You’ve reached that dreaded moment again when your laptop
has just beeped ‘battery low’ and there is no socket in sight to plug in for power. This can be frustrating, to say the least, and as we know, plugging your device into a faulty socket will lead to a destroyed power port on your device. Have you considered the use of a power strip? This may come to your rescue at a time when you need it most and they offer many benefits.
First, a power strip is versatile with the ability to distribute AC power to electrical devices such as audio and video equipment, computers
, appliances, lighting, or power tools, with some even offering the addition of a USB port for charging your smart phone or tablet
One of the biggest perks is their ability to be utilized virtually anywhere, from data centers to homes, offices, server rooms, industrial areas, and cafes, in addition to the device’s usefulness in areas that don’t offer a lot of room, as they are built for efficiency in such tight spaces. This is all thanks to the vertically set outlets, which are also designed to ensure the best spacing for easy plugging of your devices.
When it comes to safety, you can’t beat these strips. Some of them are built to cut power in case they come to contact with water, preventing short circuits and shocking. They are typically equipped with a surge protector, as well, in case of power outages and other issues that can lead to damaged devices. In addition, with the body built to guarantee lasting service, the benefits you can get with a power strip can be quite amazing.
You must be rushing to hit the market by now, but before you head for the purchase, here are some features you need to check out first.
Getting a good power strip is never particularly difficult, especially when you know what to go for, and things can’t get much better than when you factor in the price. Typically ranging between $5 and $50, you can always get yourself a great strip at a considerable price. If you want a high-end product, you can always dig deeper into your pocket and get a better one for a higher price.
Keep in mind, a number of factors will play into the price. Consider strips with impressive features like neon or LED lights, USB ports, or more power outlets than others, these details will increase the cost. The same applies to the material too, especially when you seek an all-metal power strip, which guarantees durability.
When you decide to go for the brand everyone is buying on the market, you can usually count on improved quality versus the lesser known brands, but the same will likely reflect in the price, as well. No matter what you choose, when you know what’s right for you, differences in price should never be the determining factor.
On the other hand, the market is flooded with several lower priced power strips that are best to be avoided, as they tend to lack essential features such as surge protection, sturdy make, enough outlets, or lights for displaying surge status. The absence of these features may lead to your power strip being rendered a useless and potentially disastrous purchase.
As with any purchase, it’s always wise to familiarize yourself with offered features before making a decision. The same is true for power strips.
Here are some of the features to look out for:
- Type – From vertically standing, plug-in, foldable, or horizontally lying, power strips come in several types, allowing you to determine what will work best for your needs.
- Size – Everyone needs a power strip that can assure accommodation of as many items as possible and most power strips are built to cater to several items, from 6, 7, 12, and even 16 outlets. The cord lengths are also distinct, ranging from 3 feet up to 15 feet.
- Certification – With most electrical equipment on the market regulated by safety certifications, it is safe to say power strips are not any exception. A number of safety and energy standards guide this equipment, with a specific requirement for the devices to use low-powered loads.
- Power – Although power strips may vary from one to the other, most of them have a threshold power input as well as output, usually at 125 volts input and an output maximum of 1,875 watts.
- Extras – When it comes to the additional features, you can always get more with power strips. From USB features to space saving designs, surge protection, solidly built bodies, and LED or neon indicators for indicating the status of the surge in the strip’s protection system.
Construction and Design
When it comes to the construction, there will always be something fascinating about power strips, and if you know where to look, you can get yourself the best design.
Main Switch - Some power strips come with a master switch, which allows you to turn the entire device series on or off at once.. This can be handy if you are working with simple devices such as lighting.
Individual Switches - The power strip may also feature outlets that you can switch on or off individually. This involves the use of master/slave strips, which detect if the master device is turning off. The device then switches to turn every other device on or off depending on what should be done. The automatic function goes a long way in enhancing convenience of use and helps prevent wasting power.
Remote Control Strips - This type is common in data centers and is meant to enable remote restarting of computers or any other devices using the strip. The process is reliable, although it might expose the devices to potential external attacks.
Sturdy Body - Safety is essential for every electrical appliance, and the power strip is not an exception. With this in mind, most designers build this equipment with safety features such as all metal housing that guarantee durability of the appliance.
Neon and LED Lights - A good number of power strips also include lights, which are essential for showing you when the power is on. What’s more, some of these strips are surge protected and feature additional lights that indicate how the surge protection system is working.
Performance and Ease of Use
While a power strip will save you the hassle of having a labyrinth of wires running around, it must deliver unsurpassed performance altogether.
Circuit Breakers - Most power strips are usually fitted with circuit breakers of 15 to 20 amps to prevent system overload that can spell doom for your plugged devices or the strip itself. Other models like GFCI that are used in areas with danger of water leakage are also fitted with additional safety features, usually designed to disconnect in case of water contact to prevent shock.
Space Saving - With most power strips used in tight spaces, they are usually built to ensure the device does not take up much space. As such, the strip’s outlets are stacked vertically to preserve space and are well spaced to ensure convenience of use.
Specific Use Designs - Whether you require a strip to use in hospitals or at home, you can always find the ideal option, as many are designed for efficient use either in patient-care rooms in addition to offices and home use.
Seeing as individual power strip requirements may vary slightly, we've listed the features of each product to help you find the ideal match for your needs. Now that you are well informed of the features to look out for let’s look through our review and help you pick the power strip that suits you best.
Surely, reading through our review must have taken a small chunk of your time, but we believe that you are now equipped with enough information and knowledge to ease your buying experience. If you are still unable to find the right power strip based on what we have provided you with, not to worry, you can check out our recommended brands for many more products that will suffice your needs. So, go ahead and place that order!