How Much Juice is that Laser Using?

Have one of those (Kill A Watt). From Harbor Freight. Poor boys do what they can.

Though I notice the current price at Harbor Freight is much higher than what I paid.


Me too – After checking that a device isn’t rated beyond the K-a-W’s capacity, I check new devices individually for about a month to get a sense of usage over time. For example, it costs me about $1 in electricity to print one e-Nable hand on my UM2+ 3D printer.


Ok…you get this information about appliance electrical usage after spending $300, installing it and training it(?). After a couple months of data, then what? I know many baseball fans are as interested in statistics on players as the game itself. I am not a baseball fan… :slight_smile: - Rich


the idea is that then you know how much everything costs to run in a very real way. you can calculate exactly how much your fridge is using over a year and clearly figure whether buying a new one is worthwhile, or whether it makes more sense to cook your food in the toaster oven vs your main oven (quality of cook and end product aside).

i’m curious to see how much it’s going to be able to figure out on its own without any end user training. it’s probably going to be picking up the big ones pretty easily - fridge, furnace, a/c, stove, oven - these all run on predictable cycles that are easy to model.

things like a light switch that dims or controls multiple bulbs, i’d be pretty surprised if it figured that out, since the load may change depending on how it’s being used that day. `

anyway, sure, it’s expensive now, but that cost will come down over time. and it’s much more useful having this sort of granular data local and immediate rather than trying to extrapolate patterns over time from your power bill (if it even gives you sufficiently discrete units of time, which many companies don’t).


Spot on. I have new kitchen appliances but we’re still running an old refrigerator in the basement for overflow food. Also have a really nice plasma TV but maybe it’s time to replace it with an LED even though it’s only a few years old and thousands of $ of sunk cost - the new ones are pretty cheap. Ditto for the washer (dryer is really new, washer is about 10 years old).

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This is what I use on the house now :

On the power usage test I did I used this :

(Well, its not EXACTLY this, but uses the same chipset)

Now the HA system I use :

Any two of the devices come up less then that device and you’d get a heap of functionality.

Another other way would be a RPi with a Z Wave ‘HAT’ then poll them that way.

An example use case is me and the wife went on vacation to CA last year. The mother in law stayed home. Both me and her got a push notification @ 3AM EST that the power usage jump up to 4700W and it was a abnormal behavior (as it looks at trends). My wife opened up the app, went to the section that had the kitchen- fired up the security camera app and saw that the oven was on with a pot on it. Then she was able to kill the power (220V) to the oven remotely. That- was worth the price of admission. As that could have gone sideways pretty quickly.


Sure, though I don’t think ease of use should be discounted. You can buy the sense and plug it in and have it go to work. Easier than generating your own baseline model and proceeding thus.

Though I’m tempted to buy one for myself.


I’m told some libraries loan out Kill-A-Watt or similar devices.

Now that I think about it, the number of people on this forum that would borrow a tool that had to be returned instead of buying it is probably fairly low to nonexistent. Well, maybe there is one.


Borrowed a Backhoe once. From my son. Couldn’t afford to buy it, he’s a ruthless negotiator.


ugh just read you cant use a computer or web page to get to it it appears to be app only . I hate that

would be nice if they had a windows universal app


Because 1 - he had a good teacher and 2 - he knows what arguing with Dad will get him.
Seriously, that’s the perfect tool for that task! Soil does’t look too rocky there. Water, propane or utilities for another structure? Nice spread You have there! :+1:

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Just replacing septic field at my old house in So.MD. Had to dig two long trenches 21ft deep to hit sand. Backhoe only reached 18 ft so he kicked me out of the seat, dug a hole for the backhoe to sit in and tilted it up on 2 wheels. Difference between paying someone $10,000 for a new field or doing it ourselves at a cost of about $2000.


And that made Dad smile! :sunglasses: (the resourceful solution, as well as the $)


A quick peek at @jamesdhatch’s workshop…


Looks cool to me! I have a couple devices that measure whole-house levels of electricity. They’re cool, but I honestly basically never look at the data they’re collecting. If this Sense thing can truly “fingerprint” individual devices, and then feed that data into an easily-reviewed UI, that would be very convenient.

Like others here, I also routinely hook up a Kill-a-watt to my new devices to see what kind of load they’re drawing, but I’m not studious enough to actually permanently record that information so I always end up forgetting it before too long. Having a lil’ devices that records everything for “me” (and also Sense’s data-mining servers) could be pretty interesting and useful in the search for “energy vampires”.

I look forward to hear how it works out for you @bill_laba! Actually, I’m MOST interested to hear about any instances where it DIDN’T work. I can learn the hype from the marketers, I’m more interested in the failures that I may end up encountering as well.


Stay tuned and be patient. I’ll get it up and running this week and post some info here. From what I hear, it could be a while until it learns more about my usage and starts reporting.


Hey, the bill went down $40 this month! :slight_smile:

@karaelena – thanks for posting those links. The z-wave energy monitor looks like a great deal. I’m unclear on exactly what kind of z-wave interface I need to talk to it, though. The Samsung z-wave hub has an app and I assume that through that app you can check the power gadget? Is that generally true for other z-wave hubs?

LOL ! :joy:

Get a phone emulator running on your computer, bluestacks is one of the more popular ones.