Smart Power Strips

Energy Circle Smart Powerstrip Energy Efficiency

Smart power strips automatically turn off electricity to all the things you don't need--when you turn off your TV, a smart power strip turns off power to DVD players, home theater components, cable boxes, game consoles and so on. When you're not using your computer, have it turn off your monitor, speakers, and all the other gizmos you don't need. Save electricity, save energy, save your electronics!

Power Strips Buyers Guide

Chances are you have upwards of 25 appliances in your house that suck power from your system whether they're on or not, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We call those appliances energy vampires (gravy-sucking pigs didn't have the same ring to it). The new generation of Power Strips has quietly evolved to confront the energy vampire problem head-on, without losing any of those old winning personality traits, like lots of outlets and surge protection.

Go ahead, peek. Is that dusty white plastic chunk under your desk just an over-grown extension cord with lots of outlets? If it is, we've got one (compound) word for you. Upgrade.

Save Power and Money

Power strips have different ways of going about their money and power saving schemes. One is to control peripherals, in response to a master. For example, many of us turn off the computer and leave our desks, without unplugging the printer, fax, and other devices that continue to suck energy while they idle. Power Strips like the 10 Outlet BITS Limited Smart Strip® Surge Protector feature one "monitored socket" and multiple "controlled sockets". When the device connected to the monitored socket - in our example, the computer - is turned off, the Smart Strip® cuts power to each of the controlled sockets, insuring that those other devices--the printer, fax, etc.--are also off. This is particularly handy for those of us who do not want to find out what's under our desks, or fear that if we get under there to turn off the power strip, we might never get back up again. Our job: turn off the computer. The Smart Strip's® job: turn off everything else.

Ready to Upgrade Beyond That?

The Isole IDP-3050 Plug Load Control Smart Power Strip uses a motion-sensing remote to control specific sockets on the power strip. The "controlled" sockets automatically turn on when you approach your desk, and automatically turn off after you have walked away. What we have to do: show up. What it has to do: everything else.

As always, make sure that your power strip meets basic standards in addition to providing bells and whistles. Surge protectors should safeguard your appliances against damage resulting from transient voltage in the form of spikes (bumps above 120 volts that last 1-2 nanoseconds) and surges (when the increase lasts 3 nanoseconds). These short bursts of transient voltage can damage your appliances instantly or over time, and a $10.00 power strip isn’t going to do much to protect your equipment. Check for UL rating and surge protection. And don't limit power strips to computers. Power Strips--particularly the new smart ones--are a useful tool throughout the house. Consider the comfort in knowing that turning off your TV puts an end to the multiple drains coming from your entertainment unit. Remotes are hungry vampires. Believe us when we tell you that a good power strip will quickly make itself indispensable and pay its own way, so that you can get back to your fun.

Want to learn more about smart power strips? Contact the Energy Circle team.

*Smart Strip® is a registered trademark of BITS Smart Strip, LLC dba BITS Limited and is used with permission of the owner.

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