Ok, this power surge protector is way too cool.
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.