We live in a push-button, instant-on age. We leave devices in standby mode because we believe it’s helping save the planet… but is it really?
How much does your flat screen TV or l33t gaming rig consume when it’s “sleeping” and all you see is the little winking light telling you that you’re doing good.
And then all those wall warts. The chargers for your phone, your music player, the DS Lite. What are they draining long after the device is fully charged and idle?
I don’t know either – I’m lazy! But I do wish there was an easy way to shut things right down when I’m not using them, that was easy and wouldn’t inconvenience the family.
It looks like Belkin may have an answer to at least one of these problems about to hit the market. A powerstrip that you can turn on and off with a remote control!
It has two sockets that are always on (ideal for, say, the cable box and modem) and then 6 sockets which can be toggled with a remote control that you can put somewhere convenient.
For our house it means that for the $50 expected retail price we can easily power down the TV, the amplifier and speakers, the XBox360 and SqueezeBox music player without having to struggle and reach to find the wall switch.
Also from Belkin is a neat 3 way power strip than includes two USB chargers – that can eliminate a couple of the wall warts… really handy both at home and when you’re traveling (I often end up unplugging the alarm clock or kettle in a hotel room just to feed all my devices over night!)
While neither of these are a perfect solution – the remote control power strip probably still consumes some power when it’s idle (hopefully in the 2-5W not 25-45W range some surge protectors apparently consume) and the USB charge capabilities of the wall adapter which great I wonder if the transformer (and I hope it’s only one) shuts down when there’s nothing plugged into the sockets to need power…
I guess you could go a long way with some of the home automation solutions to managing this (and all with a universal remote control) but it would be nice to see a more common, consistent approach across all the equipment you find in home and office to really make an effort to stop sucking juice when it’s not needed. Your power bill will thank you now, and your kids will thank you when they don’t have to worry about the consequences!