Are smart power strips worth it?
  • Category:
    Home Energy Savings
  • Published:
    January 19, 2022
  • Updated:
    February 1, 2022

Are Smart Power Strips Worth It?

As you update your home systems and look for ways to make it more energy-efficient, you might be wondering are smart power strips worth it? Before answering that question, you’ll also want to know what is a smart power strip and how do smart power strips work. Many people find them to be among the best energy-saving home technologies, but are they right for you?

What is a smart power strip?

Smart power strips look just like regular power strips and similarly control power flow to devices. The difference is that you can wirelessly connect them to your phone or Constellation Connect smart hub and control each individual outlet and the devices plugged into them. They’re definitely something to consider as you are setting up your smart home.

You can find smart power strips with varying numbers of outlets and some include USB ports so you free up outlets for things that use standard plugs. With a smart power strip, basically everything you plug into them becomes part of your smart home system. One of the most common home energy-wasting habits is forgetting to unplug devices. A smart power strip automates that task.

Are smart power strips worth it?

Types of smart power strips

Using smart power strips are an example of energy-saving strategies for smart homes. Not all smart power strips are the same. How smart power strips work varies by the features they include. Here are some of the more common ones.

  • Timer-equipped power strips. If you have devices you use according to a predictable schedule, a timer-equipped power strip is a convenient way to program the timing for turning certain devices on and off.
  • Occupancy sensing power strips. Some smart power strips have sensors that detect movement in a room and manage devices accordingly. If they sense no one is in the room, they will turn off devices. When someone walks in, they switch on. Most allow you to program how long they wait so that if you leave a room temporarily, it doesn’t shut everything off.
  • Current sensing power strips. Some smart power strips are equipped with a sensor that can detect when current drops. When a device switches off or goes into a sleep mode, it will cut off power to that device automatically. When the device is switched on, it turns power back on to the outlet.

Do smart power strips save energy?

Smart power strips make saving energy convenient and nearly effortless. Many devices consume a considerable amount of electricity even when turned off. Energy vampires are devices that continue to suck power as long as they are plugged in. Your smart television, laptop, and cable box are some of the worst culprits. The only way to stop these devices from consuming electricity is to unplug them. Doing that is both inconvenient and easy to forget. That is how an energy saving smart power strip can help.

Whether you program it, choose occupancy or current sensing versions, or control it remotely with a phone app or voice command to your smart hub, a smart power strip makes denying power to vampire devices easy and often automatic. Because they reliably prevent vampire loads, smart power strip energy savings add up over time.

What can I plug into a smart power strip?

In deciding what to plug into a smart power strip, consider what uses the most electricity at home. The best devices to plug into a smart power strip are energy vampire devices–many of which we list below. Putting an end to wasting energy is one of the best smart plug uses.

Some things should not be plugged into them, however. Anything that draws a large amount of electricity can overload the power strip, destroying it and creating a fire and shock hazard. Large appliances like refrigerators and washing machines should be plugged directly into wall sockets. Anything that creates heat, from coffee makers and toasters to hair dryers and curling irons, consumes a great deal of energy and thus should not be used in a smart power strip.

1. Television sets

Modern televisions don’t really turn off. They go on standby, ready for commands from your infrared device, otherwise known as your clicker. On standby, they are using electricity.

2. DVRs and DVD players

Like your television, these devices stay on standby, ready for you to click them on. When connected to a smart strip, you can stop them from wasting electricity.

3. Game consoles

These devices are huge electricity consumers. While not in use, they are in standby mode ready to spring back on when a controller is picked up. They also use energy to save players’ status and places in games.

4. Computers and speakers

Computers and speakers in sleep mode are up and running quickly, which is a great convenience. Turning one on from scratch can take over five minutes. You pay for the convenience, as these devices consume power if not disconnected.

5. Printers and other office accessories

Like computers, peripherals like printers, scanners and other devices consume power in standby and can benefit from being connected to a smart strip.

The benefits of using smart power strips

Are smart power strips worth it? Now that you know what is a smart power strip, here is a quick round up of some of the benefits they provide.

  • Turn off unused devices automatically. It is hard to remember to unplug devices and it’s inconvenient. By automating this task, smart power strip energy savings are easy.
  • Limit your electricity expenses. Energy-saving power strips stop devices from wasting electricity as they continue to draw power even when turned off.
  • Enhance home security. You can use a smart power strip to turn on your lights and television when you are not at home. Giving the impression that your house is occupied will deter criminals.
  • Extend the life of devices. Always consuming power causes wear and tear on device components. Disconnecting them from power helps them last longer.
  • Controlling devices is convenient. Programming, automatic sensors and controlling through phones and voice assistants, all make managing how your devices operate easy and effortless.
  • Protect against power surges. Just like regular power strips, smart power strips protect sensitive devices from dangerous changes in current, such as those that can happen during a storm, brownout or blackout.

Given their many benefits, smart power strips are considered by many to be smart home devices that are worth it. It is hard to remember to unplug appliances to save energy. Smart power strips make saving energy easy.

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