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Looking for some smart plug inspiration! If you currently own smart plugs at home, or are debating on purchasing some, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have compiled the best uses for smart plugs along with how they work!

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What is a Smart Plug?

A smart plug is an intelligent power outlet designed to help you operate appliances and electronics in your home remotely. A smart plug connects to your smartphone via an app, and when connected to them, you can remotely control and operate appliances such as your HVAC system, lighting, and other household appliances.

Features

Connectivity

Different smart plugs will have varying connectivity options. You will find that some smart plugs are compatible with smart home systems, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Homekit. This means that you can operate them via voice control. 

Additionally, your smart plug will allow you to connect it with your smartphone app over a Wi-Fi network. Depending on the design, using the app gives you more features and control, including switching the plug on and off and programming routines.

Energy Saving

Compared to regular plugs, smart plugs consume less energy. Therefore, using a smart plug allows you to save more. Unlike regular plugs, you can set timers on a smart plug. This means that even if you have a non-smart appliance, you can still control how long it is up and running. Using a smart plug, you can set a running timer on your air conditioning unit, so it doesn’t run all day long.

Six Best Uses for Smart Plugs

1. Devices

Charging

You can use a smart plug to charge multiple devices. The best part about using a smart plug for charging is that you can control it from anywhere. For example, if you use a rechargeable lamp or speakers, you can remotely turn the smart plug off when you want to.

Power Ratings

The power rating for smart plugs varies as well. You can find models that handle a maximum power of just 500W. However, you can also find models that handle as much power as 1800W.

You have to choose a smart plug that matches the power needs of the devices you intend to use it with. Additionally, avoid overcharging devices. Instead, start charging low-powered and hard-to-access devices that truly need smart plugs.

Hard Reboots

Sometimes, you may need to hard-reboot devices such as your Wi-Fi router and computer, amongst other electronic devices. As usual, you can control the smart plug from anywhere.  

On the other hand, if you stay in range for most of the time, you are better off with a model that is compatible with Bluetooth. This means that even if you turn the Wi-Fi off during the reboot, you will not lose the smart plug’s connectivity, allowing you to continue enjoying remote control features.

2. Security

Increasing your homes security is one of the best uses for smart plugs!

Electrical Fire

Unlike regular plugs, smart plugs come in handy for maintaining the security of your home. This includes protecting the household and appliances from fire hazards.  You can preset the smart plug for various scenarios with the help of its smart function.

This, in turn,  allows it to automatically turn off appliances such as heaters, stoves, and heating blankets. For example, you can set the smart plug to automatically shut off appliances in case of power surges or similar electrical fire hazard scenarios.

Warn off the bad guys!

You can also use a smart plug as an extra layer of security for your home. It comes in handy when you are not around.  When connected to even large appliances such as a washer or dishwasher, you can control the smart plug remotely, from anywhere. 

So, when you are not at home, use the on and off function for the washers or lights to give people the illusion that someone is at home.

3. Kitchen

Automate Coffee/Tea

The number one benefit of using a smart device is its automation. So, in the kitchen, it comes in quite handy. The same applies to a smart plug in the kitchen. You don’t need to invest in a smart appliance to enjoy smart and programmable features. 

Instead, you simply have to plug it into the smart plug. You can then program the settings you want for the appliance using the smart plug. 

For example, when connected to a coffee maker, you can preset the smart plug for coffee brewing in the morning, so you wake up to a fresh cup.

Automate Stoves

You can also use a smart plug to enhance efficiency and time-saving in your household. An example of this includes automating cooking stoves. 

Timers

You can preset the smart plug to preheat the oven or stovetop, so they are ready for when you want to cook. Alternatively, you can set the smart plug for the stove to heat your food before eating or set up schedules for the stove around mealtimes.

Put Timers On!

Smart plugs allow you to put timers on multiple appliances and devices in your home. You can set up timers on ovens, cookers, tea makers, grills, lighting, and even music players. You can set up the timers through the plug’s proprietary app on your smartphone or your smart home system. 

You don’t have to manually check on what you're baking in the oven or fumble around with the music list when hosting friends over when you have a smart plug. With a timer set on your smart plug, you can automate your stove for specific mealtimes, lighting for sleep time, and more. 

You can even set timers on the smart plug for when you travel. For example, you preset the lights to turn on and off at certain times during the day or maintain a cool/warm environment to keep the atmosphere fresh.

4. Environment

One of the best uses for smart plugs is to control your home environment via air conditioners, purifiers and other smart sensors!

Air Purifiers/Humidifiers

As mentioned above, a smart plug can help you maintain a suitable environment in your home. A standard smart plug will allow you to switch your air purifier or humidifier on and off remotely. 

However, you can also extend its functions if it offers a smart home integration, such as Alexa, Homekit, Google Assistant, or SmartThings. 

If your smart plug offers a smart home integration, you can enjoy features such as timers, energy consumption monitoring, and control over your purifier from anywhere you are.

Integrate Devices with Sensors

You can elevate the functions of your smart plug by integrating it with sensors. Connecting a temperature or humidity sensor with a smart plug doesn’t involve a physical connection to the power outlet. Instead, you can connect the two through a home network.

After connecting the two, all you have to do is set the parameters you want and directly connect the appliances (air humidifier, heater, cooler, etc.) to the smart plug. 

The three devices can then work in unison. When the smart plugs pick up the set temperature or humidity level from the sensors, they automatically turn the appliance on or off, helping you maintain the perfect environment.

Energy Saving

This function doesn’t only give you automated control over your devices. It also helps you cut down on power bills significantly since you don’t have to run the appliance all day long. You can leave the plug to help you maintain the right environment when you are away from home.

Create Timed Schedules

In addition to integrating the sensors into your home network, you can control your home’s interior environment using smart plugs via timed schedules. Timed schedules allow for automated control over your HVAC system even when you aren’t at home.

However, using this setting, you don’t depend on sensors. Instead, you program the smart plug based on your preferences. For example, if you want to come to a warm home during the freezing season, you can preset the smart plug to turn on the heater a few minutes before you get home.

If you expect to be home at 7, you can preset the smart plug to turn the heater on at 6.45. You can even take advantage of your smart home’s Home and Away timer settings.

5. Kids

Limit TV/PlayStation Time

Smart plugs don’t just work for the bigger functional appliances in your home. You can also use them to restore order in your child-dominated home. You can limit TV and PlayStation time using a smart plug.

You can remotely turn the TV on and off via voice commands, your smart home network, or a smart plug app on your smartphone. You can also do the same with a PlayStation.

However, some manufacturers such as Sony limit third-party devices from directly interacting with its PS devices. So, instead of connecting the smart plug and PlayStation, you can pair the two via your smart home network and control the PlayStation from there.

6. Entertainment

The final element to our best uses for smart plugs is entertainment. From your home theater to automated lighting!

Radio

You can also pair your smart plug with a radio. You can use a smart plug to turn your radio on and off remotely like other devices. You can also control radio playing via the smart home network or the plug’s app on your smartphone. 

Through the app and smart home network, you can set routines and schedules for when you want the radio to come on so you can catch up with your favorite show.

Home Theater

Connecting your smart plug to your home theater gives you control over more than just switching it on and off. Using the smart plug, you can control music playing, streaming devices, or display devices from the comfort of your couch.

Automate Music/Lighting

Smart plugs do a great job when it comes to automating the music playing and lighting in your home. In addition to switching the devices on or off, you can use the plugs in multiple automation functions. 

First, you can use your smart home network or the plug’s app on your smartphone to set timers and routines. 

Examples

For example, you can preset certain lights to turn off during sleep time or come on at a certain time in the evening. At the same time, you can preset your music to come on on a certain day or time. 

You can even automate your lighting or music when out of time to maintain security, giving the illusion that someone is home. 

Create Ambience

Additionally, you can improve the ambience by preprogramming the right lights and music to come on a few minutes before you get home.  

You can even find smart plugs with a geofencing feature that automatically turn on lights and music (if preset) when you are just a few blocks away from home.

The Best Uses for Smart Plugs Verdict!

You will find many great features in smart plugs. What makes them stand out the most is their versatility and cost-effectiveness. With a smart plug, you don’t need to invest in a smart appliance since it allows full remote control of the appliance. This means that instead of investing in a high-end smart appliance, a simple and affordable smart plug will do.

Sources

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