Smart plugs can make even the dumbest appliance controllable through an app on your phone or through voice commands using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. Even if you’re not really into the idea of home hubs and smart home automation, they can be an easy way to make your life easier. Most work using their own app, which means you don’t need to have any other smart home devices or assistants to make them work. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate smart plugs into your life.
Control your lights, no matter where you are
Remember The Clapper? You could plug your lamp into it and then clap your hands to turn it on or off. Smart plugs are like a much quieter version of that. Most smart plugs also have scheduling features on their app. This means your lights can turn themselves on before you get home and turn themselves off at bedtime. They can also be scheduled to come on at random times while you’re on vacation to confuse would-be burglars. Another great idea is to use smart plugs to control your Christmas lights, so you don’t need to go outside at night to plug them in or turn them off.
Prevent your house from burning down
If you’re the type of person who has to rush back home because you left the stove on or your hair straightener plugged in, then you definitely need smart plugs in your life. Plug the appliances you are always forgetting to turn off into a smart plug and you can turn it off remotely using your phone. This way, you’re never left to second-guessing, which in essence of peace of mind. No need to hurry home.
Power up your mornings
With the addition of a smart plug, you can jump-start your mornings. You can turn a regular coffee maker into a smart one that starts your coffee before you roll out of bed, for instance. You can also schedule your hair appliances to heat up so they’re ready when you need them.
If you use fans or window AC units, there’s probably been more than one time you’ve wished you could turn it on or off from across the room. Add a smart plug and you can use the plug’s app or voice commands to control the cooling in your rooms.
Stop energy waste
Many smart plugs can monitor electricity usage and send you reports on how much your appliances are sucking up on a daily basis. This is a great use on its own, but you can also use smart switches to stop “vampire energy usage.” This is when an appliance is seemingly off, but is actually on standby, using energy that it doesn’t need to be. The only way to stop standby energy usage is by unplugging the appliance or shutting off the power supply to the cord. If the plugs are in hard-to-reach areas, this can be difficult. Adding a smart plug to all of these energy-sucking appliances can make turning them off — really off — easy. Some devices that go on standby are:
- DVD or Blu-Ray players
- Game consoles
- AV receivers
- Set-top streaming boxes
- Computer towers and monitors
- Laptop cables
- Coffee makers
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