Smarthome gadgets are practical, but what happens when the power goes out? Can you unlock an electric smart lock? Will all your smart lights go on at 3 o'clock when the power returns? And how about your garage door.
Power outages are not much worse for smart homes
Power outages occur, and they are annoying to everyone. Each home depends on electricity to operate climate control, lighting, internet, appliances and so many other modern conveniences. A power outage is a problem in a smart home, certainly, but it is a problem in every home.
Let's be honest: Losing the power of a smart home doesn't differ from losing it in any other home at the moment. Most smart devices will stop working just like most "stupid" devices, but there are a few things to consider, especially for smart locks and some smart lights.
Smart Locks are battery powered and can have backup
Just because you have lost power does not mean that a smart lock has completely stopped working. Smart locks are battery powered, so the locking mechanism can work even when the rest of your home loses power. However, all remote functions that depend on the Internet or a connected hub do not work. And that includes battery replacements, so if the power outage is expected to last, you might want to replace the batteries as a precaution.
Batteries that die will not be a problem if your smart lock contains a keyhole. In this case, you must have your key, but if your smart lock has only one keypad or a Bluetooth connection, then proceed and replace the batteries or test at least their charge. Some smart locks have terminals for receiving a charge from a 9V battery. If it applies to you, it may be worth storing one in your car in the glove compartment. For example, both the Schlage Z-Wave connection and the Kwikset Kevo have keyholes, while Yale Assure Lock has a 9-volt backup option.
Smart Lights can wake you up
While your power is out, your smart lights are the same as any other light switches. They won't do much of anything until you get power back, which is no surprise. The bigger question is what happens when the power returns. Many smart lights stop until you explicitly turn them back on. But some lamps, such as Philips Hue lamps, can act differently. Depending on the current setting, these lights can turn on as soon as the power returns.
If your rooms, especially your bedroom, are filled with Philips Hue lights, you may want to check the current setting and change it to "Power Loss Recovery", which switches the lamp to the last used state before the lost power. It will prevent the bulbs from blocking you at 3 o'clock when your energy company fixes the power problem.
This is an attitude that you will want to think through; The default power-on behavior is useful for quickly activating your Philips Hue lamps. If you have multiple light settings controlled by a single switch, you can use the default behavior to turn the power switch on and off to quickly turn on all connected smart lights.
RELATED: Philips Hue Lamps No Longer switched on automatically after a power failure
Without force, many things work the same
Many of your other devices are not inferior to their stupid equivalent. Your smart thermostat has battery backups, but it is mostly for keeping work memory in your schedules. It can not do much without power to your HVAC system anyway, so if you do not have a backup for it, then the question is what the thermostat will do.
The same applies to a smart garage door opener – Most of these have battery backups for lifting and lowering the door a few times. But if the battery runs out when you still don't have power, the garage door opener will stop working (just like any other openings). You should be able to open it manually, but hopefully your torsion springs are in good condition.
If you are unsure in the spring, take a look at the metal shaft that just goes above your closed garage door. You should see one or two tightly wound feathers with a metal circle at the end. If the spring is divided into more than one part, it is broken, and you should have it replaced. Another quick test is to disconnect the doorway to the garage (it is usually a tow cable) and try to lift the door yourself. If it is extremely heavy and will not stay up. You should call a repairman to look at your torsion springs.
All smart cameras are unlikely to work properly. If they have battery backups that allow local recording, but without the internet, you will lose any remote or display functions. For example, Nest Cam needs constant power and internet access, while a Sense8 camera has both local recording and a 2 hour battery backup. It will not get you through day-long power outages, but if the power is just out for a short while it will help.
And without power, your voice assistants will not exist. You have to sit down to talk to real people, break out the flashlights and tell ghost stories.
Most of these devices will be running shortly after you reset the power, but some may need a restart for a good action. Just check every smart device for working conditions, especially if there is any fear of power failures that decompose your electronics. For the most part, smart homes are no worse than any other home that loses power. Just be aware of the few differences that exist and prepare them, and you should be good.