An Advanced Power Strip (commonly known as an “APS” or “smart power strip”) looks like any other power strip, but has features that helps you save energy and money by reducing the amount of standby power wasted by your electronics.
Standby power is the energy that is continuously drawn by electronics when they are plugged in, but turned off.
Some common culprits include computers, TVs, speakers, DVD players, and gaming systems. For this reason, advanced power strips are commonly used in home office and entertainment system setups.
Advanced Power Strips work by automatically cutting power from selected outlets when the master outlet is not in use. An APS is available with varying numbers of outlets, but all share the following:
Master Outlet - the device plugged into this outlet must be on for the controlled outlets to be on
Controlled/Switched Outlets - outlets controlled by the master outlet
Always-On Outlets - for electronics you do not want to turn off automatically
When your TV is plugged into the master outlet and turned on, the controlled outlets will turn on and electronics plugged into them can be used. When your TV is turned off, the controlled outlets and the electronics plugged into them turn off as well.
By replacing your old power strip with an APS, you can significantly reduce standby power and lower your electric bill - but that’s not all! An APS also prolongs the life of your electronics and protects them from power surges.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, wasted standby power adds up to approximately $200 a year for the average home.
There are two major types of APSs on the market, Tier I and Tier II.
This simple APS works on a basic master/switched outlet principle using current sensing technology. When the master outlet device is on, the controlled/switched outlets are on as well.
In addition to basic master/switched functionality, Tier II advanced power strips are able to use motion and remote control sensors to control the master outlet (typically a TV). Within a set time frame, if no motion or remote control signals are sensed, the TV and subsequently the controlled outlet devices (DVD player, gaming system) are automatically powered off.