Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Standby Power

Standby power, Vampire power, Vampire draw, Phantom load or Leaking electricity

Everything above speaks the same. It is about the energy we "used to" waste just because of our negligence and/or unawareness. This is the power consumed by an electronic equipment while it is "sleeping", i.e., when the equipment is put on to Standby mode.

Standby mode:
Todays electronic appliances have a feature called standby mode. You don't have to unplug the equipment from mains supply to switch it off (?) for the sake of convenience. You can use the remote control to put it on Standby mode so that you do not have to plug it again when you have to switch on the equipment next time.

What is the difference between Standby mode and Switching off?
Standby mode puts the appliance to sleep but it is listening to commands sent by the remote controller. "Listening circuitry" in the appliance is not sleeping. For this listening, certain amount of power is consumed. Power consumed for this "listening" depends on the appliance. This may be varied between 1W and 15W.
By switching off (un-plugging from the wall socket) an appliance you can switch off the "listener" as well.

Therefore, by turning off an appliance we can make sure that it does not draw power!

Standby Power Summary Table page has summarized some of the power consumptions of various appliances. Please take a closer look at this table. You can find how much power being wasted at your home/work place.

Next time please switch off your appliance when not in use and help save the world!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Use Pedestal Fan whenever possible

How do we feel air temperature?

Moving air is "cooler" than still air. Go to weather.com -> Colombo, Sri Lanka and there you can find "Feels Like" temperature. It is how warm temperatures feel to your body. Feels Like temperature is "calculated" using air temperature, wind speed and humidity.

Fans operate on this principle, i.e. it circulates air around you giving you a "cool" comfort.

There is no question that we need both ceiling fan and pedestal fan, just because their usage is different. But we can control how they are used. Average wattage of these two fans are listed below:

Wattage (W)
Ceiling fan70 - 90
Pedestal fan40 - 55

So, you can save ~30 watts of power ultimately reducing your energy bill if you switch to Pedestal Fan.

This is an innovative ceiling fan called Sycamore Ceiling Fan with two fold efficiency made using biomimetics by a company called Sycamore Technology in Sydney. I wish it will be available in Sri Lanka soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Incandescent or CFL?

Go for CFL when you need Light! Why?

Take a look at the below chart. It explains various types of lights and their efficacies.

Chart 1.0

TypeLuminous efficacy
T12 tube 4', magnetic ballast60
T8 tube 4', electronic ballast80-100
T5 tube 4'70-104.2

T5, T8, T12 are various types of "tube lights". In most households, T12 is used. Number in this notation tells you the diameter of the tube. i.e, T5 tube has a diameter of 5 * (1/8th of inch) = 5/8 inches.

Having electronic ballast (aka chalk) instead of magnetic ballast increases the overall ballast-lamp efficiency by 15-20%. [1]

What matters ultimately is the light output you get and the month end electricity bill. We'll consider 1200 lumen output, i.e. light output of 1200 lumen and the associated costs. It explains why you should opt for CFL.

Chart 2.0
TypeEnergy consumption
Luminous efficacy
Cost 4hr/day/month
Rs (kWh)
Incandescent7516207.00 (9.0)
CFL158041.40 (1.8)
  • If you are planning to replace your old T12 lamps in your house, choose T8 lamp.
  • If you are replacing Incandescent lamps, choose CFL or T8. T8 has a higher efficiency than CFL, but may not be suitable for every location.

image copyright - http://www.squidoo.com/

Choose your light wisely. It saves you money and protect environment.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mr. Electricity

What matters ultimately is the reduction of your electricity bill. Below web site tells you how to do that. A great site indeed!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Carbon Terms

Sometimes you may be familiar with these terms: "Carbon Footprint" and "Carbon Neutral". For those who don't know:

Carbon footprint:
A measure of the amount of CO2 produced by the activities of an entity [person/organization/state/etc...]

Carbon neutral:
Absorbing the same amount of CO2 as it produces.
e.g. You produce 1 Kg of CO2 by your activities and you absorb [trees?] same amount or buy carbon credits to make up the difference.


Please do not iron your clothes! It saves considerable amount of electricity ultimately reducing your carbon footprint.


  1. When you are buying clothes, choose your clothes so that they need hardly any ironing.

  2. In case you have to, use a steam iron which reduces ironing time.

  3. Put an aluminium foil underneath the ironing table so that it reflects heat back to the cloth. It is like ironing the cloth from both sides at once.

  4. Use hangers. Do not fold and keep the washed clothes.

Read more: