On our most recent IoT Podcast, Justin called in because the area he lives in experiences rolling power outages a few times a month. Power loss can play havoc with smart home devices when the power comes back on, ranging from smart bulbs all turning on to annoying start-up sounds on smart speakers.
Stacey and I have both experienced this from time to time and it’s definitely no fun. Justin wants to know how he might be able to mitigate some of these annoyances in his smart home.
Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done on a universal basis here.
Yes, a generator is a logical option but unless it’s large enough to provide whole-home power, it will be limited to certain circuits. And given that smart home gear is typically spread throughout the home, that means only certain outlets will have the power to keep IoT devices alive.
We did look into disabling the boot sounds for Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers but neither can be configured for that at this time.
Keep in mind too that some devices exhibit odd start-up behaviors when the network goes down and comes back on again. So having a battery-powered mobile hotspot and using it for all of your IoT devices might help.
That’s a costly solution on a per-month basis, however, and doesn’t guarantee that devices will simply return to their prior state when the power comes back on.
At least one device maker has provided a way to have smart bulbs return to their prior state if there’s a network or power outage.
Philips Hue has an option in its mobile apps for bulbs so that all of the bulbs won’t come back on when the outage is over. Ideally, other manufacturers of smart devices follow suit in the future so a middle-of-the-night outage doesn’t light up our homes once power is restored.
To hear Justin’s question in full, as well as our discussion, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: