Power Failure Monitor for Turning off Smart Bulbs


(Morgan Young) #1

I’ve always been annoyed that after a power outage, my smart bulbs come back on to 100%. I have a generator so power goes out and I’m back online about 6 seconds later and I have to turn the lamps off in my bedroom. Also, the kids have smart bulbs in their lamps set to 1% for a night light. Now those are on 100% too. I had a outage last week in the middle of the night so after the house switches to generator, I’m getting out my phone at 2:00AM to turn off my lamps and put the kid’s rooms back to 1%. Would have been nice to just sleep through it. :wink: My initial thought was to put in a small $40 UPS for the lamps, but that’s not a very low cost solution for 3 rooms.

So, here’s what I came up with with some stuff I already had laying around. A 12V relay, 12V power supply, and a monoprice door sensor with internal contacts. The relay stays powered up and the sensor shows closed in ST when power is available. Power fails, contact goes to open, then back to closed when utility or generator returns. Using CoRE, if the contact changes to closed, turn off the selected smart bulbs, as well as dim the kid’s lamps to 1%. Works perfect and happens immediately after power is restored. Should make things more peaceful after an outage…


Nice. :sunglasses:

There’s also a smartapp that does essentially the same thing and is based on a single “canary bulb” being on when you don’t expect it to be. That’s probably the least expensive approach to this problem as it only requires a single bulb.

(I’ve also tagged this so it will show up on the quick browse list in the community – created wiki and more people will see it. )

(MacTechGenius) #3

If power outages are frequent why don’t you invest in a Tesla power wall? I ordered a couple to supplement my solar system. Though it will be able to cover 99% of my home energy use. I use 50 kWh per day (on average). It won’t be enough to charge my Model X or ELR.

But at least consistently in power (though I only had 3 outages in the past 7 years) will allow ST to be more reliable

(Mark) #4

Why are you using smart bulbs? Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons, just curious if in your case you also considered smart switches. They generally don’t have the same problem as smart bulbs when the power goes out and comes back on.

I have some smart bulbs because I have no neutral wires in my switch boxes, but my power never goes out because I live in the middle of the city. Middle-of-the-night lights coming on 100% repeatedly would be a deal breaker for a certain other member of my household, who isn’t hopelessly addicted to home automation the way some (all?) of us around here are…


I used to ask the same question until I had finished converting all wall switches/dimmers and converted a few lamps to smart outlets then realized I had a few side lamps where it just did not make sense to put them on smart outlets. Now I have 7 smart bulbs finishing things out. They dim nicely too which I would not get unless I used a dimming pocket socket. And a nice side benefit is the one flaky motion sensor I had no longer acts up now my Zigbee mesh is stronger.

(Morgan Young) #6

Thanks guys. I don’t have enough power issues to need a full house UPS. We’re in Oklahoma storm season right now and it’s not uncommon for very short outages (couple seconds) when the wind picks up. I rarely actually go on generator.

Didn’t think about the canary bulb, that’s a pretty good idea.

Just about everything is wall switches. I only use the bulbs in lamps since they were low cost. If I were to do it again, I might have done plug in dimmers on them, or at least some.

(Russ Mc Daniel) #7

Canary bulb? App? Help. Please, just had an outage, woke the Kracken, early riser she is not

(Andy - United Kingdom) #8

As @JDRoberts stated in a previous post… have a look here:

(Mike) #9

Really just go to smartlighting ans set rule if canary bulb turn on then turn off all light bulbs.
That it will run locally and even without Internet it will work. If you use other app than smart lighting it will be not local. Usually if you have power outage you have also internet outage.

(Nick) #10

Using a rule will turn all the lights off, regardless of the state they were in before the outage. The SmartBulb app keeps track of what’s on and what’s off and restores the lights to that state. I you are in a room with the lights on and their is a brief power outage, it won’t shut the light off on you when the power is restored. I found this equally as annoying as having everything stay on.