Product Review (June 2008)
Tripp Lite - SMART1500LCD Rack/Tower UPS

By Kevin Nakano

When it comes to power backup, Tripp Lite is a name that often comes to mind. The company has a great reputation for providing power protection for PCs and Audio/Video equipment. Tripp Lite has recently introduced the SMART1500LCD Rack/Tower UPS that features 1500VA/900W power capacity and is capable of providing nominal 120V output over a wide input range thanks to the AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation) circuitry. Should the input fall out of this range the unit switches to the battery backup and uses the AC inverter to provide power. This is great news for those with a fluctuating line power. The UPS comes with a 2 year product warranty / $250,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance (USA, Puerto Rico & Canada only).

The display on the SMART1500LCD UPS is easy to read and provides important information for the user. The line voltage is displayed on the top with large numbers. Just below this is the 5-segment battery capacity level. Should the incoming line voltage become unstable, the AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation) will kick in and indicate so on the display. The unit also indicates when the UPS is running on batteries should the line voltage deviate outside of the 75V to 147V range. In the event the batteries fail, a Replace battery indicator will illuminate. Should a fault occur in the UPS, the Fault light will illuminate.

The SMART1500LCD includes rackmount ears allowing the unit to be installed in a standard 19" equipment rack and occupying a standard 2U (3.5") space. There are many instances where placing the UPS vertical would benefit the user. Depending on the orientation of the unit, the display can be moved 90 degrees to make it readable in either position.

There are only two buttons near the display. Holding the Power button down for one second will turn the unit on. In the event no power is connected to the unit, it will cold start and provide AC power to the connected equipment. Holding the Power button once the unit is on will shut-off the UPS. Briefly pressing the Mute/Test button will mute the alarm (unless it is a continuous alarm). Holding the Mute/Test button for more than two seconds will place the UPS in a Self-Test mode. A small slider control on the side of the display adjusts the backlight level from full brightness to off.

Rear Panel
The rear panel of the SMART1500LCD unit has a total of eight NEMA 5-15R protected outlets. All of the outlets are connected to the UPS battery backup in the event of a power problem. A long heavy-duty non-detachable power cable is provided.

The SMART1500LCD has two interfaces for communicating to the unit. The built-in USB and DB9 serial port interfaces (cables included) enables optional unattended system shutdown without data loss in case of extended power failure. The HID-compliant USB interface enables integration with built-in power management and auto shutdown features of Windows and Mac OS X. A pair of RJ-45 jacks are also provided for protecting connected network equipment. A small control that can be adjusted with a screwdriver is provided to set the sensitivity level of the unit to waveform distortion. PowerAlert, a free program designed to manage the UPS, is available for free from the Tripp Lite website (

PowerAlert Software
We downloaded the latest PowerAlert software (Version 12) from the Tripp Lite website and used our laptop to gain access to the SMART1500LCD unit through the USB connection. PowerAlert allows the user to define customized alert parameters for a variety of different events and choose the actions accordingly. The software supports multiple-devices and allows one computer system to manage/monitor more than one UPS per system. The IP based interface allows for network power control from any web-browser. According to Tripp Lite, this is the first software package to support a redundant UPS setup without any extra components.

The Event Log keeps a history of the events that have occurred. All events are logged to PowerAlert's log database with the date, time and description. The system allows for easy review of the power events by date and/or category.

The SMART1500LCD is a heavy unit mainly due to the lead-acid batteries. The design appears solid with an internal fan to keep the electronics cool. I would recommend placing the unit away from listener to avoid audible distractions. Once the battery backup becomes active, the fan level increases to cool the inverter electronics. The run-time on batteries is completely dependent on the amount of power being consumed by the connected devices. When fully charged the UPS can provide a small amount of power (20 Watts) for as long as 294 minutes while larger loads (900 Watts) will expire in 3.5 minutes. We placed a 300W load on the UPS and it ran for about 20 minutes before the warning alarm sounded.

The SMART1500LCD has the ability to correct for non-ideal voltage levels from the utility power and provides stable output voltages over a wide input range. The Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) circuit handles voltages in the range of 75V to 147V. The great part about this design is that the circuits are at work without having to use battery power. In the event the input voltage deviates outside of the AVR range, the UPS (inverter) kicks in and provides battery backup power to the connected components. The graph shows the measured output voltage as a function of the changing input voltage when the AVR is working. The unit's response time from line votage to battery backup is about 2-4 milliseconds. Given the cycle time of AC power (60Hz) is about 16.7 milliseconds, this is impressive.

Tripp Lite's SMART1500LCD Digital Uninterruptible Power Supply offers voltage regulation, surge suppression and long-lasting battery support during blackouts thanks to the high 1500VA/900W capacity. The advanced Automatic Voltage Regulation corrects for line voltage irregularities without having to resort to the battery backup. Eight protected outlets are provided to keep your components online and protected. The large LCD front panel is easy to read and provides important unit status. With a street price of less than $200 and a full 2-year product warranty, the SMART1500LCD is relatively inexpensive and provides peace of mind.

- Kevin Nakano

OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player

Review System

Projector: Mitsubishi HC5000 Full 1080p High-Definition LCD Projector
Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100" FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall
Video Processor/Scaler: Anchor Bay Technologies DVDO iScan HD+ A/V Processor
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management: Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: Dish Network ViP622 HDTV Satellite and Terrestrial Receiver with HDMI
Blu-ray DVD Player: Sony PlayStation3 with HDMI
HD-DVD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player with HDMI
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
DVD Player: OPPO Digital OPDV971H DVD Player with DVI Output
D-VHS VCR: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
Media Server: Kenwood Sovereign MRH1 Entre
Remote Control: Remote Technologies Inc. T4 Controller
HDMI Cable: VizionWare Hi-Wirez 15-meter Active 1080p Cable
HDMI Cable: Accell UltraRun 45-meter 1080p Cable
DVI Cable: AudioQuest DV-1 20m DVI-D Cable
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables

Review at a glance

Tripp Lite - SMART1500LCD 1500VA/900 Watt UPS


  • LCD Display indicates input voltage, battery capacity and a variety of operating conditions. Display is rotatable for easy viewing whether UPS is in vertical or horizontal position.
  • SMART1500LCD Digital Uninterruptible Power Supply offers voltage regulation, surge suppression and long-lasting battery support during blackouts.
  • Supports entry-level PCs or single VCR/DVR components during blackouts.
  • Regulates brownouts and overvoltages from 75V to 147V back to usable levels without using battery power.
  • 8 UPS battery-supported outlets.
  • Included DB9 serial and USB monitoring port and cable enables unattended shutdown in the case of extended power failure.
  • HID-compliant USB port enables full integration with built-in power management and auto shutdown features of Windows and Mac OS X.
  • PowerAlert software available via free download from
  • Set of phone/network protection jacks protects a single dialup/DSL phone line or network Ethernet connection.
  • 1500VA/900W power handling ability supports a variety of sensitive computer, home theater and other equipment.
  • 3.5 min. full load runtime (1500VA/900W); 13 min. half-load runtime (750VA/450W).
  • Cabinet adapts to tower or rackmount shelf format. Rackmount installation brackets for 2U installation included.
  • 2-year product warranty.
  • $250,000 connected equipment insurance (USA & Canada Only).


System overview:
1500VA line-interactive UPS
Voltage compatibility:
120 VAC
Frequency compatibility:
Output volt amp capacity (VA):
Output watt capacity (watts):
Output nominal voltage:
120 VAC
Output voltage regulation:
BATTERY MODE: PWM sine wave 115V +/-5%
Output frequency regulation:
LINE MODE: Passes line frequency of 60Hz +/-10% BATTERY MODE: Inverter output regulated to 60Hz +/-0.5Hz
Outlet quantity / type:
8 NEMA 5-15R
Overload protection:
10A input circuit breaker
Maximum input amps:
Input connection type:
NEMA 5-15P
Input cord length:
6 ft./1.8m
Recommended electrical service:
120V 15A
Full load runtime:
3.5 min. (900W)
Half load runtime:
13 min. (450W)
Typical battery lifespan:
4-6 years (depending on usage)
Battery recharge rate:
2-8 hours to 90%
Voltage regulation description:
Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) circuits maintain clean, regulated computer-grade 120V nominal output, without using battery power, during brownouts to 75V and overvoltages to 147V
Overvoltage correction:
Input voltages between 128VAC and 147VAC are reduced by 12%
Brownout correction:
Input voltages between 93VAC and 107VAC are boosted by 14%
Severe brownout correction:
Input voltages between 75VAC and 92VAC are boosted by 30%
Front panel LEDs:
Front panel LCD screen with blue backlight offers continuous input line voltage data, plus UPS status information on line power status, battery power status, battery charge level and voltage regulation operation
Audible alarm with 15-second delay sounds to indicate loss of utility power. Alarm can be silenced by pressing front panel alarm cancel button. Once silenced, alarm will re-sound when approximately 2 minutes runtime remain.
Includes 2 front panel switches - one main on/off power switch and one dual-function "alarm cancel"/"self test" button
AC surge suppression:
480 joules
AC suppression response time:
Dataline suppression:
Tel/DSL or Ethernet
EMI / RFI AC noise suppression:
Shipping weight (lbs):
Shipping weight (kg):
Unit weight (lbs):
Unit weight (kg):
Unit Dimensions (HWD/in):
Tower format: 17.25 x 3.5 x 10.5 / Rackmount Shelf format: 3.5 x 17.25 x 10.5
Unit Dimensions (HWD/cm):
Tower format: 43.8 x 8.9 x 26.7 / Rackmount Shelf format 8.9 x 43.8 x 26.7
Shipping Dimensions (HWD/in):
7 x 14.5 x 21
Shipping Dimensions (HWD/cm):
17.8 x 53.3 x 36.8
Material of construction:
Form factors supported:
Cooling method:
Operating Temperature:
+32 to +104 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 to +40 degrees Celsius
Storage Temperature:
+5 to +122 degrees Fahrenheit / -15 to +50 degrees Celsius
Relative Humidity:
0 to 95%, non-condensing
Network monitoring port:
DB9 and USB(HID)
Software and cabling included:
USB cabling included, PowerAlert software available for free download at
WatchDog compatibility:
Yes, compatible with Tripp Lite's Watchdog system service to restore operation to locked equipment through soft reboot of application/OS or hard power off/on reboot of connected equipment; ideal for unattended kiosk applications
Transfer time from line power to battery mode:
2-4 milliseconds
Low voltage transfer to battery power:
Switches to battery power as line voltage decreases to 75V or less, switches back to AC mode as line voltage increases to 79V or higher
High voltage transfer to battery power:
Switches to battery mode as line voltage increases to 147V or higher, switches back to AC mode as line voltage decreases to 143V or lower
Tested to UL1778 (USA), CSA C22.2 No. 107.3 (Canada), NOM (Mexico), Class B (Emissions), FCC part 68 and Industry Canada (Telecommunications)
Product warranty:
2-year product warranty
Connected equipment insurance (USA and Canada Only):
$250,000 connected equipment insurance (USA and Canada only)
Optional coverage:
3 Year: WEXT3-500-1500, 5 Year: WEXT5-500-1500
Cold Start:
Yes, inverter can be "cold started" to enable temporary AC output during a power failure
Attractive black color scheme

Package Contents

  • SMART1500LCD Digital UPS
  • USB and phone cabling
  • Mounting hardware
  • Manual with warranty information
  • Product Description

    Owner's Manual

    Runtime Chart

    Company Information
    Tripp Lite World Headquarters
    1111 W. 35th Street
    Chicago, IL 60609 USA

    Model Number: SMART1500LCD
    MSRP: $259, Street <$200

    Phone: 773-869-1111
    Fax: 773-869-1329
    Ordering: 773-869-1797
    Customer Support: 773-869-1234


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