Top 5 Phantom Load Controls in the Market Today

By: Smart Zero Home
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Plug Loads or electricity usage from devices and appliances that are plugged into electric sockets can account for electricity usage even when not in use or even when they are turned off. This energy usage by plugged-in appliances is often referred to as “phantom loads”. These can account for over $100 of energy bills over a year.

There are a number of advanced power strips that are available to counter these phantom plug loads. These power strips and controls can be plugged into the electric socket, and the appliances in turn can be plugged into the power strip. These strips can be driven by an occupancy sensor (senses the absence and turns-off), or a timer (based on pre-set schedule (e.g. post 10pm)), or remotely controlled, or just be a simple master strip that can be turned off manually. Controls from companies such as WeMo and TP Link can be accessed from your mobile phones and are Wi-Fi enabled.

Plug load controls can reduce the 'Phantom Loads' by ensuring the appliances are switched off

Here are the best plug load controls available in the market today, based on our analysis, and feedback from customers and contractors:

Company WeMo SmartSwitch Wattstopper TP Link SummitLink
Rating* 8 9 8.2 8.5 9.2
Price** $39 $38 $70 $30 $18
Model Name & Basics WeMo Switch, Wi-Fi Enabled, Smart Strip 4940 LCG3 LCG3M Energy Saving Surge Protector with Autoswitching Technology, 10-Outlet IDP-3050 - Surge Suppressor with Occupancy Sensor - 8 Outlet - 740 Joule - Dark Grey HS100 Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled Motion Activated Power Socket Electrical Outlet
Watts 1800 W NA NA 500 W 1800 W
Model Details (from Manufacturer)

- Turn appliances and electronics on or off from anywhere

- Set schedules and receive customized notifications

- Ten-outlet surge protector with six-foot cord

- Automatically turns off power when not in use to help save energy

- 8 Outlet  

- Turn electronics on or off from anywhere with your tablet or smart-phone using the free Kasa app (iOS, Android)

- 'Away-Mode' turns devices on and off at different times to give the appearance that someone is home while you are away

- Can check on devices remotely, create schedules, and set timers

- Automatically switch on the power supply when human motion detected

- Automatically switch off power supply after approximately 3 minutes when no further motion is detected

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* Smart Zero Home overall rating based on customer and retailer feedback and our 5 parameter market analyses
** Price is the best price available online, and may include discounted/bargain prices that may not be available everywhere



Also see our post on Connected Home 101 and Target's smart connected home.