That little orange light

A frequent question at work is whether or not you should turn your computer off at night. The answer is pretty simple: leave it on if you’re coming back to do something later, and leave it off overnight unless you’re downloading something.

(The above situations are kind of perpetual to most geeks, and answer 1B is often “get a second, low power, quiet computer to do your nightly torrenting for you while the firebreathing tiny god sleeps”.)

Not many people realise that their monitors also drain lots of power – large LCDs are often no better than the CRTs we used to lug around – and they still chew current in standby mode. One recent customer, though, was more worried about something… else.

Customer: Should I turn my monitor off at night? Does it do any damage leaving it on?
Coworker: It’ll still use a bit of power in standby mode, but it won’t damage anything to leave it on, no.
Customer: Oh… won’t that little orange light wear out though?
Coworker: *blink*

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