Green Lifestyle

Published on December 2nd, 2014 | by Sponsored Content


Finding Your Way When The Lights Go Out


It’s likely safe to say that all of us, at one time or another, have all experienced at least a brownout if not full blackout. And no, I’m not referring to that time in college when you did a keg-stand and couldn’t remember anything after that (though, those terms do seem to be applicable for such an occasion). I’m talking about electricity. As a kid growing up in the Pacific North West, power outages (i.e. brownouts and blackouts) were actually a fairly common occurrence, and for me, the most exciting part is always that moment when it actually happens.

I’ve probably experienced well over a dozen power outages in my life, but there is one in particular that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I was 20 years old and working as a projectionist in a movie theater (a pretty sweet gig for any 20 year old if you ask me) and I had just finished starting the last film of the evening and was beginning to check all the other projectors to ensure they were running smoothly when everything went pitch black. It was so dark, I couldn’t see my hand which was no more than an inch in-front of my face.

You see, there are no windows in a projection booth (cause ambient light can distort the images being projected) and if it weren’t for the emergency lighting that kicked on a few minutes later, I’d likely stubbed my toe, knocked a film off of a platter and created even more painstaking work for myself. It took nearly two weeks for our movie theater to get power back, so that meant for two weeks we we’re performing random tasks (usually cleaning or inventory) all by emergency lighting. It’s funny, you don’t realize just how much something means to you until it’s gone (even a fluorescent wet location emergency light).

Turns out that electricity means everything in today’s society. Without it, we simply come to a grinding halt. It’s actually kind of a scary thought when you think about. No communications, no clean water flowing to your taps, in some cases you’ll have no means to cook food, no way to keep your home warm, no way to keep your food properly stored etc. If anything, the number of power outages I’ve experienced have definitely reinforced for me the importance of finding and establishing renewable energy alternatives such as PV. With our world being so dependent on the need for constant electricity, it’s probably about time we started investing in ways of making it that are more reliable, cleaner and longer lasting than our current model. Finding your way when the lights go out doesn’t have to be a painful experience, however, it could be that it’s a necessary one.


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