By Andrew Liszewski
We’ve all got that nagging voice in the back of our heads telling us we should make a conscious effort to use less energy, but I’ve found it’s easy to drown it out by leaving my blender running 24/7. So it doesn’t hurt to have other reminders about our wasteful ways around the house.
The SmartSwitch is an intelligent light switch that lets you know when your home, or even your local electrical grid, is using substantial amounts of power. Now it doesn’t actually prevent you from turning on the light, but thanks to a built-in ‘brake pad’ the act of sliding the switch does become more difficult during the hours of peak energy demand in your neighborhood. That way you would think twice about whether you really needed that light on, or if you could use a more energy-friendly alternative like simply opening the curtains.
The SmartSwitch was created by Peter Russo and Brendan Wypich from Stanford University for the Greener Gadgets Design Competition.