Monitor Your Home Power Usage by Building a DIY Power Meter Reader

By Jason Fitzpatrick on May 13th, 2011

Commercial meter readers are expensive; this DIY hack allows you to cheaply monitor your power consumption for a greener tomorrow (and, realistically, a much lower bill).

Paul discovered that his digital power meter sent out a pulse of IR light every time a watt-hour of power was consumed. He built a simple monitoring assembly in a project box that consisted of a small circuit board and a photo transistor. It’s a clever and inexpensive hack (it cost him less $20).

You can check out the details of his build at the link below. Don’t have a digital meter? Don’t worry, we didn’t want to leave anyone out in the cold. We found this build guide for an analog meter (the kind with the electro-mechanical disc that spins).

IRMeterMon [via Hack-A-Day]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/13/11
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