It’s all about LEDs my friends. LEDs are the way to go, lasting nearly forever and using very little battery power (make sure, of course, that you have batteries on hand). We have LED headlamps in our grab and go bags, but we also are looking into a new generation of LED bulbs for our Urban Homestead’s interior lighting.
As far as house lighting goes, while LED efficiency is rapidly advancing, compact fluorescents are still better from an economic perspective even though there are concerns about the trace amounts of mercury that compact fluorescents contain contaminating landfills. Still, compact fluorescents are far better than incandescents since they consume less power and hence create less greenhouse gas. Remember that power plants are America’s single greatest producer of greenhouse gases. And as far as conservation goes, it’s estimated that if every American replaced one bulb with a compact fluorescent it would be the energy equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road.
But back to LEDs. For emergency purposes it might be wise to have a Forever Flashlight that requires no batteries. You shake the thing back and forth to run the light, with no batteries ever needed – the device’s only real disadvantage in fact is that the charging gesture, which uses Faraday’s principle of electromagnetic energy, is really lewd and may lead to crass comments from bystanders.