A light bulb that stays on during a power cut is being piloted by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) to help its vulnerable customers.
SSEPD is the first electricity network operator to work with iViTi Lighting Ltd to trial its new bulb, which remains lit with the help of a small battery for three hours after the loss of mains electricity.
The electricity distribution company is trialling the bulb with 50 customers on its priority services register. The participants will receive a free 8w iViTi ON LED light bulb which gives the same amount of light as a standard 60W bulb.
The bulb is as bright and easy to use as a standard bulb, and uses LED technology making it energy efficient. Its ‘smart’ capabilities can tell the difference between switching the lights off and a power cut.
Turning the light bulb on charges the internal battery through the mains electricity. During a power cut, the bulb automatically switches to use the battery, providing up to three hours of power. Once mains power is back on the battery starts to recharge itself.
The bulbs are not currently available to buy but following a successful trial they will be made available.
Julie Walker, SSEPD’s Social Obligations Manager, is keen to see how the bulb could help customers on the network’s Priority Service Register.
She said: “We invest millions of pounds each year making our electricity network more resilient during adverse weather. Despite being more than 99% reliable, there is always a chance of a power cut during such weather conditions.
“For some of our customers a power cut can be distressing and this bulb will help to reduce their anxiety.
“During the trial we will work with welfare organisations to make sure customers are looked after. And this is just one of the ways we are trying to help our vulnerable customers to receive the best care possible when they need it most.”
Trefor Jones, Director at iViTi Lighting Limited said: “We are delighted that our iViTi ON light bulb is being piloted by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution.
“The iViTi ON provides light in a home for three hours during a power cut. These three hours do not have to be continuous as the bulb can be switched on and off, as required. Customers on SSEPD’s Priority Service Register, who have the ON bulbs will discover that the need for torches, matches or candles will be minimised, reducing the possibility of falls and fires.
“If there’s a power cut, the iViTi ON allows for safe evacuation of the home during an emergency and will assist the emergency services to navigate the home.”