Save Energy, While Searching ?

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Save energy while searching, is the concept that Blackle, a website using Google Custom Search engine feature claims. Blackle has been created in Sydney, Australia in 2007 by a company call Heap Media based on the following concept:

Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen." Roberson et al, 2002

Blackle uses the same tecchnology as Google (and also share their text ads), which makes your search as effective, but instead of having a white background it has a black background. Using a black background, has contributed to save 421,207,977 Watt hours until know.

As pointed out by Sly, this theory is true with CRT screens, but is not so promising with LCD screens
According to a review in BusinessWeek:

CRT and LCD monitors use different amounts of energy to produce a black screen due to their design according to Scott Gray, product manager a Hewlett Packard. CRT monitors produce an image by firing a stream of electrons at phosphorescent material within the screen. The various frequencies with which the electrons hit the phosphorescent material produce the unique colors. Black is the default color of the phosphorescent material when no electrons are hitting it and the electron gun is essentially off. "The CRT is using less current with a black screen so there is less electricity used," says Gray. "The peak current is with a bright, well-lit image."

LCD screens, on the other hand, are lit via fluorescent tube lights located above or behind the LCD screen. The screen scatters the light, creating the picture. When an LCD screen is on, the lights are also on. "Black is not created by the absence of electricity or by turning off the light," explains Gray. "In a lot of cases, a black screen looks purple because the colors are created by mixing the right pixel elements in the LCD together at the same time.

It seems that the whole concept is now (already) a little outdated. I guess even if the amount of energy saved won't be huge, the amount of articles talking about it will be far greater and that is probably the main advantages for those who got into 'dark background' search engines... Nice Online PR/Viral Marketing example :-)


Anonymous said...

I recommend using Darkoogle since is available in over 40 countries

and they have the option ’simiar pages’ in the search result like the normal white Google.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but this idea is absolute rubbish. The fact is that a black screen on an LCD monitor (who uses CRT anymore??) uses exactly the same amount of energy as a white screen. Their intent is good, just a few years too late...

Alban G. said...

Thanks for your comments.

It sounds like Sly is quite right. The concept seems to apply to CRT screen more than LCD screens..

There is still a proportion of people using CRT screens, but the amount of them turn to be lower and lower...

Even if it does not save much energy, the concept works for online PR and viral marketing...