Slaying Your Worst Electricity Vampire

To the rescue is a smart device called a "Programmable Power Outlet", that sells for under $20.

In this video and article, we discuss:

  • How it Works

  • Benefits


The "Programmable Power Outlet" is a small device that you plug an appliance into, and then it automatically provides power in accordance with the times that you have programmed in. The device can be plugged directly into a wall outlet, or it can be plugged into an extension cord or power strip (helpful accessory: energy saving outlets).

So for example if you have set your DVR to record a show at 2pm in the afternoon, then you can program the Programmable Power Outlet to come on10 minutes before 2pm (to give the DVR box time to warm up) and then it can be programmed to turn back off for after your recording is scheduled to be finished.

The Programmable Power Outlet has a heavy-duty design, so that it can handle the load of multiple appliances. Being rated to handle up to 15 amps, you can also plug your TV and gaming consoles along with your DVR box into the device, and save all of them from sucking vampire power when they are in standby.

You can program in up to 14 settings, with a total of 98 on/off events. And these events can be can be programmed daily or weekly. The device also has an “ON / OFF” override button on it, so that you can still turn your appliances on when you need them.

In addition, the device has a "random" mode, so you can use it to control lights when you are on vacation, to give your home a "lived in" look to deter burglars.


This device has a number of great features. First, at under $20, it is a good value. Next, you can program it at the same time you program your DVR, even if you want to record on a daily or weekly basis. Furthermore, it has an simple ON / OFF button so you can easily over-ride the settings, without disturbing them. Lastly, it has a battery back-up, so that if there is a power failure at your home, you don’t have to re-program the device.

However, for some people, they may find that the digital display is a bit on the small side.


If your DVR model is a big hog (like some of the Motorola models which can consume up to a whooping 28 watts when they are in standby), even if you never turn it on, it would still be costing you around $50 per year in vampire electricity use.

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