Save power with smart-sensing power boards and timers

With power bills on the rise and ever more tech gadgets entering the home, it can pay to be power conscious.

With power bills on the rise and ever more tech gadgets entering the home, it can pay to be power conscious.

When the gadget plugged in to the master socket turns off, they all turn off. (Credit: Belkin)

One gadget you may not be aware of is a smart-sensing power board. When it senses that one particular gadget has turned off (the "master"), it automatically cuts off power to other devices on the board ("slaves"). For instance, when you turn off your TV, it turns off the rest of your home-theatre equipment. This is also a good way to minimise the vampire draw in your house; that is, gadgets that remain on standby and sip at small amounts of power continuously.

There are quite a few of these in the market, from the likes of Belkin, Jackson and even generic brands.

A little bit more control than the mains switch. (Credit: Jackson)

If you prefer the manual touch, you can run remote power boards, once again from the likes of Jackson or Belkin. You can even get individual, remote-controlled power points, if you desire.

A timer can really help rein in power usage. (Credit: HPM)

Finally, you may wish to look into a timer. If you know you'll only use certain implements at certain times of the day, or wish to limit how long a product can be used, then these can be incredibly useful.

While Belkin and Jackson only offer countdown timers with hard-set intervals, HPM and Arlec offer products that will allow you to set schedules, with HPM even offering a timer that can set different on/off schedules for each day of the week.

About the author

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


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