Device mimics leeches, ejects plug when gadget is done charging

February 22, 2010

Leeches drink blood until they're full and then fall off of their host, but our plugged-in gadgets keep drinking electricity even once they're fully charged.  The Outlet Regulator changes this by ejecting the plug from the electricity source once the gadget is done charging, turning vampire electronics into leeches. Designed by Conor Klein, a student at Rhode Island School of Design, this device solves a dilemma faced in every home.  We all want to prevent frivolous energy use by leaving gadgets plugged in too long, but it's almost impossible to unplug your devices at the exact point they're done charging.  The Outlet Regulator takes care of that for you as demonstrated in the video above. The product works by using a timer circuit and electromechanics to eject its plug which disconnects your device from the wall outlet, stopping electricity consumption. This is an example of a design where you think, "How has no one thought of this before?"  It's such an obvious solution and could easily be adopted by everyone.  Hopefully we'll see this product on shelves soon.  My only qualm is this:  Why must these things alway involve blood? via Engadget
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Energy vampires: Is it worth it to unplug your electronics?

February 8, 2010

image name (Photo: Getty Images)
It's common knowledge that appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they're switched off but still plugged in. One solution is to unplug electronics and chargers when you aren't using them. Or you can plug cords into a power strip and switch it off whenever you want to cut off all power to appliances. But many consumers wonder if it's worth the hassle to unplug electronics they aren't using. The answer, of course, depends on your objectives. While it's true that an "informed and aggressive approach can reduce standby use by about 30 percent," according to scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, "There are more productive ways to save energy with an investment of an hour." The upshot? If it's easy for you to unplug chargers and other electronics when you aren't using them, then go for it. And no-one says you have to unplug everything. You might want to choose the biggest energy hogs or items that are easily unplugged. But don't fret if you find the job too tedious or hard to remember. The following actions are all easy and, in some cases, save you more money with much less effort than stamping out energy vampires. Pick and choose what works best for you from this list, or try everything for an estimated annual savings of $275.
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Knoll Systems gives your home music while using less power!

October 29, 2008

We brought your attention to the eco-friendly Knoll Systems GSZ67 whole house distributed music amplifier-controller a few months back.   Well if you are looking to have music delivered throughout your home as part of your remodel, and stay eco-friendly by reducing power consumption in the process, then you need to check out the new and even more affordable GSZ44!

The all new GSZ44 controller-amplifier (with keypads included) is just what you need if you want four separate areas of your home to have speakers and music flowing throughout.  With the GSZ44, your master retreat and master bath can be tuned to an Elton John CD, while outside the kids are playing in the yard to the sounds of High School Musical 3.   All the music coming from your single home stereo!  So you decide you’d rather tune to XM satellite, well just press the Source button on the keypad on your bedroom/bathroom wall.   Guests at parties can hear the same music throughout your home as they mingle.

For $999, the complete GSZ44 package enables whole house audio distribution in four separate areas of your home, and includes  Read more

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