Wednesday, May 18

Time to upgrade your home with a few smart plugs

The world of home automation is full of innovations, from virtual assistants that help us control our devices, to smart thermostats that keep the home nice. But you can also make a “normal” device part of that system; all you need is a smart plug.

Smart plugs (or outlets) can level up your home connectivity. These devices plug into a traditional socket and make it possible to turn a “dumb” device, such as a coffee maker, lamp or fan, into a smart one. Also, some are compatible with voice assistants like Alexa or other devices.

You will be interested in:

How do they work?

Using a smart plug is super easy. You must first plug one into another traditional one. Then you plug another appliance (a lamp or some appliance, for example) into it. Finally, you connect the plug to your favorite virtual assistant, like Alexa or the Google Assistant; you can also connect it to the smart plug app. It then turns on and stops the flow of power to the item you plugged into it via commands sent from an app or a smart home hub and your Wi-Fi network.

What are they used for?

There are so many uses for a smart plug. These are just a few to jump-start your imagination:

  • Turn on the coffee maker before getting out of bed.
  • Control your air conditioning or heater without getting out of your seat.
  • Light lamps even when you are not at home to scare off potential thieves.
  • Turn off the oven, your curling iron or the hair straightener that you left on in your office.
  • Turn on your Christmas lights with a voice command.

What should you consider before buying a smart outlet?

There are several things to consider before purchasing a smart plug.

Voice assistant support: first, make sure it incorporates the type of command system you prefer to use. For example, it would not be a good idea to buy an outlet that only uses its own app if you only use Alexa. Not all of them are compatible with Alexa and Google at the same time, so you should make sure that what you buy does have support for your preferred voice assistant.

Energy monitoring: By connecting a device to this type of smart plug you can find out how much electricity it consumes, something that can be particularly useful if you are looking to change it for a lower consumption model. The plug records how much electricity your appliance uses and then sends a report to your app. Reports vary between apps, but many allow you to see the hours of highest energy use and how much is used over time.

Scheduled power on: Many smart plugs offer the option of setting a schedule to automatically turn an appliance on and off to save electricity. Some smart plugs that do a good job of monitoring power are the WeMo Insight Switch, the Elgato Eve, and the D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug.

Protection against current surges: If you have a work desk or entertainment center, a smart power strip may be a better option rather than an outlet.

Additional plugs: If you don’t have enough outlets at home, it’s also a good idea to get a multi-smart plug.

Location: some plugs or outlets are made for indoor use and some for outdoor use. Among the latter, our favorites include Maxcio, iDevices, and Wasserstein. Indoors, the Satechi Dual Smart Outlet is a great option for HomeKit users. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 It is the most flexible in the world of smart plugs. It can be used with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit and Siri, and the Google Assistant. Do you like none of these options? It also works without the need for a smart hub.

Light bulb brightness control: You can use voice commands or your phone to adjust the brightness of your bulbs, as long as you have a lamp plugged into a smart outlet that supports this option. Example? East leviton model.

Size considerations

Ome smart plugs are somewhat oversized, which means they take up more space than necessary in your home. The size of these devices is sometimes problematic, since it can reduce the number of plugs you have available, so if you do not want to suffer with this, perhaps you should think about a model like the Wemo Mini.


Most smart plugs are in the $ 20- $ 50 range. But manufacturing costs have been lowered, allowing manufacturers to launch better products at a lower price. Of course, the more features smart plugs have, the more expensive they will be.

Editor’s Recommendations