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Tech essentials for when the power goes out

A six-hour power cut last night got me thinking about the tech that's important to get your through a blackout.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
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Last night the power went out for about six hours. Now, it was late, so I could have done what most people would have done and gone to sleep.

But I didn't.

Instead, I started looking at the tech that I had to take me through the power going out. I could easily go for a few days powering my essentials and even have the capability to recharge devices using solar or the 12V outlet in my car.

OK, so let's go through the tech essentials for when the power goes out.


Pretty obvious this, and I'm pretty sure we all have one.

The flashlight feature came in useful, and then I used it to contact the power company. It also became my connection to the outside world until I got my router running on backup power.

One of the reasons I like to keep my phone charged up at all times is that I don't know when I'll need it in an emergency or for how long I'll need it.

A great phone with super-long battery life.

  • Octa-core MediaTek G37 Helio 2.3 GHz processor
  • 6.5-inch HD+ display
  • 50MP camera
  • 5000 mAh battery -- up to three days on a single charge
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • Water-repellent finish

Packed with features you won't find on the iPhone.

  • Helio G96, octa-core, 2.1GHz
  • 6.3-inch, 2400x1080 display
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6,000mAh battery
  • 48MP main camera, Sony IMX350 20MP night vision camera
  • Thermal camera
  • Night-vision camera

Power banks

I have loads of power banks, ranging from small ones that can fit into a pocket to huge ones that definitely won't.

And all are fully charged and ready to go.

While I don't think any normal person needs as many power banks as I have, I have a small one that you can take with you and a bigger one that you can use at home.

Remember to keep your charging cables nearby too. They're so cheap these days that buying a spare set to keep for an emergency might not be a bad idea.

Lots of power to keep all your devices charged up.

  • 26,800 mAh capacity
  • 4x USB-C ports
  • 100W port max output
  • 138W total max output

Tiny power bank you can take with you everywhere.

  • 10,000mAh capacity
  • Enough capacity to recharge an iPhone 13 2.4 times
  • 1x 20W USB-C port, 1x USB-A
  • Full recharge in 3 hours

Rechargeable lights

I have a lot of rechargeable lights that I use for photography and videography, and they serve me well when the power goes out. These have magnets to allow them to be stuck to stuff and can be brightened and dimmed to suit.

A great photographic light that doubles as an emergency rechargeable flashlight.

  • Adjustable color output
  • 100 minutes runtime at maximum brightness
  • USB-C PD and Qi wireless charging
  • Built-in effects including Paparazzi, Fireworks, Faulty bulb, Lightning, TV, Pulsing, Fire, Party, Cop Car

Having a rechargeable flashlight or two at home is a good idea for most people. Power outages really aren't the time to be messing about with candles and naked flames, no matter how nice and atmospheric they are.

I find that keychain lights are the best. They're small and unobtrusive most of the time and not going to be blinding when you're waving around the house at night.

Fantastic little flashlight for your keyring. 

  • USB-C rechargeable
  • Max output of 180 lumens
  • 5 lumens moonlight mode
  • Full charge within 100 minutes

Power stations

Most people can now ride a multi-hour power outage with a phone, a power bank, and a flashlight.

But there are some people who want more power.

A selection of power stations

A selection of power stations

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Maybe to run a CPAP machine, some other health device, or something needed for work.

Some power stations even come with built-in lighting, which is pretty cool.

This is where a power station comes into its own.

What differentiates a power station from a power bank is that a power station can output mains AC power, and they come in all sorts of sizes, power capacities, and prices.

Some you recharge from the mains, and others you can recharge using other means, such as by using a solar panel or the 12V outlet in a car.

It's really a case of how much do you want to spend! The more power you need, the more output power you need, the bigger the power station, and the more it will cost.

And if you need solar panels, then the hardware requirements increase, as well as the costs increase substantially.

A very handy power station that is perfect for power outages and camping trips!

  • Huge 256Wh capacity
  • Drop-proof design
  • Loads of safe, convenient power when you need it
  • 2x AC ports, 2x USB-A ports, 1x USB-C port, and 1x 12V car outlet

This is a monster of a power station.

  • 2400Wh capacity
  • 1000W AC inverter
  • 2x AC outlets, 1x 12V car outlet, 4x USB-A, 1x USB-C
  • 12.5-hour recharge time using the included charger
  • Weighs in at 48.5 lbs
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