Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lights Out LA; Or, RDB is unclear on the concept

Tonight is Lights Out L.A., when everyone is supposed to go dark for an hour to show what a huge difference in saving energy one small concerted effort can make. It's 4pm and I don't even know where I'll be or what I'll be doing at 8pm, so I can plan to participate but I have no idea what that will mean. Am I supposed to sit in my apartment in the dark? I have no trouble with a "TVs Off L.A." plan, since my TV is never on... but it's hard to read in the dark. I suppose I can blog in the dark - does "lights out" mean "computers off" too?


Debbie said...

According to the link you included it says to turn off "non-essential lighting"; I say computers are okay (especially if it's a laptop and you can just unplug for that hour) :-)

alexis said...

As someone way too actively involved in the CA energy market, I can provide arguments either way - not that this even matters because Lights Out LA is now over. To support your desire to keep your computer on: they are trying to show what would happen if everyone turned off lights they weren't actively using. Turning off computers reduces electricity consumption WAY more than turning off a light. Therefore you turning off your computer would drastically overestimate the amount of energy you would save if you were only using the necessary electrical devices at all times. Does that work? :)

The Trouble With Roy said...

I read this Monday morning (the 22nd). So what'd you do?

If you plugged in your laptop long enough to charge the battery for 1 hour's use, and then unplugged it during lights-out but used it anyway, the net effect, it seems to me, would be zero, since you "used" the hour's electricity when you stored it into the battery. It might actually be worse because you lose a little power to storage, so using your battery for 1 hour requires (I think) a little more energy than simply plugging it in for that hour.

But good for you for at least thinking about it!

Scot said...

I think they mean to put out your lights like this