What Can You Use Smart Plugs For?
There are more smart plugs in use around the world today than ever before, largely because of the uptake of their use in the home. Essentially, Wifi smart plugs work by being pushed into an entirely conventional electrical power socket and having other devices connect to them. Unlike a dedicated smart device, such as a smart TV or fridge, a smart plug will allow you to turn any electrical appliance into one that can be operated or monitored remotely.
The most common way of doing this is to communicate with the smart plug over a standard Wi-Fi connection. Then, you can use a smartphone or tablet to ‘talk’ to the plug and give it instructions. For example, you could use it to turn your microwave on to cook your breakfast for you while you are still in bed.
Equally, you might use it to turn your air-conditioning unit off when you are out and about. Perhaps you won’t be coming home as soon as you had previously thought or the weather has changed so it is no longer a good idea to keep it running, this is the beauty of smart home devices. With a smart plug connecting appliances to the power, this sort of control is at your fingertips whether you connect directly over your home’s network or via the internet.
However, there are many more things you can use smart plugs for other than simply switching appliances on and off remotely. What are some of the best ones that you might want to start making use of today? Read on to find out.
- Automate Festive Lighting
Want to create a certain look with a seasonal lighting display? You can when you use one or more smart plugs to connected your fairy lights to the power. Simply get them to turn on and off in a sequence that you like so that the display is always changing and looking fresh. Of course, you could just automate your home’s internal light fittings to make it look like you are home when you are not, too, but playing with festive lights is more fun!
- Track Energy Consumption
If you have the right app on your controlling smart device, then you can track the consumption of energy that passes through your smart plug in a given period. If you think you are spending too much on the fridge-freezer’s temperature setting, for example, then the best way to see what is really going on is to plug it into a smart plug.
- Use Voice Commands
Although there are plenty of handy apps that control smart plugs – such as the Android-compatible eWeLink, for example – you don’t always need to use a screen-based approach. Instead, you could use voice commands to control your appliances. Many will work with systems like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, allowing you to work in a completely hands-free manner.
- Avoid Unnecessary Stand-By Settings
There are many devices that are constantly consuming power simply because they have been left on stand-by. You might want this, however, because your appliance may be needed later. For example, you might have programmed your washing machine to come on the following day. If so, why not use a smart plug to turn it off fully until the moment it is needed when you can turn it back on remotely?
- Trigger One Appliance From Another
Bear in mind that you do not need to use smart plugs discretely from one another. You could set them up to work in tandem. For example, you might like to program your fan to come on but only after a robotic vacuum cleaner has finished its rounds. Why blow dust about your home until it has all been collected?
- Share Control With Other Household Members
Many of the apps that smart plugs function with will be compatible with family sharing. This means that multiple devices and users can control the way in which appliances are used around the home. Of course, you can also set who is allowed to do what, thereby retaining full control.
- Limit Screen Time
If you want your children to only have a set amount of time that they can watch TV or play video games, then a smart plug will be the answer to your prayers. With one, you can set certain no-go hours, such as after bedtime. Alternatively, you might provide an allowance of set hours per week which your child will need to ration for themselves. Either way, smart plugs work very well in this regard.