Best smart plugs for easy home automation in 2023: 9 reasons you NEED one NOW!


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Erin Lawrence

Best smart plugThe smart plug is one of the best ways to get started with smart home tech. They’re typically inexpensive, and they’re dead easy to install. You can use them to control lights or other electronics that aren’t smart yet, so they’re a great way to get your feet wet if you’re just getting started with home automation. While Amazon Smart Plug is one of the most popular amazon smart plugs, there are lots out there. Since they’ve been in the market for quite a while now, users have found some really cool ways to use them. Here are some of our favorites:

What is the difference between smart plug and smart outlet?

By the way; if you’re wondering what is the difference between smart plug and smart outlet it’s a simple but important distinction. A smart plug plugs into your existing outlets to add remote, voice or hands-free control.  They’re relatively cheap too. A smart outlet is wired directly into your home’s electrical system and either requires some basic electrical knowledge or a certified electrician to install.

Why use a smart plug? What can a smart plug do?

1.   Make it look like someone’s home by remotely turning on lamps

If you’re going away on a trip, then you can use automation to make your home look occupied. When you leave, turn on all of your lamps and set them to turn off after a few hours or when the sun comes up in the morning—you cn even stagger different times for different lamps. This way, anyone watching the house (burglars?!) will think someone is home.

2.   Never forget to unplug appliances again

One of the most common reasons for fires in homes is when people leave appliances plugged in and forget about them. If you’re going away on a trip, then you can monitor which appliances are still plugged in and shut them off via your smartphone or set up automation to turn off your appliances after a few hours. This way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn off the space heater before heading out for work. Are smart plugs worth it? This might be the best reason to get a smart plug of all since it can save you having to return home to check if something’s turned off.

3.   Play a prank on your housemates

If you have housemates or annoying siblings, then you can use smart plugs to play a prank on them. You can set up your plugs to turn on and off at random times, or even have them turn on appliances that are plugged into the wall. Turning the fan on and off is always a crowd-pleaser.

4.   Easily Reboot your Wi-Fi router

We’ve all had to do it at one point or another —the dreaded router reboot. It’s not the most fun thing to do, but it can help fix some connectivity problems on your network. Trouble is most often our Wi-Fi routers are in the basement, or plugged into an out-of-the-way outlet. That’s hard to reach. This is a genius hack: With a smart plug, you can reboot your router with the click of a button from anywhere.

5.   Give your guests a cheerful greeting when they ring your smart doorbell

If you have a smart doorbell like the Ring Doorbell, you can sync it with your smart plug to get a unique greeting when someone rings it. For example, you could have your smart plug turn on a neon light that spells “Welcome!”. Or, you could simply have a lamp come on so it looks like someone is at home.

6.   Get the air conditioner or space heater going before you even enter the house

Turn your non-smart air conditioner or heater into a smart home gadget by using it with a smart plug. You may not have granular controls on temperature levels or humidity but at least you can turn it on or off remotely. This will save you money and energy since you won’t have to worry about your home being too hot or cold when you arrive. Plus, it works in reverse to; if you’ve left one of these devices, running after heading out, you can shut them off remotely to save energy and money.

7.   Never walk in the dark again

If you’ve ever had to walk in the middle of the night to the bathroom or to grab a glass of water, you know sometimes a bit of gentle light can make that trip quick and easy. With a smart plug connected to a night light and a motion sensor, you’d never have to worry about tripping over something in the dark again. Just walk into a room and the light will come on automatically.

8.   Save yourself from vampire power

Have you ever heard of vampire power? It’s the energy that some devices use even when they’re turned off. This can be especially problematic with electronics that have a standby mode, like TVs and computers. While it’s not exactly drawing power, it’s still using energy especially if you have multiple devices slowly draining power out of your outlets. If you want to cut down on your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint, try installing smart plugs with timers or motion sensors that will automatically turn off electronics when they’re not in use.

9.   Automate your morning brew

If you like coffee, this one is for you. If you have a smart plug and a coffee machine, then all you have to do is plug the appliance into your smart plug and set up automation. Then whenever it’s time for your morning cup of joe, flip on the switch with your phone before getting out of bed and your coffee will be ready when you get to the kitchen.

Whether you’re looking to automate a few household items or want to build out your smart home, smart plugs will give you plenty of options. Plus, it’s way cheaper than investing in smart IoT devices.

Which are the best smart plugs?

If you need a little help in the choice of which smart plug is the best for your smart home, we’ve rounded up several of the most popular and highest rated.

Now you don’t have to wonder Which smart plug should I buy? or What smart plugs work best? These are the best picks.

Amazon Smart Plug

amazon smart plug plugged into a wall outlet.One of the originals and easiest versions to use, Amazon got it very right with its original smart plug. Featuring Alexa integration and voice control and an easy fast free set up, this is a great smart, plug to get or gift, particularly to someone who is not super tech savvy.

Govee Smart Plug

These are the best smart plugs if you don’t want to take up a lot of space in an outlet or power bar. These small round plugs from home automation systems specialists Govee are super easy to connect to and offer simple, straightforward automation. There’s also a button on the side that gives you quick on/off control without needing your phone or voice. There’s also a two outlet version for double the smart home power, and each outlet can be controlled individually. We have reviewed many Govee products like their Govee Hexa Lights, and outdoor string lights and find the whole system easy to use and convenient.

Kasa Smart Plug

These smart plugs have over 20,000 awesome ratings. People seem to love their ease of use, easy, set up, and simple automation. You can link these kasa smart plugs up and use simple voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant. Set daily schedules or use the timer or countdown feature to automatically turn on and off any home appliances like a lamp or even the Christmas lights. You’ll love the convenience of managing your electronics from anywhere with your smartphone using the Kasa app, whether you are at home, in the office or on vacation.

Wyze Smart Plug

Wyze is another super-popular smart home brand that makes a simple and easy to use smart plug. While this one is a bit wide for a single plug, it’s easy to set up and use.

Wemo Smart Plug

best smart plugs

If you’re looking for a smart plug, that’s compatible with Apple HomeKit, this is a good option. With the Wemo Smart Plug with Thread you can control your devices from anywhere using Apple HomeKit, the Apple Home App on iPhone & iPad, with Siri.The design on this one saves space too, thanks to its sleek, more compact form, designed not to obstruct other wall sockets

Cync by GE Smart Plug

Upgrade your smart home with this single-outlet smart plug that’s compatible with Google Home and Alexa. Smart plugs from Cync make your traditional devices smart by providing voice and app control at all times, even when you’re away. The Cync smart plug makes any lamp or electric device smart, so smart plugs and devices respond to voice commands as an entire smart home system.

Plus there’s no hub needed for this: The Cync smart plugs that work with Google Home and Alexa include a hub that connects directly to voice assistant devices, so you don’t need to purchase a standalone bridge or hub.

We reviewed the Cync smart home lineup, and you can check out more details here.

Best outdoor smart plugs

There are also smart plugs, available for outdoor use. These are specially rated against weather and water incursion so it’s very important to choose an outdoor option if you are going to put it outside in your yard.

Cync Outdoor Smart Plug

Cync by GE smart light strip reviewWell, this outdoor smart plug looks a bit funny and kind of unwieldy with it blocky head and short tail, it’s a killer way to add remote control and smarts over old fashion, string lights, or other outdoor lights. Each of its two outlets can be controlled by itself, or as a group, and it’s easy to set up and use. Well, you don’t need a separate hub for this one, if you don’t opt to get one you do miss out on some automation features like scheduling. See the full review here.

Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug

With individual Control of 2 outlets and a waterproof cover this is a good outdoor smart plug to help automate things like light and speakers. With a long Wi-Fi range up to 300 feet plus IP64 weather resistance and hands-free convenience of controlling any outdoor electronic appliances with your voice via Alexa or Google Home Assistant, this is a great addition to any yard.

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