Smart Plugs: The First Step Toward a Smarter Home

Smart Plugs: The First Step Toward a Smarter Home
May 16

An advanced residence doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Smart plugs are an easy and inexpensive choice to transform dumb home appliances, lights and other electronic devices into smart. Smart because you would no longer need to physically turn them on or off. The total control will be from your smart phone and you would be able to do much more than just turning them off or on. Installation and the use of smart plugs is very simple and easy. However, which one is the best for you could be a little difficult when buying. Here are a few suggestions that you can consider for selecting a right smart plug for you.

What Is a Smart Plug?

A smart plug can be advertised as smart outlets, smart switches, smart plugs, Wi-Fi plugs or other variation. Basically, these plugs directly plug into any wall outlet or power smart. Smart plug will have its own outlet. You plug-in the device you want to automate into the smart plug’s outlet. If your wall outlet is having 2 outlets, by plugging in a smart plug in one of these outlets, you will not lose any of your outlets. It will just make that outlet smart which has the smart plug plugged in by connecting it to your home Wi-Fi network.

The first thing you should think about is in which of those wall outlets you want to place the smart plug? Smart plug design is also a thing to consider. While most of the round shape smart plugs are compact in size, still 2 round shape smart plugs won’t plug in into your wall outlet. You are going to need rectangular smart plugs as two of these would fit into your wall switch just perfectly.

Another important thing to take into consideration is the watts. Most of the smart plugs support devices up-to 1200 watts whereas a few can support devices up-to 2000 watts. So based on which device you are going to control with the smart plug, you have to make a decision based on the power used by the connected device.

What smart plugs can do? In other words what features are available is also important to consider. Other than remote control, almost every smart plug have common features like ‘Scene’, ‘Scheduling’ and ‘Timer’. ‘Scene’ lets multiple devices to work together. You can create scenes based on conditions such as temperature, humidity and sunrise or sunset time. On the other hand, if you simply want your device to get on or off at a scheduled time, you can do this using ‘Scheduling’ feature. ‘Timers or Countdown’ will turn your device on or off at a preset time. You should consider buying smart plugs with energy monitoring feature if you are concerned about tracking the energy usage, controlling and saving energy. Smart plugs with energy monitoring feature will cost you 10 - 20 percent more than the plugs without energy monitoring feature.

Now, if you have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home placed at home, choosing a smart plug that will pair with these voice assistants is inevitable. Compatibility with these voice assistants will make your devices even smarter as you can control the devices with your voice.

So, as a beginner for smart home, smart plugs are the best choice for every home. Hopefully, this article will help you figure out what you want to achieve and thus choose a smart plug accordingly.

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