Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cleaner power.

As a Singaporean, I only remember the rare blackout, and do not remember having any brownouts at all.

Not so much living overseas. At my London rental, I've noticed the lights slowly dim and brighten. Brownout. But this particular apartment in Montreal is quite bad. Everytime the fridge's compressor kicks in, the lights will flicker, and it will flicker at odd times as well, which I would assume is the neighbour's high power appliances engaging. I've already had one short blackout a few weeks ago.

To protect my electronic babies, I've got a Tripplite Smart 1500LCDT. Compact little thing but weighs a fair bit. It's main use is as a UPS during blackouts, which I don't really need since I only run laptops, but the other features like voltage regulation - to combat brownouts - were exactly what I needed.

After installing it, I found some of my headphone outputs no longer humm and buzz. Previously, they did, even with the volume knob at zero. Win! Testing the UPS today, it seems like the 1500VA capacity is probably overkill. A pair of studio monitors, audio interface, laptop and sample drive don't seem to consume much power at all, with the UPS indicating over an hour run time on batteries.

Guess if I ever get a new UPS, I'll definitely be scaling down my requirements. Heck, now that I think about it, the laptops don't even need to be plugged into the UPS powered sockets, just the surge protected sockets.

Alternatively, instead of a UPS with voltage regulation, a line conditioner will probably do just as well. Ah well. Live and learn.

In other news, I've decreased my room's lighting consumption from 3x 40W incandescent lights to 2x 6W LED lights (which produce 40W equivalent lighting each).

I wonder if the cost of running LED lighting outweighs the cost of actually producing the LED lighting. Previously in London, I'd swapped most of my lights to LEDs as well, and don't remember seeing it impacting that much on my energy bill. The flipside is during winter, incandescent lights actually help warm my room, not so much with LEDs!

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