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Living by Candlelight

Updated on May 5, 2011
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

Candelight and Daily Life

Candles are so warming. Sitting in a room with the soft flicker of the light calms the soul and mellows you out. It also saves a ton of money.

Last year our electric bill came is so high we about choked. There are five people in our family and with each one turning on lights as they enter rooms and then leaving them on, the expenses kept going up. I had had enough.

We decided to make a challenge out of it and told the kids that we wanted to see how much we could lower our electric bill by not using lights unless we were reading and doing homework. For every dollar we saved we would have an hour of family fun time. They were all for it.

So Much Fun

One might think that we would feel like we were living in a cave. Not so. We had two hurricane lamps and some candles that we kept lit. We taped over the light switches so that old habits would not overtake us. We noticed some amazing things. Overall the house was more quite. People tended to not talk so loud when the lights were soft.

We did this for about two months so that we could see what the impact was. Our electric bill was almost half! It's amazing how much electricity our lights use.

Since then we have moved into a new home way out in the woods. We've bought a few more lamps to hang on the wall and some utility candles to place in tin candle holders like the old days. As night descends, it is my job to go through the house and light the lamps. They give off SO much light and it is so soft and relaxing. Visitors have commented how much then enjoy sitting in the candlelight and visting.

Give it a try but do it safely. Never leave them on as you sleep or if you leave the house. Fire safety should always come first.

Ways to Use Candlelight

  • Hurricane lamps - give lots of light and can be on the wall or on the table - some come with reflective panels to help distribute the light around the room.

  • Candles -can be on the wall or the table. These are the most hazardous only because they can easily be knocked over by children and pets
  • Safe places - make sure any of these pieces are located safely from children, pets, and clumsy adults. Away from any flamable material such as curtains is a must, too.
  • Fire safety - talk with the firemen to learn more about safety - children will be more likely to listen to them and have more respect for the fire.


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    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      You are so right. It is relaxing and cheaper :)

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      When the power goes out I love the glow of a hurricane lamp and candles. Actually I think it is a good idea to turn off the lights during the day and open the windows as it is free, and a much better source of light. Saving money is also a plus.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      It is fun and relaxing. The kids feel like they are on an adventure. I enjoy it because it is so calming.

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This sounds so romantic! And warm and cozy. Your home must be very relaxing now.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      Hi RGraf

      Thanks for the advanced tips!!

      I have just started using candles in my abode and find them such a beautiful way to light, warm and heat a room! I never used to like them because i thought my kitty would catch tail on fire, so now i have a place where they are safely used and any excuse to reduce electric Bills these days is priceless!!

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Ria, thank you. I bought a small lamp from Lehman's that came with a reflector for only $15. They have others that are more expensive but this one more than serves our purpose. We've got several placed strategically around the house to give the most light.

    • RiaMorrison profile image

      Ria Bridges 9 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

      Awesome article!

      One thing I wanted to mention is that my roommate's parents have a cabin in the middle of the woods where there's no electricity, so when it's dark we have to make do with candles and oil lamps. One trick we've learned to spread even candlight around is to use the reflector method, only instead of buying some $10 reflector specifically meant for that purpose, we just stick a tin plate being the candle holder. It works just as well, spreading the light around the cabin a bit more, and costs considerably less than it may otherwise.

      Plus it gives it this really great old-time thrifty feel that I just adore!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      What a cool idea!

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      You are welcome. I enjoy candles and they can be very handy with power outages.

    • Bruce Elkin profile image

      Bruce Elkin 9 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

      Great hub. I love taking baths by candlelight. I put an aluminum plate behind a couple of 2 inch wide towers and it shines on my book. Makes me feel that i'll be ok when the power goes out, as it does sometimes during the November storms that crash into us out of the Pacific. I liked the book selection, too. Thanks!

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      You're very welcome! :)

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Most welcome.

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

      I love candles and soft lights and I am always looking for ways to save. What a pleasant story. Thanks for sharing.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you. We are having fun.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 9 years ago from India

      RGraf - that sounds romantic as well as practical :) Thanks for reminding us that we can and should use power better!

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you for the best compliment that I've received today :)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      Lovely and practical! From the hubs I've read, you seem to be a very creative, resourceful person.

      Thumbs up!