item and are also one of the easiest items to modify in order to increase their light output to make them more effective.

The easiest way to make your candles more effective is to use the power of reflected light. Now this is not a new concept. Almost all flashlights and outdoor lights have a highly reflective surface to focus the light output. Many kerosene lamps (also known as “hurricane lamps”) had reflective mirrors positioned on the backside in order to reflect their light output to increase their effectiveness and many earlier versions had simple polished metal reflectors. 

You simply need some sort of reflective surface to increase the light output from your candle. This reflective surface can be anything from a mirror to a simple piece of cardboard covered with tin foil. It can also come from a non-functioning (broken) outdoor light fixture. In my case, the reflective panel from an old outdoor light fixture is going to be used to make a reflector that will hold a small to medium size candle and increase its effectiveness. A simple wooden frame will be added to give it stability and the means to fasten a handle on it to make it portable. It should provide sufficient light to read by or to see with when moving about in the dark.

Got recycled reflectors?

Staying above the water line!



jambaloney said...

that's a great idea! we have TONS of candles and i will be on the lookout for an old fixture like you have there to increase to output.

thanks rw!

Shorty said...

Hey RW
This reminds me of the old westerns, you remember they would build a fire against a light colored rock or wall to reflect the light. I have been doing a lot of camping lately and have been using the local stone , when bout 100' away is a stream with some large light colored stones. Thanks for the jog in memory.


Anonymous said...

And theres always the beverage can with 'doors' cut from sides to form wings that steer blowing wind away from the flame. Cut hole in bottom for sticking candle through use the tab on top to hang.

Ken said... winter at deer camp,after a storm knocked out power,we used candles for four days,good thing i had plenty stored too,cuz after the second day,there weren't any to be bought within 50 miles,and i didn't have the gas to drive all the way to alpena...anyway,we were talking about melting the stubs,and what to use for wick when they restored power...GodBlessCandles

riverwalker said...

To: jambaloney

Candles are really great to have around but if the power goes out it can be hard to read by regular candlelight. I was mainly looking for a low cost way to make my candles a little more efficient.



riverwalker said...

To: Shorty

Great to hear from you! Good tip about using light-colored rocks to reflect firelight.

Send me an email when you get a chance. I like your opinion on a couple of things if possible.

Thanks Shorty.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:43

I've made and posted about the soda can lanterns but was looking for a way to use some of my larger candles more effectively. The soda can lanterns do work pretty darn good.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: Ken

Like most things, candles will disappear in a hurry when the power goes out. Just need to keep plenty on hand.

Great story. Melting the stubs...great way to utilize and conserve your resources.

Thanks Ken.


Related Posts with Thumbnails