Power Strips Buyer's Guide

Making Advanced Power Strips Simple - read our buyer's guide to help you shop



Chances are, there are vampires lurking in your house. ‘Vampire load’ refers to when idle appliances continue to use energy when they’re not in active use. What many people don’t realize is that according to the U.S. Department of Energy, vampire loads can use up to 10% of a household’s energy use. Want to get rid of them? You’ve come to the right place! Advanced power strips (APS) are a convenient and low-cost solution that save electricity, money, and your electronics.

There are a variety of advanced power strips that can meet your needs. In this Advanced Power Strips Buyer’s Guide, we’ll teach you the benefits of using an APS and how to pick an APS that suits your needs.



Easy, Automated Savings

Using a master-current sensing outlet, these smart and efficient power strips can detect when your electronics are not in active use, and will prevent them from sucking 'vampire' energy from your walls. That means after your initial setup, you can sit back and collect the savings, which is good for the environment and your wallet.

Save Money

How good are they for your wallet? The average U.S. household can save $100 per year on electricity costs by implementing auto-off surge protectors.

Save Your Appliances

An APS protects your precious electrical appliances from power surges. A ‘power surge’ is when the voltage in an energy circuit jumps to unsafe levels that may damage your appliances. Even small power surges can gradually deteriorate your appliance and can shorten their lifespan. An APS protects your appliances by directing surges away from the appliances. Protecting from power surges can extend the life or you electrical appliances.

Peace of Mind

In addition to a master-current sensing outlet that often controls a number of other outlets, most advanced power strips come with a number of “always-on” outlets designed to keep your essential electronics running, like your refrigerator.


There are a number of different APS models with various features to best suit your needs. Here is an easy comparison chart and some key factors in choosing the right advanced power strip: 







List Price $55 $48 $52
Instant Rebate
Post-Instant Rebate Price $35 $28
Primary Use AV
(Audio Video) Equipment
(Audio Video) Equipment
Computers, Household Appliances Computers, Household Appliances
Surge Protection (Amps) 30,000 72,000 288,000 144,000
# of Master-Current Sensing Outlets
# of Outlets Controlled by Master Outlet 0 4 8 4
# of Always On Outlets 3 2 3 2
Total # of Outlets 4 7 12 7
Infared Sensing Yes Yes No No
APS Savings Category Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 1 Tier 1

Number of Outlets: You’ll want to ask yourself how many outlets you will need on your new APS. At the very least, you’ll want an APS that has the same number of outlets as the number of devices you plan to plug into your APS. We recommend overestimating the number of outlets you need because you will most likely find other devices to plug into your new APS.

Type of Devices: You’ll want to ask yourself what type of devices your APS will serve. Some APS are better suited for general home office or household devices. Others, like the EmberPlug and Tricklestar 7-Outlet Multi Sensing APS, are specially designed to manage entertainment electronics’ power with infrared sensing, or the ability to turn off outlets if a sensor hasn’t detected any infrared signals, like the ones from your television or satellite cable remotes.

Types of Outlets: Now that you have a better idea of what types of devices you’ll be using, you’ll want to think about which of the three types of outlets you’ll need:

  • Always On: All APS include outlets that are always on. You’ll want to think about how many of these types of outlets you’ll need. Some examples of appliances that need to always be on might be your digital video recorder (DVR) cable box and Wi-Fi router.
  • Master-Current Sensing Outlet: This outlet uses current sensing, or in some cases, infrared sensing, to sense when there has been no activity on a device for a certain period of time and automatically turns off that device. This outlet works well for a TV, computers, or surround sound.
  • Controlled Outlets: These outlets are controlled by the master-current sensing outlet. When the master-current sensing outlet turns off, it also shuts down power to the controlled outlets. These outlets work well for video game consoles, speakers, or printers.

Savings Category: How much money and energy do you want to save with your new APS? Make sure to check the saving category to see if the savings meet your needs.

  • Tier 1 APS cuts power to appliances that are turned off, but still plugged in.
  • Tier 2 APS cuts power to appliances that are either turned off or are idle. For example, if you fall asleep while watching TV, the Embertec EmberPlug AV+ will cut power to your TV after 1,2,3, or 8 hours of inactive use on the TV’s remote.

Length of Strip: How far do you need your APS to go to serve your devices? Take note of the length of each APS and make sure it is compatible with your needs.

Surge Protection: You’ll want to check the surge protector’s energy absorption rating. This rating lets you know how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails. The higher the number, the greater the protection.



Now that you know how to eliminate your electrical vampires and which APS fits your needs best, it’s time to browse available advanced power strips and redeem your CenHub Store rebate. Simply click this link or or go to the “Products” dropdown above and click on “Advanced Power Strips” to get started. The last step is signing in to see your rebates applied instantly. Let’s get started!