It’s the middle of a cold, dark night. You wake up, thirsty, and decide to tip toe to the kitchen for a glass of water. As you walk past the den, you see them: sinister, glowing in the dark. A dozen tiny flashing lights. Each one is an energy vampire, slowly draining your wallet.
So maybe it’s not quite as creepy as a scene out of Paranormal Activity, but energy vampires are no laughing matter, either. Even when you turn off your television, computer or coffee maker, they’re still drawing current. The good news is that you can easily and affordably stop energy vampires cold by installing smart power strips in key areas of your home.
Smart power strips look a lot like the regular power strips we all know and love, but they boast some extra technology. On an average smart power strip, you’ll find a handful of different outlets. Some stay on all the time—perfect for a cordless telephone or a home security system. Other outlets are monitored, which means that your smart power strip can tell when a device goes into standby mode.
There are several styles of smart power strips available at local electronics and home improvement stores with unique features, and all aim to cut power to devices that aren’t in use, automatically preventing waste:
- One style groups appliances to a “master” device. These versions are great for home entertainment centers, where turning on the TV can trigger ancillary devices like game consoles, DVD players and home stereos.
- Another style of smart power strip features an infrared motion sensor that turns devices off once a room has been empty for whichever amount of time you determine. And when you come home from work, voila! Everything is ready to use.
- A third type of smart power strip comes with a remote control that uses radio frequencies to communicate through walls. No more running around, jamming your arm behind the sofa. Set your remote on your nightstand and power down your entire house from bed. (Now, if only it could bring you a glass of water in the middle of the night!)
Do you have a smart power strip in your home? Share what style and where in the comments.