Whether you’re a computer consultant like myself or fall into the category of DIY Home Automation Person, an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is a great piece of hardware to have in your arsenal, even if you don’t suffer from frequent power outages.
I’ve got the CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD UPS 900W AVR Mini-Tower, and have been very happy with it. Whether there is a brown-out, black-out, or I’m doing some wiring that requires me to shut of power at the breaker, I get more than a few minutes with my system before I run out of juice.
The CyberPower with LCD screen is pretty neat, in that it shows you the time remaining left in the battery based on the current current draw. For example, I’ve recently learned that my Dell Monitor sucks up a ton of power, and in the event of a blackout I get more than twice the battery length for the rest of my electronic gear if I turn it off (about 33 minutes with the monitor on and 77 with it off):
In the above shots, you can also see the ISY-994i that I taped to the outside of the desk cabinet, so it’s worth mentioning here that while you can – and should – plug your ISY-994i into a UPS, you should NOT plug in your Insteon PowerLinc Modem, because any UPS device (and some power strips) will interrupt the signal that it uses to communicate on the power lines.
Finally, there’s a pretty cool CyberPower app called PowerPanel that includes a desktop widget so that you can see real-time power stats on your Windows 7 Desktop. The client app can also gracefully power down your computer if the battery is on its last leg and the juice isn’t flowing from the wall.