Don’t fret if you have a dumb home. You can dip your toe into the smart home market with these creative uses for smart plugs. Smart plugs allow you to somewhat automate home tasks that you routinely do, or setup procedures for when you leave or enter the home. They do this without the necessity of having a creepy home assistant such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home or any other company that wants to put a listening device in your living room.
This article was created to provide some creative uses for smart plugs when we came to realization we had purchased smart plugs without actually knowing what to do with them.
Creative Uses For Smart Plugs
For starters, what is a smart plug? In short, a smart plug is a device that connects to your WiFi and has the ability to integrate with assistants such as Amazon’s Echo or Google Home, if you so choose. But in many cases you can simply control these plugs using the Smart Life app, which is a free download from your app store. The app allows you to quickly find, name and setup the plug.
Think of smart plugs as timers that turns the outlet on or off when you press the button on the app or through a schedule you specify. You can often even control things over the Internet, so you never have to come home to a dark house again.
Things You Can Do With Smart Plugs
- Setup a schedule to have lamps come on at certain times, such as just before you wake up and just before you return home for work.
- Control fish tank lights and accessories, such as bubble bars and feeders.
- Setup events, such as things you want to happen when you leave the house. You can have lights or radios turn on for the pets, you can power on a security camera. Or you can setup an event to turn on certain lights when you go on vacation and have them rotate on and off with other lights in the house to keep the Bad Guys guessing.
- Turn on a Crock-Pot or slow cooker if you are going to be away from home longer than it would take to properly cook something.
- Power on a fan or space heater from your smartphone.
- Schedule Christmas lights to come on at certain times. No more crawling under the tree!
- Brew coffee before you wake up if you have an older coffee maker that isn’t programmable.
Things Smart Plugs Cannot Do
- Smart plugs cannot dim lights. They only turn them on and off. If you want dim-able lights, you’ll need to invest in a smart bulb.
- Brew coffee on some coffee makers. Sometimes, powering on a coffee maker isn’t enough. If you have to push other buttons to initiate a brew, you’re out of luck.
- You cannot speak directly to the smart plug. You can use the app or set schedules, but if you want to talk to your desk lamp, you’ll need a voice assistant, such as the Amazon Echo.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed these creative uses for smart plugs. They are a great and inexpensive way to perform home automation and can be integrated into your future plans if you decide you want to add voice controls later. Remember, smart plugs turn something on and off manually using a smartphone or tablet, or they can be scheduled using the app. You can also purchase smart bulbs that screw into overhead fixtures and control them in the same fashion.
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