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What is Blackle.com? October 31, 2008

Posted by Tom in energy savings, Technology.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I recently came across a site called Blackle, a search engine powered by Google, but instead of using a white background like Google’s, the site is black. The site’s “About” section states that a black version of Google would save 750 Megawatt-hours a year, with the reasoning that white uses more energy than black on computer monitors.

I’m a subscriber to the belief that every little bit counts when it comes to saving energy, but before you organize a protest demanding that Google switch their background to black, let’s take a look at the facts.

It’s an interesting concept, and the claim that Blackle can save energy by using a black screen is actually true, but only under the condition that the user views Blackle on a CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor, rather than an LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor. CRTs are the older, bulkier monitors, but a fraction of computer users still use them. If the majority of computer users still used CRT monitors, then Blackle would be a good idea. However, since most are on LCDs now, whether the colors on your screen are black or white doesn’t really make a difference. Changing your monitor’s settings, such as contrast or brightness, makes more of a difference in this case.

If you do have an old CRT monitor, my advice would be to upgrade to a newer, more energy efficient LCD. This will save more energy than using Blackle on a CRT. And for all computer users, be sure to turn off your monitors and computers when not using them. One cool thing about Blackle, however, is that they have some energy saving tips on their page that can help people, regardless of what type of monitor you use.


1. vknudtson - November 12, 2008

Very good information. I guess its time I should go out and get an LCD monitor…

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