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When you think of smart devices, your first thought is likely about expensive learning thermostats or home security cameras. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to begin transforming your house into a smart home. Really, all it takes is a TP-Link Smart Plug or two, which sells for less than $30 each.

In this article, you’ll learn more about how this tiny device can turn any dumb device into a smart one. You’ll also learn about similar products on the market and how to integrate them into your home.

Yes, It’s Smart

Once set up, the TP-Link Smart Plug can help you easily manage your home electronics and appliances 10 Creative Uses For Smart Plugs That'll Make You Want One 10 Creative Uses For Smart Plugs That'll Make You Want One Smart plugs are the most basic element of any smart home. Forget Internet connectivity, home networks and gadgets enabling remote management - smart plugs are where it starts. Read More anytime, anywhere. To get started, just insert the plug into your wall outlet. Next, download the free Kasa app from the App Store or Google Play Store and follow the directions to connect the plug to your home network.

The best thing about the TP-Link Smart Plug? It doesn’t require a separate hub like other smart home products. You just need Wi-Fi in your home to access all of the product’s functionality.

tp-link smart plug

There’s a lot the TP-Link Smart Plug can do. Here are some examples:

  • Connect the plug to a light and schedule a time for when the power turns on/off. Perhaps at dusk and sunrise. Or use the plug’s away mode to turn your devices on/off at different times of the day. This way, strangers will think you’re at home, even when you’re not.
  • When the plug’s connected to an electrical device such as a curling iron, a fan, or a coffee pot, set a time limit. Your appliance will then turn off automatically, guaranteeing you some added peace of mind. If a time limit isn’t ideal, you can always turn off the plug using the app from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
  • Rather use your voice? When paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can operate the smart plug using only your voice. Commands like “Turn on the living room light” or “Turn off the TV” can make your life a lot easier if your hands are full or you’re entering a dark room.
  • Use the plug for certain electronics (such as a television or desktop computer) that you don’t want your children to have access to after a certain time at night. No power? No late-night gaming.

Add Energy Monitoring

Some smart plugs on the market have now added an energy control feature. The one on the TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug analyzes a device’s real-time and historical power consumption. The data is then shared in an easy-to-understand format on the app.

Using this data, you can get a better idea of how much energy you use in your home. Better still, you can find out which devices are using the most energy, and adjust your usage accordingly.

Different Prices and Styles

There are three TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plugs available. The HS100 ($30/£22) is the base model while the identical HS110 ($40) includes the energy monitoring system. The HS105 ($35/£30) is a compact version of the HS100.

Looking to buy in bulk? Discounted two-pack kits are available.

TP-Link Smart Plug, No Hub Required, Wi-Fi, Control your Devices from Anywhere, Works with Alexa (HS100) TP-Link Smart Plug, No Hub Required, Wi-Fi, Control your Devices from Anywhere, Works with Alexa (HS100) Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control Buy Now At Amazon $24.99

More Than Smart Plugs

One of the biggest advantages of using a TP-Link Smart Plug is the company that created it. TP-Link has been making networking products for over 20 years, and it’s one of the few wireless networking companies to manufacture its products in-house.

Besides smart plugs, the company’s lineup of smart home products include switches, cameras, light bulbs, and range extenders. TP-Link’s most popular overall home products include the Deco M5 Whole-Home Wi-Fi system 5 Reasons to Buy a Mesh Wi-Fi Router Kit (And 3 Reasons Not To) 5 Reasons to Buy a Mesh Wi-Fi Router Kit (And 3 Reasons Not To) Is your router tucked away, battling thick walls and providing spotty coverage? A mesh Wi-Fi system wants to put an end to that horror, boosting your wireless coverage throughout the house. Read More , plus routers, network expanders, modems, and gateways.

Worthy Alternatives

Smart plugs have become an important product in the smart home industry. Besides TP-Link, it seems that everyone is releasing this type of product for the home. Among the many alternatives available 6 Smart Plugs That Aren't Belkin WeMo 6 Smart Plugs That Aren't Belkin WeMo Read More are the following.

The D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug ($20) allows you to turn your devices on or off from your smartphone or tablet. You can also use it to create schedules. For voice control, it works with Amazon Alexa. For additional use, you can pair the smart plug with D-Link’s Wi-Fi Water Sensor, Wi-Fi Siren, Wi-Fi Motion Sensor, and Wi-Fi HD Camera.

With the iDevices Switch ($49), you can monitor the energy usage of any device plugged into it. Use the switch to create unlimited schedules or a scene to turn on multiple devices with one command.

idevices switch

Use Apple HomeKit? The iDevices Switch is one of the few smart plugs that’s compatible with Apple’s protocol. It also works with Amazon Alexa.

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet ($60/£60) includes two Wi-Fi connected sockets that you can control and monitor separately. Featuring Siri voice control through Apple HomeKit, the device also includes a 2.4 amp USV charging port for smartphones and tablets.

connectsense smart outlet

Like other smart plugs, the ConnectSense allows you to create scenes to control your home. For example, you can use scenes to turn on your lights Are LED Light Bulbs Worth Buying for Your Home? Are LED Light Bulbs Worth Buying for Your Home? The light-emitting diode bulb (LED) has only just started to become popular within the last decade. Here's what you need to know before deciding if LED bulbs are right for you. Read More , close your garage door, and more.

As its name suggests, the Elgato Eve Energy ($50/£45) device puts great emphasis on tracking your home’s power consumption. It does so by using Bluetooth Smart technology instead of Wi-Fi, setting it apart from the majority of smart plugs on this list.

eve energy elgato

Apple HomeKit-compatible, Eve Energy is one of four smart home products currently on the market from Elgato. There’s also a temperature and humidity monitor, wireless indoor sensor, and wireless outdoor sensor.

The Wemo Mini Smart Plug ($35) is Wi-Fi-enabled and works with Amazon Alexa. It requires only Wi-Fi, not a separate hub. It features a sleek form factor allowing you to stack two plugs in the same outlet — a significant limitation faced by users of other smart plug models.

wemo mini smart plug

Use the Wemo Mini Smart Plug to schedule when devices turn on/off, or select the security-based away mode to turn your devices on and off randomly throughout the day. You can pair the device with Amazon Alexa 7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa 7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa You’ve seen the ads starring Alec Baldwin, but you're still not sure what Amazon Echo does or whether you need one in your home. We’re about to find out. Read More and Nest for added benefits.

Some Things to Remember

When selecting a smart plug Which Smart Plug Is the Best One for You? Which Smart Plug Is the Best One for You? Even if you aren't into the whole smart home automation trend, you really should get yourself a few smart plugs. They're one of the easiest smart home products to use. Read More for your home, make sure that it’s a current model. You don’t want to be stuck with an unsupported device, especially since the smart home market changes so quickly! Additionally, you’ll want to confirm that the device doesn’t require a separate hub to operate. With voice control growing in popularity, you are likely to achieve the best functionality with a plug that has Amazon Alexa and/or Apple HomeKit compatibility.

Finally, look for a discount. While smart plugs are cheaper than many smart home gadgets, depending on the number you wish to buy your overall investment can get expensive very quickly. Luckily, these items are often on sale at certain times of the year, especially around holidays like Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Do you already use smart plugs in your home? Which model(s) do you use and what is your favorite use for them? Leave your comments below!

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  1. Emboel
    June 27, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I'd like to know if some of these has support for IFTTT or Tasker or similar apps!