'

Now there's a switch: New Belkin surge protector timed to power down certain outlets

This post is about one of those small gadgets that could make a lot of difference when it comes to your Green IT profile: a surge protector with a timer.Belkin's new Conserve Surge with Timer, which carries a retail price of $34.

This post is about one of those small gadgets that could make a lot of difference when it comes to your Green IT profile: a surge protector with a timer.

Belkin's new Conserve Surge with Timer, which carries a retail price of $34.99 (about $7 more than a typical surge protector) is pretty much what you would expect: an eight-outlet strip; two of the outlets are always on, the other six can be controlled and switched off with a button. Whenever the strip is turned on, it will automatically turn off the power to those controllable outlets after an 11-hour cycle (or about the time someone might be hunkered down at their desk). An LED will blink if you're approaching shutdown.

Cliff Unger, senior product manager for Belkin, says the motivation for the product was pretty simple. Make it easier for businesses to ensure that as much computer equipment (speakers, monitors, printers, scanners) as possible is turned off at night. Typically, you would plug the CPU into one of the always-on outlets, so that piece of equipment will still be sipping away at the electricity overnight and on the weekends when you're hopefully not there. But heck, it's a start. And since most people buy power strips anyway, it's a green selling point for Belkin.