To help stop climate change (see here for more info) I decided to go a week without turning on any lights.
The challenge is to go a whole week (seven days) without turning on any lights in your house, and to instead use alternative methods to light your house (flashlights, candles, lanterns, ect.).
How many days can you make it without electric lights?
Putting the Challenge to the Test:
Day 1 was really interesting.. I ended up turning on lights just out of pure habit when I walked into almost every room, only to realize what I had done and turn the lights back off again. This challenge was easy during the day, because I didn’t ‘need’ light as much. But at night and early in the morning were a real challenge for me.. (I got asked a few times why on earth I was carrying around a candle with me everywhere I went. 😛 )
Day 2 was just about the same as day 1. I was still flipping on light switches just out of pure habit, only to turn them right back off again. I started to get frustrated with myself that it was such a habit to turn a light on when I actually didn’t ‘need’ to!
So, day 3 was probably the hardest day of all.. Day 3 was on Valentines day, and I was in the kitchen for most of the morning making goodies. The back room that has all of the stuff for making goodies is always super dark. I ended up turning the lights on a few times (completely forgetting about the fact that I was even doing this challenge) so that I could see what I was grabbing in the pantry. It was about half way through the day when I suddenly remembered about this challenge and scolded myself for forgetting in the first place. (By then I was done with my baking.) I did a lot better after I had remembered and went the rest of the day without any problems!
Day 4 wasn’t ‘too’ bad. I spent most of the day at my parents cabin, so there wasn’t really a chance for me to worry about lights or electricity (thank goodness). When I got home, I didn’t bother getting my candle when it was shower time. There was still a tiny hint of daylight left, so I got to take a quick shower before the last bit of daylight went out and it felt like I was racing against time. Thankfully with this ‘no light’ challenge, my eyes were getting used to adjusting to the darkness. So what would have been a very dark shower in almost pitch black darkness a week ago, turned out to be a pretty dark shower that I could still see pretty well in!
Day 5 was actually the first day were I didn’t turn on a single light (accidentally or not)! I was so proud of myself for keeping to the theme of not turning on any lights, and I was very impressed with myself for remembering multiple names about this challenge and stopping myself from turning any lights on out of habit!
Day 6 was another successful day of not turning the lights on from habit. I know that it’s usually at the END of a challenge that people start to get the hang of it, and it was sad to think that this challenge was almost over.. But at the same time, I was happy that I was so close to being done, and that I was ending this challenge on a good (and successful) note!
Day 7 brought on a lot of mixed emotions. I was both happy and sad that the challenge was almost over, and itching to turn on a light when I went to the bathroom at night. But through this whole week, I feel like I’ve learned a lot.. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to turn on a light this last night, and I’m very proud to say that I didn’t turn on any lights this last night! ❤
This past week has taught me a lot about how much unnecessary light I use in this house, and how I should work more with the natural light that comes in through the windows. I almost cringe now at how many times I turned on a light when it was daylight outside.
Although this house IS very dark in a lot of rooms, I still learned that I didn’t actually ‘need’ a light turned on most of the time.
I would like to add that I do live with three other people, so although there WERE people still turning on lights in the house, I was not one of them. I’m fact, I was often going around after people turning lights off for them. (Something I already did before this challenge.)
That being said, there was one exception where I needed the light turned on for multiple occasions, if only for a few seconds; The bathroom. I live with my wonderful grandparents, and unfortunately my grandfather tends to make a mess in the bathroom. So a simple flick of the light (when I had no more than a candle to light my way) to check things out, was mandatory.
I’m pretty proud of myself that I went a whole week doing this challenge, and I hope to encourage others to try it as well! If you don’t think you can last a week, just try it for a day! You’ll be shocked at how much of a habit turning on a simple light can be (even if you don’t necessarily need it).
Do you know someone who you think could do this challenge? Share this with them and challenge them to go a week without turning on a light!
As always, smile, have an amazing day, and think about ways you can change the world. 🌎😉
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Good job! My Grandma May told me she followed Grandpa and his brother living with them around the house shutting off lights to keep the electric bill to the $1 minimum during the Depression. I experienced storm caused power outages of 3 and 7 days. It’s an interesting experience to give perspective to the uses of energy that are essential and those that are not.
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Very true, it definitely gave me a new perspective on how I use my energy around here! I admire your grandmothers patience with her husband and her brother in-law! To constantly have to be the one to run around after two men and keep the power bill to a minimum when times are tough must have been the real challenge! I used to love when my parents would have a ‘no electric’ day once a week when I was little, I hope I can bring that back someday. ❤
Interesting experiment! Do you have LED bulbs throughout the house? That will make a bigger difference than keeping the lights off (and not be hard on your vision!).
PS – Having worked in energy efficiency myself, the biggest effects on one’s electric bill actually come from heating, cooling, and appliances. Try turning your water heater down a couple of degrees (our hybrid heat pump WH is set at 114 even though the DOE recommends 120, and it’s still plenty hot for dishes/showers/etc), and if you don’t have one yet, consider installing (or building – super easy and diydiva’s blog has a great how-to) a clothesline for spring/summer/autumn.
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We sadly don’t have any LED bulbs in the house And unfortunately since I am currently living in my grandparents house at the moment I have no control over any of the above things you just mentioned. However, I am taking a bunch of mental notes for my future house..
As for the clothesline.. The dryer in this house is currently broken, and I’ve been gaining a LOT of experience drying my clothes on a clothes rack for the past month. I have to say, I’m loving it! I think I’ll dry everything but my heavy blankets this way in the future (even when the dryer is eventually fixed). I’m making sure that ‘adding a clothesline for drying my clothes and sheets’ is at the top of my list when I get my farm! 🙂
We go through this situation countryside in India becoz there is no electricity, in my grandpa’s village we get dinner at moon light and twinkling stars.
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Eating under the stars is always fun, but I can imagine the bugs would get annoying! Do you guys use candles or lanterns to light your dinner table?
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