Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Power control and savings, automatic shut-off controls....

One of the things we all need to try and do is save some energy... What if you could turn off your lamp, printer, external hard drive, etc, coordinated with shutting off your computer (or TV, or whatever).

New powerstrips and outlets are available that 'sense' you have switched off one piece of gear, and through the smart-strip or smart-outlet, automatically turn off everything else plugged into it.  It has some neat implications.  One of the smart-strips even has extra "always on" outlets, too, in case there is something you don't want to turn off automatically (i.e. cable modem, router, or DVR).

Smart-strip on Amazon
 $34 and has lots of switched and always on outlets, with good surge protection.  Probably the best overall solution with the most possibilities for the home consumer with lots of equipment to control in one place.

Power Minder outlet
$21, cheaper, with USB control, and one switched outlet (use your own cheap powerstrip plugged into the one outlet).  Surge control, too.

NiceMite PowerMiteDD, definitely for the DIY'er, and a circuit board for putting in a project box, etc.  Simple, cheap ($14) and good reviews on the arcade forums.