Smart plugs come in all shapes and sizes, and can be found for prices that fit all budgets. They're also one of the most impactful devices in any smart home. They make your life easier, give you added peace of mind and save you time and money
What are smart plugs?
Smart plugs are devices that sit between ordinary electrical outlets and the device you're plugging in. So instead of plugging your coffee maker or television into a socket on the wall, you plug them into your smart plug. Usually these devices share one and the same basic functionality: control.
This enables you to set a plug to switch on or off at a scheduled time. Or, if you have a smart home hub like Homey running things at home, you can connect them to a boatload of other smart home devices. Make your devices that may not support wireless technologies, such as Z-Wave or Zigbee, a bit smart(er). This way you can really start your smart home automation journey.
Here are some examples:
Smart plugs in your morning routine
Morning chaos is the norm in many households. Rather than stumbling out of bed as your alarm goes off, walking into a smokey kitchen to find out somebody left the toaster on. Let your smart plugs switch everything on or off automatically, so that you don't have to worry about a thing.
This also means turning on kettles or coffee makers. Granted, it takes some preparation the day before to get this right, but it's so worth it. Fill your kettle with water, and never wait for your tea in the morning again. More of a coffee kind of person? Prepare your machine in the evening, and automatically turn on your coffee maker in the morning when you're getting out of bed.
Smart plugs for security and safety
We talked about turning off devices automatically, so you don't have to worry about them. In that same vein, there's a whole array of devices that pose a serious threat if left unattended. Devices like hair straighteners, irons, heaters, practically any appliance that can get really hot. Instead of worrying if you left anything on, turn it all off automatically when you leave for work. Or, the other way around, don't spend time waiting for your hair straightener to warm up in the morning. Turn it on each morning at a particular time, so all your devices are ready for you to start your day.
Also, smart plugs are essential in making your own presence simulations. Turning your lights, or other devices, on and off with a smart schedule, will make your home look like it's occupied. Even when you're miles away.
Smart plugs for managing your family
Managing a modern family is hard. You have a stressful job, and you don't want to come home to play the bad cop. The prospect of making sure your kids don't spend too much time playing their gaming consoles or watching television doesn't attract you at all.
Smart plugs to the rescue! Shut down devices on a predetermined time, using a timer. Surely, all kids deserve a little break from homework each day. But when playtime is over, switch off the TV or gaming console. Just go easy with it, you don't want to shut down anything when they're in the middle of a level, do you?
Some kids need night lights or sound machines at night. Easily automated with smart plugs, making sure you never forget to turn them on. Also, by turning the nightlights on the way to the bathroom, you make sure nobody has to make their way in the dark. With a smart home hub you could also trigger this with motion sensors or door sensors.
Using smart plugs to save money
Air conditioning, fans, electric radiators, there are many ways to influence the climate of your home. It's fantastic walking into a pre-heated or pre-cooled room. However, you don't want to spend unnecessary amounts of energy (and money) to keep all of them turned on for your benefit. You can already guess where this is going: use a smart plug to schedule your climate appliances.
Whenever it comes to these bigger, power-hungry devices, make sure you check the specifications of your smart plug to be sure whether or not they can handle the power draw of your appliance.
Some smart plugs also have onboard energy usage measurement. For instance, the Fibaro Wall Plug has a LED ring that gives visual feedback about how much energy is being used by the device plugged in. You could even get an overview of your energy usage with Homey Insights. Using this data, you have an idea of how much energy you use in your home. Or even better, you can find out which devices are using the most energy, and adjust your usage accordingly. That way you can find out how much it costs to run an electrical appliance. Or even how much it takes to charge your phone, tablet or laptop. Use this knowledge to use your devices more efficiently in the future, and save money.
Smart plugs with a discount
To get you started with saving money, we're offering you a 10% discount on smart plugs for a limited time only. Use the code coolplugs during the checkout process in our Talks with Homey Store. Be quick though, the code is only valid until March 31, 2019.