Around the globe – from 20h30 to 21h30 on Saturday 30 March– people around the world are encouraged to switch off their lights and appliances as a symbol of commitment to saving the planet during the annual Earth Hour.

 

In light of this, Brights Hardware has prepared a list of six must-have items that are well worth purchasing for your home – they will not only keep your house (and office spaces) functional during Earth Hour but will also see you sailing through a power outage without a glitch.

Once you have stocked up on alternative sources of power, light and heat it becomes a breeze to weather an hour or more without any electricity,” says Orlando Luis, CEO of Brights.

 

1) Let there be (LED) light
“Battery powered LED lighting is an essential must-have item for SA homes,” says Luis. “There is a wide range of rechargeable LED light strips, lanterns, and torches available that make keeping the lights easy. You can even get a rechargeable LED desk lamp so that the kids can continue doing their homework during power outages.”

“Another great item to have in the home are intelligent LED light bulbs. These bulbs come in either a screw or bayonet configuration and can be used like a standard light bulb in any light fixture but they stay on during load-shedding as they hold charge for up to four hours.”

 

2) Solar Lighting

In addition to rechargeable and battery operated solutions, there is a wide range of solar powered lighting on the market today. These range from spot lights/security lights to solar lanterns, garden lighting and even pool lights.

“Solar powered lighting is a great solution in a sun-rich country such as ours,” advises Luis “There is no cost to recharge them, and many are practically “set and forget” and will come on automatically after sun down.”

3) Gas Stove/Cooker
Boiling water and getting meals prepared without power is impossible without a gas stove or cooker. There are many different options available to consumers today – whether it is a large six plate gas hob and oven or just a simple, portable table-top one or two-plate gas cooker – and many more options in between.

Many people are choosing to change their ovens over from electrical to gas. Not only does this mean you can carry on your dinner preparations during a power outage, but your electricity bill will also be reduced through the introduction of gas appliances,” says Luis.

 

4) Portable Power Bank
“Portable power banks are a fantastic solution to ensure that you don’t run out of cell phone battery life when there in no power,” advises Luis. “These compact gadgets can also charge other devices such as tablets, portable modems and speakers.”

 

5) A Generator or Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS Sine wave Inverter)

If budget allows, investing in a generator is a great way to ensure you can have power whenever you want it.

“There are many different models and options to consider,” says Luis. “Top of the range would be something like a home standby system which is basically a permanent fixture that comes on automatically when the power goes out. The next option after this is an inverter system, which is quieter and has less emissions than a portable generator and are more favourable to sensitive electronic devices. Portable generators are the most cost effective and can be packed away in the garage in between use or taken along on the next camping trip if necessary.”

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power. A UPS differs from a generator in that it will provide near-instantaneous protection from power interruptions by supplying energy stored in batteries. It is a type of continual power system.

 

6) Go low-tech, make a fire

For those who decide to do things “old school”, going outside and having a braai is not only a favourite South African past time but also the perfect way to prepare a meal and light up the evening without using any electricity. Brights has an extensive range of portable braai’s, braai grids and braai accessories,” says Luis. “A new non-toxic FireFly Biofuel firelighter, made out of recycled coffee, biodegradable vegetable wax, recycled wood and unrefined sugar has been developed and launched onto the South African market and is now available at Brights.”

These eco-friendly FireFly fire starters don’t contain any petroleum products or toxic chemicals and have a zero carbon foot print – perfect for an Earth Hour braai!

Luis advises that Brights Hardware has on-site experts in all of their stores to provide advice and guidance on any of these items. “Whatever you may be interested in finding out more about – whether it is LED technology to the best generator for your budget – our knowledgeable staff members can provide you with all the product insights and information that you need.”

 

Brights stores are located in Boston, Blackheath, Langebaan, Mitchells Plain, Montague Park, Plattekloof, Stikland and Uitzicht. There is also an online store available at www.brights.co.za.

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