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guide to smartplugs titleWi-Fi Smart Plugs are a great addition to jump start your Connected Home, it is a simple-to-use device that you can plug into any open outlet, allowing you to control multiple electrical appliances in your home anywhere in the world.

The true beauty of it is that once it is connected to your wireless network, it works seamlessly with you electrical appliances without the need of an extra hub. By plugging it into a standard home socket, it enables you to remotely turn on and off electrical appliances such as lamps, fans, or even your coffee machine without getting up in the morning.guide to smartplugs 1

Our #TechExperts at TP-Link are here to run through the basics of smart plugs and how to easily turn your home into a smart home.

Full control via your Smartphone or Tablet

Most Wi-Fi Smart Plugs are easy to setup via your Apple or Android mobile devices with a Wi-Fi connection. You just need to download a free app (Available for free at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store) and go through a simple setup process. Once connected, you may access any appliances plugged into the outlet through the app. You may also set time schedules for your electrical appliance to follow or use the away mode, which will automatically turn your devices on and off so it seems that someone is at home while you are away.

guide to smartplugs smartphonesThere is also a timer mode that lets you turn the device on or off after a set time period, which is perfect for anyone who routinely leaves their appliances on such as iron, curling iron or hair straighteners.

When setting up a new appliance, the app allows you to give each plug a name and can also combine several plugs into a group. You can choose an icon to represent the device like lamps, heaters, coffee makers or even use your own photo or image from your phone.

Monitor and Save Energy

Some Wi-Fi Smart Plugs allows you to tracks your appliance’s power consumption. It enables you to analyse your appliance’s real-time as well as historical power consumption including weekly and monthly summaries. With this feature, you can monitor and save money by managing your power usage of each appliance.

Compatible with Amazon Echoguide to smartplugs 5

Wi-Fi Smart Plugs are compatible with Amazon’s Echo when it releases in the UK (Date to be confirmed by Amazon). Once the device is on your network, you simply ask Alexa to “discover new devices” and she will find the new plug(s) and you will be able to control each electrical appliance with your voice.

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  1. Yes, but an increasing number of devices need more than just the power going on – you need to program them or at least press a ‘start’ button. Looking round my house, the things that have a physical switch that I can turn on and then supply power by a smart plug are:
    * the kettle
    * a lamp that plugs into the ring main
    * electric space heaters
    * the Broadband modem/router. (No, wait – that has to be on to turn its plug on.)
    * the fridge/freezer – like I’m going to turn that off!
    * electric blankets – OK, that’s a good one.

    Eventually the Internet of Things will mean that all devices will be connected (and on standby most of the time) and we will have (special treat for the Red Dwarf fans) intelligent toasters.

  2. Trouble is most items apart from lights and heaters need some other button to be pressed after switching on at mains. Anything with an electronic control cannot be left switch on at the appliance and off at the mains.

  3. You can make these smart plugs really smart by using a hub to manage and schedule them. nCube home has a good one which support Nest, Lifx, Dlink and other vendors too. Would be great if eBuyer sold this as a complimentary product.

  4. These would be useful for charging your phone or other stuff that could be used at night. Turn plug socket on. Plug in device or multiple devices and then set the timer to go on at x time and turn off at y time.

    Very good if you have and day and night rate for electric

  5. @David
    Really? Cost to charge iPad at standard rate = 0.7p (yes less than a penny) (12w * 4.5hrs * 12p/kWh). Same charge at Economy 7 = 0.4p so the saving amounts to 9p a month. Cost of smatplug about £20, so the payback time is a mere 18.5 years !

  6. @James: You are assuming the plug itself uses no power to maintain its WiFi connection – which of course it does. i.e. you are right, but the real situation is worse than this…

  7. @ James/Mike
    who the feck said anything about payback
    all he did was mention that it is cheaper to run an electrical item at night


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