Killing (Energy) Vampires with a BITS Smart Surge Power Strip
A small step for man is sometimes a giant leap for mankind, and such is the case with improvements in home energy efficiency. There are a number of small devices available whose sole purpose is to control the amount of energy you use in your house, and thus to save you money every month on your electric bill, quietly, without causing any upheavals in your routine. I can see the wince--yes, you've already heard the old bit about spending money to save money. But really, imagine you came across a little tree that sprung five dollar bills from its branches every month, forever. You would probably cough up a couple bucks. That's basically what we're talking about.
One of these little money trees is called the BITS Smart Surge Strip, a supremely economical gadget that will pay for itself within a couple months. How it saves you money is by decapitating what are called energy vampires: electronics that inconspicuously sip on watts all day long, on your buck, whether they're "on" or not (some call this standby power). Our video man, Tim, put together an awesome video on vampire power and smart power strips and how they work. Check it out. Pretty much all digital devices these days fall into the energy vampire category - video game consoles, microwaves, DVD players, you name it. What goes on is that you hit the "off" button and you imagine, understandably, that it's off; but the device hears "at ease" and goes on standby mode, continuing to draw a current. You come back a day later and the DVD player is still standing there like an overly punctilious soldier, feet slightly apart and hands folded behind its back, awaiting orders.
Enter the Smart Strip. It looks just like a regular power strip but the outlets are in three colors. The blue outlet controls a main electronic, and also controls the corresponding electronics plugged into the white outlets. Whatever devices are plugged into the white outlets will have their power source cut off whenever you turn off the device that is plugged into the blue (control) outlet. For example: you plug the TV into the blue outlet, the DVD player and the Playstation into the white outlets. When you turn off the TV, the DVD player and the Playstation lose their power source. They're really "unplugged," and you don't have to go through the trouble of unplugging them. The Smart Strip does it for you. Meanwhile, the red outlets are "always on," so they're just your average surge-protected outlets. So if you have an alarm clock that you don't want turned off, you just plug it into the red outlet, it's unaffected by the control, and you're never late to your tango lesson. End result: convenience, dead vampires, lower energy bills. Brought to you courtesy of the red, white and blue.