12 best extension leads you can buy in 2022 | The Sun

12 best extension leads you can buy in 2022 | The Sun

The amount of gadgetry and devices around our homes requiring power is mind-boggling and ever growing.

This means without a couple of extension leads to hand you’re going to be running around your house maniacally plugging and unplugging like a telephone switchboard operator from the fifties.

Extension leads enable you to power and charge multiple devices and appliances, as well as allowing some electrical items, like free-standing lighting, to be located further away from the power sockets.   

Extension leads are getting smarter too, with many allowing you to control individual sockets. This not only helps with versatility but can help you keep your energy bills down in a time of soaring costs.

When choosing an extension lead, there are two main things to consider: the number of sockets you require and the length of the extension lead.

Best extension leads at a glance

  • Best smart extension lead: TP-Link KP-303 Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip
  • Best wall-mounted extension lead: TISDLIP 3 Gang Power Strip
  • Best USB-equipped extension lead: PIBEEX Power Adapter 
  • Best space-saving lead: PRITEK Vertical Power Strip
  • Best value interior extension lead: Mscien 4 Outlet Extension Lead 
  • Best value external extension lead: Masterplug Weatherproof 4 Socket Extension Lead 
  • Best extension lead for outdoor electrical: Netagon Outdoor Extension Lead
  • Best basic extension lead: Masterplug Extension Lead
  • Best desktop organiser: BEVA 4 Way Extension Lead
  • Best for travelling: Addtam Extension Lead
  • Best workshop extension lead: PRO-XT Worklight Extension Lead
  • Best for hard-to-reach wall sockets: Energenie Radio Controlled Extension Lead

Best smart extension lead: TP-Link KP-303 Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip

  • TP-Link KP-303 Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip, £29.99 from Argos – buy here

This lead not only allows you to extend the reach of your home devices, but you can also power them on and off remotely. 

Well-suited to turning free-standing home lighting into smart lighting at the touch of a button, each smart socket can be turned off remotely and in isolation of the others using the Kasa app, which is user-friendly and intuitive.  

Schedules and timers can also be set making it a good option for home security so you can schedule lights to come on when you’re away from home, using the app, or just use the app to control them. You can give each plug a locator name too, so you know exactly what device your turning off, or which light you’re turning on. 

The app also gives you the option to turn connected devices on via voice commands and the whole Power Strip connects easily via WiFi and doesn’t require its own hub, which really simplifies and streamlines set-up. 

Alexa or Google Assistant compatible, the only slight drawback is the lead length, at 1.8m, but if you’re looking for a smart extension lead they don’t come much brighter than this one.   

Cord length: 1.8m Dimensions: H6.34 x W3.86 x D26cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes

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Best wall-mounted extension lead: TISDLIP 3 Gang Power Strip

  • TISDLIP 3 Gang Power Strip, £17.99 from Amazon – buy here

If you want to keep the floor underneath a desk free from clutter then this three-socket lead is designed to be fixed to a wall so you can run a computer, printer and a landline from it all at the same time.

If you are just using it as a cable caddy around a desk, it’s likely you won’t need too much trailing wire so you have 1.8m to play with, which should be plenty to get the mainboard located and mounted for easy access.

Sockets on the mainboard are individually controlled by switches which are set back from the socket, enabling easy transitions from on to off and the spring-loaded switches were good quality – we’ve had some problems in the past with poor quality switches with springs that snap after extended use, rendering the socket itself useless. 

With good distance between the sockets themselves, it’s easy to get plugs in and out and wall mounting is a simple affair. 

Cord length: 1.8m Dimensions: 26 x 5.8 x 2.7cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes 

Best USB-equipped extension lead: PIBEEX Power Adapter 

  • PIBEEX Power Adapter, £14.99 from Amazon – buy here

This 3-outlet unit is also supplied with 3 USB ports, so you can charge your smart device without being a socket down, however, it does a little more than just charge and is able to tailor the current to each port, according to the device plugged into it. 

So, the current going to each will depend on whether you are charging a power bank, smartphone, tablet, e-reader or a Bluetooth speaker, protecting the device itself, saving on power and adding to the overall safety of the lead itself, which also has flame retardancy built in.  

The whole lead can be wall mounted for easy access and there is a mains switch on the main board itself to turn the whole unit off for convenience and power saving. 

Cord length: 1.6m Dimensions: 35 x 8.3 x 5.6 cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes 

Best space-saving lead: PRITEK Vertical Power Strip

  • PRITEK Vertical Power Strip, £29.99 from Amazon – buy here

If you’re looking to locate a lead behind furniture in the corner of a room or just behind a media unit, this vertical extension lead is equipped with 12 outlets, which are all surge protected. 

It could even stand on a desktop and not be too obtrusive and you would also be able to take advantage of the five USB ports for direct charging of devices.    

The octagonal shape means that cable distribution is much easier so that everything will look much neater and you won’t have too much cable riot going on. 

There are two switches to control the front six outlets plus the USB ports and another to control the further six outlets, which adds to the safety and energy-saving features of the unit itself. 

Added to this is the 2m power cord, which allows you plenty of options in terms of placement. 

Cord length: 2m, Dimensions: 5.47 x 5.47 x 8.9 cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes. 

Best value for money extension lead: Mscien 4 Outlet Extension Lead 

  • Mscien 4 Outlet Extension Lead, £21.49 from Amazon – buy here

You may just want an extension lead for its original purpose to power multiple devices without having to pay for the added feature of USB charging and this unit offers four-way power at an excellent price. 

Nicely designed from flame retardant plastic and offering ample room to get multiple plugs in, each socket is individually serviced with an LED to show that it’s in use and a brightly coloured toggle switch so you can be more in control of saving energy. This also means that you don’t need to keep taking plugs in and out of the unit itself. 

Added to this is a generous 2m long power cord, which adds to the usability of the product itself.  

Cord length: 2m, Dimensions: 28 x 6 x 3cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes

Best value external extension lead: Masterplug Weatherproof 4 Socket Extension Lead 

  • Masterplug Weatherproof 4 Socket Extension Lead, £17.59 from Amazon – buy here

If you want to power outdoor electrical equipment this four-gang lead sits snugly in its own waterproof and weather-resistant box to ensure you’ll be able to totally weatherproof the unit so you can confidently turn on the power whenever it’s needed.  

So, whether it’s individual strings of outdoor lights, festoon lighting, a hot tub or even a swimming pool pump and filter the housing will ensure that all the electrics are kept watertight. 

There are several mounting options so you can keep the box up on a wall or on a wooden fence and out of the way and the 8m cable means that you can run it right up to the unit that you’re trying to power, lessening cable trail across the garden. 

Plus, you can remove the extension lead from the box at any time, if you’d rather use the four-way unit indoors.   

Cord length: 8m, Dimensions: 12 x 19 x 30cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes

Best extension lead for outdoor electrical equipment: Netagon Outdoor Extension Lead

  • Netagon Outdoor Extension Lead, £39.99 from Amazon – buy here

The first thing you’ll notice about this product is the long leash (25m) which makes it the ideal power source for electrical garden equipment. The lead will extend the reach of mowers, strimmers and trimmers so you can get complete coverage and extend your working area. 

The housing itself is a robust plastic with soft latex seals for the plug points so you get a very good seal to ensure no dust or debris gets in. For added security, each IP54-rated outlet has its own weatherproof casing that clicks into place to create secure housing over each plug. 

The bright colour means that it’s always easy to locate and the carry handle makes for ease of use when working outdoors and the spindle is efficient so you don’t have to waste time sorting out lots of unruly cord tangles as you move around the garden. 

There’s also added security with a Thermal Cut Out that will keep the user safe and prevent overloading. 

Cord length: 25m, Dimensions: 33 x 27 x 21cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes. 

Best basic extension lead: Masterplug Extension Lead

  • Masterplug Extension Lead, £13.65 from Amazon – buy here

Before your house was invaded by gadgets needing USB charging points extension leads were purely there to increase the socket count in your house so that you could turn a single or double power outlet into something more versatile.   

Well, we’ve got good news for you because these leads do still exist and Masterplug makes an excellent one which is surge-protected, wall-mountable and offers four extra sockets and 2 metres of cord.

The main board has good socket separation and a power light will tell you that the lead is live and ready to power up your chosen devices.  

Cord length: 2m, Dimensions: 55 x 26 x 25cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes

Best desktop organiser: BEVA 4 Way Extension Lead

  • BEVA 4 Way Extension Lead, £21.99 from Amazon – buy here

This is a clever little cube from BEVA, which seems ideally suited to a desktop with its 4 AC outlets situated on each vertical face of the cube to give you plenty of options.  

The easy push, on/off switches at the top of the cube makes it easy to switch the whole lead off so you can ensure you’re not consuming any more energy than you actually need to. 

The design is good with a nice stable base and easy plug fittings so you won’t have to struggle to get plugs in and out and risk spilling your morning coffee everywhere. 

The whole unit is protected so that if you do inadvertently overload, it will simply cut out so that you can safely reset, rather than blowing a household fuse and plunging your office into darkness. 

Cord length: 1.5m, Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.4 x 8.9 cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes

Best for travelling: Addtam Extension Lead

  • Addtam Extension Lead, £29.99 from Amazon – buy here

This lead comes with a USB-C charger amongst its four ports so you can ensure that if your smart phone is running low on charge and you need a rapid battery boost before you run for your flight then you can plug it in here and make use of the rapidity of USB-C. 

The braided cable coils easily in a rucksack or other hand luggage and the 1.8m cable length means that it’s easy to plug into a power socket in a flight terminal or café, even if you’re not sitting right by it. 

Added to this are the other USB-A ports and the two sockets that you can use when you get to your hotel room or other destination to maximise the number of plug-ins available to you. At just over 470g It’s also lightweight and so won’t weigh you down, no matter where you’re headed. 

Cord length: 1.8m, Dimensions: 11.6 x 10.6cm, Surge Protection: No 

Best workshop extension lead: PRO-XT Worklight Extension Lead

  • PRO-XT Worklight Extension Lead, £48.99 from Amazon – buy here

Not only will this product power all the tools you’ll need for your next DIY project it will floodlight your handiwork too, thanks to its 500-lumen LED light, which works independently and is ready to light up as soon as the lead is plugged into mains power.

The four well-spaced sockets provide ample opportunity to have a number of tools at your disposal and the unit can roam 5m from the original power source thanks to a nice, long lead that is reeled in the back to keep cabling from curling around your feet while you’re working. 

Cord length: 5m, Dimensions: 33.8 x 28 x 60cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge Protection: Yes

Best for hard-to-reach wall sockets: Energenie Radio Controlled Extension Lead

  • Energenie Radio Controlled Extension Lead, £30 from Argos – buy here

If you have inaccessible sockets hidden behind furniture or in a bedroom, you can give them a new lease of life with this extension lead which is completely radio controlled. 

All you have to do is plug in the required devices once and then you can revert to the ergonomic handheld control to turn them on and off at will, with a small indicator light above each socket to let you know which ones are active. 

The cord length is a modest 1.8m, but this doesn’t really matter as once the lead is in situ, the remote control does all the hard work and its emitting radio frequency will pass through plenty of obstacles and has a reach of between 15-30 metres. Excellent price and a one-year guarantee. 

Cord length: 1.8m, Dimensions: 55 x 26 x 25cm, Max Wattage: 2500W, Surge protection: Yes

What are the best extension leads?

The best leads will always have a rated capacity that should be easy to read on the back of the main board.

If a lead doesn’t have this you should really avoid it as it will be unsafe to use as you won’t know what its energy capacity will be when you’re plugging devices into it.  

Are extension leads safe?

Maxing out any extension lead should only happen when you know the appliances aren’t going to overload the main socket where the power is being drawn from. Generally, that means no more than 3,000 watts per socket. 

As a general guide, appliances like kettles, irons, tumble dryers, hairdryers, washing machines, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners all use well over 2000w when in use and so should be plugged directly into a power outlet.  

It’s also rarely safe to plug one extension lead into another, a process called “daisy-chaining” because this will significantly raise the risk of overloading the circuit.  

Are extension leads waterproof? 

Not all leads are waterproof, so you need to check the IP rating.

This stands for Ingress Protection and as a rule of thumb if you’re looking for a waterproof extension lead it has to be at least IP54 rated so that it’s watertight. Anything higher than this will have even more protection.  

Do extension leads need surge protection?

A lead with surge protection will limit the voltage from an unexpected spike in voltage, in case you accidentally overload your lead or if one is caused by a sudden energy spike above the designated level in the flow of electricity. 

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