Converting your home into a smart home does not necessarily mean getting rid of your “dumb” appliances and devices. You can switch little by little, one device at a time. And sometimes, all you really need to get started is to get a smart plug.
To set up a smart plug, plug it into an outlet, plug in the device you want to automate, and download the dedicated app on your phone. Pair the plug with the device through the app. You can also pair it with your smart speaker so you can turn your devices on or off by issuing voice commands.
This article will talk more about smart plugs, their features, and how they work. You will also have an easy step-by-step guide on setting one up and how to get started.
What Is a Smart Plug?
Smart plugs or Wi-Fi plugs are a great way to get started if you want to convert your home into an energy-efficient smart home.
With a smart plug, you don’t need to get rid of all your non-smart devices and buy smart ones all in one go.
There are ordinary devices and appliances that you can convert by simply plugging them into a smart plug.
A smart plug is a small adaptor that you can plug into any regular electric socket on your wall, and you can connect it to your Wi-Fi network.
It comes with a dedicated app that you can install on your smartphone or tablet, and you can remotely control whatever device you decide to plug into it through this app.
How Does a Smart Plug Work?
A smart plug will make it easy for you to control and automate your small, non-smart appliances and devices at home.
The most basic function it can perform is to allow you to turn your device on or off remotely by cutting off its power supply using its dedicated app on your smartphone or tablet.
Just imagine being in bed and suddenly remembering you haven’t turned the lights on your Christmas tree off for the night, which makes it a fire hazard.
You don’t need to get up and head downstairs because you can use your smartphone to do the job and turn off your smart plug.
And even if you’re already out of the house, you can check the smart plug app to make sure you didn’t leave anything on.
No more going back or beating yourself up while you’re in the office just because you forgot whether you turned your fan off or whether you unplugged your flat iron. Smart plugs also help make sure you don’t go home to a dark and cold house.
The ability to control certain devices and appliances remotely can also help make your home safe. So even if you are away on a trip, being able to turn your plug on and light up your house can deter would-be burglars and discourage break-ins.
Other Advanced Smart Plug Features
Some brands also allow you to set schedules for your smart plugs. The plug can automatically turn on and off at specific times, so even if you forget about certain devices or appliances, the plug’s got you covered.
There are also smart plugs that let you monitor your energy consumption. This way, you’d know which appliances eat up so much electricity and which ones are energy-efficient.
Then some check the temperature of your wall electric socket to keep it from overheating.
If you have a smart speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can also get a smart speaker to connect it with. This means that you will be able to control your smart plug by issuing voice commands.
Because smart plugs come in different shapes and sizes and are made by different manufacturers, you need to consider the different features and capabilities they offer. Pick ones that offer you the features and connectivity options that you need.
Does a Smart Plug Need Wi-Fi?
You will need a stable and strong Wi-Fi connection for your smart plug to work. For one, your smart plug gives you the ability to control your plugged-in devices through a dedicated mobile app, and your plug and app can only communicate with each other via a wireless internet connection.
Setting Up a Smart Plug
Setting up a smart plug is simple and easy. Your smart plug will come with a setup instruction guide, and all you really need to do is follow the steps.
These steps may vary in different smart plug brands, but the basics are the same:
- Plug your smart plug into a wall socket. The adaptor would be chunky against the flat electric outlet, so you might need to move some of your furniture to give more clearance slightly.
- Download the manufacturer’s or brand’s app on your smartphone. Your smart plug manufacturer has a dedicated mobile app, and you can get it from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Through this app, you can receive more information about how to use your smart plug. After downloading, set up your account.
- Pair your smart plug with the app. When your app is ready, it will give you a selection of smart products offered by your manufacturer. So, select the name for your smart plug. You will then receive a series of instructions on how to go about pairing your app with your smart plug.
- Connect your plug to your home Wi-Fi network. Pairing your app and your smart plug will also involve connecting your device to your home’s wireless network. Your app and your plug will communicate through the internet, so both your smartphone and your plug must access a wireless network. Your app’s step-by-step guide on pairing also includes instructions on how to connect your plug to your Wi-Fi.
- Plugin your non-smart device to your smart plug. Plugin the device or appliance you wish to automate. You can label or name your device, so you don’t confuse it with other devices you may wish to automate via smart plug later. Some smart plug apps even allow you to take photos of your devices to make it easier and more convenient for you.
- Connect your plug to your smart speaker. If you have a smart speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can connect it to your smart plug. This way, you can control your smart plug by issuing voice commands. That means you don’t need to whip your smartphone out to turn it on or off when you’re at home. You can say it out loud to Alexa or Google Assistant, and they’d relay the message to your smart plug.
Here’s a video showing how you could set up a smart plug by Powertech:
And here’s another video on setting up a smart plug by TP-Link:
If you have an Amazon smart plug, you can set it up by following the instructions here.
Here’s a video on how to connect your smart plug to your Amazon Echo or Google Home:
A smart plug gives you an easy, convenient, and affordable way to automate your home. It gives your non-smart devices or appliances a new life and a way to become a part of your smart home.
That means you don’t need to throw your old appliances out just because they’re not smart.
By getting a smart plug, you will be able to connect these dumb appliances to your internet and even to your smart speakers and control them remotely through your smartphone.