DIANE PHILLIPS: I’m being robbed and it’s driving me mad


Diane Phillips


There are 18 thieves in my house, maybe more, five in my bedroom alone, another six in the kitchen. I have tried to ignore them, shut my eyes and pretend they are not there. I have willed them away and tried cover-up tricks to get rid of them, but I can’t. Most of them are smaller than a fingernail but thieves they are. They steal my sleep and run up my BPL bill.

They are the little lights that shine defiantly on appliances, air conditioners, television sets, portable telephones, demanding my attention even when I want to shut them out. And all I can say is whoever decided you needed a light on the bottom portion of your TV to tell you that it is not on qualifies for the Most Annoying Person in the World award.

I will name the inventor of lights you don’t need as Dummy because I cannot explain to someone who is currently nameless where he went wrong and how it has affected millions of lives. People have been jailed for lesser crimes.

Look, Dummy, every day I leave for work early in the morning. You take it upon yourself to keep the lights burning for me in standby mode.

If I had money to spare, I would donate it to a worthy cause like the Bahamas Feeding Network or Conchservation or Brighter Bahamas instead of to Bahamas Power & Light. I have less money to spare because, in your ultimate wisdom, you decided I needed the assurance that my microwave oven should welcome me home with its standby light burning.

Just below the small microwave the clock on my oven tells me what time it is and uses a light to do so and another one to say nothing else in it is running and therefore everything that is oven-related is okay.

Am I supposed to feel better about that? I’d feel a lot better if all you Dummy lights just burned out one time and forever. I can see the sense of having a light turn on to tell you that you’ve successfully managed to push the power button to turn on your TV, oven or AC - that’s fine. But when did we decide we have so much energy to spare we should use it to tell us when we are not deploying their services?

To be honest, it is less about the cost than the waste, less about the pennies than the disturbance. Sleep habit research has demonstrated what we all know. We sleep better with no electronics in a room and in darkness which evokes a sense of tranquility.

So why, if I elect to keep my room quiet and dark, do you, Dummy, have the right with your LED bulb or LCD panel to disturb that tranquility? It is cool at night. I do not need a red light burning on the bottom portion of my air conditioning blower unit to tell me I am not using it. I know I am not using it because I am trying to save electricity.

It is no wonder they call it vampire energy or phantom electricity. It is an uninvited guest. You want to know what I want for Christmas? A magic wand that sends the thieves in my house packing and I’ll be happy to take it to your home, too. We all deserve a rest from the LCD panels in our lives.


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