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What happens when power goes out in a smart home?

Power in a smart home  — Photo courtesy of HGTV

So you were thinking of getting smart locks, smart lightbulbs, maybe shades that open and close via apps. And it all sounded great until a friend gave you a sly look and asked, “What happens when the power goes out in a smart home?” You weren’t sure…and by the end of the conversation, you were picturing yourself in your driveway, huddled against a snowstorm and desperately trying to find one bar of WiFi to open your garage door.

Now that’s cold.

Okay, take a deep (warm) breath…because smart homes are called “smart” for a reason. Contrary to what your friend may think, once a house is fully app-controlled, it doesn’t become one power outage away from a zombie apocalypse-style disaster scenario. (i.e. “Run! Get inside the house!” I can’t—the zombies cut the power!) For starters, smart locks have an added feature: a keyhole. Yep, the old-fashioned kind that takes a key. And those smartphone-powered key systems? They’re battery-operated, so the grid won’t affect them. (They’ll also text you a low-battery alert well in advance of the batteries actually running out.) As for that garage door, remember the days when you physically lifted the door to open it? Okay, ask your mom about that. In any case, that door opener has a manual operation mode, so “lights out” doesn’t mean “locked out.”

Plus there are things you can do to ensure that you don’t lose data during an outage. You can get all the electrifying details in this article I wrote for HGTV. Check out the comments, too: folks have some really good thoughts on the subject.

And by the way, when the power does go down, I have to admit, I kinda enjoy it. Not only is it a nice break from my digital world, but…when else do I have an excuse to play Twister and finish the ice cream in the freezer?

How do you cope during a power outage? Talk to me, in the comments!

*Photo courtesy of HGTV

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