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Phantom Power

Article By: Sid Lezamiz
Published: Published: Sep 24, 2021 | Updated: Feb 20, 2024 at 10:54 am
Categories: General Audience
Tags: Homes

Phantom Power
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Phantom power, today known as “standby power”, is the term applied to electronic devices that use energy just from being plugged in, even when they are turned off and non-functioning. According to How Stuff Works this energy loss can account for 5% to 10% of your monthly electric bill[1].

We have known for a long time one way to save energy and curb electric bills is to turn off the energy source that fuels phantom power. A good example is your computer. Do you turn it off and unplug it from your energy source? Probably not anymore, now that we have sleep mode. But what about the printer, TV’s video game boxes and a plethora of other new electronics that may arrive under the Christmas tree this year. So many devices today have low-power consuming LED’s. Added all together, these devices can still consume a noticeable amount of power.

A smart power strip is an upgrade to a regular power strip that has been traditionally used to control phantom power. There is one “master” socket and multiple “controlled” sockets. When the electronic device is plugged into the master socket and is turned off, it automatically turns off the power source for that device AND the controlled sockets. On a traditional power strip, you would have to manually turn off the switch that controls all the sockets. The smart strip lets you organize the devices you use together and automatically control the phantom power for all the associated devices. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the most common culprit are power supplies, sometimes called “vampires”.

Computers and TVs with their accompanying support devices are great candidates for smart strips. Most smart strips also provide a socket for “always on” devices that have to stay powered on for function properly.

Another smart way to save money.