The most important thing to know about grave lights is that they are as varied as any memorial product can be. Though true eternal flames kept alive by, say, underground streams of natural gas piped into a cemetery by specially designed systems are rare, they do exist, and thrive, in a handful of location around the world aside that of Arlington's National Cemetery.
But lest a family assume such honor is not open to their own loved ones in today's highly creative memorial product environment, they should do a quick check of “grave lights” in just about any search engine. Such a search will lead them to a wide variety of grave lights that can be installed very simply in just about any grave site around the world.
While these special memorial pieces may not be as sophisticated as the engineering marvels that keep a flame alive at the historic sites we mention, they do allow a family to keep their loved one's grave shrouded in the warmth of light for hours, weeks or even months and years at a time.(The length of time depends on the type of grave light a family chooses for their loved one's grave site.)
Even the least expensive grave lights (selling for about $100 or less) operate on a rechargeable battery that will maintain its charge for up to three or four hours before fading. (It is important to note that many of these types of grave lights are intended for indoor use only and, therefore, may not be as much “grave” lights as “memorial” lights, intended to accompany indoor memorials such as cremation urns that are on display in a home or mausoleum niche. For convenience sake, however, these lights are often marketed in the “grave light” category of retailers' websites and catalogs.)
Other grave lights are designed to use very little power and operate for months at a time on standard-sized flashlight batteries installed in water-tight compartments that will brave the elements outside just fine. And still other grave lights – typically the most expensive – operate perpetually using solar energy. These lights are charged by the sun’s rays each day and then they glow eternally each night. (These lights, unfortunately, are not effective in regions where night time can sometimes last for months such as parts of Canada, Alaska and points even nearer the North and South Poles.)
Grave lights that are available, at least from the standpoint of price, to everyone have a surprising variety of features that many families find quite useful. Many include special compartments for photographs or engraved plaques which would then be lit up along with the grave site itself. And still others offer places in which grave visitors can attach notes, flowers and other trinkets as tokens of their respect and admiration for the deceased.
Additionally, grave lights are available in a wide variety of styles, and colors and many offer inspirational designs that help enhance the personality and legacy of the deceased. In some cases, grave lights are designed to promote specific religious themes: crosses and The Star of David are common designs that can be found on grave lights offered for sale on memorial product websites everywhere.