Power Strips Buyer's Guide

Plug into Savings

Many entertainment and home office electronics continue to draw power even when turned off. This is known as "Vampire Load" and costs the average U.S. household about $200 in yearly energy costs. Save energy and money by connecting these devices to advanced power strips.

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Advanced power strips can sense when your electronics are inactive or idle and shut off their power supply. This feature allows you to prevent wasted energy without having to worry about unplugging all of your devices.

Defend Your Devices

Use advanced power strips to prevent power surges from damaging your electronics. Even small events can gradually deteriorate or shorten the lifespan of your devices. Advanced power strips often have greater capacity to handle surges than normal power strips.

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Laptop Advanced Power Strips

A power surge occurs when the voltage in an energy circuit jumps to unsafe levels, often during lightning storms. An advanced power strip directs a surge away from your devices to extend their lifetimes and preserve their functionality.

Which Model Is Right For You? 

Number and Type of Outlets

Different advanced power strips are better suited for different needs. For instance, while an outlet that shuts off inactive devices may be great for your TV, one that always stays on is best for your Wi-Fi router. 

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Number of Outlets: How many outlets will you need on your new power strip? 

  • This answer depends on the number of devices you plan on plugging into it. Advanced power strips typically have between 4 and 12 outlets.

Types of Outlets: What combination of different outlet functions do you need for your device? Advanced power strip models differ in the number of each of these types of outlets.

  • Always On: All advanced power strips include at least one outlet that's always on. These are great for appliances or devices that you won't want to turn off, like your modem. 

    • Best for: Wi-Fi router, cable box, DVR
  • Master-Current Sensing Outlet: This outlet uses current or infrared sensing to detect when a device is not in use and will automatically shut it off. For instance, if you fall asleep watching a movie, your power strip can cut off the power to your TV after 1, 2, 3 or 8 hours of inactive use. 

    • Best for: TV, computer, surround sound
  • Controlled Outlets: These outlets are controlled by the master-current sensing outlet. When you power off a device connected to the master, devices connected to the controlled outlets will also shut down. This way, when you shut off your computer, you can power off your printer, monitor, etc. all at the same time.

    • Best for: video game consoles, DVD players, monitors, speakers, printers


Level of Surge Protection

What level of protection do your devices need? Check the power strip's energy absorption rating to determine how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails.

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Energy absorption ratings for devices sold on our site range from 30,000 to 144,000 Amps. The higher the number, the greater the protection. 

Remember, don't daisy-chain multiple power strips together. It can put an unsustainable amount of load on a single outlet and isn't recommended. It may also void any manufacturer warranties.

Savings Tier

How much money and energy do you want to save with your new advanced power strip? Make sure to check the saving category to see if the savings meet your needs.

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While advanced power strips are typically more expensive than regular power strips, they can save more money in the long-term, making them a worthy investment.

Advanced power strips are categorized into two savings tiers. Both tiers of power strips cut power to appliances that are turned off, but only tier 2 models are equipped with infrared sensing. This ability lets them detect when your devices are inactive by listening to infrared signals, like the ones from your television, satellite or cable remotes. So if you often fall asleep in front of the TV, look for tier 2 devices.

Primary Use

What is the primary use of your advanced power strip? Many devices are labeled with an intended use to make it easy to shop.

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Tier 1 models are well-suited for your home office electronics, and may be labeled as "PC" for PC/IT environments.

Because of infrared sensing, tier 2 models tend to work best for your entertainment systems. These devices may be labeled as "AV" for "audio video" or as "multi-sensing."

How to Compare

From number of outlets to surge protection ratings to savings tiers, the chart below has the information you need to compare devices.


Primary Use Surge Protection (Amps) # of Outlets # of Current-Sensing Outlets # of Outlets Controlled by Current-Sensing Outlet # of Always-on Outlets Infrared Sensing APS Savings Tier
Tricklestar 7-Outlet APS PC (Home Office Devices) 144,000 7 1 4 2
Tricklestar 7-Outlet Multi-Sensing APS AV (Audio Video Equipment) 72,000 7 1 4 2

Browse Power Strips Today

Now that you know more about advanced power strips and can identify which one is right for you, you’re ready to browse our store.

Still have questions? Contact our knowledgeable customer care team via chat or email.