Appliances with an off light. (self.nostupidquestions)
submitted 2 months ago by snausagesinablanket to c/nostupidquestions

In the last few years I have purchased a pressure cooker and an air fryer. They both waste electricity by having an off light. Furthermore they act like red nightlights and my kitchen has an eerie red glow at night. What is the actual purpose for off lights besides to waste electricity?

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[-] captainjaneway 40 points 2 months ago

Off lights let you know if it's broken. If it's on, it's obviously working. If it's off and the light is on, it's getting power. If it's off and plugged in, but not displaying the light - that indicates it's broken or not getting power.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 2 months ago

You could also just try turning it on to see if it has power. I don't see how the light is actually useful for this.

[-] dustyData 19 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

The power draw from a single LED is nearly negligible. If it's a heating appliance, for example, it's several magnitudes more wasteful to turn it on, just to see if it heats properly. Even with other electronics the LED quickly tests functionality with almost zero power without having to power up the entire system which would use a ton of energy, since it assumes it is about to be used for its purpose. It can also be an early warning of failure, I wouldn't use a heating appliance whose off light failed, because if the electronic failed, turning it on could hurt the whole house circuit or further damage the appliance itself. The light is a quick “hey, I need service” warning. Just like cars, those warning lights have meaning and use, they aren't just a decoration.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

The power indicator bulbs in these kinds of kitchen appliances are rarely LEDs. They are usually neon indicator lamps. They're pretty durable and have been in use far longer than LEDs.


[-] twack 4 points 2 months ago

No, they usually are just LED's these days.

[-] [email protected] -1 points 2 months ago

Still seems useless. I never turn my appliances on just to see if they work. I just...use it. If it doesn't do anything, then I know it's broken.

It's also not just a single LED. In your house, yes, but multiply that by however many appliances in the wild have that same "feature" and the power wastage is much more real. It's the same reason it's recommended to unplug phone chargers and such when they're not being used.

Vampire power, I believe, is the term. It's when millions of tiny power loads add up to a significant overall draw while performing no useful work.

[-] dustyData 3 points 2 months ago

however many appliances in the wild

Vampire power is a thing, but not really that huge since regulations have launched the 1W initiative. The vampire power consumed by the average house in the US is less than a thousandth of the entire energy consumption. Less than a dollar per year. Of course, over a couple million homes we are talking about a few million dollars, that's not nothing. But also, it's less than a 0.001% of the entire grid residential electrical consumption. To cut power emissions and usage, that's almost a non-issue at best, a distraction at worse.

[-] grayaytrox 3 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

That makes no sense to me. Why not have an on light instead? If the light is on, and the device is operating as expected, that's good. If the light is off then it has no power or it's broken. If the light is on and nothing is happening, it's broken.

If the light is going to be annoying when the device is on, then turn it off after a few seconds.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

Seems like a solution in search of a problem.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

Seems reasonable on something dangerous like a toaster oven or pressure cooker that you obviously wouldn't want to leave on and unattended. These lights use almost no power at all.

[-] NemoWuMing 26 points 2 months ago

The off light reminds me to unplug the device when I don't need to use it.

[-] [email protected] 21 points 2 months ago

Just unplug them? Most appliances still draw some electricity (i.e. phantom load) when turned off.

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[-] andrewta 18 points 2 months ago

The ultra tiny amount of electricity is... Well you probably would never notice it on your bill.

But yeah it can be annoying having it there. I guess the purpose is to tell you that it has power available if you need it

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

Yes those small LED indicator lights use around 10-20mA of current at like 3V which is only 0.06W of power.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 2 months ago

get a Samsung appliance – they like to use ultra-bright BLINKING blue LEDs for sleep mode

[-] davidgro 5 points 2 months ago

I have a monitor that does that (but in white). It's in my bedroom. I had to use electrical tape like another commenter here mentioned - I left a tiny hole in the tape so I can see a faint light up close, but it's not making the room blink at night now.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

I'm never buying another Samsung monitor.

I can literally hear it blinking on and off at night, so I need to manually turn it off.

Damn my perfect hearing.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 2 months ago

For soundbars at least, the off light is there because there shouldn’t be any lights on while it’s being used so as not to distract the person watching tv. So the only way to know if the device is off is to have a light on.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 2 months ago

Maybe just have it exclaim "I'm off!" every five minutes, no need for an extra LED then.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

You joke, but one time I got woken up by what sounded like a Chinese lady complaining about batteries, and it turned out to be the low power alert on the cheapo import soundbar.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

My soundbar has a tiny blue light in the bottom corner that's on when the power is on and off when it's off. I've never been distracted by the tiny little blue LED while watching TV.

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[-] [email protected] 11 points 2 months ago

I cover lights like this with black electrical tape so they don't sear my eyes at night.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 2 months ago

Just to see the blue light creep out elsewhere in the cheap plastic box...

It should be fucking illegal to have lights on when the whatever if off.

[-] PlutoniumAcid 5 points 2 months ago

Especially BLUE lights can go right to hell.

[-] killeronthecorner 5 points 2 months ago

You need to get worse eyes. I don't have this problem at all.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

Just to see the blue light creep out elsewhere in the cheap plastic box...

It should be fucking illegal to have lights on when the whatever if off.

[-] lovely_reader 5 points 2 months ago

I figured the purpose was to warn us that these devices have been left plugged in while not in use, which is not advisable because they can become a fire hazard.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

I visited my parents last weekend. They have s printer which has a wave light signal in standby - gradually switching from off to strong light and back. What my parents probably never noticed was the high pitch loud screech which followed the light. I guess the pitch was too high for my parents to hear, but not for me. So whoever designed that can go fuck themselves.

[-] morphballganon -4 points 2 months ago

Because corporations benefit from keeping the working class from getting good sleep.

[-] ExcursionInversion 2 points 2 months ago

Knew it was corporations conspiring to keep us from a good night's sleep

this post was submitted on 06 Dec 2023
41 points (93.6% liked)

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