I was looking at Smart Power Switches at Amazon. These things are able to sense low power draws and shut off - the supposed advantage is to avoid the so called "vampire" devices like instant-on TV's and the little black plugs that power so many things like cell phone chargers and so on.
One "master" or sensing plug controls everything else. When that goes "low power", everything else is shut off. At first I though this sounded like a good idea. As I read more about them, I'm not so sure. For example, one customer with a Mac Mini said:
Several other people had trouble adjusting the sensitivity for other devices. That could be annoying, but I also realized that the cost savings claimed probably aren't very truthful. For one thing, a device like this obviously must have its own power draw. They forget to mention that when calculating savings.
Yet another reviewer pointed out that the savings potential may be very litte:
There's also the matter that the "lost" energy of these devices has to go somewhere - it's either heat or noise, and mostly heat. As we live in New England, most of the year whatever excess heat our "vampires" emit is useful to us. Since we never run A/C, that heat never costs us cooling, so eliminating it would just decrease the supposed savings.
We'd need four of these - at around $25.00 each I'd need to save a lot of energy to recoup that cost. I then realized that I could just leave those things along and replace one 60 watt bulb with an expensive LED version or a far less expensive CFL unit and save much more energy than I could with all of these.
I think I'll pass on smart strips.
Tony Lawrence 2009-04-22 Rating:
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2010-09-01 Anthony Lawrence