How to Maximise the Battery Lives of LightBug Devices

Finding a GPS tracker with a decent battery life can be hard. Many devices only last a few weeks, cost a pretty penny or are just too bulky. But here at LightBug, we’re proud to have a range of GPS Trackers with pretty fantastic battery lives, especially compared to their size. Our smallest device, the Lightbug Zero, packs a battery that can last up to a year on a single charge. And our slightly bigger, more robust tracker, the Lightbug Pro, can last 15 years.

Even though the battery lives of our devices are great, there are few things you can do to get the maximum battery life possible. There are also a few factors that could be draining your battery.

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1)    The battery was never fully charged

It’s important to remember to charge your tracker fully before first use for best performance. The Lightbug Zero needs to be charged for at least 2 hours, and the Lightbug Pro needs to be charged overnight. The LED indicators of both devices will turn off once fully charged.

2)    Mount your tracker with a clear line of sight to the sky

The GPS tracker doesn’t need to be directly facing the sky, but positioning it toward the outside world means that it will use less power per location update. Why?  Because, when faced outwards, the antenna will have less difficulty picking up a GPS satellite signal.

3)    Tracking Indoors

Don’t worry; our trackers are still able to work both indoors and outdoors. But if your tracker is indoors, it will use more power to trying to look for a GPS satellite signal, before attempting to locate itself via WPS or GSM. WPS uses nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and other wireless access points to discover where a device is located. GSM uses GSM towers and triangulates to give a location update.

4)    If possible set up a Wi-Fi Safe Zone

We understand that safe zones are not applicable for all forms of tracking, but if you can, setting up safe zones will help save battery life. These will be areas where tracking is not required and where reporting will be less frequent. The fewer location updates, the longer the battery life.  Settings up safe zones are often ideal for pet, children and elderly care tracking.

5)    Motion sensitivity

Your tracker may be sending more location updates than it should because the motion sensitivity is simply too high. You can tell if this is the case with your device, if even when stationary it's still sending location updates. It is possible to reduce the motion sensitivity within the app. Have a look at page 25 of our User Manual, for a step by step guide.

6) Adjust the location update rate

If possible, it may be worth adjusting the location update rate of your device, so that you receive less frequent location updates. To show how this can considerably increase your battery life, check out the example below:

A Lightbug Zero is set to send a location update every 2 hours. This results in the estimated battery life of 1.7 months. By changing the update rate to every 4 hours, the battery life almost doubles to 3.1 months (approx.).

If you still find that your tracker isn’t performing as expected, it may be worth resetting the tracker by holding the button for 10 seconds (this won’t affect your settings). If you’re still unhappy, reach out to us, and we’ll try our best to figure out the issue.

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About Efia Davis