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Before There was Light: Life Before (and Without) Power

Electricity is somthing we take for granted everyday. We wake up and turn the lights on in the next room and switch on our computers for work everyday. We watch an online series and connect to social media thanks to the presence of electricity. Aside from entertaining ourselves, electricity has made everyday activities easier. We usually acknowledge electricity during black outs when our lives become more difficult and go back to normal once It returns.

With electricity so difficult to live without today, how were our ancestors able to hold up? And if we lived in a world without power, what can we learn from that experience?

Here are some ways people had to deal with everyday life without power.


Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb not only introduced electricity, but also a reliable light source. During those times, electricity was a luxury only the rich could enjoy. Before the light bulb, people had lamps and candles to see the light and avoid fumbling around in the dark.

Food Storage

Before refrigeration, food had to be canned and pickled for preservation. Iceboxes containing zinc and sawdust also helped store food longer as well as the use of spices. Without refrigeration, dairy produce had to be consumed the same day they were bought.

Cooling and Heating

Forget about air-conditioning and heating, people in the past had to keep warm or cool conventionally. To keep warm, people relied on firespaces, blankets, and sweaters to protect from the cold. To keep cool, public water fountains and cool clothing were what people resorted to.


Before the internet and online gaming, entertainment was quite limited before electricity. Children would be outside playing with their friends and toys while others would spend time writing, reading, or engaging in sports. People would also watch live performances of musicians and actors without the need for electricity.

Modern Life Without Power


Electricity has made everyday life more convenient and entertaining but in reality, millions of people today still have no access to it. Life without power can be tough, but it doesn’t mean living without it is impossible. Through ingenuity and modern technology, there are now ways to produce electricity without connecting to the main grid.

In the US, people have started using alternative sources of energy. Residential solar panel systems, for example, have become a good source of electricity in states like Utah. Even without power, the following are things a modern person can learn without the presence of electricity:

Being Resourceful

At first, living without electricity can present a lot of problems. Over time, you’ll come up with solutions to wash clothes and mount candles. Life without power will force you to think creatively and find solutions to problems once taken for granted. You’ll also appreciate the things electricity can provide, like a cold drink and warm insulation.

Enjoying Downtime

Having no internet or television can mean having a hard time relaxing. However, you’ll soon see that sitting around listening to the sounds of nature can be more relaxing than looking at screens all day.

Not Wasting Anything

Life without electricity means learning to conserve food and water supplies. After living without it, you’d be surprised how much resources you consume when the power was still around.

Interacting with Others

No electricity means no access to the Internet, and of course, no social media. This gives you the opportunity to actually talk to family members and see family bonding in a new light. It’s amazing how much electricity can affect how we see other people as well as interact with them.

People who are used to being connected all the time may benefit from experiencing a power outage once in their life. The lack of electricity reminds us how much we take things for granted and what we can learn from living a more simple life. It can also teach us to be resourceful and appreciate the little things that energy has to offer. The next time a power outage comes along, hopefully, you’ll be able to make the most out of it.

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