Should I power down my TV overnight or leave it on standby?

Standby mode is a scurge of modern day technology. Most TVs and other electronic equipment has it. That little red light that so innocuously twinkles out of the corner of the TV when it is plugged in and turned on but you are not watching. That little red light indicates that it is powered and ready for use at the touch of the remote button but it also indicates that it is using electricity all the time it is on… even when you are not watching.

We all like convenience and I am no different from anyone else and yes, I have devices with the little red light indicating it is in standby mode. However, it is always a good idea to completely power these devices down when you know you won’t be using them for a while right? Well that got me thinking.

I have always believed that it is always a good idea to power down devices with a standby mode overnight. What is the point of having any electrical device such as a TV on standby overnight? It is just using electricity, adding to the amount of CO2 produced and adding to my electricity bill! However, last night I left the room and turned off the lights to go to bed and just as I had done so I remembered that I hadn’t powered down the TV. The little red light was still on in the now darkened room. The switch for the TV is on the wall behind the TV and so I really need the lights on if I am to avoid breaking something in the dark so this was my conundrum – do I turn the lights back on to power down the TV? Would it be better from the electricity point of view just to leave the TV on standby now I have already forgotten to power it off?

Strange how my mind works?

So I did the sums. We have recently replaced all our house lights (except for a couple upstars where I am getting LEDs) with powersaving bulbs and so I did the sums both before I did that change and after.

Before I have 360W of undimmed lights in the lounge. I know that is a lot of light but that is what the house had when we moved in and we haven’t changed it since. I reckon it would take about 15 seconds to turn on the lights again, go to the TV and power it down and then return to turn off the lights. That is 90W/minutes of extra power used.

The TV uses about 0.4W and would have been on for at least 8 hours had I not powered it down so that would have used 192W/minutes.

So we used 90W/minutes to save 192W/minutes.

No point in doing the sums for the low power bulbs… that is a complete no-brainer.

Clearly I am always better off go back and power the TV down. Interesting though that I would only need to get sidetracked and do something else as well as power down the TV and stay an extra 30 seconds instead of 15 and then I might have been better off just continuing up to bed and leaving the TV on!

Of course, the better solution is not to have devices with standby modes but that is a whole new ball of wax…

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