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Improvised Lighting (One Method)

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In a disasters people get injured, things get damaged. At night with no light things are hard to fix and often seem worse than they are because the imagination tends to amplify fear. One way to improvise light in an urban area is by using parts salvaged from an automobile. 12vlt bulbs, sockets, batteries and wires can be salvaged and the battery used as a power source to illuminate the darkness. This is one way to go about doing that and how to make a field-expedient switch for the light.



By connecting the hot wire to the positive post on a battery and the ground to the negative makes field expedient light for working under a hood or for lighting the interior of a structure if the need arises.







If you are stringing the wires a distance from the power supply you can make a field-expedient switch with two pieces of wood and some rubber bands, hair bands, pieces of inner tube, or something else with elasticity.







Once you have the sticks whittled to size then cut corresponding notches at each end of both stick. The notches should only be cut into three sides of the pieces of wood. One surface on each piece should remain flat.









Next cut the positive wire at whichever point in the line you want the switch, strip about 6 inches/15cm of each of the cut ends and wrap one around one stick at the notch and the other around the other stick. Wrap this a few times to build a mass of wire on the flat surfaces of the pieces of wood.












Hold the flat surfaces of the wood together with the wires touching each other and wrap the rubber band, or whatever you are using, multiple times around both pieces until tight. This is the first part of “spring” mechanism. Now wrap another rubber band around the pieces between the first band and the wires. This is the second part of the spring mechanism and also keeps the switch from separating laterally.







Now the switch needs a separator to hold the wires apart when you want the light off. For this just whittle a thin piece of wood to slide between the wires to keep them from touching.















With the separator in place you can connect the wires to the power source and the light will not burn.










Remove the separator and you have light.










As you can see in the photos, you can attach a string to the switch to tie it in place and then tie another string to the separator to make a trip switch if you want to use this as an improvised warning system for intruders. Car horns can be used to make a sound warning device and car head lamps and sockets can be used for more area light or for a blinding light, but they will also deplete the battery sooner if used for long periods. You can also use this system to safely start a fire from a distance in a pinch by using fuel soaked rags, carefully breaking the glass of the bulb and having the filament of the bulb touching the fuel soaked rags, then tripping the switch from a safe distance to avoid the flash of the fumes.

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Very cool, Mist!  That's likely to come in handy someday!


Thanks K Bob, it has come in handy in the past.



very cool, also Im loving that MS knife, beautiful shaped blade.


Thanks, I'm loving the knife too. A friend in England sold it to me at the great price of 115 GBP.



Great post Misty! I'm gonna try that with a headlamp! I have an old round one from a VW bug! See if it makes a good spot light!


It'll work, you just have to use 12v lights and sockets with 12v batteries. Any car light will work...just the bigger the light the faster the drain on the battery.

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Nice, I've never seen anyone make a switch like that. That's cool !! I may have to try that one day !



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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