Collectors Corner

Posted on Mar 6th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (Addicted)
Posted under Power, Hidden Gems, Power Plugs

When I designed my game room I wanted to have as many systems readily available as possible. To achieve this I had to use several power strips, and video switchers. These along with the consoles and TVs sucked up an alarming amount of electricity and forced me to search for a quick and efficient way to manage the power consumption of my setup.

I started my search by looking at power strips that can be remote controlled. While they allowed me to control the flow of power easily, they were limited to 8 inputs per power strip. This restriction ruled them out as a solution. With the possibility of an all in one solution ruled out I started looking solutions that would compliment my existing power strips. It was then that I came across a gaming setup video by Coury from My Life in Gaming. In his video, he showed power switches from Belkin. I ordered one from Amazon and tested it out. It worked great for quick power access to my TV carts but wouldn't work for the stationary setups I have as power plugs are buried behind entertainment centers. I would have to find another solution.

The Belkin plugs worked great for the carts but is too manual for behind an entertainment console

I started looking at home automation devices and it was there I found a solution to my problem the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi plug by TPLink. As their name suggests these plugs are Wi-Fi enabled allowing me to control them via an app on my phone or by enabling the skill in Alexa. They are sold in pairs for around $35 shipped which is a little pricey but in my opinion worth it. Each plug can handle up to 12 amps which in my case allowed for a 12-port power strip per plug for a total of 24 devices plugged in per setup. I plugged in the essential consoles and items into the first power strip and left the nonessential consoles and items plugged into the second strip. This way I only need to power on the first plug to start playing.

Each plug provides metrics on usage

Setting up the Smart Plugs is quick and easy using the phone app. You can set a name for each plug. Stopping the flow of electricity from each plug is as easy as tapping the power icon to the right of the plug's name. The app allows you to view the total Runtime for today, the past 7 days, and the past 30 days for each plug. If a plug isn't responding swiping down causes the app to refresh the connection with all of the smart plugs.

Powering the plugs off and on is simple and easy to use

Putting a Gaming Set up together requires a lot of planning, especially in regards to power. By using Smart Plugs along with power strips I've created a solution that allows me to only power the devices I want when I want to. Since I installed the plugs I've seen a 7% drop in the electricity used from January to February and that's savings I can use to invest in more games and consoles.

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Looks like I need to look into investing in some smart plugs! I keep all my newer consoles plugged in at all times, but older consoles with big transformer adapters are usually left unplugged until needed. However, having 3 TVs, a PC monitor, multiple powered switchers, many consoles, and other equipment always plugged in and drawing power (even a little bit at a time) is probably using more power than I realize. I should probably do something like this to help maximize usability, while minimizing power draw, to save a few bucks. Good article!
Great article.  I'll have to take a look.
I just recently ordered 4 good quality surge protectors, 2 for my game console/tvs, 1 for my desk and 1 for my girlfriend's desk. They're pretty nice and it gave me a chance to reorganize my cable management. How do you use these wifi plugs, are you putting them before the power bars at the wall outlet? I assume that would be the cheapest way to use them, but i wonder if that would have any effect on the surge protector's ability to protect things...
@techwizard: forgot to link to the surge protectors that i bought, here they are:
@MetalFro: That's a lot of stuff always drawing electricity!  Take your time and plan everything out and make sure to leave room for expansion The wifi plugs worked great for my consoles but for a PC I would recommend an APC UPS so you can gracefully shut down your PC and related components.

@Shaggy: Thanks! It's always a good idea to save on power as the money you save is more money for games.

@techwizard: I have the wifi plugs connected directly into the outlet and the power strips plugged in the wifi plugs. As far as power spikes go I can't say for sure but I would guess that if the voltage was high enough it would fry the wifi plug. The power strip and anything connected to the power strip would be safe.

Here are the wifi plugs I used:

Surge Protectors I used:

Belkin plug I used for the carts:

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