Have you ever stayed in a hotel that requires you to insert your room key into a slot to keep the lights on? Guess what? You can keep the lights on without your room key!
It’s common among budget to mid-tier hotels in Europe to have a little slot next to your hotel room door. The purpose of said slot is to allow you to keep the lights on only when a room key is in the slot. And this, of course, means you’ll only have the lights on when you’re in your room. It’s a power-saving measure that serves a purpose and usually isn’t that big a deal. But what if you wanted to charge something while not in your room? Some places cut electrical power completely when a card isn’t in the slot. Well, according to the folks at Lifehacker, you don’t need to have your room key in the slot at all.
Keeping the Lights on Sans the Room Key
In a recent blog post, Lifehacker states that you can use literally any card in place of your room key. I’m not sure why I never thought of this before, but it makes sense. It’s not like the hotel would spend money to have a magstripe reader (or RFID reader) in the slot to ensure that’s your room key in there. For all it matters, you could use your Safeway Club Card or Dave & Busters Power Card to keep the lights on in your room.
Keep the Lights on Without Your Room Key, Final Thoughts
If you haven’t encountered this type of electrical lockout before, don’t be too surprised. This feature, while common in Europe, isn’t all that common in the U.S. At least not yet, and in my opinion, it may never become common here. This is especially true as brands like Marriott move towards different methods of entry, like using your smartphone as a room key.
You know what is becoming more common, at least here in Hawaii? A sensor that shuts off your HVAC if the sliding door to your balcony is open. I get it, leaving your AC on when you don’t need it is a waste, but sometimes you want the AC on and the door open. Especially when you have a lovely ocean view and the room doesn’t have a fan or something? Then there was the worst hotel room I had in Hawaii that had a little wall-mount unit that they leave off (fridge too) so when you walk in the room is a sauna. Never again.