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Michael Sage

IT, Digital & Culture

Canary Light & Power Cuts

This post is going to be quite wordy! We’ve had a number of powercuts recently and like any smarthome my house takes time to reboot.

There have been a couple of issues when the power comes back, the first is some of my smartlights don’t support power restoration states, so they come on as soon as power comes back.

This got me thinking, then I came across the “canary light”. This is a device that always comes on when the power resumes (just a standard tuya bulb in my case).

When this light turns on home assistant then triggers an automation that turns off all the lights (after 2 mins, to make sure that everything is back up) that don’t support power restoration. It also emails me to tell me that power has been restored. I have tested it a couple of times and it works really well. Thankfully none of the devices that power on are in bedrooms or waiting for 2 minutes in the middle of the night would definitely be bad!

I also purchased a UPS (I know, I know, but I’ve been spoiled by good power for a long time) and hooked it up to my server, using NUT it will shutdown when the battery gets low and it will email me. 

I have an old TP-Link WR802N which can be used as an access point. I have connected this to a port on my server for power and used a spare NIC in my proxmox server and added it as a bridge. This gives me wifi in the event of power lose. It’s small and is running really well off the PC’s USB port. If you are going to do this you will need to make sure you get the v1 version as it’s power requirements are a lot lower than later versions. 

That’s wifi and lights / smarts covered off. 

The final part is my internet connection, this comes in the other side of the house to my study. Currently my vigor “modem”, sits next to the phone socket and then I use powerline to get it across the house. As you will have probably guessed, power line doesn’t work when there is no power. So I will be running a new cable round the house to deliver the phone line to the study and then I will move the vigor to the study!

Job nearly done!