Equipped with 4 outlets and 4 USB charging ports for charging smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. Offers built-in WiFi capabilities. No hub is required. Comes with built-in leakage and an overload protection switch for added safety. Easy to use right out of the box.
Sometimes can be tough to connect to WiFi. Offers less durability than many comparable options.
Allows you to control supplied power to electronics in your entertainment system. Offers superb power management for home office and commercial workspace applications. Includes advanced surge protection technology with ceramic-encased metal oxide varistors that suppress more energy and dissipate heat faster than traditional surge protectors.
Outlets are very close to one another. Instructions may be tough to follow.
Protects computers, household electronics, and other devices from power surges and lightning strikes. Compatible with a variety of devices. Designed with overheat, over-voltage, over-current, and short-circuit protection. Equipped with a convenient 9.3-foot cord and 3 USB ports.
Plugs frequently fall out of the power strip. Bright light on the end of the power strip can be annoying.
Offers a surge protection function and effective absorption of sudden high voltage. Equipped with a 6-foot power cord. Includes both regular and USB outlets. Provides a timer that you can use to schedule the power cord to turn on and off for seamless power management.
Can only control the 4 USB ports together. Doesn't support 5.0 GHz networks.
Comes with a free "Smart Life" app so you can control the power strip with your smartphone or tablet. Enables you to schedule your appliances to turn on or off at any time. Comes with 4 outlets and 4 USB ports. Enables you to control each outlet individually.
May intermittently cut power off and turn it back on. Instructions are unclear.
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Electronic devices in standby mode draw additional energy – sometimes called “vampire power” – which can make up as much as 10% of your home’s energy usage. A smart power strip can detect which devices are in standby mode and cut off the power from those devices. It can also turn those outlets back on when it detects activity in other outlets.
Most smart power strips can be controlled remotely with an app, and some work in conjunction with virtual home assistants. Smart power strips vary in how they monitor and manage energy usage, and just as with a standard power strip, the number and configuration of outlets can vary.
Choosing the right smart power strip for your needs means considering the appliances you intend to use it for and how often you use those appliances. Our shopping guide walks you through the basics to help you make the most informed decision when shopping for a smart power strip. And when you’re ready to buy, take a look at our top picks, too.
What part of your home will your power strip be used in, and what devices will it power? What other smart devices do you have in your home? These are questions you need to answer before you begin your search for a smart power strip.
The primary function of a smart power strip is to intelligently control the amount of energy your devices and appliances use. This can be done in several ways.
Timer: These power strips offer a simple manual option. Just program the times you want the power strip (or specific outlets) to turn on and off. Through this function, you can set up your home so that, for example, the lights turn on when you come home from work or the coffee maker turns on before you get up in the morning.
Master control: These power strips have a “master” outlet for a major device like a computer or television. When this is turned on, the power strip returns power to peripheral devices plugged into other outlets. When the device in the master outlet is turned off, the other outlets cut their power to reduce standby power.
Masterless: These power strips use a similar but inverse concept: when no devices plugged into the power strip are drawing power, the whole power strip cuts off all outlets.
Motion sensing: These power strips detect movement in a room to turn outlets on and turn outlets off after a set period without movement. These are used primarily used for lighting.
App or remote control: These power strips give you direct control over outlets and devices. Apps on your smartphone can even allow you to control your smart power strip when you’re away from home.
How many devices do you need to plug into your power strip at one time? Some smart power strips have a couple outlets while others have as many as 12. More is more, but you also don’t want your power strip to be too bulky.
A surge protector is different from a power strip, but it’s worth defining here because some smart power strips are also surge protectors.
Power strip: A power strip allows you to plug multiple devices into one outlet.
Surge protector: A surge protector does the same thing but also protects your devices from fluctuations in power supply that occur regularly in any home. Since many modern electronics can easily become damaged by power surges, this is a feature to look into if you’re intending to plug your home entertainment system or computer into a surge protector.
Joule rating: Look for the joule rating of each smart surge protector. In most cases, this ranges from 600 to 4,000 joules, with a higher rating offering more protection.
Clamping voltage: This is the point at which the surge protector kicks in, so lower is generally better. The clamping voltage should be around 300 volts.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive smart power strip with straightforward setup and functionality, this is a great option. And with four outlets and USB ports, it can easily accommodate several devices. While it’s limited to 2.4 GHz WiFi networks, the app is intuitive and voice commands are easy with virtual home assistants.
Smart power strips can vary in style and ease of use. Different cord lengths or additional ports can affect how you use and set up the power strip.
If you have multiple AC adapters you need to plug in or any large or awkward plugs, consider the configuration of the power strip. Some power strips have outlets that are positioned close together, making it difficult to use all the outlets at once. Look for power strips with widely spaced outlets to allow for bulkier plugs and AC adapters. But note that these widely spaced outlets mean a larger form factor. If you hope to keep your smart power strip out of sight, consider the overall size.
Many smart power strips have from one to four USB ports for easily charging devices. These may or may not be controlled individually via voice command or other energy-conserving features.
The length of the cord determines how much flexibility you have when choosing where to put the smart power strip. However, a cord that’s too long can be cumbersome. Some power strips can be mounted on the wall or plug directly into outlets.
By using a virtual home assistant with your smart power strip, you can turn almost any device into a smart device by controlling it with voice commands.
Advanced power strips (APS) offer similar features to smart power strips but lack the ability to connect to other devices via WiFi.
Smart power strips can reduce standby power from inactive devices through timers, voice command, or apps.
Inexpensive: At $15 to $20 are basic smart power strips that typically have a few outlets and one or two USB ports. Some of these are compatible with virtual home assistants.
Mid-range: These smart power strips cost from $20 to $30 and are usually compatible with virtual home assistants. In addition, they may have multiple power-conserving features. These power strips tend to have between 4 and 12 outlets, with varying numbers of USB ports. Many smart power strips in this price range are also surge protectors.
Expensive: Smart power strips that cost $30 to $60 and more don’t vary significantly from the mid-range models and offer similar features. However, surge protectors in this range typically have higher joule ratings.
Use your smart power strip to control and monitor the usage of devices you don’t need on all the time. By setting a schedule for your power strip, you can control exactly when your devices draw power. Just like with regular power strips, you should never plug high-energy appliances like space heaters into a smart power strip. Here are some devices that work well with a smart power strip:
One smart power strip that stands out for its unique design and size is the ZONV Smart Power Strip WiFi Plug Outlet. It offers four outlets and four USB ports yet is still compact in size. With options for virtual home assistant voice control, an integrated app, and a built-in timer, there are multiple ways to control your devices with this smart power strip. If you’re on a budget, consider the HLT Smart Power Strip, which doubles as a surge protector. This four-outlet, four-USB-port strip can be controlled with an app or a virtual home assistant. If you’re looking for a smart power strip that gives you reports of energy usage, the Koogeek Smart Plug WiFi Socket Outlet is a pricey yet versatile option. The included intuitive app allows for multiple ways to monitor and schedule power usage.
Q. Can smart power strips be used without WiFi?
A. While most smart power strips don’t require a WiFi connection, you won’t gain access to any synchronized app or voice control features that make smart power strips stand out. You’re better off purchasing an advanced power strip instead.
Q. Are smart power strips compatible with all smartphone operating systems?
A. That depends on the smart power strip and its app. Not all smart power strip apps are available for all operating systems.
Q. Do smart power strips account for daylight saving time?
A. Since they’re connected to WiFi, most smart power strips will adjust your schedule during daylight saving time.
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