Review: Smart Power Strips


I’ve been testing a surging-protecting power strip called the Smart Strip by BITS. The Smart Strip works like this: it has a “Control Outlet” which controls six other outlets on the power strip. If you plug a computer into the Control Outlet, and it turns off or goes into sleep mode, the other “switched” outlets on the strip will be turned off. There are also three other outlets that are “always on”. Most people use this power strip to turn off all their computer peripherals, or to shut down their home theater system, when they turn off their television.

If you use a notebook computer with an external monitor (as I do) you’ll have to set things up a bit differently, because laptops don’t cause a large enough power dip for the power strip to detect. To solve this problem, you can use your monitor as the Control Outlet (see more details here).

Smart Strips are available from Amazon.


6 thoughts on “Review: Smart Power Strips”

  1. Nice article with a clear explanation of how this Smart Power Strip works. I think this power strip is a great idea and I’m looking at using this with my system.
    Justin, when you tested this did you get any idea of how much energy you were saving and what the payback period would be?

  2. Great review. I bought one of these at the SF Green Festival, and use it. But I feel as though I could get better usage out of it – I should move it so I’m controlling other appliances, etc. Thanks!

  3. Awesome review, and GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike :-). I just posted a similar review of the same model on my blog (linked on my name above). I have some energy saving numbers (via the Kill-A-Watt meter), which were rather surprising (good) for me. This product is a keeper. Actually, it’s a no-brainer, since it actually pays for itself in a short time in three cases at least in my house. I arrived at the same solution for the laptop, and this company would do well to be a little more specific in their help, as there are several Amazon reviews claiming it “doesn’t work” for laptops. It does, but with a little twist. Tom

  4. I really like that switch. It is intelligent one, and I also need to use my mind a bit to figure it out how to connect a laptop. I especially like colors on the board. It is cheap, as well.

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