SmartCharge – the lightbulb that promises brightly lit power outages


There’s no good time to have a power outage, but one at night can be particularly troublesome, leaving you fumbling around looking for a decent light source while you wait for your electricity supplier to sort out the issue that’s plunged the neighborhood into darkness.

The battery-powered SmartCharge LED light bulb – currently a Kickstarter project that’s getting a fair bit of attention – has been developed with exactly this kind of scenario in mind. Built for standard light fixtures, SmartCharge can keep a room lit for at least four hours when the power supply goes down.

You control the bulb in the usual way, via the regular light switch. If the power goes off, the light remains on – if it’s already switched on, that is. In other words, unlike other emergency lighting systems, the bulb won’t automatically come on in empty rooms where the light switch is in the ‘off’ position, helping to conserve its power.

So if you’re watching TV in the dark when a power outage hits, you’ll only need to remember the location of your light switch (hint: it’s where it always is), meaning you won’t have to send out a search party for candles or a flashlight.

smartcharge bulb diagram

The smart bulb contains a fair bit of kit inside the glass – including a battery, control technology, a CPU, memory, inverter, and a printed circuit board – with its creator claiming it’ll cut lighting bills by as much as 90 percent compared to standard incandescent bulbs. However, while it has a decent enough lifespan of 40,000 hours/25 years, SmartCharge’s rechargeable Li-ion battery may need to be replaced every four years or so, depending on use.

The SmartCharge bulb is gathering plenty of interest on Kickstarter – with three weeks to go it’s just $6,000 off its $50,000 goal. If the startup hits its target by mid-January, it plans to start shipping its bulb in April to backers who pledged $35+.

Anyone interested can find out more about the project here.

Product Review

Flexible and fast, HP's Spectre x360 is the 2-in-1 for every occasion

HP’s late-2017 refresh of the Spectre x360 13 convertible 2-in-1 leverages Intel’s eighth-generation CPUs for significantly improved performance and battery life. The thin and light frame is also tweaked, and looks better than ever.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

These headlights have 4 color settings to help save lives under all conditions

Boslla headlights are an easy-to-install solution to achieve all-weather lighting for your vehicle. After a quick ten-minute install, these lights have up to four settings to get you through anything.
Emerging Tech

Ancient crater the size of NYC discovered under the Greenland ice sheet

A huge crater has been discovered beneath the ice of Greenland, and is thought to be the result of a meteorite impact millions of years ago. The crater is one of the largest ever discovered, measuring 19 miles across.
Emerging Tech

Here’s how the InSight mission to Mars will confirm its landing to NASA

NASA's InSight mission has sent a lander to Mars. NASA researchers have now shared details on how they will monitor the touching down of the lander at the end of its 91 million mile journey.
Emerging Tech

Would you swap your keycard for a microchip implant? For many, the answer is yes

Put down your keycard! More people are turning to implanted RFID chips as their choice of workplace identification. Should we be worried about a world in which employees get microchipped?

‘Super magnesium’ may be the next wonder material for outdoor gear

Super Magnesium is a wonder material that is 30 percent lighter than aluminum, as strong as carbon fiber, cheaper to make, and 100-percent recyclable, making it much better for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Forget joysticks — the Guts Game is controlled by a sensor that you swallow

Researchers have created an unusual new game in which players swallow a biosensor and then compete to raise or lower the temperature in their gut. Sound crazy? Here's why it could catch on.
Emerging Tech

Step inside the Nepalese restaurant staffed by robot waiters

A robotics startup from Nepal has created a robot waiter called Ginger. It's capable of delivering food from kitchen to table, and can even engage customers in a bit of friendly banter as it does so.
Emerging Tech

Doctors could soon ditch stitches and seal skin wounds with lasers

Just like the dermal regenerator in Star Trek, physicians may soon be able to heal skin wounds using smart, laser-based technology. That's thanks to researchers from Arizona State University.
Emerging Tech

From tornado flushes to remote controls, modern toilets are flush with tech

With the global observance of World Toilet Day on November 19, we take a look at how the modern toilet in our homes and businesses have evolved, and how they are becoming smarter tools in the future.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects the all-important landing site for its Mars 2020 rover mission

NASA said on Monday that the landing site for its much-anticipated Mars 2020 rover mission has the potential to "revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life."
Emerging Tech

NASA’s ‘space wheat’ is helping earthbound farmers grow crops quicker

Could NASA technology for growing plants on other planets help farmers improve crop yield here on Earth? According to researchers in Australia and the U.K., the answer is a resounding yes.