Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Off-grid living - Baby Step 2

There are many routes to off-grid living, and I prefer the simple portable ones. Think your way through an average day and you'll need light, hot water, hot food and a means of charging your electronic links to the modern world. In Baby Step 1 we looked at one simple way to achieve the latter, but there are many more, and we'll look at some of them as time goes on.

So, let's think about light. If you live in Shetland you probably won't need any in June or July during the 'Simmer Dim', but in most of the UK you'll need anything between one and six hours use of a light source per day, depending on the time of year.

There are a few options:

1) Candles - traditional, atmospheric, available anytime. Not a bright light, but can be enhanced by using them in a lantern. A couple of quid gets you 100 tealight candles from the likes of IKEA, each burning for about four hours.

2) Wind-up torches and lanterns. Good for emergency lighting while finding other light sources, or when your matches are wet and you've no power left in your solar battery pack. Noisy and a lot of effort, but good for kids to see one form of energy being converted to another.

3) Rechargeable solar-powered lights. There are some great, very durable examples of these around now, with my particular favourites produced and sold by Sun King.
Sun King Pro with solar panel for charging

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