Thursday, 2 April 2009

Earth Hour - a day early

So there I was on the evening of March 27th, putting the children to bed, and vaguely thinking that the WWF's "Earth Hour" was due to happen tomorrow (where everyone turns off their lights for an hour to show awareness of climate change) when suddenly...

The lights went out! In fact, everything went out. Had I got the date wrong? Was this some kind of government-enforced black-out to make sure we got the point?

We got the flashlights and candles out, and looked outside into a dark street - it was a village-wide outage at least. Quite fun really, once we'd reassured the children that it was only temporary, to be reading books by candlelight.

And then to bed. The children like to have a little nightlight on, but of course the nightlights weren't working, and I wasn't too keen on the idea of candles in their bedrooms. Then I realised that since our AlertMe system was still working unaffected I could just set our AlertMe lamps to "White" and give them one each for the night to keep the spooks away. They were a little bit too bright (I've asked the guys at AlertMe to add a new "dim white" option) but they worked like a charm.

During the night I was vaguely aware of the power coming back on then going off again a few times - and indeed when I checked the log from work the next day, I saw that after the first major outage the power failed another 6 times that night for short periods.

Certainly makes you appreciate how reliable the grid normally is.