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The Green Life: A Bright Idea: Make the Switch

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February 25, 2009

A Bright Idea: Make the Switch

Light switch Walking into a room, you probably flip on the light automatically. Even if you're concerned with energy conservation, it's hard to conceptualize how much you're actually using in such a simple task. That's where the SmartSwitch comes in.

Designed by two Stanford students as a replacement for the standard light switch, the SmartSwitch uses tactile feedback to alert the user about the amount of energy already being spent in their home or on their electrical grid. That means that if there are a number of lights on in other rooms, the brake pad in the switch will add more resistance to flipping the lever up, a subtle nudge to stop and think about turning on yet another light.

The SmartSwitch doesn't prevent you from turning on the light, it just tries to encourage behavior change. Used along with a home energy-monitoring system like Greenbox, it could help you be on your way to a smarter, greener home.

--Jordana Fyne

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