Vampire Power

Since I’ve been doing a lot of traveling these last couple months (Amsterdam, Chicago, Portland, and Providence) I have been shutting everything down and unplugging it from the wall. My power bill has taken a noticeable dip. The main reason is because of Vampire Power which sounds like a rejected Marvel super hero, but it is actually the power that is drawn from the wall socket when your device is OFF but plugged in. For instance, did you know that when a Mac is in sleep mode it uses 6 watts, but when it is off, it uses 2 watts? When you are someone who is almost never home, this adds up in relieving the stress of worrying about waste usage.

I decided I should do a solution to turn off my multimedia speakers when my computer is off and deal with the 300W subwoofers in my new speakers. I’m sure you’re following me. But a cursory net search yielded the blunt reality that green has become the new black—so popular that I just don’t have time to wade through all the information out there just to save a few dollars/month on my power bill.

So I sent an e-mail to someone in my address book who might know the answer without a thought:

He sent back this tutorial. It is a simple article to follow: start with a electricity usage monitor (or if you have money and style) and progress to to some SmartStrips—too bad you can’t find these anymore. I can only hope that people with real design skills can design these power strips and plugs so that they don’t look like ass. One can hope.

Another thing Frank sent me was this reference database of standby power usage. It’s a nice read.

(I also ran into an article in the Chronicle about the first home in Northen California to win a LEED-H Platinum rating. Cool.)

I thought that I’d share those links with you.

6 thoughts on “Vampire Power

  1. As you can see from the Wikipedia article you linked, you seem to have a nomenclature problem.

    Phantom power is a way for balanced microphones to get power from a mixing board without extra pins.


  2. Yes, I hate that. Phantom power is more properly used when talking about XLR inputs (as I should know), but sometimes is used when talking about standby power.


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