You know these things. These LED night lights cost about $6 for the GE brand and about $2 for the dollar store brand. They use only .3 Watts, last 100,000 hours and only turn on when it’s dark for about 7 hours at night. They cost very very little to run. The clock on your oven consumes more power. But let’s pretend that we’re cheap. We’re really cheap and don’t want to even pay for that .3 Watts.
There is a constant power supply running into nearly every house that you don’t pay for directly and don’t get billed based on usage. While it wont power your stove or your lamps, it can power LED lamps or even a cell phone charger (I assume I could build this anyways…). This power supply? Your telephone jack. Most phone jacks officially put out 40 – 70 Volts but can surge up to 100 volts while the phone is ringing. If you draw too much power though the phone company thinks you’re on the phone and you won’t be able to receive phone calls.
I grabbed a telephone jack splitter I had on hand and popped the top of my night light off. I removed the electrical prongs from the night light, removed the front of the splitter, did some soldering and tested out my frankenstein. It worked! So now I have a .3 Watt night light that only turns on when it’s dark and I don’t even pay for the electricity. I don’t even have a home phone line in my house so I’m really truly not paying a cent for this electricity.
The best part of this, in my opinion, is that when there’s a storm and the power is knocked out, the phone line will most often continue supplying power because it uses a different power source. So in the storm when you most need it, your night lights will stay on keeping your home safe!
At the end of this I thought, surely someone has already done this… And I was right!
And then I found this guy who makes just about everything: