It can be hard to find what you want from inside your gun safe if it’s dark in there. Most gun safes have dark interior colors like charcoal gray or faux leather. Lights can make a huge difference when it comes to seeing inside.
Lighting up your gun safe can be relatively inexpensive. For instance, a small lamp with magnetic base and a flexible goose neck can be mounted on top of the safe, then pointed inside. Another cheap option would be a battery operated switch light, for less than $10 (photo on left). The ones we sell stick with either magnets or Velcro-type patches. These work great on smaller safes too.
Better light systems are more expensive but still reasonably priced. LED lights in long strips can brighten the whole inside, not just part of it. Most systems have two long light strips (photo on right), one for either side inside the door. I prefer those that also have a strip across the top, and those that can be mounted with hook & loop patches. Motion sensors or door contact activators are nice because you don’t need to flip a switch to turn on the lights.
Light systems make a great gift for the person that has a gun safe. Lighting up the interior of your gun safe makes it easier to admire your collection or find whatever it is you’re looking for.
Humidity can cause guns to rust, and damage other items locked inside a gun safe. This applies to fire safes and burglary safes, too. Usually humidity issues are just a result of the ambient air being damp. Air can be really damp in a Mid-west basement, in places like Gulf Coast, or just about anywhere after a rainy stretch. There are several good ways to control humidity inside gun safes.
- We sell Dri-Rod brand heat bars. These heat bars are put in the bottom of the gun safe with an electric cord running out the back into a wall outlet. They run all the time, heating to about 120 degrees, lowering relative humidity. Convection from the warmer air rising creates air movement. I advise against using heat bars in a safe which holds photos, stamps, historic papers, leather items, etc., because I believe the warmer air will artificially age these things.
- I prefer Peet brand safe dryers. Many folks have Peet brand boot dryers to dry out damp boots after a day of hunting. Their safe dryers are very similar. They take up less space in the bottom of your safe than heat bars. The “stack affect” seems to create more air movement in the safe that heat bars. Note that the first time you use them they give off a burning smell, so “break it in” outside the safe or with the door open. Same warning as above about things that may age with heat.
- Desiccant is hygroscopic – it actually absorbs moisture from air inside a safe, without changing the temperature. Desiccant is what they put with electronics, medicines, etc., to keep moisture from affecting products during shipping and storage. It comes in one-pound bags, boxes and cans for use in gun safes. Desiccant needs to be dried out after it gets saturated. Drying them out normally takes many hours in an oven at about 200 degrees – not very convenient.
Eva Dry brand desiccant products are what I usually recommend for humidity control. They are plastic containers (two sizes) full of beads, with a color indicator that tells you when the unit needs to be dried out. The good thing is that rather than using your oven, Eva Dry has a small internal heat unit. There is a built-in electric plug that you just stick into an electrical outlet, and In 10 to 12 hours the unit is ready to go to work again. They usually last three to five months in your safe before needing to be dried out, depending on how often the safe is opened. They are guaranteed for five years.
Gun safes protect guns and other items from external threats. Humidity is an internal threat that you control with proper gun safe accessories. Controlling humidity is an inexpensive form of insurance to keep your things in top condition.