Smart plugs are a great technology for anyone looking to build a smart home. Instead of having to spend a fortune on new smart appliances, a smart plug can bring some top-notch features to your lights and much more at the fraction of the price.
And it shouldn’t be a huge surprise, Amazon even has its own self-branded smart plug. We’ll take a closer look at the device and help you decide if it’s a good choice for your home.
What Is a Smart Plug?
A smart plug can turn any standard electrical outlet into a smart home outlet.
You’ll place the plug into an electrical socket and then plug in whatever you’d like to automate. Some of the different options include lights, fans, and other small appliances.
Every smart plug uses Wi-Fi, or sometimes Bluetooth technology, to connect to a home network or smartphone. Using a companion app, you can create a schedule for the plug to turn on and off. With a smart home hub, like an Amazon Echo smart speaker, you can also control a plug with a simple voice command.
Since the smart plug has a built-in source of electricity, there’s no need to worry about batteries or charging.
What Is the Amazon Smart Plug?
The Amazon Smart Plug is the e-commerce giant’s take on the popular smart home technology.
Small and unobtrusive, just plug it into a regular outlet. As a nice touch, the smart plug is small enough to keep a second outlet free. Or, you can even add two smart plugs to a two-duplex outlet.
On the side of the plug is a manual on/off switch. There is also a small LED on the front of the to let you know that the plug is receiving power from the outlet.
After plugging in the smart plug and whatever you want to control, you can open the Amazon Alexa app for iOS or Android on your smartphone. Select the Devices icon in the lower-left corner and then click the + icon. Finally, select Add Device and then Plug to finish the process.
Even if you don’t have an Echo smart speaker, the Amazon Smart Plug can still be part of your home. With the app, you can set routines and schedules for what you’d like to automate.
Anyone who uses the Amazon Smart Plug to control lights and lamps can also take advantage of the great Away Lighting feature. Using the Alexa app, you can activate the feature that will turn lights on and off at random times to make it look like someone is home even when you’re gone.
That feature is part of the Alexa Guard service that offers additional security options for a smart home.
If you do have an Echo speaker at home, you can control anything connected to the Amazon Smart Plug with just a simple voice command. So, for example, if you want to turn on a coffee maker in the morning, you can tell Alexa.
The only real downside of the Amazon Smart Plug is that it can only be controlled through the Alexa app or an Alexa-compatible device. So the device can’t be used with competing smart home platforms like Apple’s HomeKit or Google Home.
Also to note is that the smart plug can’t be used outdoors and needs to connect to a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network to operate.
Making the Most of Technology With a Smart Plug
If you’re a fan of Amazon and its vast smart home technology lineup, definitely make sure to take a look at the Amazon Smart Plug.
It’s an inexpensive way to bring automation, scheduling, and more to many appliances you use on a daily basis at home.
Smart plugs are a cheap way to get started with smart home gadgets. Here are the best smart plugs and what you can use them for.
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