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Loadshedding solutions so you can carry on with your life
UPSs, gadgets, portable power stations – tried by our team
Last updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2023
You can take your power back from Eskom when loadshedding strikes, and you don’t need a generator. The CapeTownMagazine.com team (some of whom describe themselves as “technologically challenged”) tried and tested a selection of loadshedding solutions. Many of us had never heard the term "UPS" before, which stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply.
SIMPLE LOADSHEDDING FIXES
We found the solutions from Gizzu, the innovative brand that makes tech accessible for everyone, easy to install and use. Gizzu UPSs and power stations will keep you productive and solve many of your loadshedding problems, like powering your laptop, wifi router, phone, small appliances, TV and lights.
What will give you extra joy from the Gizzus is that they are portable, so you can use them on the go or take them camping – there’s even a gadget that jumpstarts your car.
Stay connected during loadshedding with back-up power sources. Credit: Anastasia Nelen
BUT FIRST, THE UPS EXPLAINED
Everyone who has a UPS swears by it, but what is it and how does it work?
A UPS is a device that provides power when electricity fails – like during loadshedding.
The Gizzu mini UPSs are small and look a bit like a router – they’ll keep essentials like wifi going, and can charge small devices, like phones and vapes.
Beyond the mini UPSs, there are power stations (these actually use a different type of technology to UPSs) that provide more back-up power and look a bit like a car battery. These will keep more things in your home running during loadshedding, like small electrical devices, lights and TV.
Find a solution that works for your lifestyle and budget below, each of them tried and tested by someone on our team.
Our team has tried and tested the different products. Image: Matt Halls/Design: Sam Wilson
TO KEEP YOUR WIFI ON + HAVE POWER ON THE GO
The Gizzu 60W Mini UPS is a must-have at that price. It keeps your wifi router and fibre box (sometimes called an ONT or ONU) powered and also has two USB ports for charging phones, tablets or other small devices, like a smart watch.
It’s compatible with a number of different router brands and is really easy to set up – just plug it into the wall and into your router (and fibre box if you have fibre).
How long it lasts: With just a wifi router connected, it should be a little longer than 5 hours, although Takealot reviewers and our own experience with it was even longer.
Tried and tested by digital editor Lara: She charges her phone, vape and her wifi stays powered. “I left my router hooked up to it for 15 hours before it ran out of juice.”
Use beyond loadshedding: Great for power on the go, this little wonder fits easily into a bigger handbag or tote.
Get it from Takealot.com*
The Gizzu 60W Mini UPS is power on the go. It fits nicely into a bag. Credit: Gizzu
POWER YOUR LAPTOP, TV + TAKE IT CAMPING
Gizzu power stations are bigger devices that are a great investment, as they really let you carry on with life during loadshedding. Or as one reviewer on Takealot said, it’s “a great loadshedding essential! Ran router, fibre box and TV for 6 hours. Very impressed.”
With 2 USB ports and a 3-point plug port, the Gizzu 155Wh Power Station will keep your laptop, wifi router and phone powered during loadshedding. You can also plug other small appliances.
How long it lasts: Depending on how many devices you have connected to it, this product can power wifi for more than 12 hours and a laptop for more than 2 hours.
Tried and tested by content manager Simone: She mostly charges her laptop and phone, and her fiance watches sport, and loves how handy it is: “It’s shaped like an iron and the handle makes it easy to carry. It fits in a backpack and is not that heavy.”
Beyond loadshedding: It has a built-in LED light, so it acts as a lamp. “It has two settings (either really bright or dimmed),” says Simone, who wait to take her Gizzu to a camping festival.
Get it from Takealot.com*
The Gizzu 155Wh Power Station is a great investment. Credit: Gizzu
POWER UP THE ROOM OR WHERE EVER YOU GO
Being able to watch series, sport and movies uninterrupted at home is the dream. Lights, TV and the family all charged up keeps the couple and kids happy, and that’s priceless. Power laptops, tablets, your TV, lamps and live like nothing’s the matter with the Gizzu 518Wh Power Station.
How long it lasts: It’ll keep a standard-size TV going for about 5 hours, and smaller connected devices for way longer. With a 3-prong plug, 4 USB ports, two DC ports and more, you can connect laptops and lamps, charge multiple phones, and wifi router for a long period of time.
Tried and tested by Marcus: “This product started this whole Gizzu Guide project. I bought it, loved it and wanted to make everyone aware of the solutions. I use it at home to power lights, TV, two laptops, two phones, and a router. When I go to Joburg, I take it in my Thule backpack so I can work from the farm or client office.”
Beyond loadshedding: Take it with you on road trip adventures in the great outdoors while keeping your essentials powered and charged.
Get it from Takealot*
The Gizzu 518Wh will make you forget there’s loadshedding. Credit: Gizzu
NIFTY SAFETY GADGET + PHONE BACKUP CHARGER
Your worst nightmare: Stuck with a flat car battery and a dying phone. This gadget powers your car and doubles up as a phone charger in your darkest hour.
The Gizzu 1000A Jump Starter’s big job is to jump-start petrol engines, but it solves other problems because it has a port for mobile devices and an LED flashlight. Keep it in your glove compartment for car battery emergencies, use it as a power pack to charge your phone on the road (or at home) and use it as a torch to see your way from your car to your house when the lights are off.
How long it lasts: You can usually get a couple of jump starts out of it before it needs to be recharged. It will work wonders for those long family road trips, so phones stay charged for the kids' entertainment and the partner who needs to finish off work while you drive.
See how it works: Anyone (really anyone) can do this; Car aficionado and vlogger Libe Rebil shows us how to use the jump starter to start a completely dead car.
What reviewers are saying about it: “Would definitely purchase one for each family member’s car… helped jump-start my vehicle when I needed to go to the hospital last weekend,” said one. “Started my Isuzu with ease with a completely dead battery,” says another.
Get it from Takealot*
The Gizzu 1000A Jump Starter power bank is a car essential. Image: Gizzu
*Prices are subject to change.
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