Phototropic Power Flower Puts Energy Use On Display

Every day we’re encouraged to pay more attention to our energy consumption. We’re told that by developing a more intimate understanding of when, why, and how we use energy, we’ll be better equipped to use it more consciously. Here’s the problem: energy consumption doesn’t like being in a ¬†relationship.

Think about it, the only times we really interact directly with energy is when we adjust the thermostat or open our utility bill. In both scenarios, energy is represented by numbers on a page. Numbers aren’t very fun or engaging. Once we’ve paid the bill, no matter how painful it was, we forget about them until next month. The Power Flower is a mechanical device designed to provide a constant visual representation of how much energy you’re really using, and how that’s affecting the planet.

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Image via James Dowdell

The Power Flower connects wirelessly to your existing energy meter. Called a “living energy meter”, the Power Flower learns your household energy usage habits, and begins to reflect the patterns in its phototropic movements. “Use too much energy, and it starts to die, drooping and diminishing the light emitted, whereas low energy usage produces a healthy bright light,” writes¬†designer James Dowdell.

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Image via James Dowdell

The device isn’t something small, that can be shoved onto a shelf and ignored like everything else. It’s almost human-sized, so when it starts to move, it’s difficult to look away. In this way, the Power Flower acts as a silent reminder, constantly questioning our energy usage choices with its posture and light. “It demonstrates that small behavioral changes create a big difference towards becoming a more Conscious Consumer, by putting your personal energy consumption under the spotlight,” Dowdell explains.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog