Have you ever walked out of the house and wondered after a few minutes whether you had turned the iron off? Or found yourself at the end of the month reading the electricity bill and thinking it’s about time to remember turning off the lamps in all rooms and not leave the heating on all day? Well, fortunately, there is a solution that will help you cut costs on your electricity bill and take care of your forgetfulness at the same time.
Wi-Fi Smart Plugs are one of the most affordable and simplest smart home products, which will allow you to control multiple electrical appliances in your home from anywhere. They’re also the most basic element of any smart home. So if you’re planning to automate your house, it all starts with a pair of Smart Plugs.
A Smart Plug sits between the electrical outlet and the appliance you’re plugging in. The device can be controlled remotely, by using a smart hub for home automation or simply connecting to it with the relevant mobile app.
A Wi-Fi Smart Plug is really easy to setup and control:
- Plug the device into an open electrical outlet
- Plug your chosen appliance into the Smart Plug
- Go to your wireless router and press the small WPS button on the back
- Press the same WPS button on the Smart Plug
- Download the relevant app
- Set up an account and access the electrical appliance
But what exactly makes a Smart Plug such a useful device to have? Let’s take a look at its main features and all the benefits they bring:
Turn appliances On/Off
This is the most simple, yet the most important feature of a Smart Plug. By using this device with “high-risk” electronics such as irons and straighteners, you will make sure they are switched off in case you are rushing out the door one morning while forgetting to unplug the one you used. At the same time, you can also remotely control the appliances in your home by turning them on at your convenience: whether you want to turn on the lights before you arrive home from work, the electrical radiator, or even the slow cooker – to ensure your meal will be almost ready when you come home.
Create On/Off Schedules
Smart Plugs not only allow you to remotely turn on and off an appliance but also create simple schedules for it. You can set the lamps in your house to come on and off at specific times, set the kettle to start boiling water for your tea in the morning, or automate any other appliance so you’ll have more time to focus on something else in the meantime.
Protect Your Appliances
Some Smart Plugs have an integrated thermal sensor that will send you an alert or automatically turn off your devices if the plug overheats.
Monitor Your Energy Use and Save Money
Wi-Fi Smart Plugs also allow you to keep an eye on your energy usage. You can track the power consumption of an appliance and save money by managing it more efficiently. For example, by monitoring the air conditioning usage in the summer or heat usage in the winter, you will avoid getting a surprise at the end of the month. You can even set up a specific budget per device, so you’ll receive an alert in case it starts using more power than in a previous month.
Automate your home by using Smart Plugs features in IFTTT recipes
IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a free service that allows you to create chains of simple conditional statements called “recipes”, which are made of triggers and actions. Essentially, it means that you can create a connection between the smart products and apps you are using, by generating an action if a specific condition is met. Some example of recipes which include Smart Plugs could be: Turn the coffee maker when the sun rises, if the current temperature rises above x then turn on the Smart Plug, or turn your lights off when you leave home etc.
If you are interested in all the benefits this simple device has to offer, we recommend starting with a Smart Plug from D-Link. It comes with an easy to use smartphone app and can also be controlled via a smart hub for home automation, such as Amazon Echo. Just say the word and your appliances will be at your service.
Check out the video below to learn more about D-Link Smart Plugs: