What is this magical device, you say? It’s a smart plug, and it can transform the way you interact with the devices and appliances in your home. If you’re just dipping your toe into the world of smart home technology, or you can only afford a couple smart home products, smart plugs are a great place to start, as they’re inexpensive. Many brands work with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT. Here’s everything you need to know about smart plugs.
Smart plugs, like power cords and cable adapters, lack the sexiness of other smart home products. After all, they’re just… plugs. Nonetheless, they’re still beneficial and definitely worthy of adding to your home automation plans. They can make your life easier, save you time and money, and give you added peace of mind, depending on your situation or setup.
Many smart plugs come with an Away mode, which will make your lights plug on and off at random intervals, making it look like someone’s at home when the house is actually empty. This could help to ward off would-be intruders and improve your home security.
Smart plugs are great for automating everyday kitchen devices. You can start your day with your coffee machine already working, or your tea kettle already boiled. If you like to slow-cook, you can load up your Crock-Pot in the morning and switch it on with your smartphone from work.
Smart plugs can put a dent in your energy bills by automatically turning off appliances like your TV and cable box, which consume energy in standby mode, when you're not home. With Alarm.com, you can have them switch off when you arm your security system, in the same way that your smart thermostat sets back.
Instructions aren't fantastic, but if you're buying this to hook up your lights, here's how you need to do (Android)
- plug it in near your wifi router - only 2.4G is supported
- Connect your phone to your 2G wifi network
- EIther scan the QR code, or just go to the google play store and find the "Smart Life" app
- Download, install, add yourself a user/password
- Make sure the light is flashing on the front of the power plug, if it's not, hold down the button for 10 seconds until it does
- Add a new device in the app, pick electrical outlet
- You may have to type in your wifi password, again, make sure you're using your 2G SSID
- Hopefully it finds it, and adds it. There's two independent ports, you can give them each a name to control easily
- Move it to where you want it to be working
- Check it still works from the app by turning lights on/off. You can also set an automatic schedule in here to have it turn on at 4pm, and off at 10pm (for example).
- Open up your alexa app
- Go to skills and search for the Smart Life app
- Install the smart life app skill and supply the username/password you created earlier.
- It'll find your two outlets, feel free to rename them here to something easy
- Once it's done you can now ask "Alexa, turn on the Lights"