Preparedness Quick Tip: Reflect Light for More Light

When the power is out, how do you light your way?  If you’re trying to light your house with flashlights, try this simple trick to amplify the amount of light and create ambient light in a room from a flashlight.  Aim your flashlight at a light surface such as a white ceiling and let the light reflect off the surface into the room.Shining a flashlight at a light surface reflects and refracts the light.  Usually a flashlight is directional, meaning if it is pointing at something, you can see that thing, but it will still be dark everywhere else.  A flashlight reflected off a ceiling will give light to the entire room.  This light is also coming from above like you are used to so it feels more “normal” than light from most other emergency light sources.  It is stationary (unlike a headlamp or flashlight in the hands of a child), so it’s easy to move from one place to another or perform duties that require two hands and your vision like fixing meals and always have some light on what you’re looking at.To see how well this works, below is a photo I took with my phone during a recent power outage.  It was after dark and this flashlight was the only light in the room.  The fact that my phone could even take a picture is testament that this works.  Without the ceiling, you would not have been able to see the refrigerator, counter top, or stove.  You can also see shadows made by the light shining down.  Pretty slick.  You do need to have a flashlight that puts out an ample amount of light for this to work well.  We’ve tried it with wimpy lights and it just doesn’t do much.  Give it a try the next time you’re stuck in the dark! 

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