Smart plugs allow you to take any device that plugs into a wall and make it into a smart device. If you connect a smart plug to your holiday lights, you can control them remotely via a companion app. Voice control your holiday tree with Alexa, or connect a smart plug to an appliance to turn it into a smart appliance.
From the peace of mind that having full control over the appliances in your home while away brings — to taking control of your electric bill — they are handy devices to have. Here are our top five tips on what to do with your smart plugs.
Control your lights, no matter where you are
Remember The Clapper? You could clap your hands to turn your lights on or off. Smart plugs are like a much quieter version of that. Most smart plugs also have scheduling features on their companion apps. 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 deter 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 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 or smart power strip 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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