Sunday, January 16, 2011

Off-grid Lighting Success!

Ok, well, not exactly. You see, even though I'm not off-grid yet, I'm at least trying out things that I'll hopefully use when I am off-grid. So, with that said, I've been trying to make these home made oil candles but I only had canola oil and sunflower oil. I was not successful. I tried different containers and wicks and holders. So, I decided that it must be the oil. On my next trip to the market, I bought some more olive oil. I used these little inexpensive oil bottles that I bought off an ebay-like site for a couple of bucks but you could use a glass or jar as well.

Anywho, it worked! First I soaked the cotton wick in a small amount of olive oil until it was well saturated. Then, I poured some oil in the bottle, pulled the wick through the tick and stuck the other end in the bottle and there was light; a nice light. One thing I noticed though was that my candle was brighter. So, I'll have to figure out what to do to get my light on the oil candle as bright as the wax candle if that is possible. I think I might have to extend the wick a little.

I was thinking that until I have solar and/or wind power, I will need some form of inexpensive lighting. Olive oil isn't exactly cheap though unless you buy it in bulk. Back in Houston, I remember there was this Phoenician market where I could buy olive oil in as much as 5 gallon tins and they weren't that expensive. I'd just worry about it going rancid. I'll be giving this another try with regular vegetable oil to see how it turns out but for now, the olive oil candle burned nice and clean. Just wish it were a tad brighter.

Here are some of the paraffin lamps that could be used as olive oil lamps instead since the olive oil burns cleaner:

I particularly like the one that hangs on the wall but I wonder if it isn't a tad too close to that wall. Hmmm..........

I also found this interesting tea light holder. With the colored glass and all, it probably won't give off much light but it could add ambiance.:

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