Should I Turn Alexa Off at Night?

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According to a Which! survey , 60% of Brits turn off their TV at night and many people are asking the question about whether they need to turn off their smart speakers too.

As an Alexa owner and smart home geek, this is a topic close to my heart.

In this guide, I’ll address all of the pros and cons of turning Alexa off at night.

Should I turn Alexa off at night? If you are one of those people that likes to turn devices off at night, then it won’t cause any harm to turn off your Echo too.

However, with negligible impacts on power consumption in standby mode and no evidence of other risks, you shouldn’t lose sleep over keeping Alexa on at night.


Does it Save Money Turning Alexa Off at Night?

One of the primary reasons for turning off electrical devices at night is to save money on energy bills.

Let’s take a quick look and see how much you could save:

According to Amazon’s Echo documentation , Echo devices draw around 2W when in networked standby mode. In this mode, the microphone and WiFi are still on.

Using the UK’s average cost of electricity (14.95p per kWh) and assuming that you get your full 8 hours at night, that puts your saving at around 87p per year for turning an Amazon Echo off at night.


How Much Electricity Will I Save by Turning Alexa Off at Night?

Using the above example of an average Amazon Echo at 2W and turning it off for 8 hours every day, you would save 5.8kWh of energy per year .

By comparison, a kettle uses about 0.11 kWh per use, so it’s the equivalent of using your kettle 52 times, or once per week.

What about carbon emissions?

This would depend on your energy supplier and where they source your energy. However, looking at an average across the UK, the most recent figures put carbon dioxide emissions at 0.256kg per kWh.

This means you could save 1.48kg of CO2 per year by turning Alexa off at night, or the equivalent of driving 7.5 miles in a new vehicle according to the average emissions .

Whilst 1.48kg of CO2 sounds great in principle, in reality this is less than 0.0002% of a persons CO2 contributions ( source ).


Arguments For and Against Turning Alexa Off at Night

Saves money – Using the average cost of electricity in the UK, you will save approximately 87p per year by turning Alexa off at night.
Saves electricity (approx 87p per year) You will save approximately 5.8 kWh by turning your Echo devices off at night. If you have a green energy supplier then you have little to worry about, but on average this contributes 1.48kg of CO2 to the atmosphere per year in the UK, equivalent of driving 7.5 miles in a new car.
Most Alexa routines will still workAlexa’s magic actually happens in the cloud so if you have routines set up to activate certain smart devices at certain times, these will still work.
InconvenientThe benefit of a smart speaker is to make your life easier and hassle free, but having to turn it off every night and on every morning can be considered an inconvenience.
Devices connected directly to an Echo won’t workIf you have smart home devices such as Philips Hue light bulbs connected directly to an Amazon Echo, these will not function whilst the device is off.
Alarms won’t workThis goes without saying but any alarms you have set up via Alexa will not work without an Echo.

Is It Safe to Turn Alexa Off at Night?

Yes, there are no issues with turning Alexa off by the plug. The device will retain all of the WiFi settings and will reconnect when you turn it back on.

The device will not be available immediately after turning on as it needs to start up and connect to the WiFi router, in our experience this takes less than 1 minute.


What About an Echo Show?

You may be wondering if the same advice applies to an Echo Show.

Well, yes it does, the Echo Show can be left on overnight, however I’d recommend setting up ‘night mode’.

This will allow you to set a schedule for dimming the screen and choose whether you want the clock to stay on at night.

You can also manually turn off the screen by saying “Alexa, turn off the screen”.


Closing Thoughts

This has been a topic of great interest to research and understand how much energy can be saved.

In our view, the amount of energy and money that can be saved is negligible and our efforts would be best focused on other areas of our life where we can make a difference.

Whilst we’ll be leaving Alexa plugged in for the foreseeable future, there is no harm in turning your Echo devices off at night if that’s your preference.

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