Your smart home would be incomplete without a smart plug. These small devices are arguably the most basic and cheapest components of any smart home. They are also more convenient and beneficial than their worth. Using a smart plug, you can extend the limits of how you can run and control your smart home.
This article will let you in on smart tips on how to make the most of the best smart plugs. First, however, you will get to learn how these plugs work.
- 1 What are Smart Plugs and How Do They Work?
- 2 Creative Ways to Use Your Smart Plug
- 3 Final Word
What are Smart Plugs and How Do They Work?
Smart plugs mimic power-point adapters. They are fitted between the ordinary power socket and appliances you wish to plug into the socket. They function like relays that conduct power from the outlet to the appliances. However, they can be used to control the appliances remotely via a timer or an app on your phone. Ideally, you can switch appliances such as the TV and air conditioner on and off from work using an app on your phone. This is the basic function of smart plugs.
Some plugs are also compatible with AI technologies such as Alexa and Siri. This means that you can speak commands directly to the plug instead of accessing the controller app. Some plugs also measure power usage and collect other relevant data about how different appliances use power.
Creative Ways to Use Your Smart Plug
Smart plugs shouldn’t be limited to switching lamps on and off. A little creativity will reveal many smart uses of these plugs. Here are some smart tips to get you started:
- Keep Burglars Away
- Control Kids’ Electronics Use
- Save Money on Electricity
- Keep the Pets Fed
- Improve your Morning Routine
- Optimize Temperatures at Home
- Time Your Laundry
- Sleep Bettter
- Prevent Fires
- Cook Dinner
Keep Burglars Away
Burglars are opportunistic. They will feel more confident to break in if there looks like no one is in the house. This is what makes them so easy to fool, and smart plugs can help.
You can make it appear as if there is someone in the house by turning lights and certain appliances on and off. For instance, you can play with the lights in the living room and kitchen to make it appear as if there is someone moving around in the house. You can also turn the TV on for a more realistic effect. It is also possible to control when wireless security cameras record by connecting them to a smart plug. Security experts recommend getting a wireless home security camera system to use with smart plugs for beefed up security.
Control Kids’ Electronics Use
Kids are usually so emerged into their shows on TV and games on their consoles that they will gladly ignore your order to come down for dinner. Smart plugs can help you get around that. Simply connect these appliances to a smart app and switch them off next time the kids ignore your calls. You don’t have to confront them either – just get your phone out and switch them off, and the kids will come down in seconds.
Besides pressuring the kids to do as you say, you can also use smart plugs to determine how much time they spend behind the screen. Use the timer on the plug to determine how long their appliances, including gaming consoles and televisions, should stay on. You don’t even have to be home to check on the kids!
Save Money on Electricity
The world is going green, meaning that most of the emerging electronics are energy-efficient. However, there may be that one appliance that consumes too much power at home. It may be the TV, fridge, or any other appliance connected to the grid. So, how do you tell which one it is?
As mentioned, some smart plugs are capable of collecting data about power usage by different appliances. This includes how much power an appliance uses over a given period. As such, you can easily tell which appliances consume more power than is necessary. If there are any culprits, you can replace them with energy-efficient substitutes – it is more affordable in the long-run.
Keep the Pets Fed
Leaving your pet at home all day long is difficult, especially considering that they have to stay fed or else they will go crazy. You don’t have to hire a pet sitter to feed your pet – a smart plug will do the job for much less. Using a trigger feeder, you can set the smart plug to turn it on at meal times to release the pet’s food. You can also train your pet when to expect food from the trigger whenever you are not around. There are also smart automatic pet feeders that can do the same thing, if you want to fill your home with more smart devices.
Improve your Morning Routine
Wouldn’t it be great if you would wake up to freshly brewed coffee? This is now possible, thanks to smart plugs. How? When you wake up in the morning, use your phone to switch the kettle on without leaving the bed. With smart plugs with scheduling capabilities, you can even wake up and find the coffee already brewed. You can also heat the croissant or make toast while you are at it. If you want to avoid a bad hair day, how about heating the hair iron as well? This will give you more time to attend to other manual chores and avoid being late for work or school.
This sounds ideal. However, you may need to make some preparations before going to bed if you wish to enjoy such convenience. For instance, you may consider preparing the kettle before going to sleep so that everything is ready when you switch the smart plug on.
Optimize Temperatures at Home
As the seasons change, sometimes your house may feel too warm or too cold after a long day out. It takes time to adjust the temperature. Ideally, the temperature in your house should be just right by the time you walk in the door.
You can make this happen by using a smart plug to control an electric radiator for heating during chilly winters and air conditioners during those hot summers. Set a schedule for your smart plug, or turn the AC on a few minutes before you arrive home so that you don’t have to wait for temperatures to adjust. There are also smart thermostat options that can control the central air for the entire house.
Time Your Laundry
Smart plugs that are capable of collecting data about power usage can be programmed to send you notifications when there is a considerable variance in power usage. So, suppose you are doing your laundry and want to know when it is done. The timers on washing machines are not entirely reliable. However, a smart plug will help you know when it is done by notifying you when the machine finishes its work, as it will consume less power then.
This smart way of using your smart plug especially comes in handy for homes that use tumble dryers. These machines have been proven to easily cause fires when left unmonitored. Using a smart plug, you can monitor the dryer and switch it off remotely when you get a notification that the laundry is done.
How often do you get up to switch the fan off because it is not as hot as it was when you were going to bed? Nothing should interrupt your beauty sleep. You may get up, but you don’t have to leave the comfort of your sheets to go switch anything off – do it from the app on your phone and go back to enjoying your sleep. In fact, you can power all your devices and appliances off without leaving the comfort of your bed. Adjust temperature, turn off lights from across the room, and use any other device that plugs in, like essential oil diffusers and white noise machines, to optimize your bedtime.
Electric appliances can cause accidental fires if left plugged in. Your smart home is far too valuable to burn down to the ground. A smart plug will help prevent fires before they even begin by monitoring each appliance’s power usage and enabling you to turn the appliances off remotely before things get out of hand. Some smart plugs can also be used with other smart gadgets designed to prevent electric fires for extra assurance and security. If you leave home and realize you left your space heater on, you can easily turn it off with a smart plug.
Cook Dinner before Getting Home
How would you like to find your dinner ready and warm by the time you get home? With a slow cooker and a smart plug, you can make this a reality with some thoughtful preparations.
Slow cookers take about four to eight hours to cook meals. If you work a 9-5 job, you will not have enough time to prepare a proper meal when you get home. However, you can prepare the meal and leave it on the cooker before leaving for work. Depending on your timing, switch the cooker on and go on with your work as the meal cooks. Set the temperature just right to ensure that the timing is precise. This will free up your evening so that you can attend to other chores or relax with a warm meal and good show.
Smart plugs were meant to do more than just switch the lamps on and off. These innovative tips will enable you bring out the full potential of smart plugs and make your life at home easier. You can also come up with other smart ways of using the smart plugs in your home, but be cautious of tampering with your electric grid.
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