Power and current consumption is an important topic for designs ranging from small, battery-powered devices to large motors, appliances, and industrial equipment. One of the many tasks that engineers have to do is analyze the likely consumption of various potential designs, to establish the locus of performance, price, and power tradeoffs.
For AC-line powered devices, it's not too difficult to measure power. You can get a rough answer with a unit such as the Kill A Watt from P3 International (here, $20 to $60, depending on model), or go for a more sophisticated instrument that gives you more details of average, peak, real, and reactive power.
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