What is a Smart Plug and How Does It Work? An Impressive Guide.

What exactly is a “smart” plug, and how does it work? With the help of a smart plug (or smart outlet), your standard electrical wall outlet may be transformed into a completely controlled and adjustable outlet. Your lights and other home gadgets will be simply controlled no matter where you are, as long as you are connected to the Internet through WiFi. There are several ways to control the gadgets in your house using a smart plug, from a timer to an app on your phone.

What You Need To Know About Smart Plugs

A number of smart plugs have come and gone in the last year or two. I think they’re a must-have item for everyone who wants a smart house.

You can get started with smart plugs even if you don’t already have smart devices in your home.

What is the purpose of a smart plug, exactly?

Using smart plugs, regular appliances and fittings may be transformed into smart ones. So what you’ve just done is to give your gadget greater power than it had before.

A light, for example, is an example. In the absence of a smart plug, the lamp’s conventional switch must be used to turn it off and on.

However, regardless of how the lamp is managed, it must still be activated in order to function properly.

With a smart plug, you have a wide range of possibilities for controlling this light.

Note

The qualities and capabilities of a smart plug should be examined before acquiring one. Most can be controlled remotely and scheduled, but you’ll want to check to see if they’ll work with other devices and what other features they may offer.

A countdown timer may be configured in an app to turn the light on or off, for example.

If you choose, you may set the light to turn on and off at certain times of the day and week.

This is not an issue if you forget to turn off your bedroom light before leaving for work in the morning. While you’re at work, you can switch it off using your phone.

Taking a trip for a week? “Away Mode” allows your smart plug to switch your lights on and off at random intervals throughout the day. This creates the appearance to a would-be invader that your house is occupied.

You may also use your voice to operate other gadgets that are connected to your smart plug. Turn on the light in my bedroom Alexa.

Do you know how to use a “smart plug?”

In most cases, smart plugs function by inserting into your outlet and then connecting to your Wi-Fi.

Plug a device into your smart plug, then use the app to operate it from your smartphone after Wi-Fi has been activated and the smart plug has been connected into an outlet.

The plug just receives a signal from the app telling it when to turn on or off. The app does nothing further.

Most smart plugs may be used without a smart hub. However, they may use them to interact and collaborate with other smart devices..

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Smart plugs are easy to set up.

  1. Despite the fact that each smart plug has a somewhat different arrangement, the basic processes remain the same.
  2. Make sure your mobile phone is connected to your home’s Wi-Fi. Many times, 2.4GHz is the only frequency that may be used. It’s best to stick with the one Wi-Fi network you have. If you’re having difficulties connecting to Wi-Fi, check out my Wi-Fi section below.
  3. Connect your smart plug to the appropriate outlet.
  4. 3) Go to the Google Play or App Store and download the associated smart plug app.
  5. Set up an account in the app.
  6. Add the smart plug to the app in step 5. Step-by-step instructions are provided by the app in most circumstances. You will be asked to name your smart plug throughout this procedure. Please name it according to the device it will be controllingin your room. For instance, “Bedroom Lamp.”
  7. It’s time to verify that the smart plug is working properly by plugging in your device to it and turning it on and off.
  8. 7) Congratulations! You may begin scheduling your smart plug or automating some of the functions it performs.

Setup instructions for smart plugs

Setting up your TP-Link Smart Plug is explained in detail here.

Setup of Amazon Smart Plugs

• Aoycor WiFi Smart Plug User’s Manual

Mini Smart Plug Outlet from Gosund

Is it possible to connect a smart plug to a power strip?

Can a smart plug be used with an existing power strip? Yes, in a nutshell. As a general rule, I never exceed the smart plug’s or power strip’s capacity, but there are a few exceptions to this rule that you should be aware of:

Using a power strip: a few guidelines to keep in mind

You must observe a few basic guidelines, no matter whether you’re utilizing smart plugs or not, while using a power strip:

  1. The power strip should not be overloaded at all times. The strip may be overloaded if it feels hot.
  2. Avoid using power strips for large-capacity gadgets (in most cases that means microwaves, refrigerators, toasters, air conditioners, slow cookers, space heaters etc.)
  3. When using a power strip, always connect it directly to a wall outlet (So do NOT plug your power strip into your extension cord)
  4. 4. Do not use interior power strips outside!

When connecting in your smart plug, there are other things to keep in mind.

You’ll need to connect your smart plug to an electrical outlet as part of the set-up process. However, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

It’s possible to control numerous plugs at once with a single smart plug, for example.

For example, if you wish to operate two lights on each side of your sofa with one outlet, you may do so.

Get an inexpensive outlet converter instead of two smart plugs. A single smart plug may now manage three or more distinct outlets at the same time, thanks to an outlet converter.

In this image, you can see how my system is set up:

Plug an outlet converter into a smart plug to create more smart plugs.

Instead, you may have an outlet with a lot of different plugs that you do not want to be careful about using.

If that’s the case, the following configuration is ideal:

When utilizing an outlet with standard plugs, you’ll need to use an outlet converter.

Calculating the capacity of a smart plug

Always be mindful of your smart plug’s (and outlet converter’s) capacity and make sure you don’t go over it! 15 A is the maximum load most smart plugs can handle (amps). amps are the same as watt-volts.

So if you purchase a 60 watt bulb with 110 volts, you’ll get 0.55 amps. Because of this, your smart plug can manage a large number of these bulbs (almost 15).

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Identifying the burden

In general, a 15 A outlet can provide 1800 watts. When inserting gadgets into a smart socket, it’s a good idea to know the wattage of each one, add them up, and ensure the total isn’t above 1800 watts.

Smart plugs are compatible with what?

Not all electrical devices are compatible with smart plugs! You’ll need to know whether the product you’re trying to utilize has a mechanical or electrical switch. Smart plugs function best with mechanical switches.

Mechanical switches are great to be turned on and off by physically moving the switch. Electrical switches, on the other hand, switch between states.

Using mechanical switches with smart plugs is a brilliant idea since you can just turn the switch on and leave it there. Because it’s connected to a smart socket, it will govern whether or not it receives electricity.

In particular, you should look at goods that include electrical switches. Smart plugs won’t work with a number of goods that use these kinds of switches.

In certain cases, there are some exceptions. Turning the product on and unplugging it is the best way to get it working (with the switch still on). A smart plug won’t operate if the product doesn’t switch on when it’s plugged back in.

The best ways to make advantage of a smart plug

A smart plug can be used for what?

  1. When you’re away on vacation, you may set your lights to turn on and off at random intervals so that it seems as though someone is at home.
  2. Make sure you have a cup of coffee ready for you when you get up by scheduling the coffee maker to brew in the morning.
  3. If you have an automatic humidifier in your bedroom, you may set it to turn on and off at night.
  4. The lights on your Christmas tree should be turned on and off at the same time each day.
  5. If you don’t live with an elderly family member or a patient with Alzheimer’s, smart plugs are a great option. Using your phone, you may turn off all of their electrical devices.
  6. Incorporate a smart plug into your child’s gaming system. Your phone or Alexa (if integrated) may now be used to turn it off.
  7. It’s also possible to connect in a second WiFi hub to a smart plug and regulate the Wi-Fi access of your children, if you have one.
  8. Set a timer for your air conditioner or heater to switch on and off.
  9. When you come home, set your crock pot or pressure cooker to prepare supper for you.
  10. It’s a good idea to set an electric blanket to switch on 30 minutes before you go to sleep.

Just a few of the top applications for a smart plug may be found here. We’d want to know how your smart plug is being put to use. Leave a remark in the space provided below.

Do smart plugs work with TVs?

In most circumstances, a smart plug cannot be used to switch on a television. When a television is switched off regularly, it goes into standby mode and never completely shuts off (unless they are unplugged). If you use a smart plug to turn off the television, you are basically disconnecting the television. In order to restart the TV, you will need to manually switch on the TV again once you turn it back on using the smart socket.

It is possible to switch on and off your television without using your remote control. If you have a Chromecast or Fire TV/Fire Stick, you may utilize Google Home or Alexa.

The Chrome Stick and Google Home configuration is detailed here if you’d want to know more.

Alexa with smart plugs: what’s the deal here?

Using Alexa (or any other smart speaker) to manage your smart plug is a great way to simplify your life. Once the integration is complete, you’ll be able to use Alexa to control the linked device.

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For example, Alexa may be used to control your smart plug by voice command. It is possible to utilize Alexa with other smart home devices that also work with Alexa.

Take the following case, for instance. You have a smart lock on your front entrance, smart light switches in your bedroom, and a humidifier hooked into a smart socket.

In order to turn off the lights in your room and activate the humidifier in your bedroom, just say “Alexa, Goodnight.”

There is no limit to the possibilities.

How can I get Alexa to recognize a smart plug?

Using the Alexa app, you’ll need to turn on a skill unique to your smart plug before it will work.

Follow these steps to activate this ability:

  1. Using the Alexa App, type in the name of your product. The Kasa smartplug is one example of an appropriate search query.
  2. Alexa’s “Enable” button in the Alexa app must be tapped. Login to your account now(in our case, Kasa) to connect your plug with Alexa, and you’ll be all set!
  3. In the Alexa App, go to “Devices” and add a new one. Find the product you’re looking for and then click “Discover Devices.”
  4. Your smart plug and Alexa are now linked.

How can I connect my Google Home to smart plug?

You’ll need to add the smart plug to the Google Home app to get it working with Google Assistant.

In order to add a new item to Google Home, just follow these instructions:

  1. In Google Home, click the plus sign (+) in the upper left corner of the app.
  2. Setup device” and then “Have anything already setup?” are the options.
  3. You will be requested to go into your Kasa account (in our scenario you would log into Kasa) to connect your plug to Google Home.
  4. Finally, your smart plug has been linked to Google Home!

Diagnosing and Resolving Problems

The smart plug is unable to establish a WiFi connection.

First, make sure your WiFi is functional before you try to connect a smart plug to it. Make sure your phone or laptop is connected to the Internet.

Unplug your smart plug from your wall and then plug your smart plug back in if you have a solid connection. Hold down the button on the gadget for as long as the light flashes. Try resetting your smart plug through the product-specific app.

If everything else fails, you’ll likely have to deal with a mesh network, which is more difficult but not insurmountable.

Mesh networks integrate 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi bands into a single network. There used to be a separate WiFi network for each of these frequencies. As an example, if your house has two WiFi networks, you would see Home 2.4 GHz and Home 5 GHz.

These two are often used in conjunction these days. Due to the fact that it’s likely seeking for just the 2.4GHz network, this presents an issue for your smart device

Unfortunately, your only option is to connect to your mesh network via a separate 2.4GHz router.

Resetting a smart plug

The same procedure works for most smart plug resets. After plugging in the smart plug, press and hold its button for at least 15 seconds. An indicator light flashing means the gadget has been reset.

Conclusion

When it comes to smart home technology, a smart plug is an excellent entry point.

They’re simple to put up, inexpensive, and offer a wide range of applications and use cases.

Any questions that I didn’t address in this post may be asked in the comments section below!

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