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Google Goes all Black in San Francisco for Energy Conservation

Google goes black for solar power, ok, not just solar power

This is what you see if you go to right now and you live in San Francisco. I guess they’re doing geolocation specific homepages now. Yikes! Google’s trying to raise awareness for solar power! Alright, alright, not JUST solar power.

Here is where Google’s “lights out” link goes.

My friend in IM in response to this said: “Hey, did you know some dude figured out that if Google made their page black that it would save like 300000 gillion megawatts or something?”

Well, actually BS. Google outed that guy as wrong, apparently it takes more juice to run a black screen than a white screen. I believe this because it came from google and, well, of all people, they would know the answer to THAT question…. but I’m an electrical engineer and I’m not sure why.

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3 thoughts on “Google Goes all Black in San Francisco for Energy Conservation

  1. Matt says:

    Ha! Two years ago I tested this theory on our Dell LCD computer monitors in the office–slow work day–using a Watts Up Pro meter checked out from our local library.And the verdict? Black screen indeed took more energy! Every time I opened an all-black window, power usage ticked up. The opposite happened with all-white windows.

  2. Adam says:

    The reason it (supposedly) takes more energy for a black screen than a white screen is that with any LCD or LED monitor (really anything except the huge, old CRT type) they have a backlight (which is white). In order to make a section of the screen black it has to do something to block this light. So the theory is that if the monitor isn’t taking the extra effort to block the light, then surly it must be using less power, right? I’m not sure about that since the electronics which power the light blocking system are always on, ready to block light in case you want something other than a blank white screen. It’d be simple enough to test though, with something like a kill-a-watt. Interestingly, the old CRT tubes work in basically the opposite way. They’re black by default and it takes energy to make them illuminate. When there’s a black screen, there’s no electron stream, which means they would certainly use less power. Since those are few and far between, I’m also inclined to agree with Google on this one. Feel free to test this for yourself & post your results. :-)

  3. Dan Hahn says:

    Was it this guy Dave?

    He says a black google screen would save 750MW per year compared to a white screen.

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