Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Get Black

When your computer screen is white - an empty word page, or the Google
page - your computer consumes 74 watts, and when its black it consumes
only 59 watts. Mark Ontkush wrote an article about the energy saving
that would be achieved if Google had a black screen, taking in account
the huge number of page views, according to his calculations, 750 mega
watts/hour per year would be saved.

In a response to this article Google created a black version of its
search engine, called Blackle, with the exact same functions as the
white version, but with a lower energy consumption, check it out.


About Blackle

How is Blackle saving energy?

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

In January 2007 a blog post titled Black Google Would Save 750
Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the theory that a black version of the
Google search engine would save a fair bit of energy due to the
popularity of the search engine. Since then there has been skepticism
about the significance of the energy savings that can be achieved and
the cost in terms of readability of black web pages.

We believe that there is value in the concept because even if the
energy savings are small, they all add up. Secondly we feel that
seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we
need to keep taking small steps to save energy.

How can you help?

We encourage you to set Blackle as your home page. This way every time
you load your Internet browser you will save a little bit of energy.
Remember every bit counts!

Help us spread the word about Blackle by telling your friends and
family to set it as their home page. If you have a blog then give us a
mention. Or put the following text in your email signature:
" - Saving energy one search at a time".

There are a lot of great web sites about saving energy and being more
environmentally friendly. They are full of great tips covering the
little things that we can all do to make a difference today. Try
Blackling "energy saving tips" or visit a great blog
dedicated to environmental awareness.


Anonymous said...

Blackle wasn’t created by Google, but by Heap Media in Sydney. However they’ve certainly gained themselves some attention by linking their activities to Google!

Two aspects of their website are underwhelming: (1) their online projects have “global reach” (wow, like every other website!), and (2) using a black background means they can use that oh-so-current design technique of having everything reflected in a shiny back surface. Ho hum.

Anonymous said...

Further to this, I’ve just been informed that the “save power” issue only applies to CRT monitors. The newer LCD (flat panel) technology uses the same amount of power constantly, no matter what the image.

Sorry to rain on the parade...

richardwatts said...

Oh well, it sounded fun - and hey, I have an old-school monitor. Plus hey, it's black - what's not to like? :-)

Sanjay John Gandhi said...

You might want to note that blackle is just the homepage of, which has offered web search in different colors since a much longer time. In general, all dark backgrounds on light text are energy saving-less illumination of the CRT-less pixel activation.

My favorite on is the white background with green links-although not energy saving-it is really better for the eyes.