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.