Smart Powerstrip – Green Powerstrips and Surge protectors
Posted by Norman Fong
Powerstrips and Surge protectors have evolved into the green era. They help combat phantom power draw by Power Bricks aka Wall Warts, and other electronic devices. Lawrence Berkley National Labs estimates that 10% of residential power use is wasted toward this as most homes have 40 products constantly drawing phantom power or vampire power even when the device is off. Save over a $100 a year by fixing this problem.
The new 3rd generation Smart Powerstrip helps you save power if you use a desktop or laptop computer for about $35. It also works great for TVs. Green Powerstrips have finally started to appear. You can Measure Energy Usage with a Kill a Watt Energy meter to quantify the power use and savings.
You plug your computer into the blue control outlet and your computer’s peripherals into the white outlets that are automatically switched off when your computer is turned off. They also make a Smart Powerstrip with TV coax protection and telephone protection.
Monster Power MDP650 is a similar power saving powerstrip.
iGo Power Smart Tower adds USB ports to a power saving strip.
These short power cord extenders are good for power supplies or wall warts. They help you maximize each outlet.
Also consider installing a Digital Timer to control the smart powerstrip and turn it off when it is not needed.
A more manual approach is a standard 7 Outlet Surge Protector with individual on-off switches. You can turn off only those items you want to.
New Power Saving Powerstrips and Surge protectors
Practecol makes a power strip with a foot switch or remote control.
A recent development is powerstrips with room sensors.
ThinkEco modlet is a new energy saving power outlet that wirelessly monitors and controls energy use through your computer or Smartphone.
Powerstrip Surge Protection
Another big benefit of powerstrips is preventing power surge damage to electronics. Summer brownout season is starting. Make sure you have a quality brand name surge suppressor like APC. We try to only buy ones that come with insurance backing their performance. We have filed claims and gotten money back to fix broken power supplies. Belkin has a “Lifetime Warranty and $300,000 Connected Equipment Warranty”
Joule rating on a surge protector indicates the amount of energy that a device is capable of absorbing. In general, the higher the joule rating, the better the unit is able to protect your equipment and the longer it will last. If your surge protector does not have these figures indicated or does not have the UL logo, it might be time to upgrade.
iGo has a new universal laptop charger that uses 80% less standby power, virtually eliminating vampire power. AC and AC/DC versions are available from $109.
Hopefully more laptop manufacturers will integrate this kind of technology into chargers included with their products.
Be sure to read: What makes a Green Computer or Electronics Product?
Energy-Efficient Uninterruptible Power Supply
APC has a new series of ultra-efficient Backup-UPS ES uninterruptible battery backup products. Considering these are usually left on all the time, more efficiency is very welcome. They claim a $40 per year power cost reduction over competitors.
It’s also RoHS compliant, which means its manufacture and ultimate disposal is easier on the environment.
Power Strip Surge Protection
We have covered the benefits of having power strips in the past. Being able to turn off all devices and prevent any phantom power draw is very helpful. Another big benefit is preventing power surge damage to electronics. Summer brownout season is starting.
Make sure you have a quality brand name surge suppressor like APC. We try to only buy ones that come with insurance backing their performance. We have filed claims and gotten money back to fix broken power supplies. Belkin has a “Lifetime Warranty and $300,000 Connected Equipment Warranty”
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed.