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5 tips to beat the loadshedding blues

With South Africa plunged into darkness once again, we’ve got to keep our spirits up. Loadshedding is stressful and frustrating, often leaving us scrambling to get things done at the last minute.

To avoid this 11th hour-rush, planning is key. According to electronics and home appliance provider Teljoy, there are a few actionable steps you can take to back up your home with light during the dark hours.

Here are 5 tips to beat the loadshedding blues:

Have reliable backup power

A portable generator or inverter can keep basic things like computers, TVs, WiFi, and lights on so you don’t have to worry about not meeting a work deadline, or the kids not being able to do their homework or have a warm dinner. The size of inverter will depend on what you want to keep powered up. To run a computer with a 17-inch screen, a radio and some lights, for example, you’ll need around 430 watts - but it’s advisable to buy an inverter that gives you between 10% and 20% more power than you estimate. This way you won’t be caught needing more power than you have available.

“Ranging from R1 500 to upwards of R 60 000 - if you need to power more than the basics - the cost to purchase a power station can be hefty. Buying a one or two-month subscription for a portable power station at R399 per month makes this option a lot more palatable and feasible,” says Hurvitz, CEO of Teljoy.

Upgrade your globes

Did you know that you can get globes created specifically for power outages? These clever LED globes have an inbuilt battery that stores energy while the light is on. When the electricity cuts, they revert to battery power, and you’ll still have light for a couple of hours.

Gas for the win

Having some gas-powered appliances like a gas stove or gas braai can save you from having to eat peanut butter sandwiches for dinner when load shedding hits in peak cooking hours. “You can also get a gas tank/cylinder cooker top to fit directly onto your gas bottle if you’re making a cup of tea or want to cook up something warm and need to heat a pot or pan,” suggests Hurvitz.

Know your load-shedding-friendly restaurants

Sometimes it’s just easier to let others cook for you and not have to plan your meals around load shedding. Hotel restaurants are usually a safe bet as most hotels have backup generators. For example, the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront in Cape Town has a generator, while those in Johannesburg can head over to Radisson RED Rosebank if you need an establishment that can serve warm meals. It’s winter, so cold food in the dark doesn’t sound very appealing to most people right now.

Go solar powered

Solar-powered lamps are excellent sources of light that can be recharged in the sun when their energy store runs out. This is a great way to save money, as you only need the sun and don’t have to keep on buying expensive batteries.

When load shedding hits at night, the last thing you want to be doing is scrambling around looking for your lamps, lanterns, or torches. So ahead of load shedding times, make sure your lamps are fully charged and place them in strategic spots in your home where they “live”, so you’ll always know where they are when the lights go out.

Keep your tech charged

Planning on snuggling up in a warm bed and catching up on Instagram or watching your favourite movie on your laptop? Make sure that you have all your needed devices fully charged so you don’t get halfway through The Proposal before your laptop dies.

Same goes for your mobile phone or tablet. Have them fully charged up and ready to use when you need them.

Have a backup plan

If you don’t own a tablet, or have a laptop that has a short battery life, you can also get a subscription for either of these from Teljoy. That way you can still enjoy that nail-biting series, or finish off a proposal that you need to get out the next day.

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