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How to Save Thousands of Dollars Simply by Adjusting Your Monitor's Brightness

written by: Bruno Kos•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 5/31/2011

Whether you are an individual with only as little as a few computers inside your home, or if you own a company which uses hundreds of computers, you can save significant amounts of money simply by adjusting the brightness of your computer monitor.

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    To adopt energy-saving measures has possibly never been of more importance than it is today. Although the claim which has been put out by some organs of the media stating that a PC might be consuming power equivalent to that of a refrigerator, is clearly exaggerated, it has to be said that any household where multiple monitors are operating is putting a considerable strain on energy supplies. Each one of us working, playing or socializing on a PC – and that is most people – can take one simple step to achieve a small energy saving which, when multiplied by the number of users, amounts to making a real impact on the planet’s greenness. That one action is simply to adjust monitor brightness.

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    Electricity Bill Reduction

    As can clearly be understood, a lowering of the brightness of your PC’s screen produces a concomitant reduction in cash expenditure. Although the difference in one’s electricity bill may not be startling, each small downward action of this kind contributes to savings over the longer term. Setting the luminosity of the monitor’s back-lighting – whether a PC, laptop or Notebook – is just as significant as the choice of wattage of light bulb that you install in your desk lamp. The extent of the energy saving is naturally tied in with the quantity of use your computer receives – in other words, the number of hours it is operation. (The green user of course switches off during periods of inactivity.)

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    In Numbers Please

    The question is, how much of an energy reduction are we talking about? There are many models of computer monitors available on the market, so the amount of a reduction is dependent upon the manufacturer and the technology used within the monitor itself. Nevertheless, most manufacturers implement different “Eco” functions - for example, ViewSonic’s proprietary Eco Mode function can save up to 50% of energy. Furthermore, if having a company which has lots of computers, savings can be measured in thousands of dollars. For example, in October of 2010., the Enerware student club approached the Leddy Library with ideas on how to reduce the power usage. Among other things, the student club determined that as much as 9 watts per monitor would be saved simply by adjusting the brightness minimally. In other words, if there are hundreds of computers owned by a company, we are talking about hundreds, even thousands of dollars (per year) of reduced electricity bills.

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    How to Set the Brightness of Your PC’s Screen

    lcd screen It may not always suit one to adjust monitor brightness. With strong sunlight entering the room, monitor brightness usually needs to be high, too. Therefore, it is advisable to work in a darkened room where the screen brightness need not be high for excellent visibility. Revered authorities also claim that users’ eyes benefit from a reduction in the monitor’s brightness. To help combat eyestrain, it is recommended, too, that the necessary adjustment be made to ensure strong contrast between text on the screen and the screen’s background luminosity.

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    General Steps and Conclusion

    Re-setting and then saving your new lower screen brightness level is sometimes more easily said than done, unfortunately. As one would expect, the precise directions for carrying out brightness adjustments vary from computer to computer. In many cases, the process is digital, involving simply operating one of the numbered Function keys (bearing an icon representing a growing or shrinking sun) while holding down the Function button. Gone are the days when at the bottom of the monitor itself there were knobs to be twisted. Either way, many users report not being able to save the settings long term. Several software reviewers vouch for the widget named Brightness Level produced by CurveFish.

    Most manufacturers implement energy saving functions inside their products. These functions enable the user to change the brightness of a monitor with a single click. For example, Samsung implements a „MagicEco“ feature which allows the user to set the monitor brightness to 75% or 50%, in order to further reduce the amount of energy used. These functions are not as frequent on laptops, though, so user will have to change the brightness manually, which is done usually with the following combination of keys: Fn (function key) + arrow key.

    Overall, the advantages when you adjust monitor brightness are self-evident. Make that adjustment today.

    Sources

    • http://computers.toptenreviews.com/economy/10-computer-energy-saving-tips-go-green.htm
    • http://curvefish.com/widgets/brightness-level.htm

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