Many of my co-workers use laptops. When they disconnect them and take them home, the external Dell LCD displays (1907FP, 1908FP, 2007WFP, etc.) stay on, with a graphic indicating that there is no source connected to the monitors. The problem is, the displays never sleep, therefore wasting power (~40W for a 19" 5:4 panel). Over several people and many hours, this adds up.

My question: is there a way to get a Dell display to sleep when disconnected without powering it off? I'm looking for an automatic solution because it's a hassle to turn the monitor on and off every day.

  • To avoid damage, shouldn't one actually power down the screen before unplugging it, or before plugging it in? – Arjan Nov 8 '09 at 18:34
  • I had a similar problem with a different dell monitor recently. It was fixed by a "factory reset" in the configuration. – Dan Pritts Jul 19 '13 at 17:22

Maybe you can consider installing smart power strips on the work places. If the worker goes home and packs his power adapter from the laptop, the main power using device is disconnected and thus the smart strip shuts down all the other connected devices, like the monitor, wireless mouse and cellphone charger.

This not only saves money, but it lengthens the life of the backlight with a factor 4 if you consider 40 working hours in a week of 168 hours!

  • It seems like this is the way to go since there are no settings on the monitor itself that will force it to sleep when the signal is disconnected. – adurity Nov 9 '09 at 17:40

A company called Zilla makes a particular surge protector that has not one, but two built in timers. Just set a timer to turn on half an hour before the employee should arrive, and to turn off half an hour after the employee's latest reasonable leaving time. It's not ideal, but it works.

Bonus: the second timer could be set to run a coffee maker to have hot coffee ready at the employee's desk when they arrive.


Most Dell monitors that I know, automatically enter power save mode after 1-2 minutes of no-signal.

Have you contacted Dell Support?

  • I haven't contacted Dell support, but I find that they will continue to display "no signal" for >30 minutes. – adurity Nov 2 '09 at 18:47
  • My 24" display will stay on indefinitely, telling me the whole time I'm not around that there's no signal. The mind boggles. – Barry Brown Nov 7 '09 at 20:16

In reply to eleven81

Don't get too enthustiastic about timers, they consume a small amount of energy themself and might actually increase the total power-consumtion because you have the timer ticking all the time.

I'm not saying timers is a bad idea but check the specs first, even though it's usually hard to find. Buying the things is also a cost.

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