How Much Electricity Does An Alarm Clock Use?

Alarm clock radios are a common household equipment that allows you to choose a time for waking up to the sound of the radio or preloaded music. Modern Energy Star-rated alarm clocks with built-in radios require between 1 and 2 watts of electricity, whereas older models or ones with a lot of extra functions can use up to 5 watts. A basic alarm clock radio is estimated to require 2 watts.

What consumes the most electricity?

The breakdown of energy use in a typical home is depicted in today’s infographic from Connect4Climate.

It displays the average annual cost of various appliances as well as the appliances that consume the most energy over the course of the year.

Modern convenience comes at a cost, and keeping all those air conditioners, freezers, chargers, and water heaters running is the third-largest energy demand in the US.

Here are the things in your house that consume the most energy:

  • Cooling and heating account for 47% of total energy consumption.
  • Water heater consumes 14% of total energy.
  • 13 percent of energy is used by the washer and dryer.
  • Lighting accounts for 12% of total energy use.
  • Refrigerator: 4% of total energy consumption
  • Electric oven: 34% energy consumption
  • TV, DVD, and cable box: 3% of total energy consumption
  • Dishwasher: 2% of total energy consumption
  • Computer: 1% of total energy consumption

One of the simplest ways to save energy and money is to eliminate waste. Turn off “vampire electronics,” or devices that continue to draw power even when switched off. DVRs, laptop computers, printers, DVD players, central heating furnaces, routers and modems, phones, gaming consoles, televisions, and microwaves are all examples.

A penny saved is a cent earned, and being more energy efficient is excellent for your wallet and the environment, as Warren Buffett would undoubtedly agree.

What does it cost to keep a clock radio running?

I recently purchased an iHome clock radio to replace an out-of-date 20-year-old alarm clock. This small marvel has pleasantly surprised me, not only because of its simple setup and great sound, but also because it is, as it turns out, highly energy efficient.

I doubt many people are concerned about the amount of electricity consumed by a clock radio. After all, a normal clock radio is only likely to consume 5, 10, or 15 watts, right? When the radio is playing, maybe 20? The problem is that the 5, 10, or 15 watts are a constant pull 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That 5 watt clock radio costs you $5 a year to run at 12 cents per kilowatt hour, which you consider a bargain. That’s $100 over 20 years, which is more than most clock radios cost. Over the course of a 20-year lifespan, a 15-watt clock radio like the one we just replaced might cost $315.

My iHome clock radio, the iP90, uses a fraction of that amount: 0.4 watts, or less than 10 watt hours each day. I’ll spend roughly $9 on power over the next 20 years to keep it running. My only regret is that I waited so long to acquire it. Although the $99 price tag made it substantially more expensive than its predecessor (or the cheapest clock radios now on the market), the additional capabilities and lower power consumption make it well worth the investment.

Main features of the iHome clock radio

Let’s go over the iHome clock radio’s highlights: sound, audio inputs and controls, clock control, and display.

While the sound quality does not quite match that of a Bose, it is light years ahead of clock radios from a decade ago or that Walmart $20 bargain. The iHome clock radio boasts superior clarity and a much stronger base than a less expensive radio. Unlike cheap clock radios, which tend to send their feeble, high-pitched sound upwards, its twin stereo speakers project sound from the front of the machine. Because the quality is so amazing, I find myself turning on the radio to listen to music while getting ready for an evening out or getting ready for bed. Jazz, pop, rock, and classical music all sound fantastic on the iHome clock radio; I couldn’t take listening to music on my old clock radio!

Audio inputs: The iHome clock radio ip90 has an iPod/iPhone dock so you may wake up to your favorite tunes, as well as the necessary iPod adapters to fit a wide range of iPod base sizes. The iHome clock radio has a Play/Pause button so you can operate your iPod directly from the unit.

We don’t use the iPod capability very often because we prefer to wake up to the news, and the FM reception is fantastic.

As long as you have a location for the wire to dangle, the unit comes with a 4-foot FM antenna, which improves reception.

In the odd event that you desire to listen to an AM radio station or link the iHome clock radio to an external audio device such as a CD player, there is also an AM antenna and an audio input connector.

As illustrated on the right, all audio controls, as well as alarm clock selection buttons and the snooze / brightness button, are located on the top of the unit. The iHome clock radio has great sound control for an alarm clock. The huge, rotating square volume button on the left can simply be adjusted. One thing I had trouble getting used to is that the lefthand pivoting square, which controls volume, has speaker icons on it (which should be self-evident), whereas the righthand square has “+ and “- icons, which are for selecting the radio station or controlling balance and other sound characteristics. I found myself regularly attempting to modify volume by pushing the “+” and “-” buttons, which is an easy error to do when you’ve just woken up and has the terrible effect of changing the channel when all you wanted to do was lower the level way down so you don’t disturb the kids!

‘The’ “The EQ button allows you to adjust the treble, bass, balance, and stereo settings. There are -5 to +5 options for both treble and base. There are nine different balancing settings, as well as stereo and mono, though the terminology can be confusing because the display reads “3D sound on” or “3D sound off” instead of “Stereo” and “mono.” On a machine with speakers that are barely 2 inches wide and 5 inches apart, I’m not sure who would want to change the balance or switch off stereo sound; perhaps these options were included so they could claim more features than competitors. The base and treble controls, on the other hand, are really useful.

Six station presets are available on the iHome clock radio’s three buttons. To preset a radio station to preset numbers 1, 3, or 5, simply tune to it and hold the corresponding button down until a beep is heard. To preset to numbers 2, 4, or 6, turn to that station, then fast click the relevant button once, then hold down until you hear a beep on the second click. It takes some practice to get the hang of it, but you won’t be doing presets very frequently. Simply press the matching button once to shift to an odd preset station, and twice to tune to an even preset station.

Controlling the clock was one of the things that took me a long time to figure out. The iHome clock radio didn’t show the telltale flashing 12:00 when it was plugged in; instead, it showed 7:32 pm. This felt like a strange time to begin, so I spent at least 2-3 minutes attempting to modify the time using the + and buttons, but to no avail. Finally, it occurred to me that the actual time was one hour behind the stated time. And lo and behold, I discovered a “The proper time was shown promptly after pressing the +1 / -1 DST button on the back and flicking the switch.

The iHome clock radio comes with two AA batteries and is factory configured to the exact time. (It’s also possible that someone set the correct time zone!) The radio is compatible with the following time zones in the United States: Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii. I’m not sure how Newfoundlanders will react to the iHome clock radio’s time zone support, given that they are half an hour behind Atlantic, but there is a time adjust button on the back that, when held down, allows you to move the time forward or back (using the + and buttons). This clock radio not only allows you to change the time, but it also maintains track of the date. It never occurred to me that a clock radio would require knowledge of the current date, but it turns out that this is necessary for the alarm function. Later on, I’ll expand on this.

The battery backup is helpful not only for setting the iHome clock radio to the correct time, but also for ensuring that you wake up on time if there is a power outage. One aspect of this feature is that you can’t merely unplug the clock radio on weekends to prevent it from going off, as our daughter tried to do with her new clock radio on the first Saturday she had it. We were still woken up at 7 a.m. after she unplugged it and went on a sleepover, thanks to the battery backup in her clock radio!

In the last decade or so, clock radios have included bidirectional clock control, which allows you to shift the clock or alarm time forward or backward. Another reason I regret not replacing our old clock radio with an iHome clock radio sooner is because of this. On an antique clock radio, if you need to set the alarm a few minutes earlier one day due to an early work meeting, you’d have to fast forward the alarm time by 23 and a half hours! Because our old clock radio’s first symptom of failing was that it began accruing time, we had to fast forward through the majority of a 24-hour clock cycle every night to get it back to the correct schedule.

The iHome clock radio has preset sleep durations of 120, 90, 60, 30 or 15 minutes if you like to fall asleep to music. This is less versatile than previous clock radios I’ve used, which allowed you to customize sleep time to the minute using the time set buttons. However, I must admit that when I do use the sleep feature, I usually set it for roughly 15 minutes anyway, which I can now do with a single button press.

Controlling the alarms: The iHome clock radio has two alarms, so you may set one for weekdays and the other for weekends (for example). You may set the dateday, month, and year, and the reason for this is so the iHome knows what day of the week it is based on the date, and you can set each of your alarms to go off on weekdays only, weekends only, or every day. This is an excellent feature for those who enjoy sleeping in on weekends. You don’t have to switch off your usual alarm clock every Friday night.

After the alarm goes off, the unit offers a snooze mode that allows you to get an extra 10 minutes of sleep. I haven’t tried it yet, but it appears to be less flexible than what I’m used to, as it only allows you to sleep for 10 minutes at a time. I couldn’t figure out how to set your snooze time, either to set a default time for what the snooze button does or to easily snooze for longer than 10 minutes.

One of my favorite features of the iHome clock radio alarm (and the radio ON switch) is that the volume rises gradually as it turns on, giving you a few seconds to continue whatever dream you were having before drifting gently into consciousness.

On the iHome clock radio, there are eight dimmer levels (I’ve shown six below). The brightness of the dimmer level impacts not only the display on the front of the unit, but also the buttons on top, thus the brighter it is, the simpler it is to see the buttons and understand what’s on each of them. The brightest dimmer setting creates a large glow on your bedroomnot enough to read by, but enough to gaze into the eyes of a loved one, and the darkest is effectively pitch black. Only if you have another light source in your room can you read the time on the darkest setting.

Overall, a great unit and worth the investment

We bought our daughter a replacement clock radio from Zellers, a Canadian big box retailer similar to Walmart, about two years ago for $20. The sound quality was poor, but it helped her get ready for her daily school ride on time.

The show began to fade after a year. The clock continued to function, but some of the lines on the number readout were considerably fainter than others, until the time became unreadable. That flimsy clock radio has been relegated to the landfill. It’s disappointing to see how low the quality of entry-level gadgets has deteriorated. Our ancient clock radio lasted 23 years before it died, but hers only lasted two. The iHome clock radio appears to be more well-made, and user evaluations on Amazon and elsewhere indicate that we will have a better ownership experience than we did with the Zellers item.

This clock radio comes highly recommended by me to anyone looking for high-quality sound and a variety of easy-to-use features. Above all, as a proponent of energy efficiency, I’m amazed by its power usage. As I mentioned at the opening, a clock radio with a consistent power consumption of 10 or 15 watts will cost you $2-300 in electricity during its estimated 20-year lifespan. The iHome clock radio consumes so little power that it registers as 0 watts on my Kill A Watt meter, and the only way I can determine its power consumption is to count the number of kilowatt hours spent; after roughly ten days of counting, it reached 0.1 kilowatt hours. That means it used around the same amount of electricity as a 100 watt lightbulb for an hour over the course of 240 hours. You can’t beat that kind of efficiency!

What kind of energy is used by an alarm clock?


  • Food is grown with the use of solar energy.
  • We can develop a chemical energy store within ourselves by ingesting the food.
  • This stored energy can be used to perform tasks such as winding an alarm clock.
  • The clock now has the ability to generate energy.
  • Potential energy is turned into kinetic and acoustic energy when the alarm goes off.

When work is done, energy is converted. Chemical energy in your muscles is transformed into the potential energy of the lifted object when you lift anything heavy. More energy is converted as more labor is done.

The chemical potential energy of petrol is converted to the kinetic energy of gas when it is burned. The kinetic energy is converted into mechanical energy, which moves the car forward.

Energy conservation:

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed,” according to the conservation of energy principle.

Energy can take on different forms, but it cannot be created from nothing or destroyed.

The power plant converts the fuel’s chemical energy into electrical energy.

We are not destroying the electrical energy when we use it. We’re merely converting it to a different type of energy, like heat, light, or sound.

The universe’s entire energy remains constant. Energy is only converted and transferred from one body to the next.

Is a clock powered by electricity?

Electricity is utilized in the master clock system to deliver direct impulses to the pendulum, which causes the clock’s gear train to move, or to lift a lever after the pendulum has received an impulse. The pendulum in various modern master clocks drives a light count wheel that rotates at a pitch of one tooth every double swing and releases a lever every half minute. An electromagnet restores the pendulum’s previous position after this lever gives it an impulse. The current pulse that drives the electromagnet can be sent to a sequence of dials that are separated by a distance, or it can be sent to a single dial.

What factors contribute to high electric bills?

Your energy cost is more than you anticipated for a variety of reasons. These could include a bill that is based on estimated rather than real energy usage, insufficient insulation, a cold spell, having recently moved into a new home, and many others.

In a house, what consumes the most electricity?

The Top 5 Electricity Consumers in Your House

  • Heating and air conditioning. Your HVAC system consumes the most energy of any single appliance or system, accounting for 46 percent of the energy used in the average U.S. house.
  • Equipment for television and media.

Is it true that a TV or radio consumes more electricity?

In our 2018 baseline, the total energy required to prepare, distribute, and enjoy BBC radio was projected to be 325 GWh, or 0.1 percent of UK power consumption. FM had the largest total footprint at 100 GWh (31%) and AM had the smallest footprint at 25 GWh (8%), with IP (79 GWh; 24%), DAB (65 GWh; 20%), and DTV (56 GWh; 17%) sitting in between.

However, not all radio stations are equally popular. FM and DAB listening hours were found to be up to 11 times higher than AM and DTV listening hours. As a result, we assessed the energy intensity of each platform by calculating the electricity usage per device hour. DTV had the biggest footprint at 81 Wh/device-hour, followed by AM (29 Wh/device-hour), IP (23 Wh/device-hour), FM (13 Wh/device-hour), and finally DAB, which had the smallest footprint at 9 Wh/device-hour.

Overall, we discovered that consumption had a nearly threefold larger impact than preparation and delivery. In 2018, consumer devices consumed roughly 73 percent of total energy, compared to 27 percent for distribution and less than 0.1 percent for preparation. Despite similar findings in our television research, we were shocked by this conclusion because radio transmitter networks require more power than digital terrestrial television transmitter networks combined. Even low-power audio devices add up with the tens of millions of consumer gadgets that can access radio across the UK.

Is there a lot of electricity used by radio?

It won’t be long before the government announces the date when FM radio frequencies will be shut off, leaving just DAB digital radio transmissions for us to enjoy Westwood, Wossy, Wogan, and all the other delights Marconi could only have imagined. When Lord Carter, the communications minister, presents the final Digital Britain report on June 16, he is anticipated to specify the date.

As with the ongoing transition from analogue to digital television, there are already concerns that such a move may force many of us to acquire yet another pricey piece of home technology.

When our current equipment appears to be more than adequate, a nice DAB radio might easily set you back $50 or more. It saddens me, for example, that a small battery-powered transistor radio that has been the ideal bathroom companion for the past 20 years or more will shortly be phased out, despite the fact that it could likely continue to broadcast the Today program today and for many more tomorrows.

What’s more irritating is that I’ll almost certainly have to replace my cherished radio with one that uses more energy. It’s all in the interest of advancement, apparently, because we’ll no longer have to “suffer” from snap, crackle, and pop when listening to the radio. For some listeners, clearer reception may be the result, but “traditional analogue radios have an average on-power consumption of two watts, but digital radios consume, on average, more than four times this amount (8.5 watts),” according to a report published two years ago by the Energy Saving Trust (pdf). Radios, whether analogue or digital, aren’t among the most energy-intensive equipment in our homes, but it seems counterintuitive to our energy-saving motto that we should be upgrading to a device that consumes “more than four times” the power of its predecessor.

Worse, they frequently make advantage of standby power. Many DAB radio manufacturers are attempting to create radios that are more energy efficient. Pure, the self-proclaimed “world’s leading DAB digital radio manufacturer,” recently announced the launch of its “Less than a Light Bulb” campaign to highlight the fact that running four of its radios with the EST’s “Energy Saving Recommended” label at the same time uses less energy than a low-energy lightbulb. A radio must use less than 3.5W of electricity to receive this designation. This is a positive step forward, but it still falls short of the energy consumption of a typical analogue radio.

Wind-up and solar-powered DAB radios are another option, although I doubt they will meet the majority of the demand generated by the switchover. Plus, given that one minute of winding the first ever wind-up DAB model gives only three minutes of digital radio against an hour of FM, most wind-up DABs are likely to be charged from the mains on a regular basis.