A smart plug may not seem too “smart” at first glance. Compared to other smart devices, it seems to lack functionality. Smart plugs only have a few uses, but used correctly they are incredibly powerful and useful devices. Due to their low cost, smart plugs are one of the easiest ways to enter the world of home automation.
Smart plugs are connected devices that plug into a wall outlet or multistrip and can be controlled via your smartphone or a smart assistant to turn the flow of power on or off. What is the Amazon Smart Plug? The Amazon Smart Plug is one of the most proven, effective devices for turning dumb appliances into smart ones.
What Is The Amazon Smart Plug?
An Amazon smart plug is a simple device that plugs into an existing outlet. Once plugged in, you set up the Amazon smart plug through the Alexa app to gain control of the device through your phone or other mobile device, as well as through your smart assistant.
Think of a smart plug like an external power switch. You can tap a button on your phone to control the flow of power. If you have a “dumb” lamp, you can plug it in, turn it on, and then turn it on and off from afar by controlling the power. Smart plugs are an essential part of building a smart home for this reason.
In addition to their basic functions, smart plugs can be programmed to turn off after a certain amount of time, to turn at a specific time and off at another, and even to respond to other devices. For example, if motion is detected outside your front door, you can program the smart plugs in your living room to automatically turn the lights on.
The Benefits Of a Smart Plug
Smart plugs offer other benefits outside the obvious. If you’re trying to cut down on utility costs, smart plugs are one of the strongest tools in your arsenal. “Phantom power draw” is a real problem in many homes, and something people are often unaware of.
Some devices constantly draw power for displays. For example, your coffee pot draws energy even when not in use to keep the clock accurate and to light the LED screen. Over time, this energy usage adds up. The only way to prevent phantom power draw is to unplug an appliance—or to turn off the flow of power through a smart plug.
Certain smart plugs (but not the Amazon Smart Plug) monitor energy usage and provide you with reports on how much energy an appliance is using.
Another benefit to smart plugs is your ability to schedule on and off times. To expand on the lamp example from before, you can set your smart plug to power on at 8 AM and off at 10 PM. Considering that smart lights average around $20 per bulb and you’ll often need more than one bulb for some lamps, a $25 smart plug can be the most cost-effective investment.
An often-overlooked advantage of the Amazon Smart Plug is its size. Many smart plugs are bulky in design and dominate the entire outlet they’re plugged into, but the Amazon Smart Plug is compact and leaves the second outlet port open.
It’s also easy to set up. The Amazon Smart Plug will immediately provide power to anything plugged into it, and a physical switch on the side allows you to turn it on or off by touch. Setting up the plug involves going into the Alexa app on your mobile device, but the app will automatically detect devices on the same network.
Requirements For Smart Plugs
Although Amazon smart plugs are useful, they do have certain requirements. First of all, you’ll need a stable Wi-Fi connection for the smart plugs to consistently work. You should also ensure the smart plug is in a stable outlet—not one controlled by a wall switch.
Is An Amazon Smart Plug Worth It?
Smart plugs are completely worth the investment. They’re a financially-friendly way of bringing smart functionality to older appliances. If Alexa is your primary system, then an Amazon Smart Plug is a great investment. However, if you don’t use Alexa at all, then the Amazon Smart Plug isn’t a smart buy.
It doesn’t work with any other system besides Alexa. If you use Google Home or Siri, you will want to look into a different type of smart plug. There are a huge variety of plugs on the market, but they all serve basically the same purpose.
On the other hand, if you do use Alexa, then the Amazon Smart Plug is a great choice. It goes on sale often, and even its standard retail price is just $25. If you’re looking for an affordable way to get started in the smart home world, then the Amazon Smart Plug is worth looking into.