Be prepared for loadshedding with rechargeable LED light bulbs.

Rechargeable LED light bulbs
Power outages have become increasingly common thanks to loadshedding and it doesn’t look as though this is going to change anytime soon. For safety and for comfort, it’s important to be prepared so that you don’t find yourself sitting in the dark, every time loadshedding rolls around.

One simple and cost-effective solution that doesn’t require an expensive inverter is the use of rechargeable LED light bulbs. These bulbs work like standard LED bulbs when there’s electricity, but they have a built-in rechargeable battery. When there’s a power failure, these bulbs continue to light up your home using their built-in battery.

Rechargeable LED light bulbs
First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that the battery in these light bulbs only charges when the light is on. This means that if you want the batteries to be fully charged, you must use them in a light fitting that is regularly turned on. A brief 20-minute stint in your bedside lamp before bedtime won’t charge them enough to last through loadshedding.

Assuming you’ve used the light enough and the battery is fully charged, the backup light is activated by completing the continuity between the positive and negative terminals on the bulb. By simply touching your finger across these two terminals, you complete the circuit and the light switches on. This clever design allows you to control the continuity with the light switch, so even without power, the light switch can still turn the light on or off.

Rechargeable LED light bulbs
Because the bulb requires continuity to work, you need to correct any issues that may disrupt this continuity. Poor contact on the terminals or anywhere in the circuit can add resistance, preventing the backup light from switching on. If you’re having this problem, remove the bulb, moisten your finger and test the bulb by touching the contacts on the base of the globe and completing the circuit. If the bulb works, the problem probably lies in the continuity of your light circuit.

To fix this, start by cleaning the terminals inside the light fitting. Ensure the power is off and use steel wool to clean the contacts. Corrosion on the terminals inside switches may also cause poor contact, so check these as well.

Rechargeable LED light bulbs
There are a few good-quality options when you’re looking at rechargeable LED light bulbs. The Lightworx units are 7W, have a lifespan in the region of 25 000 hours and provide up to four hours of light with a full charge. They are available in both bayonet and screw base options as well as cool (blueish white) or warm (yellowish) light temperatures. However, keep in mind that they are non-dimmable.

For those who need a dimmable option, consider the Eurolux Rechargeable Emergency Lamp, a 5W bulb with three preset brightness levels that can be controlled using a regular light switch. To adjust the brightness simply switch it on once and the bulb lights up at 100%, switch off and on again and the bulb dims to 50% brightness, switch off and on for the 3rd time and it dims to 25% brightness, giving you better control of the level of brightness and extending battery life.

Rechargeable LED light bulbs
These bulbs really are an efficient and convenient way to keep your home lit up during power outages, so that you can go about life more or less as normal. A full range of these globes is stocked by Builders, both in-store and online at
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