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The Wattson displays how much power you’re using in your house so you can actively see how much electricity your going through… I think if I had one of these I’d be more likely to walk around the house and turn off more stuff to always keep the number as low as possible, looks handy… – Link.

More:

  • As TVs grow, so do electric bills – Link.
  • Kill A Watt – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. jswilson64 says:

    That’s a great idea. The company name, “DIY Kyoto” may be an unfortunate translation – there’s nothing DIY about it. You order it, they make and send it to you. I’d like to make something like that for my house…

  2. tenax8 says:

    maybe it stands for “display it yourself”?

  3. snarkyFish says:

    Seems like it could be done with off the shelf components for well less than $700 US. Get to work folks! You’ll need a no touch amp meter to read your house mains.. a transmitter to send that reading to a microcontroller or computer, and a microcontroller or computer to receive the signal and parse it to an output suitable for human interaction.

    could be really cool.

  4. Teresa3455 says:

    sadly, apartment dwellers are no doubt SOL here. If you wanna save money on your electric bill, shell out for a house.

  5. tbuser@gmail.com says:

    How would you go about connecting something like this without needing an electrician? What is a “no touch amp meter”? This would be an awesome project! So long as I don’t electrocute myself trying to monitor the mains…

  6. tbuser@gmail.com says:

    I found a similar device, although not quite as cool, it is a whole lot cheaper.

  7. Oracle1729 says:

    tbuser, when an electric current passes through a wire, it induces a magnetic field around the wire. It’s possible to measure the amount of current flowing through the wire from the field around it.

    I don’t really see the point. I have a $30 watt meter http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/7657/ that you plug in and then plug a device into it to see how much power is being used. This is great for seeing what’s eating a lot of power and making sure to turn it off whenever possible. I was surprised to find my 24″ LCD monitor uses more power than my 20″ CRT.

    The item linked here though seems to just show your total house power use, that’s not very useful in finding how you’re wasting power so you can cut it out. As well, for measure total power used, that’s what the power company’s meter does. Just look at it and it will tell you how much electricity you’re using and that’s a free solution. $700 buys a lot of electricity, it would take many, many years for this to pay for itself in power saved.

  8. snarkyFish says:

    1. yeah.. it measures the whole house.. that’s handy.. because it would include the lighting over that monitor of yours, the heater when it kicks on, or the garage door when it opens.. you can get a sense of the total flow for the whole system. I find that more useful than the killawatt that can only monitor a single outlet.

    2. It’s wireless.. you don’t have to go out to your garage or wherever your breaker box is to get a readout.

    Hacking the similar device that tbuser found to be wireless may be a good middle ground between cool/cheap.

  9. snarkyFish says:

    ugh.. i take that back.. it’s still $150.. Anyone know what kind of sensor would give a good current reading on a household electrical box?

  10. tbuser says:

    I realize killawatt is handy to measure individual appliances, but being able to quickly see how much the whole house is using would be even nicer. Having to go outside to read the meter isn’t very convenient. I could see hooking it up to some LEDs, maybe like an ambient orb device…

    Does anyone have a link where you could get one of these clips you could put around the wire going to the electrical box to get a power reading?

  11. trebuchet03 says:

    This is very cool :)I can see this becoming a game – trying to beat your lowest score :P But I live in an apartment with a power hungry air conditioner and room mates that like it cold :( We’ve been leaning our power consumption slowly (trying to get below 1000kW-Hr) though :P

  12. fibra says:

    I don`t belive this is really usefull device att all. If you have big electricity bills take care of things you have turned on all the time, not acording to display. You don`t need anny kind of monitor. Saving is way of thinking and conciousness not monitoring.
    I dont talk only about electricity here…

  13. snarkyFish says:

    when you try to save money, do you ever look at your bank account to see how well you’ve done? : p

    this is similar, when you switch off your office computers, you can see a change in the meter, that teaches you what your computers cost to run. There’s really no other way you can learn that.