When you’re in an office or commercial building, if the power goes out an emergency backup lighting system goes on. When you’re at home and the power goes out, you have to fumble for a flashlight and find some candles. But now there’s a simple emergency lighting system for the home from Mr. Beams, and I tried it out.
It’s called the The ReadyBright Power Outage Lighting System and the basic kit includes a base station, a ceiling light and a stair light. Each has a white LED light that turns on when the power goes out. The base station, which is called a remote, plugs into a wall outlet, so it stays charged up. When the power goes out the remote sends a signal to the other lights and they all turn on. The remote can be removed and used as a flashlight.
The lights, once installed, sort of disappear, like you stop seeing smoke detectors after a while. When they turn on, they deliver bright light that’s supposed to burn for 40 hours because of the low power of the LEDs. Once they’re activated, you can turn them off manually with the remote. I particularly like the stair light. Installed on the wall near the floor, it lights your path so you don’t step on any Legos. I think if I were to trick out my whole house with the system I’d do more path lights than ceiling lights. It’s expandable, so this is a possibility. The ceiling light works fine, but it throws a harsh white light that’s useful in the opening moments of a blackout, but I’d probably turn it off manually once I found my candles.
Installing the system is super simple and intuitive. You don’t need to set up the remote unless you’re breaking the system into zones. Just plug it in. The ceiling and stair lights take C cell and AA batteries, respectively. Once you add them they click onto a bracket you screw to the wall or ceiling. The only downside here is the included screws strip very easily, so I used my own.
This is the kind of set-it-and-forget-it system that’s not much of an investment, but you’ll be glad you have it when you need it.