The Power Surge That Excited Me

Ok, this power surge protector is way too cool.

Energy Saving Power Strip

It’s the Bits Limited Smart Strip eco-friendly surge protector. It’s made from recycled materials, and it can help you save over $39 per year in energy costs. If you remember from my post about saving money on utilities, 40% of the total energy used by home electronics is consumed while they’re shut off. It’s called “Vampire” energy because your electronics “suck” it out of your power outlets.

At first I was having a hard time figuring out how to explain how it works, but my friend Brian is brilliant and used an example that I think everyone can understand.

Picture a common computer set up. There’s a laptop, printer, wireless router, and internet modem. Even when you have them shut off, they’re not really “off” – that’s why your laptop battery can die even when you have it shut off (that’s the vampire energy getting sucked out).

The way this surge protector works is that the red outlets are always on. That’s where your modem and wireless router would be plugged in, since you probably always want those on. The blue outlet is the “control” outlet for the green outlets. I know that sounds a little confusing, but the computer analogy will help it make sense.

The laptop would be the control for this scenario. It also controls the green outlets, so the green outlets DO NOT get power at all UNLESS the item plugged into the control outlet is turned on. Your printer would go in the green outlet, so that it wouldn’t get any power unless your laptop was plugged in and turned on. Makes sense, right? Since you need your laptop to be on to print, it makes sense that you don’t need your printer to have power and turn on until you’re ready to print. When the laptop is shut off, it automatically kills power from the green outlets, so there’s no vampire power loss from the printer.

You can control the sensitivity of the outlets, too. For example, if you just have your laptop plugged in to charge, but don’t have it on, it’s drawing power, but you don’t need it to trigger the printer outlet to turn on. So you just adjust the sensitivity, and voila! No power to the printer, even when you’re using the “control” outlet to charge your laptop.

At $39.95, the Bits Limited Smart Strip will pay for itself in about a year. Not a bad return on investment at all.

Disclosure: I was sent this power strip for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.


  1. Jessica P. says:

    Made from recycled materials?? Awesome! Sounds like a really smart idea too. I don’t want to leave everything on, but I don’t want things like my modem turned off either.

  2. Wow, SUPER cool! I need one or more of these. What a wonderful idea. Technology amazes me! 🙂

  3. Amy Orvin says:

    I like this. I have one but it’s not this fancy. I like that it’s made from recycled materials.

  4. I find that recycled materials are better for our environmental and for our children. It was nice learning about this product and i’m thinking about trying to purchase this cool item for my house.Thanks for the information and learning about this item.

  5. What a cool idea! I would love to be more energy efficient by unplugging appliances but I’m too lazy! This would work great in our house though 🙂

  6. That is an adorable looking power strip, and I love the coloring coding – its colors, provided with your simple breakdown, REALLY help it to make sense for me. I shudder to think of the vampire energy consumption in this house: four desktop computers, four printers, two large flat screen TVs, two smaller flat screen TVs, etc. Ughh. I really need to take the time to invest in these strips, even if it’s just one strip for one room/entertainment center at a time.

  7. Linda Walters says:

    I really like the color coding idea because I use computers, printers, and faxes at home and at work everyday. The printer stays on all the time at work and at home. It would be nice to be able to save money while still working efficiently and economically

  8. Nena Sinclair says:

    This sounds like a great money saver, it would certainly pay for itself very quickly! I like it!

  9. Devona Fryer says:

    Such an informative article! I have to have one of these!

  10. Strips are not something that normally excite me but this is awesome! I want one. Do I see a giveaway in the future

  11. That is a cool surge protector!

  12. this is pretty awesome. I have recently gone around the house to try to see and stop when I have vampire energy. The two places that I was having trouble with are my computer area and my entertainment area. This will be completely awesome in these two areas.

  13. Sherrie C. says:

    I really like this color coded surge protector. What a great concept to save energy! I hate to admit it but tend to leave my electronics plugged in all the time and that’s probably why my power bill is so high. Darn vampire energy suckers 🙂 $39.95 seems like a fair deal for the money saved in the long run.

  14. Oh my word…I love this. What a great idea…and I didn’t realize why my computer batteries lose their life so fast until I read this!

  15. Ambrielle Bender says:

    That is so awesome! I had a flexible power serge and I loved it! If they made this flexible! Oh my word(sorry a little nerdy sometimes) I would he in heaven!

  16. Great product idea. I’ll have to check this out. Thanks for the info

  17. Colleen FOwler says:

    when I was in school, I did an experiment for a month to see if I could lower our electricity bill by unplugging things not in use. It’s true, you can save up to $600 a year by just unplugging things! Great idea I love this strip.

  18. WOW very informational will be looking to buy

  19. What a great product! I need to have one of these!!!!

  20. Tiffany Kinney says:

    I need this!

  21. SO cool! What a great idea!

  22. Lucy Black says:

    Awesome products, I have to get one!

  23. I think this item seems very worthwhile after having read your review of it.
    I like the ‘saving’ energy. Must tell hubby about this in case he hasn’t
    heard of it. Thanks.

  24. Carolyn Colley says:

    Cool, I really like this.

  25. Andrew McAuley says:

    I purchased a surge protector very similar to this a few years ago and have been very pleased with the results. All about energy savings and sustainability in an economy like this.

  26. Cool item. Thanks for the review. I must get one.

  27. Looks like a good one. Some of them are made so cheaply and don’t offer enough protection.

  28. Looks like a good one. Something in my well burnt out thanks to a power surge so I have a power bar in my wellhouse now and my computer is plugged into a UPS.

  29. Tami Valentine says:

    Great little gadget/investment! We’ve been telling our kids that when they leave their charges plugged in, it’s sucking energy. However, we’d need quite a few of these in our house.
    We recently read an article stating surge protectors vs. power strips. It said that using a surge protector, in most cases, isn’t any better than having a cheap power strip. In the case of lightening….either way, it wouldn’t stop it at all! nonetheless, great review and I’m surely going to check into this little device.

  30. Very cool! I will have to check this out! Thanks!

  31. Wow, that sounds fantastic. I know I have loads of things that keep drawing power even when I don’t need them to!

  32. Carrie Conley says:

    I use surge protectors also….partly to save on energy and partly to protect against lightening strikes…

  33. chelesa sims says:

    wow,I think i like the way this sounds. Anything that saves money and is recycled is awesome

  34. This is an awesome idea. I wonder why I have not seen it advertised or in stores?

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