Smart plugs have become an increasingly popular product in recent years due to their ability to transform regular appliances into connected ones. This offers convenience, efficiency, and energy consumption control from anywhere around the world.
Smart plugs are an invaluable way to automate daily routines and monitor energy use. You‘ll be able to switch devices on and off remotely, set schedules, and receive notifications. Hence, never again will you forget to turn off an appliance.
To select the ideal smart plug for you, consider factors like its compatibility with your existing home ecosystem, ease of setup and use, energy monitoring capabilities, design considerations, and overall features. These factors will help ensure a smart plug fits seamlessly into your daily life.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top 5 best smart plugs available on the market today. For each plug, we will highlight its key features, pros and cons, and situations where it excels.
1. TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip
- Voice control through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Kasa app enables easy remote control and scheduling
- 6 smart outlets can be controlled individually or together
- Surge protection with 1050 joules rating
- Compact space-saving design
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip is our top overall choice due to its versatility and array of smart features. With 6 individually controllable outlets, you can connect and automate several devices simultaneously. For example, lamps, phone chargers, fans, and more.
We particularly like the Kasa app, which provides intuitive control and scheduling options for the power strip. Set timers, countdowns, or schedules so connected devices turn on/off automatically at set times. This automates routine tasks effortlessly.
With voice control support through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, you can switch outlets on/off using convenient hands-free voice commands. This enhances accessibility. The Kasa power strip also provides essential surge protection to safeguard your valuable electronics.
- Control and automate several devices simultaneously
- Intuitive app with scheduling/countdown features
- Voice control for hands-free convenience
- Surge protection provides added safety
- Wi-Fi connectivity issues reported occasionally
- Size may block neighboring outlets
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Power Strip is perfect if you need to connect multiple devices and control them intelligently using app and voice features.
2. Wyze Plug Outdoor
- Weatherproof design (IP64 rating)
- Voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant
- Energy monitoring shows real-time usage
- Scheduling for automatic on/off control
- 2-year warranty included
For outdoor smart plug needs, the Wyze Plug Outdoor stands out as a top pick. With an IP64 weatherproof rating, it can withstand the elements easily while delivering smart connectivity.
We like that it provides energy monitoring, a useful feature for assessing outdoor devices‘ electricity usage. The plug also supports convenient voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant.
Creating schedules is easy through the Wyze app. This automatically turns outdoor lights or decor on/off at set times daily. You can also control the plug remotely anytime.
- Weatherproof for reliable outdoor performance
- Real-time energy monitoring provides usage insight
- Scheduling automates outdoor devices
- Simple app for easy remote control
- Only works on 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi networks
- Some connectivity issues reported
For affordable smart control of outdoor devices, the Wyze Outdoor Plug is an excellent choice with robust weatherproofing.
3. Philips Hue Smart Plug
- Works with Philips Hue ecosystem
- Bluetooth and Zigbee connectivity
- App and voice control through Alexa/Google Assistant
- Monitor energy usage
- Compact low-profile design
The Philips Hue Smart Plug is ideal for those invested in the Hue smart lighting ecosystem. It integrates seamlessly with other Hue products and the Hue app for expansive control options.
We like the energy monitoring which provides insight into connected devices‘ electricity use. This plug also supports Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free voice control.
The plug features a slim design that conveniently fits in outlets without blocking others. Overall, it‘s a great smart plug for Hue users seeking wider smart home integrations.
- Integrates flawlessly with Philips Hue ecosystem
- Energy monitoring promotes efficiency
- Voice control support through popular assistants
- Unobtrusive low-profile design
- Expensive compared to competing models
- Limited Useability with other smart home platforms
Philips‘ Smart Plug is a seamless addition for Hue ecosystem users that unlocks wider smart home integrations.
4. Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- Compact size takes up minimal space
- Utilizes Wi-Fi for wireless control
- Compatible with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant
- Control away from home through the Wemo app
- Simple and quick set-up
The Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug is a top choice for Apple HomeKit users but also works great as a standalone plug. Its tiny size makes it easy to fit even in crowded power strips neatly.
Despite its small stature, this plug packs impressive functionality. It supports HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant for versatile voice control options. You can also manage devices remotely through the Wemo app from anywhere.
We like how easy it is to set up. Just plug it in, connect to Wi-Fi, and start controlling devices seamlessly from your phone or via voice.
- Ultra-compact design perfect for crowded outlets
- Works with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant
- Hassle-free plug and play installation
- Gives you remote access and control
- Lacks energy monitoring of usage
- Occasional Wi-Fi connectivity problems
The Wemo Mini is a mighty mini smart plug delivering robust functionality from an ultra-compact body.
5. TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini 15A
- Supports up to 15A for larger appliances
- Kasa app for schedules andtimers
- Voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant
- Energy monitoring provides real-time feedback
- Space-efficient compact design
Rounding out our list is the TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini 15A, a versatile model supporting larger devices up to 15 amps. This enables you to automate appliances with higher power demands.
We like the energy monitoring feature that provides real-time feedback on connected devices‘ electricity usage. The smart plug also works well with Alexa and Google Assistant for convenient voice control.
Despite its small size, this plug can handle larger loads flawlessly. The Kasa app provides all the essential remote controls and automation options to maximize convenience.
- 15 amp support for larger appliances
- Real-time energy monitoring
- Voice control works well
- Compact plug ideal for discreet installation
- Only works on 2.4Ghz networks
- Occasionally loses Wi-Fi connection
The Kasa Smart Plug Mini 15A punches above its weight class, delivering robust smart features and 15-amp capacity.
How to Pick the Best Smart Plug: Buying Considerations
With many types of smart plugs available, it‘s important to assess which one fits your unique needs and situation best. Here are some key factors to consider when picking the ideal smart plug.
First, consider what you intend to use the smart plug for. Is it for lamps, mobile chargers, or larger appliances? This will determine if you need a bigger plug with more amps or a compact plug for smaller devices. Outdoor uses necessitate weatherproof models.
Smart Home Ecosystem
Determine your existing smart home ecosystem like Alexa, Google Home etc. Some plugs are designed to integrate better with specific platforms. Pick one that will sync seamlessly.
App and Remote Access
Assess the plug‘s app and remote access options. The app should offer robust controls and automation scheduling. Remote access allows controlling devices while away from home.
Energy monitoring is an excellent feature that provides real-time feedback on connected devices‘ electricity usage. This helps identify energy hogs and reduce waste.
Voice Assistant Compatibility
Many smart plugs work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri for convenient voice control. Choose a plug that supports your preferred voice assistant.
Design and Size
Consider the plug‘s design and dimensions to ensure it fits well into your existing outlets without obstructing other sockets. Compact plugs work great in crowded power strips.
Finally, consider pricing. Smart plugs can range from $10 to $50+ for more advanced models. Set a budget while evaluating features and quality.
By carefully assessing these factors, you can determine the best smart plug model to suit your exact needs and preferences.
What to Know Before Buying Smart Plugs
Smart plugs offer many benefits, but there are some key things to know before choosing one.
They are devices that enable you to control plugged-in appliances like lamps, fans etc. remotely via smartphone, voice, or on set schedules. This adds automation and convenience.
Assess compatibility – choose a plug that works with the types of devices you intend to control in terms of voltage, wattage, and outlet shape.
Consider the app used to control the plug. It should offer robust scheduling options and an intuitive interface. Avoid models with expensive subscription fees.
Determine if the plug integrates with your existing smart home ecosystem like Alexa, Apple HomeKit etc. For best results, choose one that complements your overall setup.
Safety – Ensure any smart plug you purchase is certified and meets the highest safety standards to prevent hazards. Only buy from reputable brands.
Overall, a bit of research before purchasing goes a long way in picking the ideal smart plug tailored to your needs and existing setup.
Using Smart Plugs: The Experience
Using smart plugs provides many exciting possibilities to simplify routines and take control of your devices. Here‘s an overview of the user experience:
Setup is quick and easy – just plug in the smart plug, connect it to Wi-Fi, download the app, and you‘re ready to go! Most quality plugs take only minutes to configure.
You‘ll be able to turn connected devices on or off from anywhere using your smartphone. This gives you flexibility when away from home – great for controlling lights, appliances etc.
Voice control through Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant allows hands-free control over your smart plug. Now you can switch devices on with voice commands when your hands are occupied.
Scheduling options automate when the smart plug (and connected device) power on/off daily. No more worrying about whether you left lights on! Programmable automation adds convenience.
Group multiple smart devices like bulbs and plugs to control simultaneously with scenes. For example, create a "movie scene" turning off lights and turning on the TV with one tap.
Monitor real-time energy usage and identify high-consumption devices wasting electricity. This promotes efficiency.
Away modes simulate occupancy by turning connected devices on/off randomly when traveling. Helps deter burglars.
In summary, smart plugs offer an easy path towards home automation. Once set up, they provide many helpful features to simplify daily tasks.
So choose the best smart plug for your needs today and begin automating the appliances in your life seamlessly.