Light Without Electricity

Help out the environment by procuring light without electricity with natural light, tallow candles, rushlights and more!

| January/February 1975

  • 031-033-01-image
    Let natural light bounce off of gleaming surfaces to maximize light in your home.
  • 031-032-01-paraffin
    Candlemaking is a fund DIY project and practical as well.
  • Yellow Beeswax Candles
    Make your own beeswax candles for a fun, environmentally-friendly way to bring light into your home.
  • 031-032-01-lamps
    Use grease lamps to increase light in your home during the evening.
  • Aladdin Lamp
    The Aladdin lamp is the best indoor lighting device as long as kerosene is available.
    Photo by

  • 031-033-01-image
  • 031-032-01-paraffin
  • Yellow Beeswax Candles
  • 031-032-01-lamps
  • Aladdin Lamp

. . . And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown," and he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God, and that shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way . . . . "
— Anonymous

Most of nature's animals go to bed at dark . . . but not man. He likes to stay awake after the absence of natural light and, therefore, needs something which enables him to see.

Still, that "something" doesn't have to turn on with a switch. When we built our Going Back Cabin we didn't wire it for electricity. "Conserve energy" is the national theme now, isn't it? . . . and that fits right in with our own return to simpler ways.

I'll admit I had qualms. When I moved my typewriter (manual) to the cabin, I was apprehensive about whether I'd be able to get any writing done without Mr. Edison's brainchild. Well, I can: The good natural light pouring in the north window gives plenty of see-how. And for night reading, the tall-chimneyed, bright-mantled Aladdin lamp is as adequate as a hundred-watt bulb. (The necessary kerosene is scarce but, so far, can still be found.)

Yes, there are ways to produce illumination without modern methods . . . not so many, maybe, but enough . . . especially for the challenge-lover. The following are some of the possibilities:


How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
— Shakespeare

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