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November 21, 2004


Cop Car

It is never pitch dark in our house. One of my pet peeves is that there is no way to turn off the 3 clocks built into the appliances in the kitchen (gas range/electric oven/microwave). In my den, there is always a light glowing through the back of the computer and a little neon light on the power strip (to show that the switch is "on") and the clock in my Bose radio. There is a little green light that glows on my TV/VCR when I have programmed it to record--which is virtually always since I rarely watch TV in real time.
There is nothing aglow in the front room or dining room (no electronics there!) In the living room, HH's VCR has a clock (or something) that glows. HH has a night light in his bathroom and in the main hallway. At night, his bathroom doors are closed, so I don't see that one. In HH's bedroom, he has a CD/radio that has a large screen that glows--if he has the lid lifted; but, again, he keeps his bedroom doors closed at night so I don't see it (unless he is out of town and I have taken over his territory!)
The clock in the radios in my bedroom and bathroom glow--so I never turn on a light at night just to go to the bathroom, even though I close the bathroom door if HH is at home (his request!) Actually, since my bedroom is at the front of the house, it is well-lit by the street lamp one door down and the porch light that is virtually always ablaze through the night, across the street. (Recall that we have non-blackout vertical blinds at all windows, without draperies.)
In the basement there are 4 clock radios aglow in various rooms (shop/sewing room/kiln room/laundry room), a remote control light aglow in the amplifier/tuner that the record changer plays through in the pool room, and (if I have the power bar turned on--not usual) a remote control light aglow on my CD carousel in my sewing room. If the kiln controller is plugged in (it hasn't been for awhile, now), it is flashing the temperature.
HH's den is a whole 'nuther ballgame. If you walk by the door when no other lights are lit, you'll see a bunch of blue lights from his computer/monitor/power strips/etc. Well, actually, he has 3 computers in there (but one is a laptop so it isn't aglow). Oh! And he has a remote control light on his CD carousel in his weights room.
I am sometimes tempted to go around with my handy roll of electrical tape to cover all the "glowers".
Oh! And I nearly forgot the skylight at either end of the hall. They don't provide a lot of light, most of the time since one is northeast-facing and the other is southwest-facing. (I should have Buffy's skylights!)

Jeff Soyer

There are lots of glowing LEDs and such in my home in every room as well. But, I'm one of these people who likes some real light everywhere because my "night vision" is... Well, let's just say I'm getting on in years.

Also, a roommate, Sammy, my black cat is nearly invisible at night. She took to sitting under a chair when I walked by at night after I would trip over her so many times. So now I have at least one and sometimes 2 night-lights in every room. In addition, my kitchen is centrally located in my apartment and I leave a 40W stove-hood light on 24/7 and the light makes its way through the kitchen, livingroom, bathroom, and hallways. I don't like complete darkness...


I solve the "computer and related equipment is on even when it's off" problem by running everything through UPSes and shutting them off when I'm finished using them for the day. That way they are truly off when I hit the 'OFF' switch.

Quite a few of the modern conveniences use power even when they're off. It's called parasitic power drain. Many of the modern electronically controlled devices use power for the microcontrollers that actually control the actions of the devices. They need to have power all the time if they are to quickly and 'efficiently' control the power to the rest of the device (like turn it on and off). It's a price we pay for the modern conveniences. It's rare today to have something with an 'OFF' switch that actually turns a device off. Hence, all of the LEDs and other indicators we see even in the pitch black of night.


Jeff - I know the balck cat syndrom well. We have a black cat and two black dogs. In fact I stepped on Prince's ribs yesterday morning; he was laying in the doorway to the stairs, and I had to get where he was before I could reach the light switch.

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