Are Smart Power Strips Worth It?
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If you have several electronic devices, you might be interested in buying smart power strips to keep everything plugged in. Smart power strips will turn off the electricity to things you aren’t using automatically, which could save you money and energy over the long run.
Smart power strips usually cost more than traditional power strips. However, they also can keep your devices safe when you are not using them. Many people buy smart power strips because of the added surge protection and the long-term money and energy-saving benefits.
Below, we’ll go over all the benefits of smart power strips and whether they’re worth their higher cost.
Are Smart Power Strips Worth the Money?
Smart power strips are usually between $30-$45 or more, while traditional power strips are about $15-$20. So, if you need a new power strip, you might as well go ahead and get a smart one. They can save you money in the long run, especially if you have several devices plugged into them at the same time:
- Americans lose about $200 a year to devices that are plugged in but not being used.
- Adding a smart strip can cut your usage down by about 20-48 percent.
- You will easily make up the money you spent on the power strip within the first few months.
- You will also save hundreds or thousands of dollars over the years if you continue to use the smart power strip.
If you replace every power strip in your home with a smart power strip, you are looking at paying a large sum of money upfront. With that said, it is recommended you replace your power strips as needed or only switch out the ones that you use the most devices with.
However, integrating smart power strips in place of those connected to unused devices will still save you money as the years go by. According to the Northern Resources Defense Council, standby and sleeping devices account for one-quarter of most people’s energy consumption.
What Does a Smart Power Strip Do?
Smart power strips are usually highly regarded due to how much energy they save.
Appliances that are plugged in will use electricity whether you are using them or not. This is called vampire energy because the electricity is still going out but not actively being used. Smart power strips will turn off all the electricity from the devices you aren’t using. For example, when you turn off the computer, the smart power strip will also turn off the speakers and the monitors connected to it.
Smart power strips can be used for all devices, but they save the most energy from high-powered devices such as those found in offices and home theater rooms:
- DVD players
- Cable Boxes
- Game Consoles
- Home Theater Components
- Computer Monitors
However, feel free to plug all your devices into smart power strips if you have enough of them.
Smart power strips use three main features to sense when they should turn the electricity off to a device. Some power strips have all the features, while inexpensive ones may only have one or two:
- Occupancy Sensing: senses motion and can be put on a shut-off timer. These are good for lamps or other lighting.
- Timer Equipped: operates on a time sensor that you can set or comes with a built-in timer. It is not the best for on-demand services that might need to record something.
- Current Sensing: can sense when a device is on standby or sleeping mode and will automatically turn off.
Pros and Cons of Smart Power Strips
There are several ways that smart power strips will make your life easier:
- Automatically turn off devices you aren’t using
- You don’t need to remember to unplug things when you’re done
- Save vampire energy
- Keep your electricity bill lower
- Save energy and the environment
- Use several bulky plugs at one time
- Some strips are fully customizable
- Has an average lifespan of 20 years
- Some models are compatible with Alexa or the Google Home Assistant
- Control or monitor the smart power strip through an app on your smartphone
There are also a few cons to using smart power strips, though not very many:
- They cost more, often double than traditional power strips
- They are usually not sold in many stores
Getting a smart power strip is definitely worth it because it adds protection to your devices by automatically turning them off when they are not being used. It will also save you money on your electric bill and are great for plugging in several different devices all at the same time.
They do cost more money, so they are an investment; however, with the long-term savings, you can make up the cost of the power strip very quickly.