When it comes to saving electricity, one of the tips you hear about most is unplugging devices when not in use. But that can get annoying after a while. And in many cases, it is simply not feasible. For example, some outlets in your home are difficult to reach.
One of the suggestions for making the task of unplugging or completely powering off devices easier is to use power strips. With one flip of the switch, you can turn off an entire group of devices. But the negative to this approach is easily identifiable. What if you want to only turn off SOME of the devices connected to the strip?
Advanced power strips to the rescue!
Power strips are getting smarter all the time. There are basically five types of advanced power strips which will help you lower your electric bill — all while making it easier to control groups of devices.
Timer Power Strips – $ to $$
These type of power strips operate on a pre-set schedule. Outlets have to programmed to turn on and off at set schedules. This can help lower your power bill by automatically turning off devices when you know your home will be empty and at night while you’re sleep. Just remember that once you set the schedule, it’s up to you to stick to it.
Activity Monitor Power Strips – $$ to $$$
These type of power strips attempt to detect if there is movement or activity in the room. They use motion sensors and if there is no movement or activity detected, the outlets on the switch automatically turn off. In theory, this type of strip is a good idea but in reality, motion sensors aren’t 100% perfect.
Remote Switch Power Strips – $
These type of power strips are controlled via remote switch which eliminates the need to physically walk over to the strip itself. These are the cheapest type of advanced power strips but there’s one thing you always need to remember — don’t forget to use the remote to turn off the strip.
Master-Controlled Power Strip – $ to $$
These type of power strips have a very interesting concept. When you turn on a primary device (the “master”) such as your television, all of the other outlets are turned on as well. The same works in reverse. In this example, once you turn off the television, all of the other outlets are turned off as well. Depending on how you use your individual power strips, it may sometimes be tricky to select which device should be the master.
Masterless Power Strip – $$ to $$$
These type of power strips also have a very interesting concept. When all of the devices plugged in to the strip have been turned off, the entire strip is turned off, thus eliminating the vampire loads.
Note: The masterless power strip may also be labeled as “automatic switching” or “power detection.”
The good news is, you have a choice as to which type of advanced power strip you would like to use. The questions you have to ask yourself are:
- Do you want manual or automated control?
- Do the devices connected to the strip shut completely off or do they go into sleep mode?
- Does one device need to be on in order for the other devices to be used?
Answer those questions and you will know exactly which strips to purchase.