Electrical pilot lights, otherwise known as neon indicators. You may have a few of these floating about. I have two, one in the bathroom on the shower pull switch and another on a fused spur out in my shed.
In my last place...five in the kitchen, two in the utility/boiler room. But do you know just how much these little neon indicators use?
So, a neon indicator produces a little orange glow, although they are usually covered in a red lens to make them look a bit more 'serous'. The tiny little glass bulb contains a couple of electrodes and a squirt of neon gas. When you put a big enough electrical charge across them, the neon ionises, begins to conduct and produces the characteristic neon glow.
A neon bulb strikes at around 90v and draws a current of about one milli-Amp, or a thousandth of an Amp. Not a lot. But, because the mains voltage is 240v, they need a small series resistor to drop the voltage. The actual neon will consume about 90 or so milliwatts, which sounds like an insignificant amount, but if you factor in the resistor dropping the other 150v at 1mA, these indicators actually draw about a quarter of a Watt.
That still doesn't sound like much, but when you realise some of these neon indicators on isolator switches are on all day every day, 365 days a year...each neon will consume...
...2.19kWh a year!
At 35p a unit, that's almost 77p a year. Five of them in my old kitchen? £3.85.
Now, I'm not saying you go out and replace neon switches with non-neon switches to save a few pence. If you are having any work done anyway, then consider non-neon switches and isolators. Some bathroom pull cords have a little mechanical flag rather than a neon to tell if they are on or off.
But, if you have any pre-existing ones that you just leave on all the time...if they don't need to be on, turn them off. You won't save a fortune, but look after the pennies...
This is getting into the realms of penny pinching, perhaps, but every tiny reduction is still a reduction. Cumulatively, they add up.
Then when you go behind the TV and stereo, or the computer setup or anywhere else you needed some extra sockets and see how many of your power blocks have built-in neon indicators? They say don't sweat the small stuff, but when you do sit down and actually tot up 'the small stuff'...ya know?!
Last edited by retrotecchie; 26-11-22 at 00:47.
Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.