Didier Stevens

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Powerstrip With Neon Lamp Switch

Filed under: Elec,Hardware — Didier Stevens @ 0:00

There are powerstrips with a switch that lights up when the switch is turned on. Like this one:

These switches (certainly older models) often use a neon lamp as light source.

I measured the electric energy consumption of a powerstrip with switch on and neon lamp burning (without anything plugged into the powerstrip’s outlets).

It consumed 7,8582 Wh over 24 hours, thus it drew on average 0,327 W.

That’s about 6 times more than the standby power of my Apple USB charger A2347 (0,0530 W).

FYI: although the switch is turned on in the above picture, you don’t see the neon lamp burning.

That’s because of the AC power here in Belgium is 230V and 50Hz.

50Hz means that the current is 0 A 100 times per second, and thus the neon lamp does not light up around these 0 A current values.

So the picture above was taken at a moment that the lamp wasn’t lighting up because the current was (almost) 0 A.

I will go into more details in an upcoming blog post.

I did not conduct tests with powerstrips that use LEDs in stead of neon lamps yet, because all the powerstrips with LEDs I have, also have a builtin USB charger, and that draws power too.

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