If you can survive a zombie apocalypse, you can survive anything.
It's time for another scientific fact about zombies.
MYTH: Zombies only come out at night.
Many people believe that zombies are sensitive to light. This is a myth propagated by many mainstream zombie movies, most famously I am Legend, which had a scene involving a pack of zombie dogs waiting for the last ray of sun to go down so they could charge.
Common example: "I'll travel by day and hide by night."
Better example: "I'll hole up in my house by night. By day, I'll go out for supplies and look for survivors."
Best example: "I'll set up big flood lights all around my house which run off a generator on top of my house which will recharge using solar power."
FACT: Zombies are only mildly sensitive to UV light.
Zombies don't like being hit by ultraviolet light; their skin is much more sensitive than human skin and burns easily. Most zombies don't have the brains (lame pun intended) or faculties to apply sun lotion, so, for the first few weeks of the plague, they'll show a strong preference for staying indoors during the day, often huddling together in standing-room only conditions. When some places get too crowded, zombies will turn on each other and toss the remains out into the sun. Many survivors will see this and believe that the day is safe from zombies. Not so.
After several weeks, the zombies will no longer be able to find easy food. Now they will be forced to hunt down survivors, a time-consuming and tedious task. Because zombies don't have to sleep, they can devote their entire energy to this, and because they will be driven by desperate hunger, they won't mind a little sun burn. It's not like it'll ruin their complexion or anything.
Note also that there are some forms of zombies which are not sensitive to any kind of light. The best example:
Fire zombies are very rare but extremely dangerous. Because at least some part of their body is perpetually aflame, they tend to be easily identifiable. They can breathe fire from their mouths or ignite projectiles (such as telephone poles, front doors, Gigli DVDs, or other zombies) and hurl them great distances. Fire zombies tend to travel during the day to reduce their visibility and like their meat medium rare.
Survivors will have to be on their guard at all times, around the clock.
Of course, it is true that if you surround your hiding place with bright lights, you can buy yourself some time. Zombies won't go after you until they really mean it. If you want to set up a light wall, there are several considerations to make:
First, it must be UV light. Surrounding your house with normal flood lights won't do you a bit of good. You'd do better to crawl into a tanning bed. UV lamps are pretty expensive - a little 70 watt stand won't cost you less than 150 cheese. You'll need several dozen of them to surround your house densely enough to do some damage, and that means thousands of dollars, to say nothing of the cost of the solar panels. There are a few economical solutions. You could get everyone in your block to pitch in and ring the entire area. That means less surface area to cover, which means fewer lamps to buy. Alternatively, you could wait for the plague to break out and then loot your local hardware store. This method is not recommended because it's untimely, risky, and possibly immoral.
Your best bet is get a coalition of like-minded survivors and ring an area with lamps. Your neighbors will laugh at you and call you paranoid. Well, we'll see who's laughing when the zombies are feasting on neighbors-du-jour! Of course, a UV lamp ring is hardly the only condition of a zombie survival hideout. What are the others? Come back next Monday.
Comment with your personal zombie survival plan for a free expert analysis.