Advanced power strips (often surge protectors) can be a useful means for saving energy when used in conjunction with home entertainment and/or computer systems, allowing power to be automatically cut to non-essential devices when not needed. As many electronic devices continue to draw power even when off, cutting power at the outlet maximizes savings. Most energy-saving surge protectors have 2 always-on outlets, a master (control) outlet, and 2-6 controlled outlets that automatically turn off or on as the master appliance is turned off or on. This is the approach taken by those manufactured by APC
, and TrickleStar
. Some of these products have as few as 4 outlets and some as many as 12, and they are available in both corded and direct plug versions. Plugged into the always-on outlets would be devices that always need power, such as Wi-Fi routers, DVRs, cable boxes (allowing television shows to be recorded when no one is home), and fax machines. A television or computer would typically be plugged into the master outlet. Plugged into the controlled outlets would be devices such as DVD players, VCRs, surround sound systems, printers, monitors, and/or desk lamps – all devices that would not be used if the television or computer were off.
An alternative approach is taken by TrickleStar TrickleStar Motion Sensor Power Strip, in which the powers strip has a remote motion-sensor, allowing outlets to be automatically turned on when someone enters the area or at their desk, and automatically turned off once the person has left.
Finally, Belkin has introduced a unique off-timer powerstrip for use in offices. In the morning the employee uses a desktop remote to turn on the power strip, delivering electricity to desktop monitors, printers, desk lamps, and other items. 11 hours later, if the employee had forgotten to turn off any of these devices, they will all turn off automatically, reducing wasted energy use on nights and weekends.
Of course, beyond the energy-savings, these power strips also provide connected equipment with protection from voltage spikes, with many manufacturers offering equipment protection coverage.