Easily Upgrade Your Home With a Smart Plug
Automation is starting to take over our lives, but it also makes some things easier. Nowadays, we have smartphones, smart TVs, smart washing machines, smart lights, smart plugs, and more. The smart home industry is taking off, and many companies are showcasing their products, and how they can help us at home.
Even if you can’t afford to upgrade everything in your home to a smart appliance, you can still ensure they are energy-efficient. How? By using a smart plug.
What is a Smart Plug?
Smart plugs are a smart home device that is plugged into your wall outlet and is usually controlled by an app. This allows you to control whatever you plug into it remotely. Think of it this way, it acts as a “middleman” between the device or appliance you plug directly into an outlet.
The convenience of using a smart plug is that it can help you automate your home even when you are away. You can start your day off by inserting your coffee machine into a smart plug, and then you can make your coffee by switching it on through your phone as you get ready. Then at night, you can plug your lamps into the smart plug. This turns your boring old lamp into a smart light, which is excellent for home security.
When you plug something into a smart plug, it will be turned on in order for you to access and control it through whatever app you’re using. You should be aware of this and know where each appliance’s physical on/off switch is in case you need to access it.
A mechanical switch is a switch that physically states on and off. Think of it as a toggle switch or a flip switch that we usually see in lamps these days. An electronic switch is a button that toggles between on and off. An example of this is the power button on a laptop or smartphone. An electronic switch uses the circuit board memory to know whether the next press is on or off.
If you plan on buying an appliance and plugging it into the smart plug, make sure it has the right switch. Not sure about the switch the device has? The quickest way to test it is by turning it on, unplugging it while it’s on and plugging it back it. If it doesn’t turn back on, then it won’t work with the smart outlet.
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Pairing Smart Plugs with Smart Assistants
Having a smart assistant, like a Google Home or Amazon Alexa, is becoming increasingly common. So, it only makes sense that you can pair your smart plug with your assistant. They can schedule your appliances that are hooked up to your smart plugs, and easily turn them on and off.
Kasa Smart Plug Mini Outlet
The Kasa Smart Plug Mini Outlet is compatible with Echo, IOS, and Google assistants. The best feature of this smart plug is that it doesn’t need a hub to work; all it needs is a Wi-fi connection. This is probably the most compact smart plug on the market. With a thickness of 1.5 inches, these smart plugs blend in with your outlet, and the small size makes it portable.
Kasa Smart Power Strip (6 WiFi Outlets)
If you want to use multiple plus with energy monitoring, the Kasa Smart Power Strip is the best smart plug on the market. It works with Amazon Echo, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google assistants. It doesn’t need a hub for it to work; all it needs is WiFi. Unlike other smart plugs, the Kasa Smart Power Strip has 6 WiFi outlets with surge protection, and it has three USB Ports.
By using the Kasa Smart App, you can control the smart plug anywhere, set schedules, and monitor how much energy is being used by the devices that are plugged into it. If some devices take too much power, you can turn it off through the app.
WeMo Insight Smart Plug
The WeMo Insight Smart Plug is compact, cheap (only $35 USD on Amazon), and it lets you control lights and appliances using the WeMo App. The WeMo Insight Smart Plug also works on Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers without needing a hub. In the app, you can monitor energy usage in real-time. It also has a great feature called “Away Mode” which will randomly turn lights on and off when you aren’t at home for additional security.
There are many options right now to upgrade appliances in your home. Smart plugs may not be as popular and as other smart home devices, but they provide a great alternative for energy efficient living.