As the summer approaches, more and more of us lucky folks with air conditioning will be sitting cool in the heat. For me, that means a lot of stress on my apartment’s very old electrical system and potential brownouts. To protect my computer equipment, I use an uninterruptible power supply for my desktop and surge suppressors on all my outlets. A surge protector plugs into your electrical outlet and protects any plugged in device from voltage spikes or fluctuations. It works by sending the interference or uneven power into the ground, instead of into your valuable equipment. It’s always good to update surge suppressors every few years, and I found this useful and environmentally friendly device in my own OWC backyard. It not only provides voltage protection and filters line noise, but also helps with unnecessary power consumption.
BITS Limited Smart Strip 10-outlet Power Strip
The intelligent BITS Limited Smart Strip 10-outlet Power Strip offers 2225 joules of protection with its 10 outlets. It is compatible with your computer and home entertainment equipment, and offers much more than simple surge and spike protection. It also powers down peripherals when you turn off your computer, depending on which of the ten outlets you use. If you think that’s just fluff, think again! According to some sources, your plugged in (and off) devices still use standby power; as much as 40% of the power that they use when on. According to Smart Home Systems, Inc., “Just a printer and a monitor can draw as much in idle current as a 60-watt light that is on 24/7.”
The Smart Strip Power Strip includes a Control Outlet, and three red-colored sockets that are always on. This means that your wireless router or telephone stay on, while your desktop Mac or printer are turned off. Another set of six outlets automatically turn off when you turn off the device plugged into the Control Outlet. This prevents the drawing of phantom power and consequently saves you money in your electric bill. Other features includes a six-foot heavy-duty power cord, lighted power switch, 45 degree angled plug, a 15 amp circuit breaker, and up to 60 decibel (dB) line noise reduction.
To satisfy your inner Geek, Smart Home Systems, Inc. displays an annotated photo of the Smart Strip circuit board on their site and another annotated graphic of the Smart Strip’s features.
While I can’t guess how much money the Smart Strip might save you, an equipment loaded-household may easily save the purchase price in power usage in only a few months. I can say that it is environmentally friendly, and with all its power saving features, it’s a good buy at only $34.99.