Loadshedding is the bane of South Africa’s existence, but Builders stocks a host of products to make it less of an inconvenience.

Modern households are so dependent on electricity that when loadshedding arrives, our lives are plunged into chaos – especially in winter! But there are a number of products that will make loadshedding more bearable, without breaking the bank.

Gas heaters

This is an old faithful – but it’s still as effective as it ever was. The key to using a gas heater effectively is obvious – select a small, enclosed space to heat, not the monstrous open-plan kitchen/dining room/lounge. We love the Elba 16/EL1000RS Retro Gas Heater and the retro Goldair 3-Panel Gas Heater.

Gas heaters use LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) and are incredibly efficient, particularly the modern units. They also have auto-ignition, so you don’t need to fuss around with matches or a lighter in the dark. Select the level of heating you need (usually by heating panel) and the room will be toasty in no time at all. While gas prices are linked to the petrol price and so have increased lately, this is still a financially effective way to heat a home and it doesn’t need electricity to do so.


Instead of using gas to heat up water or being left without water for that cup of tea, you can plan ahead and boil the kettle just before loadshedding starts. Then, pop the water in a flask that will keep it hot for a couple of hours.

Lasting through loadshedding

Gas stoves

First prize when it comes to a loadshedding-proof kitchen is a gas hob and oven, but if you don’t want to go that route, you could always get a unit that combines a gas hob with an electric oven. One such as the Elba Gas/Electrical Freestanding Oven (900 mm) or the Bosch 4 Gas Burner Stove. This means you can cook and heat the kettle with or without electricity. Another option is a built-in gas hob such as the Whirlpool 5 Gas Burner Hob Black.

Then there’s the more casual approach – a camping-style single or double cooker that fits onto a gas cylinder. The Alva Cooker Top and the Cadac 2-plate Stove are just the ticket. These can be whipped out and be up and running in a minute – and they get the job done. After all, a cup of coffee isn’t a luxury in winter – it’s a necessity.

Lasting through loadshedding


The world shuts down without Wi-Fi, doesn’t it? You can’t work, communicate or be entertained without the internet, even if your laptop keeps on powering through loadshedding. But buy one of these little gizmos and you’re in comms throughout the dark times – you don’t even have to worry about your mobile connection going down!

To use this clever piece of tech, all you do is plug it into the wall and then plug your fibre modem and your router into it – when loadsheddding strikes, the battery in the Wi-Fi UPS keeps the Wi-Fi running for up to four hours (model dependent). We recommend the Vizia Mini DC Wi-Fi UPS and Titan Elecstor 24000 mAh 75 Wh Mini UPS, but there are a number of good options at Builders. This is literally the best loadshedding hack out there!

Lasting through loadshedding

Phone powerbank

This is no secret, and we’ve probably got an old one lying around somewhere – but a power bank is an incredibly useful thing. Technology has moved on lately and modern power banks offer far more power for the buck than they used to, able to power a number of devices on a single charge. Buy a couple to make sure that you’ve always got at least one charged and another charging and you never have to see that ‘powering down’ screen on your phone again. Have a look at the simple RCT Megapower Power Bank or the more impressive Lalela GW17500C Universal Laptop Power Bank.

Lasting through loadshedding

Rechargeable lights

Yip, it’s dark when there’s no electricity in your neighbourhood. Rechargeable lights have been around for ages, but the combination of lithium-ion battery technology, LED lighting and automatic switches is a real gamechanger. These lights can be left on charge and will automatically switch on when the electricity supply is interrupted, meaning that you never have to stub your toe on the way to fetch a torch again. Have a look at the Eurolux FS205 Rechargeable Emergency LED Light if you value your toes. LED lights draw a fraction of the power of older bulbs, meaning that the battery lasts that much longer. Some models can also be used as a power bank to charge a phone, but obviously that uses up the battery and the light itself might not last through loadshedding. The Magneto Rechargeable LED Lantern has this feature and the Magneto Solar Home Lighting System has this, as well as a solar panel.

Lasting through loadshedding

Rechargeable bulbs

When you’re writing your ‘Loadshedding To-Do List’, these should be point one! LED light globes use far less power than regular globes – which is a plus all night long – but that also means that they can be powered by a small battery – which these clever globes contain. They are simply fitted to a light fitting in the exact same way as a normal globe and they charge when the light is used. Then, when the power goes off, the lights stay on. They come in every fitting imaginable – even downlights – and in warm or cool tones as well as different wattages. View the ranges from Light Worx, Eurolux, Osram and Power4Less.

Builders is your one-stop loadshedding prep shop, stocking all of the gadgets above as well as more, so that you never have to sit in the dark with nothing to do ever again. Check out the range both in-store or at builders.co.za.

Lasting through loadshedding
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