Smart Plug Buyer’s Guide - firstenergyhome | Blog
63 views | March 23, 2020


In this article we will cover the core features that are common to smart lighting, the various types of smart bulbs found in the market today, as well as some things to consider before you buy.

Smart Plug: Complete Buyer’s Guide

A Quick Overview

You might think your household’s future will consist of a bunch of smart appliances and light fixtures that can be connected to your home’s internet connection and controlled remotely. The truth is the future is here—and it’s a lot simpler than you might think.

With the use of smart plugs, you can connect and remotely control the “dumb” lights and household appliances you already have. Just put the smart plug into an electrical outlet and then plug in the device, fixture or appliance you want to control remotely.

Your smart plug works from your wireless internet connection and can be monitored and controlled from an app on your smartphone. It’s that simple to turn virtually any plug-in household product into a smart fixture or appliance.

What Your Smart Plug Can Do

Generally, smart plugs are inexpensive enough to buy one for every electrical outlet, if you wish. Some might have multiple outlets, like a power strip, so that you can plug as many as 8 household products into a single smart plug. You’ll find some on the market that works with your home’s Wi-Fi or are easily integrated into such wireless communication protocols as Z-Wave or ZigBee. Here’s some idea of what you can do with your smart plugs.

  • Help keep a more secure environment –If you go away for the weekend, you leave lights on to discourage unwanted visitors. This makes sense at night but can be a waste of bulbs and electricity during the day. With a smart plug, you can remotely turn on the lights when the sun goes down, just like you’d do if you were home.
  • Program scheduled activity – Want to turn the coffeemaker on every morning at 7? Wake up to news or music on the radio? Turn on lights at a specific time in the evening? Some smart plugs even allow you to program activity, such as lighting, at random times while you’re away, so it seems as though the home is occupied.
  • Pair with a voice assistant device –Some smart plugs can be integrated into household voice command services like Amazon Alexa. If you have this technology, look for smart plugs that are compatible.
  • Help to reduce electric bills – Are your television or lights on when no one is benefiting? This contributes to higher electric bills. Use your smart plugs to monitor electrical-usage activity and help to cut waste.
  • Use outdoors, too – Controlling landscape or holiday lighting with waterproof outdoor smart plugs can provide an extra touch of convenience and security — no need to step outside to shut off lights when it’s dark, cold and wet.

The Final Word

It might be easier than you think to turn your household into a smart home.

You can use them to make your “dumb” lights and appliances smart by simply plugging a smart plug into an outlet and letting it find your wireless signal. Then plug in your regular household products and program commands into the smartphone app or use your voice assistant service.

If you found this content useful or would like to learn more, please visit other articles within our Learning Library.

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