While practical in allowing illumination for approaching your front door after a night's drive home from work, there are other potential emergency uses for solar lights that many people may not think of. Modern LED lighting has opened a world of opportunities for low-power but bright lighting in all sorts of solar-powered applications. Some of the most popular uses for lawns and gardens are solar path lights and flood lights.
Power outages, though typically infrequent, can cause problems ranging from simple inconvenience to even potentially dangerous situations, since we humans can't see too well in the dark, unfortunately. And, while power outages don't happen often, unless you're prepared for a lights out situation ahead of time, it can be a real pain to deal with. And, if you didn't keep good batteries in stock or other emergency lighting options, perhaps your fancy solar path lights can come in handy?
1 – Makeshift Lantern
Flashlights are nice, and you should obviously have one or more in designated places in your home for those just-in-case situations. However, what if you grab that trusty ol' flashlight and flip the switch only to find out the batteries are dead from sitting so long since the last time you had to dust it off?
First off, always remember to check or replace the batteries periodically to avoid that issue. If you don't have extra batteries, and you're in a lights out situation, this could be one of the emergency uses for solar lights.
Solar LED path lights are usually not all that bright, so you'll need to grab several of your solar path lights. These can usually be removed from their post or stake. Often, the dome or glass can be removed as well to make them smaller. Then, find a large glass container such as a vase, pitcher, or large jar, and fill it with as many solar path lights as you have or as many as can fit in the container.
In a pinch, this could create a lantern with enough light for a sitting area or to carry from room to room as needed. If possible, hang the jar or container from the ceiling or ceiling fan as doing so tends to light the room better than placing it on a table.
2 – Lighting Dark Hallways
You may already have some flashlights, oil lanterns, etc. to use around your home for certain rooms in a lights out situation. However, in my own experience, having to go to unlighted rooms, such as the bathroom, requires you to carry one of those with you, which is inconvenient and leaves the room that you're leaving unlit for others in your home.
Another of the emergency uses for solar lights would be to set these up in hallways, closets, bathrooms or other areas where you don't have to walk or enter as frequently, and therefore rather not or don't have the extra lanterns, etc. to leave in those areas at all times.
3 – Night Lights For Children
As a parent, you may find that when the lights go out, suddenly your children are also without that all-too-familiar night light in their room that helps them feel safe and secure each night around bed time. You may not have enough lanterns available, and you certainly don't want to have lights that use flames like lanterns or candles around children when you'll not be able to monitor them. You may also want to use your batteries sparingly in flashlights in case the power outage lasts longer than anticipated.
One of my favorite emergency uses for solar lights is for my children's night light. They work well for this because they are already designed for a relatively low-light and all (or most) of the night use. You can simply place them back outside for recharging in the morning. Just don't forget in case the power isn't back on by the next nightfall!