This week an electrical fault in my house had me considering possible off grid eco lighting sooner than expected.Without much thought I went to candles as the most eco friendly form of lighting in my mind, but is it really that straight forward?
The realities and practicalities of using candles was a bit of a shock. I love candles and had been managing to read by candlelight every night for a couple of months. But using it for everything certainly had its challenges.
Work days in winter wasn’t the best time to start. Getting dressed in a presentable manner, putting on make up and navigating around the house weren’t impossible but certainly a lot more difficult. I managed it for all three days but did miss lighting and appreciated natural light so much more. For example, cleaning was no longer a night time activity but best left to daylight on days off. And due to work, I didn’t see my house in daylight for the whole three days… which meant it definitely needed a clean by this time.
But also, I didn’t know about the environmental downsides of candles. I did some digging and one article compared burning petrolium based candles to the likes of burning diesel in your car…. not so eco then? But my idea was to eventually get a beehive and use spare bees wax to create my candles with… so would this be more eco friendly than conventional lights? I would still think so, but now I’m concerned about the practicalities of it.
I think my current thinking for the FreEco Bus is to install conventional low energy light bulbs which would be powered by the grid and get a couple of torches or camping lights (which can be recharged) to be powered by solar panels (for necessary use only). So for example when I’m doing my make up, but to try to use beeswax candles for most of our lighting needs.
However, I am still researching this area so it may well changed. Feel free to post your suggestions or good resources in the comments box!