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How Does a Smart Power Strip Work

Learn How a Smart Power Strip Works and Saves Electricity

Smart power strips can help cut down your power bills by switching off supply to connected devices, when they are not in use. Your curiosity about working of a smart power strip has led you here and it will certainly be satiated through this piece.
Omkar Phatak
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2019
With a proliferation in the number of electronic appliances used in homes, installing technologies that work to reduce power wastage is all the more important. One such innovative gadget, developed to reduce energy wastage that occurs due to vampire draining of power, is a smart power strip.
Here, you will know what is vampire power drain and how does a smart power strip work to stop it and bring down your home and office electricity usage bills.
About Vampire Power Drain
Before one can fully grasp how smart power strips work, it's essential that you understand what is vampire power drain. When you switch off an electrical appliance, you would think that it stops consuming electrical power.
However, that is not so, as devices draw power even when they are switched off or on standby mode, as long as they are plugged into electrical outlets. Several watts of power can be lost through this kind of vampire power or standby power drain.
To estimate the power loss that occurs in the form of standby power in your home, switch off all your appliances or put them on standby mode. Switch off all other electrical devices and then measure the electrical usage by noting meter readings.
As you will discover, standby power consumption can be as high as or more than 5% of the total daily power consumption, depending on the number of appliances. Realizing this problem, electronic device manufacturers came up with smart power strips that can reduce this power depletion substantially.
How Do Smart Power Strips Work?
Simple power strips purely provide multiple electrical power outlets with surge protection that safeguards your devices. Smart power strips can do much more. Exclusively designed to take care of the vampire power drain problem, it's an intelligent switching mechanism.
Like simple power strips it provides multiple power outlets, but with an added functionality. As soon as you switch off an appliance connected with the power strip or put it on standby mode, its internal electronic circuitry detects the drop in power consumption and completely stops that socket from drawing power, by cutting it off.
Of all the multiple power sockets provided on the strip, some are 'controlled' ones (which switch off automatically when devices go into standby mode) and some that provide power continuously. The latter kind are meant for devices which always need to be powered on.
Only the outlets that have connected device switched off or on standby mode, are cut off, while the rest stay functional. Thus smart power strips effectively stop the draining of power that happens in standby mode. It is made possible by the ability of the device to detect voltage drop and make changes accordingly.
Some of the latest smart power chips have even more added functionality. They are fitted with motion detectors which simply cut off power if they detect an absence of movement in a room for a pronounced period of time. Through the use of infrared sensors, this can be achieved.
Many people use it to connect their television sets and accessories, which get switched off automatically when it learns that there is nobody watching in the room, by the absence of movement. They even come with remote controls which let you switch on power and set the timer for automatic switch off.
Thus, you can save a significant fraction of power by installing a smart power strip as a mediator between your devices and power outlets. Usage of such smart devices goes a long way in reducing energy consumption.
The money invested in a smart power strip is well invested and it will be surely recovered in the long term! So it's highly recommended that you get one installed for your desktop computer, TV and other electrical outlets with heavy power usage.