Smart home additions seem to continue to grow in popularity, and so is the purchases of smart plugs. These useful tools are used to control the energy output from the outlets to your appliances. It means that the power supply could be controlled remotely. Not just that, some of the handy plugs can also be used to analyze energy use, to help lower your bills.
You might feel this is old news, however, I would argue that we have barely scratched the surface of what these plugs could really do. That is why I have made a list of 5 Awesome things you can do with a Smart Plug; things you never knew you could do with a smart plug.
What makes Smart Plugs ‘Smart’?
A smart plug is like a power-point adapter, this fits between the power socket and the appliance you want to plug in. To be put really simply, it turns things on and off. However, when connected to a smart home platform, these smart plugs become a very nifty device.
They are considered ‘smart’ due to their ability to let you control your appliances from an app on your phone from anywhere. Apps like carbonTRACK even allow you to set schedules for your smart plugs so you have the ability to turn appliances on as well as off at set times and on specific days.
Few smart plugs take this a step further and collect information about how much energy the appliance connected through it is using. This is a handy feature especially if you are an energy-conscious consumer.
So how do you control these smart plugs? Most smart plugs communicate by using your home’s Wi-Fi network, to contact a central control hub. Then, the hub will use your Wi-Fi to send information to an application on your phone.
5 Awesome things you can do with a Smart Plug
1. You can preheat your bed — Who would not love a properly heated bed ready and waiting for you just lay in? If you own a smart plug, you could make this scenario, come true. All you would require is an electric blanket, for example, the Degrees of Comfort Plush Electric Blanket (these costs $69.99 on Amazon).
You can connect your electric blanket to a smart plug, to schedule exactly when you want it to start preheating the bed. On top of that, you do not have to worry about remembering to switch it off either, as the smart plug will take care of that as well. Make sure that you deactivate it if you spend a night out of the house or if you want to stop using the blanket through the summer.
2. You can have your morning cup of coffee ready and waiting for you — You could wake up to a fresh cup of coffee if you own a smart plug. You just need to simply plug it in with an espresso machine or a coffee maker. Though you will need a model with a physical on a switch so that you can set it to brew as you wake. You just need to make sure that it is ready and waiting by filling it up with water as well as coffee the night before.
You could use the same technique with electric kettles if you are more of a morning tea person. However, bear in mind that some coffee machines, as well as kettles, already come with smart capabilities that let you schedule the activity, so you should check that out first.
3. You can prepare dinner from the office — By connecting a smart plug to a slow cooker, or an Instant Pot, you have the ability to set it to start cooking while you are at work. This way, your dinner will be ready to serve once you are through the door.
However, you should not use this technique with any other cooking methods. Because slow cookers are designed to be safe to use while you are not at home. It is advised, that you be present when using other methods, for example, the oven or even a pressure cooker.
4. You can make your washing machine, as well as dishwasher smart — Few smart plugs, have the ability to connect to an app that displays energy use. You could set the app to alert you when the power usage falls, i.e., you have got notifications on demand when a washing machine or dishwasher cycle is finished.
5. Schedule your lights — This might just be one of the most well-known uses of a smart plug, however, many of you might still not be taking full advantage of this feature. By connecting your lights to a smart plug, you gain the ability to schedule exactly when you want your lights on as well as off. You have the ability to even sync them with the sunset using IFTTT.
This also comes in handy when you are out of your home, you can light up the interior, and you could easily deter burglars. Of course, you might be able to do it already if you have smart light bulbs, however, if you do not, this can be a great way to save some expense for the same outcome.
6. You can Lower your energy bill — Some of the best smart plugs, for example, the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug w/Energy Monitoring (that costs $39 on Amazon) has the ability to track how much electricity you are using through that outlet, it also gets reports on which appliances are using the most electricity. Studying that information, you could set a schedule to use those devices when energy prices are lower, or you could decide to use them less often.
There are loads of other things you could use Smart plugs, for example-
- Save water in your garden
- Light up the outdoors
- Reach outlets you could never reach before
- Automate your Christmas lights
- Limit your children’s screen time
- Reduce your chance of electrical fires
- You could eliminate the need of waking up in the middle of the night to switch off the fan, heater, or electric blanket
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