I sent my power strips to college

While researching power consumption, I came across the term ‘vampire power’ and was intrigued. Vampire or phantom power refers to the power that electronic appliances draw when they’re NOT turned on. What? Why would they do that? I always thought if something was off, it was off. Today’s electronics can draw or suck power even when they’re turned off. Ah, but then there are ‘smart’ power strips…


A few weeks ago I curbed my computer’s gluttonous power consumption by shutting her down each night and sometimes during the day. This has been a small exercise in patience on my part (waiting for my computer to boot up and down), but I think it’s been worth my time since my aim is to reduce waste.

While researching power consumption, I came across the term ‘vampire power’ and was intrigued. Vampire or phantom power refers to the power that electronic appliances draw when they’re NOT turned on. What? Why would they do that? I always thought if something was off, it was off. Sometimes I can be so simple minded. 

Today’s electronics can draw or suck power when they’re turned off. How much power are we talking about? All together, phantom energy may account for 10% of my electricity use. If 10% is true, then I’d save about a month’s worth of electricity per year. 

Even if my phantom energy is less than 10%, I can save money over time and reduce my waste. How? By sending my power strips to college. Each of my new college educated power strips (aka Smart Strips) cost me just $26.90 (cheap for a college education). My new Smart Power Strips look like this:


Now that my power strips are ‘smart,’ they work a little differently. Let me explain. I plug my PC into the blue socket (the control socket). I plug things I want to leave on into the red sockets (my router and my phone). In the non-colored sockets, I plug in things that I want switched off with my computer: my monitor, speakers, and my printer. Now when I turn off my computer (remember the control socket), my smart power strip shuts the power off to the non-colored sockets. Meanwhile, my red sockets (my router and phone) always have power. Pretty cool huh? This all happens auto-magically. I just shutdown my computer and power is cut to my other devices.

No more phantom or vampire power at my house. Smart power strips are perfect for your office or your home entertainment stuffs – like your TV, DVD, Xbox, DVR, VCR (acronyms galore!) or whatever entertainment electronics you have.

Comments? Post anything you’d like – possible topics include: power, computers, electronics, or the meaning of life.

Have a terrific day!

Author: Kate

I'm a writer interested in photography, philosophy, bikes and simplicity.

One thought on “I sent my power strips to college”

  1. Thanks for the great info. I’m going to powwow with my husband to see about taking this step.

    Sometimes I don’t like to replace things that are still good because they end up in the trash. But we could sell or give away the other power strips we no longer use.

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