You might have a vague memory of your parents telling you to unplug all electronics during a thunderstorm. The reason for that was power surges can damage electronics, sometimes fry them completely.
While most modern electronics have built-in power surge protectors, there is still a risk of damage. Especially during significant surges, such as lightning strikes.
In order to reduce the possible damage, it’s best to invest in a surge-protected power lead, especially if your electronics are on for most of the day. Considering the price of computers, chances are you don’t want to take the risk.
Before we discuss our recommended surge protected power leads, it’s important to clarify a couple of things.
For starters, the way surge protectors work is by absorbing excess voltage and blocking it from entering your devices. The problem is the amount of energy they can absorb is limited, so they do need to be replaced from time to time.
Secondly, a good surge protected power lead will vastly improve the life of your important electronics, such as desktop computers, laptops, gaming consoles, and even mobile phones.
The good news is surge protected extensions are very cheap, and if they can give you some peace of mind while prolonging the life of your equipment, then they’re worth it.
We’ll talk more about how to pick a surge protected extension later on.
Best Surge Protected Power Lead:
Now let’s take a look at some recommended surge protected power leads:
– 1 –
BESTEK Individually Switched Extension Lead
If you live in an area that is prone to frequent thunderstorms, then a power surge protected extension lead is important.
The BESTEK extension lead does a great job of protecting important equipment from power spikes. The material is also a fire retardant.
- Colour: White or Black
- Cable Length: 1.8 heavy-duty cable
- 2 power charging USB sockets
The extension has four individual sockets with their own power switches, so you can easily cut off the plugged-in device from the circuit.
Top features are built-in surge protection, short circuit protection, overload protection, over-temperature protection, over current protection. Also has mechanism of protection for kids from accidental electric shock.
One notable feature of this surge protected extension lead is it has wall mounting holes on the rear, a perfect extension for wall-mounted TVs and other displays. You can also choose between white and black.
– 2 –
Pro Elec 4 Way Surge Protected Extension
While this power extension doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as other extensions, it does get the job done. It has four power sockets, each with its own power switch.
There’s only one LED light at the end opposite the cable, which indicates if the surge is receiving power. It does not have lights for each individual socket.
It comes in one colour, white, and the length is one metre. Overall, a decent choice, but not the most feature-rich power surge extension.
– 3 –
Shani Tech 8 Gang Surge Protected Power Extension
For example, a router, modem, TV, PC, monitors, gaming consoles, phone-chargers, and whatnot.
This extension not only protects your electronics from power surges but also provides plenty of sockets, a grand total of 8 sockets. Each socket also has its own red power switch, so you can easily toggle power to certain devices.
The cable length is about two metres, and it also has wall mount sockets on the rear, so you can easily drill it to a wall.
To summarize, if you have a lot of electronics and need 8 power sockets, then this is a great choice for you.
– 4 –
Pro Elec Switched Surge Protected Extension – 10 meter
The Pro Elec offers the same features, four sockets with power switches, but with a wide range of cable lengths. No wall mounts.
One thing to keep in mind is this product does not have LED lights. It has one green light that indicates the surge protection is active. You’ll have to figure out which socket has power based on the position of the switch.
Either of the above-recommended products will do the job, but if you’re looking for some more information, here’s a quick buyers guide.
Now, most importantly, you don’t want to cheap it when it comes to buying a power surge protector. There are plenty of horror stories out there from people who bought a super-cheap product only to have it go up in flames. Investing in a good quality power strip is well worth the investment.
Another thing to keep in mind is not all outlet-extensions are power surge protected. They look identical but you’ll have to look for a “Power Surge” label, usually on the bottom of the product.
Speaking of power surge protection, the level of protection is measured in joules, essentially how much energy can be absorbed. 600 joules and above is considered good, while everything below is average.
If thunderstorms are common in your area, I suggest investing in a power surge protector that has plenty of joules. Also, don’t forget to replace the power surge lead after a year or so.
Overall, a good quality power surge protector will keep your PC and other electronics running for a long time. It’s a very useful tool and highly recommended.
Are Power Surge Protectors Necessary?
You don’t absolutely have to use a power surge protector, but it does provide an extra level of safety and prolongs the life of your electronics. They’re cheap, no downsides, and lots of benefits, so there’s really no good reason to not use them.
Do Power Surge Protectors Save Energy?
While power surges themselves do not actively save energy, they usually come with switches that you can use to easily cut off electricity to electronics. In short, they make it easier for you to save energy, but they won’t do anything on their own.
Are Power Strips also Surge Protectors?
As I mentioned earlier, power strips and surge protectors look very similar, but they’re not the same. You can find power strips with built-in surge protectors, but you will need to double-check. Not every power strip is surge protected.
Where to buy one of these?