I’ve always wanted to be able to follow a bit more closely how power is consumed at casa Mens, so I ordered a YouLess LS110 – a kWh meter to Ethernet bridge which detects the turns of the rotor disc or LED-pulses of an electricity meter. The YouLess is currently sold in the Netherlands only, but YouLess’ Andras Tucsni let me order a device for use in Germany.

Installation is a cinch: the tiny device comes with all required cables, a USB power-supply and a little velcro-thingy I stuck to the meter and to which the LS110 is then attached.

LS110 installed on meter

Not wanting to boot up a Windows box to run the setup utility (and wait umpteen hours for Windows updates to be loaded), I configured the IP address of the LS110 with an ARP command as described in the manual. (The last two octets of the hardware address are printed on a sticker glued onto the device itself.) Unfortunately, and that’s the only thing I can think of that needs improvement for this device, it doesn’t do DHCP.

Once all the cables are plugged in and the installation completed, I can use a Web browser to inspect the spartan but functional Web interface. (Don’t get me wrong: I like spartan better than interfaces with a gazillion useless functions!)

LS110 Web interface

The main screen (shown here) displays a running count of the current consumption. Other than that, The YouLess can be configured to upload data to the cloud (which I’m not interested in) and has a page where I can view historical consumption data.

What does interest me is getting at the LS110’s raw data via HTTP. I can obtain it in a CSV-type format or in JSON. This easy access to the data is one of the main reasons I got this device. (That and not having to mess around with the electricity meter, which I wouldn’t have attempted anyway.)

The LS110 currently shows the following output: (I laughed uproariously when I saw the “bull” bit ;-)

   "dev" : "",
   "lvl" : 100,
   "det" : "•",
   "pwr" : 900,
   "cnt" : "9972,179",
   "con" : "*",
   "sts" : "",
   "raw" : 0

YouLess also have an iOS app (unavailable in the German App store) and a new version is imminent.

YouLess on iOS

They also have an Android app with a very sexy-looking live graph. Here’s me testing it by switching on first the hob and then the kettle, and I see consumption shoot up to almost 4 KW (What a waste.) :)

YouLess LS110 live graph

The device isn’t inexpensive but, considering it’s literally plug-and-play, just what I wanted (thank you Bert for mentioning it), and I’ll be making some nice graphs sometime soon.

I wish YouLess the best of success with the enterprise and hope they’ll market this in more countries.


Electricity :: 02 Sep 2012 :: e-mail