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docdockstader Posted - 12/27/2010 : 08:27:08 AM
Hey all,

I'm well aware of the benefits of automating your lighting and appliances, but my understanding of the technology is that the devices you plug in that are Insteon powered must always be on to receive signals, and therefore are always using energy.

My question, is there any kind of power usage summary per device I could view, or does anyone know the ball park figures of the main components: relay switches, dimmer switches, relay plug ins, dimmer plug ins?

11   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
BLH Posted - 08/17/2012 : 1:32:26 PM
The sales pages say 2477D 0.59 Watts 2477S <1 Watt.
If anyone has measured them it would be interesting.
I do have a 2477D and may try and measure it but a Kill-A-Watt meter is not to accurate at such low wattage.

I tried measuring the 2477D with my Kill-A-Watt meter. The power being used was too low for a reading.

Since both use a LNK354GN Off Line Switcher IC in their power supplies {FCC Photos}. My DVM read 12.35 ma of AC current that is probably not 100% accurate. To compare it to an old V2.1 2476D that showed 67 ma AC current.
jcomand Posted - 08/17/2012 : 11:23:18 AM
Has anyone measured the new 2477S and 2477D wall switches? If I am installing dozens of these in my house to conserve energy by keeping lights off, I don't want to actaully end up wasting energy!

Also, has anyone mesaured the power consumption when the load is on (subtracting out the load of course)?
docdockstader Posted - 01/11/2011 : 9:51:37 PM
I ended up borrowing a high end multimeter and took out a couple of switches to test the EXACT amount of power usage.

On an older style SwitchLinc dimmer, while switched off, the switch was pulling 73.29 milliamps, at 120v, that's 8.76 watts an hour. At my current average cost per k-watt hour, that's $6.87 in a year.

A brand new icon relay, while switched off, was pulling 12.56 miliamps, at 120v, that's 1.44 watts an hour. That's $1.13 a year.

So my personal cost of running Insteon is just over $40 a year. While no where close to the .3 watt figure provided in the link above, that's really not a bad price to pay for such sweet convenience.
Geo Posted - 12/29/2010 : 09:46:42 AM
Correction on Insteon power consumption - a diode was missing on the diagram I saw. Thus the actual draw from 120VAC is 59.5mA and the power consumption 7.14W. 3W is used to power the electronics, 4W is dumped.
Geo Posted - 12/29/2010 : 05:51:51 AM
Several schematics I've seen have a 1.5uF bleeding capacitor terminated by a 30V zener diode and a rectifier diode for half-way rectification. That results in 25.45mA RMS drawn from the utilities and at 120V it translates to 3W power consumption. With the power factor around 0.1 the old meter will log in 0.3W.
Using bleeding capacitor in low power devices (4W is about the practical maximum) is beneficial, as long as all parts of the circuit can be isolated from being touched - due to galvanic connection to 120VAC power. Besides "cheating" the utilities, it is cheaper, smaller and lighter than a transformer and it generates no heat (resistive components in the circuit are responsible, that's why we don't have PF=0). I can imagine Insteon might want to reduce the power consumption a bit, it is certainly possible, but doubt they would do it at a cost to the hardware. There is really no incentive for them.
Geo Posted - 12/29/2010 : 05:50:48 AM
Getting Insteon to have PF=1 serves no purpose whatsoever. In fact, it is very doubtful that Insteon would even consider it unless forced by legislation. It would mean replacing a capacitor costing perhaps 10 cents with power factor correction (PFC) circuitry costing several dollars. That is the reason why CFLs whose quantity is many times more than Insteon devices and their PF "lousy" 0.5 are accepted by utilities who are aware of the problem but believe that accepting the CFLs as they are is beneficial as opposed to killing them by enforcement of high PF.
Geo Posted - 12/29/2010 : 05:49:23 AM
The author of the linked page ( doesn't seem to understand what the power factor is. He talks about "deplorable" power factor (PF) without understanding that low PF is actually good for the consumer. It means that the user of a 4W device with 0.1 "deplorable" PF has been paying for 0.4W only - until he gets the Smart Meter. And we'll also pay more (I already do) for CFLs, appliances with split-phase stators, such as furnance blower motors, etc. Low PF is a problem for utilities, not for the consumer. PF is now being legislated for different appliances (to help the utilities), but nobody cares much about low power devices. One exception being the wart transformer. It's use grew exponentially with laptops and especially because appliance manufacturers using a purchased, certified wart didn't have to go through a costly certification of their appliance. Today warts have to satisfy certain minimum PF.
Geo Posted - 12/29/2010 : 05:48:52 AM
Further to my yesterday response, I have more comments I'd like to make. For clarity, I'll break them into several separate issues.
I checked the documentation. The original manual claims current measurement from 0 to 15A with 3% accuracy. That's a bit of creative writing. Interestingly, later manuals state the maximum current of 15A only. It's just extremely unlikely that a fairly inexpensive device could have such a huge dynamic range of 1:10,000! Besides, who would need it, when the smallest 120V light bulb one can buy is 4W and monitoring such low consumption devices is not going to significantly impact the electricity bill? Consequently, I consider the "measurements" presented in the linked web page ( meaningless.
Geo Posted - 12/28/2010 : 5:13:58 PM
I don't quite understand the mathematics of the power consumption in the link suggested by BLH above. How is the writer going from 70mA to 90mA draw measured at 124V to 0.3VA consumption is a mystery to me. The poor power factor is the cause of apparently minuscule power consumption, because a capacitor is generally used to drop the voltage. That does not dissipate heat, the heatsink is used for the triac. I've seen some schematics and based on the components' values 3VA is the more likely power consumption which, at 0.1 power factor will show up as 0.3VA - until you get a Smart Meter.
0.3 VA is possible, it would be the result of 2.5mA current draw. A good design with modern low power micro controllers will do that.
I don't know why Kill-A-Watt registers zero current, I am not familiar with its design but the current it measures is most likely detected by a current transformer. It must be around 15A full scale which would make measurement of even 15mA, that is 60dB range, quite a feat.
The relays do not take power, they are energized only momentarily by discharging capacitor to move a ratchet with contacts.
docdockstader Posted - 12/27/2010 : 10:29:55 AM
Thanks BLH!

If I'm reading that chart correctly, it's stating that a 2476D will use .3 watts of power? So, at $0.08 per kwatt hour, that would be about 2 cents for 31 days of use per device, sound right?

Man, that's awesome!
BLH Posted - 12/27/2010 : 09:57:13 AM
Here is one thread on power consumption of modules.
There are probably others but this one I remembered finding.

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