Tech corner

Creative ideas for making the most of smart plugs


Plug in and be part of the smart home revolution 

The smart home revolution is continuing into the new year, with tons of brands bringing out their own devices that promise to help you save on your electricity bills and maintain better home security.

One such device is the smart plug. This is a great place to start if you’re a newcomer to the world of smart home technology, as they’re fairly inexpensive and work with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. Here’s everything you need to know to get you started with smart plugs.


What is a smart plug?

A smart plug slots into your standard wall outlet and usually comes with a corresponding app, allowing you to remotely control whatever you plug into it. Once connected, you’ll be able to manage the device (such as a lamp, kettle or even a Christmas tree) from your mobile even when you’re out and about.

Using the app, you can do things like turn off your bedroom lights or check your iron is off even when you’re not in your home, saving you the hassle of running back to check.


What can I use it for?

As well as controlling your devices from afar, many smart plugs offer an Away mode that can do things like switch your lights on and off at random intervals, making it look like someone’s at home even when the house is empty.

There are also certain plugs you can buy that are designed specifically for outdoor use, making them perfect for controlling items such as porch lights, garden ornaments or extravagant Christmas decorations. Just make sure to pick one that’s weather-resistant, as they’re specifically made to withstand anything from boiling sun to pouring rain and winter snow.

How many devices can a smart plug power?

Make sure to read up on smart plug brands before you purchase them, as some only allow for one device to be plugged in at a time. If you’re planning on powering something that uses a lot of energy, you might want to consider purchasing multiple plugs.

Fortunately, some smart plugs do come with multiple outlets, allowing you to power several devices at a time – handy if you want to control everything in your living room from one outlet.

Can a smart plug save me money?

One of the main reasons more and more people are switching to smart home devices is so they can save on electricity bills. By being able to check that everything’s turned off when you’re out of a room, at work or even abroad, your control over energy consumption is greatly improved.

Some smart plugs can provide you with information about your daily energy consumption too. Using the companion app to see a running total of how much power all of your devices are using, you can easily work out which appliances could do with a little less usage.

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