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Best smart power strip 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2020
Best smart power strip of 2018
There’s a product for every kind of user on the list of affordable options below. However, after giving you the TOP list, I will also give you some of the benefits you stand to gains for using it. Here we have compiled a detailed list of some of the best smart power strip of the 2018. Not all smart power strip are created equal though.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this smart power strip win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
№2 – Smart Power Strip
Why did this smart power strip come in second place?
Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.
Why did this smart power strip take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great!
smart power strip Buyer’s Guide
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
There’s a very visible green power-on indicator on top, and, weirdly, a Micro USB port that currently has no function. Setting up the switch is straightforward, if a little long-winded at first. It took us a couple of goes to get it to recognise our Wi-Fi. But at least it doesn’t require a separate hub connected to your router.
Aside from turning things off without getting off your backside WeMo can inform you when, for instance, a laundry cycle is complete, which is actually rather handy. This is set up in the WeMo app’s clever Rules section. Or you could be alerted when your child has exceeded his or her allotted screen/TV time.
Via the app you set rules that trigger the power according to preset times, or to respond automatically to sunrise and sunset, or through motion detection via Belkin’s WeMo Motion detector.
Rules can be set for: Weekends; Weekdays; and, Individual days. And allow for: Turn on only; Turn off only; and, Turn on then off.
It isn’t the cheapest but the ability to create rules could make it the best option for you.
Keep it to one of those per power strip.
If you don’t limit the number of heating products or appliances, it’s pretty easy to overload a power strip or surge protector and lot of power strips all over my house, and I have more than one in some rooms.
My lack of success
My office is small and crowded, but relatively simple. I have a laptop, a second monitor, a backup drive, and a set of speakers on one power strip, and my printers and a scanner on a separate strip. I turn the strips on and off manually when I use them, often several times a day, depending on when I am at my desk and what I am doing. Anxious to see how much effort my new smart strip would save, I connected my laptop to the control outlet, and my monitor, disk drive, and speakers to the switched outlets and went to work checking it out. I turned off my computer, and voila! Nothing happened. The switched outlets remained powered up. I took a look at the little transformer on the cord of my laptop and realized that it was probably drawing enough power to confuse the strip into thinking that it was still on. I unplugged the laptop cord, and the switched outlets turned off in a few seconds.
Interestingly, the switch on my smart strip doesn’t actually turn anything off; it just turns the switched outlets on if they are off. So, in order to take advantage of the product’s features, I have to unplug my computer. Seems more complicated than my current arrangement. I suppose if I had a desktop computer that drew no power when off, it would work fine, but these days most people use laptops, so the effect of smart strips is reduced.
Let’s blame the manufacturers
I suppose that using a smart strip is better than leaving all the equipment on, but you could use a hardwired kill switch or manual power strip to turn off everything—it really doesn’t take that much effort. We should also look at the equipment we keep on and consider how often we really use it. I imagine that there are probably millions of DVD players, stereos, and even a few old VCRs out there, still plugged in and drawing power, that are very rarely turned on.
And let’s not forget to put some blame on the manufacturers who make all this stuff with remotes and clocks that are always on. How many digital clocks do I really need, particularly if most of them are set differently, and some flashing 12:00 permanently? People think that remote controls are made for their convenience, and while I agree that it’s nice to sit in a chair and change channels, we need to realize that they are primarily designed to save costs in the factory, as they can build much simpler equipment that is pretty much inoperable without a remote.
High performance on the go
It covers just one outlet but offers heavy-duty protection in a tiny package that fits in any bag.
Tripp Lite’s SpikeCube is perfect for traveling in areas with spotty grids. It covers just one outlet but has performance comparable to the bigger picks squeezed into a pocketable package. If you want something on the go with more outlets than the SpikeCube and are less concerned with surge protection, check out our travel USB surge protector guide.
While researching this guide, we found a huge amount of outdated or incorrect information scattered around the internet. If you want to learn the the facts (and about how melting sand into glass is often the last line of defense between a lightning strike and your home’s power supply), the surge explainer at the bottom of this guide will lay it all out for you. But don’t feel bad if you skip it; since you don’t need to read it in order to follow this guide, we placed it at the end.
Who this is for
Surge protectors are cheap protection for expensive electronics, and there’s little reason for anyone to leave their office or home theater gear without one (or to continue using old, worn-out units). Though a surge protector can’t help much in a rare, direct lightning strike, one can help with the much more common surges that originate inside your home or building. They can also protect against rare surges emanating from your utility company, handy in areas with less-than-reliable power grids.
If you’re buying new equipment or moving into a new place, it’s a good time to replace old surge protectors. That’s because surge protectors don’t actually last forever. The components inside wear out with repeated surges and there’s virtually no way to know how much life remains. Most cheap models continue to pass power even after the protection is long gone. Most estimates put the average safe life of a surge protector at anywhere from three to five years. Though high-end series mode protectors can last indefinitely, the prices are can easily soar to times the price of our top picks, making them an impractical option for most people.
Most estimates put the average safe life of a surge protector at anywhere from three to five years.
Because a surge protector is a “better safe than sorry” device, the safest recommendation is to choose one that shuts down when the protection is worn out. Most modern hardware can cope with the sudden loss of power better than an unprotected surge. However, if you have equipment that could be damaged by a sudden loss of power, mission-critical gear that can’t ever go down or needs a specific shutdown or power-up sequence, or even just a desktop computer with a hard disk drive (HDD) susceptible to data corruption in the case of sudden removal of electricity, then you shouldn’t be looking at a surge protector at all. Instead, you want an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS. A UPS is basically just a big battery that you place between your outlet and your gear, and most of them have surge protection built in. You can read about our top UPS picks here.
How we picked
What happens when it wears out: When most cheap surge protectors reach the end of their useful life, they continue to provide unprotected power to anything you have plugged in. Sometimes the only indication that the surge protection has failed is a small LED, often hidden behind your entertainment center or desk. That’s why we prefer surge protectors that completely shut down when their protection has been used up. It ensures that your equipment is never inadvertently left unprotected.
Surge protection capability: Any surge protector that’s rated by the private product safety corporation UL has surge protection capabilities stamped on the box or device. In general, we expect quality home surge protectors to be able to bring a surge down to either 330 or 400 V, in line with UL ratings. While it’s easy to rule out the worst models through research, we verified which models have the best protection with our own electrical testing.
Number of outlets and layout: We also surveyed 83of our readers to learn about their expectations and narrow the criteria. Since our survey responses showed similar results for home theater and home office use, we looked for surge protectors that could easily work in either role.
When averaging the output during five 5,000 V surges, SurgeX bested ZeroSurge by nearly 50 V. But both models kept voltage close the 120 V standard. In other tests, we found a standard computer monitor was able to survive a 400 V surge.
SurgeX did keep the surge voltage consistently lower than the equivalent ZeroSurge model, but both were well within the safe range for most electronics.
Both models had no problem clamping surge voltage back down close to the range of standard AC. We subjected each to surges ranging from 160 V all the way to 5,000 V to observe their response, and then did an additional five hits at 5,000 V to get an average. ZeroSurge allowed 14V through at its maximum, but averaged 13V against the five 5,000 V surges. SurgeX, with its advanced series mode design, did do a little better than ZeroSurge when looking at the raw numbers. The maximum output was just 10V, and it averaged just 90 V against the five 5,000 V surges.
We recommend the Furman Powerstation PST-for most people looking for upgraded protection, because the added protection of its hybrid design—advanced filtering plus traditional, inexpensive MOVs—is commensurate with a price a bit above a standard surge protector. These true series mode models from SurgeX and ZeroSurge actually let through a little more voltage in our tests, despite costing much more. However, the main advantage of going for series-mode over MOV is longevity, since series mode protection should last indefinitely. If longevity is your top priority above all else, series mode is the best solution, albeit a costly one.
The APC P11VNTSurgeArrest 3020J was once a pick for the surge protector that supplies power even after the protection has been expended. However, that wasn’t the whole story, as one bank of MOVs would cut power when it was worn out, while another one would not. For the safest shut down when it’s worn out, the Tripp Lite TLP1008TLP is the better answer. And for the best outlet design and value, the Belkin PivotPlug 1is a better option.
We love our Kill A Watt power meters, and the PKill A Watt PSsurge protector incorporates some of the same power tracking features as the standalone meters. But the overall surge protection wasn’t as good as any of our picks. When hit with a 5,000 V surge on L-N, the PS-past an average of 50V, 2percent more than the Tripp Lite TLP1008TEL. It also allowed more voltage through on the L-G and N-G—6and 59V respectively—than our picks. Given that the design also makes it difficult to fit multiple power bricks on the tightly spaced outlets, we don’t think it’s a good fit for most people.
The Furman PST-2+is less than half the price of the larger Powerstation 8, but it lacks the components and performance of the large model too. Though we like that it has an audible alarm that sounds when the surge protection is used up, the model was only able to clamp a 5000 V L-N surge down to 43V, or roughly percent higher than the Tripp Lite TLP1008TEL. It also only has three outlets spaced to take larger power bricks.
We liked the design of the PowerAdd outlet with USB ports for desks or offices where someone may have many devices charging over USB. But the surge protection of this model was dismal. When we tested it against a 5,000 V surge, it passed an average of 1,12V through the outlets—enough to fry most connected equipment.
We tested the Accell PowerGenius Rotating 6-Outlet Surge Protector with Dual USB Charging with our compact group. It tested well on the main leg with 130-volt L-N let-through voltage, but had worst-in-class protection on the N-G leg with 204-volt let-through. Overall, it didn’t offer much better protection than our preferred model from Accell—the Powramid—and the PowerGenius design is much less useful. Outlets have to be rotated a full 90 degrees to work, and many average-sized plugs will easily block the rotation or simply won’t fit when the outlets are twisted in certain configurations.
We dismissed the Belkin SurgePlus 6-Outlet Wall Mount Surge Protector with Dual USB Ports before testing because it’s priced similarly to the PivotPlug model and the PivotPlug’s design is much more useful. It has two USB ports, but so does our pick from Accell, which also fits more power bricks. The SurgePlus’s conventional design of two rows of three outlets is much too cramped to adapt to changing needs.
Over the last few years, there have been a rash of extremely low quality and uncertified chargers on the market. Not only are these chargers not particularly energy efficient, but they can potentially damage your devices and even create fire hazards.
USB charging stations come in three forms factors: wall chargers, corded hubs, and organizers. Which form factor you select is generally a matter of personal preference, combined with consideration for where you will be using it.
Wall chargers (shown to the left in the image below) are all-in-one models that plug directly into the wall like a giant transformer and have no extension cord of any sort. The box, if you will, goes right against the outlet and all the USB cords for your devices are inserted directly into the outlet-attached box.
Corded chargers (above center) are essentially identical to the wall chargers, with the distinction that they have a power cord tether to the outlet. This has a distinct advantage in that you gain a few extra feet of movement and the plug can be used in small spaces where a larger wall-mounted charger would be impractical or impossible. For example, we use a corded USB charger in our bedroom where it is plugged in behind the bed with the USB cables routed to both night stands. Because of the spacing and alignment of the bed frame, it would be impossible to use a wall-mounted charger but a corded charger can be plugged in just like a lamp with plenty of room to spare.
Hive Active Lights
Hive has added Google Assistant support for its Hive Active Lights and Hive Active Plugs, but not its Active Heating thermostats yet – Alexa works with the whole range, giving it the edge.
You can turn lights on, dim them, increase brightness or change the colour with voice commands via your Google Home, but this all depends on which bulbs you opt for. Naturally, Hive’s colour changing bulbs are more expensive in comparison to its entry-level dimming options, but it’s all worth it to mix up the mood of a room.
Google Assistant compatible thermostats
Again, Google Assistant works with (almost) all the best smart thermostats you can buy including Nest, Honeywell and Tado. As we mentioned above, Hive Active Heating is missing but considering Hive’s light bulbs and plugs are already onboard, we assume it’s coming.
As Nest is being folded back into Google, it’s only natural we kick the thermostat chat off with Nest. The thing that separates the Nest Thermostat (now in its third generation) from the competition is that it can learn your habits after a week of training it.
Google Home compatibility allows you to scream your temperature demands, control hot water and never fiddle with the dial again. Nest also offers smoke detectors, alarm systems and security cameras for your smart home needs.
Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostats
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, or you just don’t want to turn your home over to two Alphabet products, there’s the Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat.
There’s seven-day programming and smart scheduling, but it’s also compatible with Google Assistant via Honeywell’s Total Connect Comfort platform. Previously, those rocking the likes of Honeywell’s Lyric had to go through an IFTTT workaround in order to pair the two. And while that issue is now cleared up, unfortunately this one is still only available in the US.
But this process is streamlined further with the help of Google Home, which lets you to fire up video using just the power of your voice. With YouTube and Netflix both supported, unwinding in front of the TV has seldom been simpler.
Wink Connected Hub
It also works with all those smart home standards you don’t really want to think about – Bluetooth, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave.
Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Nest’s latest indoor security camera has a 4K sensor, face recognition, HDR close-up tracking and it works seamlessly with the rest of the Nest ecosystem. It also works with Google Assistant and offers the most out of voice assistant now and probably in the future given that Nest is returning to Google. Currently you can ask to see live footage on both the Nest app on your phone – “OK Google, show me the dining room” or on a TV with a Chromecast and you can add the Cam IQ to routines like “OK Google, I’m leaving” will turn on all your Nest Cams. Neat.
Logitech Circle 2
As per Nest, both Circle and Circle cameras work with Google Assistant to allow you to ask for a live feed to a TV with a Chromecast either plugged in or built in which is a nice feature. You can say “OK Google, show the garden camera” or “OK Google, play garden camera on main TV”.
Before we can define how a surge protector works, we need to define an electrical surge. Think of the flow of electricity as the flow of water running through a pipe. Water moves from one end of a pipe to the other end due to water pressure – water moves from high pressure to low pressure. Electricity operates in a similar way, moving from areas of high electric potential energy to areas of low electric potential energy. In this case, it’s from one end of a wire to the other end.
Voltage is a measure of this electric potential energy – more specifically, the difference in electric potential energy. When the voltage increases above the norm for at least nanoseconds, it’s called a surge. If the voltage of the wire is too great – meaning the difference in electric potential energy from one end to the other is too high – then the electricity will surge through. This heats up the wire, and if hot enough it can burn, rendering it useless.
The surge protector has one job: detect excess voltage and divert the extra electricity into the grounding wire. This is why all surge protectors will have a grounding pin (the third prong on a plug) and all surge protectors must be plugged into a properly grounded outlet for them to work as intended.
When to Use a Surge Protector
When should you use a surge protector? All the time. The real question is really which devices you should connect to a surge protector. You don’t need a surge protector for your desk lamp or your standing fan, but you do want a surge protector for expensive devices that have intricate microprocessors, like computers, televisions, stereo systems, and media centers.
Cable clutter is one of technology’s biggest annoyances. Today we show you how to organize and arrange the cables under your desk.
Read More with your electronics. All of the cables end up being directed to the same destination, making it much easier for you to handle them all neatly.
Choosing the Right Surge Protector
Surge protectors only have a limited lifespan depending on how often they are put to work. Even when the surge protector properly diverts a surge so your electronics aren’t damaged, the protector itself can be damaged in the process. One of the most important features then is an indicator light. An indicator light will let you know that your surge protector is working fine. Is the indicator light not working? Time to buy a new surge protector.
As for protection power, good surge protectors will come with a UL rating, a rating put out by the independent Underwriters Laboratories that tests the safety of electronic devices. Don’t bother with a surge protector that doesn’t have a UL rating. Also make sure that the product is a “transient voltage surge suppressor” as many UL-rated power strips still might not offer surge protection.
The clamping voltage is the measurement that prompts the surge protector to start redirecting the excess electricity away from the plugged-in devices. In other words, a surge protector with a lower clamping voltage will trigger earlier, thus better protecting your devices. Any surge protector with a clamping voltage below 400 volts should be good enough for home use.
This is the maximum amount of energy the surge protector can absorb. If the surge breaches this maximum, the surge protector will be rendered useless. The higher the joule rating, the more energy can be absorbed by the surge protector, so a higher joule rating will often indicate a longer lifespan for the product. For best household protection, you’ll want a surge protector with a joule rating of at least 600.
Belkin’s 1outlet surge protector comes equipped with an indicator light, a clamping voltage of 500V, a joule rating of 3940, and a response time below nanosecond. It even comes with in-built cable management and Blockspace Outlets for oversized adaptors.
Another strong surge protector with outlets, an indicator light, a clamping voltage of 150V, a joule rating of 790, and a response time below nanosecond.
Defending Against the Surge
The take-away? All electrical grids experience electrical surges, some more than others. These surges can damage electronics and surge protectors are there to keep those surges under control as much as possible. You’ll want to use surge protectors for complex and valuable electronics, such as computers, appliances, and media centers. Keep in mind that it’s not enough to have a surge protector; you need one that’s properly rated for your needs.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your smart power strip wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of smart power strip
- №1 — HOLSEM Power Strip Surge Protector 8 Outlets & 2 Smart USB Charging Ports
- №2 — Smart Power Strip
- №3 — WiFi Smart Power Strip