Flashlights: A bit pricey compared to some LED flashlight is the Mini Mag flashlight. But you can still get them for about $10.00- $20.00 new and they come with a backup bulb and are very bright! . I carried one for over 13 years of heavy use in the Army just replacing 4 bulbs and batteries and I still have it though it needs a bulb replaced. I like the mini-mag because you can adjust the beam from a wide angle for walking your dog in the dark, down to a narrow beam if you are working on something. Needs 2 AA batteries
I have a multi- LED flashlight High Unita Gear I got from Emergency Essentials for about $5.00 and I have replaced the AAA batteries 1 time in over 3 years. You can’t adjust the beam like the mini-mag but it has a solid metal housing and the multi LEDs are quite bright. Small enough to keep by your bed with a long battery life.
I’ve bought several $3.00 and under LED flashlights that are okay for keeping around the house if you have a good backup flashlight or for barter or kids that tend to lose stuff. I bought several Emergency kits that contained a windup radio and flashlight that will power for a few minutes after 30 seconds of cranking but these flashlights tend to mediocre at best though the radios do a good job.
Solar yard lights: Get some of these as they will work as a nite light and the solar cell will recharge batteries during the day. These are cheap Ni-cad batteries usually in AA and you can get these for as little as $1.00 each. Amazon.com and several big box stores sell Lithium batteries for recharging and you will get longer use from good batteries. Clean the metal contacts of the batteries and the solar cells with a pencil eraser or a little brush and check for rust and you might be surprised on how well these little cheap lamps keep going.
Kerosene lamps: 12 gallons of kerosene will run 1 lamp four hours per day for a year. That’s an incredible bang for your buck on stored fuel. Depending on how much natural light your windows provide you will need less hours lighting in the summer and more in the winter and five gallons of kerossne will cost about $36.00 at my local farm store, about $10.00 or less per gallon at the big box stores, add a mirror behind the lamp and you can light an entire room. I see these lamps a lot at yard/garage sales and you can pick some up for under $10.00 in the camping supply sections or farm stores. Kerosene is fairly safe to store long term it does not go bad as quickly as gasoline. Crack a window and have a carbon monixide alarm just in case and don’t leave one burning over night/unsupervised because anything that burns will eat oxygen and getting dead because you are afraid of the dark is a darn stupid reason to die! Trim your wicks and buy extras. The internet will probably be your best source for cheap wicks! The new LDS prepping manual tells you how and why to trim wicks.
Coleman type camping lanterns: These run on all kinds of fuel from “White Gas” to propane and or duel fuel models, but figure using up one mantel every 3 months and buy extras for your pantry. Buy a couple of extra glass globes that cost under $10.00 each just in case one gets broken. Yes you will need them especially if you have kids or you are klutzy like me.
Lighters and matches: A big box of “strike anywhere” matches can be had cheap at your local dollar store. I have bought as many as 3 boxes for a dollar. The smaller boxes of 32 wooden matches can be had for 10 boxes for a dollar. Dip in a little paraffin wax, they are water proof. Trick birthday candles can be bought at your local dollar store and they stay lit in the wind and are great for camping. It’s a lot easier to use a match or lighter light a little birthday candle than it is a fire. Bic lighters if you get them for around a dollar or less each are not only great to have on hand but seem to be a great barter item. I’ve bought everything from Zippos to cheap 3 for a dollar lighters and the bic lighter seem to hit the sweet spot for costs if you get them for around a dollar each in cost.
I’m not knocking candles but the light tends to be some what iffy. It’s usually not good to read by, and you have a fire hazard if they are knocked over. They are an okay back up but for good and safe lighting I’m going with rechargeable batteries and kerosene lamps as the best compromise on safety, ease of use and cost.