“ Brand: Lime Green Gadgets / Type: Plug „
I've used one of these energy saving plugs on a cable TV receiver for a while now. The receiver gets very warm even when on standby and that got me thinking how much power it was using. Having looked at the reviews of the unit online it seems that it uses upto 75% of its normal power consumption in standby!
I wasn't having that waste of electricity, so I've grabbed one of the Lime Green saver plugs.
You plug it in, press the button on the unit, which puts it into 'program mode'. This means you point your devices remote control at the little receiver connected by a cable to the plug and choose a button you'd like to turn the power on and off with. I just used the power button, but the choice is yours!
Once you have done that, you can turn the power completely off or on via that button on your remote control.
The receiver comes with a little sticky pad so that you can attach it somewhere around the device or out of the way under your TV or whatever. It doesn't have to be absolutely 'line of sight' of the remote control but it helps. Consider it the same as changing a channel on your TV with your remote control.
'Don't put your life on standby'
That's the advice on the card that came with this device manufactured and distributed by the Grass Roots Group originally under a UK Government scheme. While I can't claim to be completely 'green' in lifestyle, I do at least make some effort to save the planet and hopefully money at the same time. This product may have some part to play - but in our household I fear it's only a minor role.
[This is an updated, revised version of an original review published last year.]
~~What is it? ~~
The LIME energy saving plug remotely cuts off the electricity supply to connected equipment. It can be used with an individual device or multiple devices connected by standard extension and is controlled by any infra-red remote control.
The idea is to reduce the amount of power consumed by TVs and other equipment frequently left in standby mode instead of being fully switched off at the mains, thereby reducing your carbon footprint and those dreaded electricity bills.
~~Availability and price~~
The LIME plug was originally made available free to people over 70 or in receipt of certain benefits, then for some time it was available freely (one per UK household). This seemed too good an offer to miss, so I requested one online some time ago and it duly arrived in the post within a few days.
While this scheme may have expired now, these devices (or similar) might still be worth considering. Versions are now on offer at well below the original asking price of around £20, though detailed specifications vary. This brief, non-technical review is based on our experience this year using the LIME product.
~~Ease of use~~
The plug was very easy to setup and is simple to use:
* Just plug your equipment into the energy saving plug
* Plug this into the mains socket
* Switch on the mains socket
* Synchronise your remote control by pointing it at the attached sensor and holding down any button on the remote - synchronisation is indicated by a flashing LED
* Use the same button to turn your appliance(s) on and off remotely
Note: If a connected appliance is remote controlled, you can always synchronise this with its on/off remote button for maximum convenience.
One minor usability issue: you do have to wait at least a minute before switching off connected appliances.
We're currently using this with a digital radio which has no remote control and is plugged into an unswitched extension socket. It still seems easier to switch off the TV and other devices 'at the mains' as their sockets are accessible and individually switched; but we're keeping this under review and may experiment further.
We've been using this device for at least a year now with no problems at all.
~~A little critical thinking~~
This device may save relatively modest amounts of energy and related carbon emissions, and was originally available free under a UK Government scheme. However, this free scheme has come to an end, the device does consume a tiny amount of power itself (c. 0.5 watts?), and remote control units use a little battery power too! Using it with a multi-socket extension to switch multiple appliances might make best sense for maximum potential energy savings.
Thinking a bit more laterally perhaps, the LIME plug can provide remote access to inaccessible power sockets and unswitched outlets. This might particularly benefit users with mobility issues - or dare I say it might appeal equally to the lazier amongst us 'couch potatoes', maybe even switching that TV off properly without getting out of armchair or bed!
Note also that these devices are not recommended for use with certain appliances - like Sky+ and V+ boxes which need to be kept on standby for full functionality. Best check manufacturers' documentation for full details
I'd recommend at least considering one of these, bearing in mind the above reservations and observations. It's worth noting that similar products are now available - e.g. from Amazon for under £12 - as well as variations with multiple plugs and dedicated remote control units.
* Limited energy savings
* Remote access to inaccessible power sockets
* Equal appeal to couch potatoes and eco-warriors?
* Limited energy savings
* Not recommended for use with some appliances
* Having to wait 60 seconds before switching appliances off
[Revised version of an original review © SteveS001, 2011]
Always looking for ways to save money I have been actively looking in to ways to save on my energy usage (this is due to the price of electricity being on the rise continually) and so when I heard about the energy saving plug from Lime Green Gadgets I decided to give it a shot but have I seen any difference?
The thinking behind this energy saving plug is simple. The sensor will recognise your remote control signal and switch your item off fully rather than leaving it on standby which saves power. The plug will draw down a little energy as it needs this for the sensor but at less than 0.5 watts this is negligible in comparison to an item being left on standby.
The energy saving plug is very simple to setup. Once you have plugged your item (for me this was my TV) into the energy saving plug you hold in the button and switch your TV on and off using your remote. That is you all setup.
The plugs fit securely in to the wall socket and so you are not worried that this will fall out of the socket which gives you that piece of mind you need when it comes to electrical products.
The sensor cable is in built to the plug so no need to worry about this coming loose and thanks to the cable itself being 1.5m in length then you can set this up for a plug which is not easily accessible and not have to worry about trying to reach around to switch the power off each time you are finished using something.
Great for in the bedroom. Many people will like me watch their television in their bed at night and when you are ready for bed the last thing you want to be doing is getting up and switching the power off at the wall so you leave the television on standby all night drawing down a lot of power but thanks to this you can simply switch the television off from the comfort and warmth of your bed.
This offers great value at about £10 for a plug but if you set this up and use it regularly (as per how I use it) then it will pay for itself with no problems.
This helps save energy so is not just good for your pocket but also for the environment.
Overall this is a very simple yet effective product which saves you money, energy and hassle. A plug which allows you to save money and the environment all in one for about £10 really can't be sniffed at and the fact it is so easy to setup is a bonus. I highly recommend this to everyone.
Energy-Saving Plug & Sensor [white] by Lime. The unit has a small neon indicator at the top of adaptor-plug to show when power is on, and a reset button just below. The energy-saving plug plugs into a regular UK 3-pin socket. Then you plug in other item(s) to be controlled from the plug (maybe with an extension cord). The 1.5m-long white cable extends away from the plug unit to a suitable location where the infrared sensor can be found with your existing TV Remote etc. This Plug-Unit is suitable for the usual 13amp 240v UK domestic power supply, and good for up to 3000watts (3kW) plug-in loads...ie regular items like TV, stereo, DVD, VCR, etc. How to set-up and use the Energy Saving Plug: 1. Plug your electric item(s) into the energy saving plug. 2. Plug the energy saving plug into the wall socket 3. Place the Infrared receiver sensor so it is in sight of your appliance Remote Controller (eg TV Remote Controller). 4. Turn on the mains power at the wall socket - the neon will flash slowly. 5. Point your appliance remote controller at he Infrared Sensor/receiver, and hold down the button that you want to use to control the Energy Saving Plug. (Any button will serve). In the future, pressing that selected button on your Remote Controller will switch the Energy Plug Unit. The neon light will flash quickly and then go off....the remote controller is now synchronised with the plug unit. 6. To turn on your appliance (eg TV, DVD player etc), point the Remote at the sensor and just press the assigned button on your Remote Controller once. Allow 60 seconds before switching off again. 7. To switch off the appliance(s), it is the same thing, just point Remote Controller at the IR-sensor and press the assigned button on the Remote Controller. 8. To change the assigned button or to use a different Remote Controller, switch off power at the wall socket, hold the reset button down until the light flashes and repeat the above steps to synchronise the new button/remote.