The lives of 21st Century Americans are filled with endless electronic gadgets and appliances. A modern home filled with computers, entertainment systems and portable devices can quickly run short of convenient electric outlets to provide power to the media extravaganza. That makes power strips a must. In addition to providing ample plug space, power strips can also protect your devices, help keep them organized, give a boost to your energy efficiency and provide a flash of style while they're at it. Check out a sampling of models that show off some of the best that power strips have to offer:
- Blocking a power surge: It should almost go without saying at this point that power strips should also function as surge protectors, blocking harmful power surges from harming your devices. Whatever power strip you decide on, make sure it also includes surge protection.
- Save electricity with a timed strip: When you leave devices plugged in even when you aren't using them, you waste electricity through phantom loads. Some power strips, like the Belkin Conserve Socket, allow you to set a timer for drawing electricity so you aren't draining power after your gadget is fully charged.
- Rotating outlets for maximum flexibility: One downfall of traditional power strips is that bulky transformers for cell phone and laptop chargers can cover two or more outlets at once, so you run out of real estate quickly. The Rotating 360 power strip solves that issue by allowing the outlets to rotate independently of each other so they can accommodate plugs of all shapes and sizes without blocking off the neighboring outlet.
- Custom build your own design: A number of conceptual power strips operate on the principle that you should be able to customize the device to perfectly meet your needs. One example is the E Rope Modular Power Strip, which provides outlet blocks of different shapes and sizes that you can plug into or remove from the main strip as needed.
- Help from the USB port: Another way to get around the bulky transformer problem is to charge devices like phones and tablets using only the USB cable. Some models, like the Satechi Aluminum Power Strip, make it easy for you by including USB ports on the strip along with conventional outlets.
- Make it portable: You may have your home electrical work set up for your convenience, but when you're on the road, you can still run into outlet shortages. Up the charging capacity of hotel rooms and coffee shops by carrying a portable model like the Belkin Travel Surge Protector, which provides extra outlets and protects your devices all at once.
If you need advice on powering and protecting your devices, or have any other electrical work that needs to be addressed, contact a qualified electrician without delay.