Why Use Smart Plugs?

While many of the products we review here are readily available to purchase and operate without a license, we always recommend hiring a qualified electrician to install and demonstrate their use.

In some cases, improper use and installation may result in a breach of insurance. Even worse, you could be putting yourself or your family at risk as an incorrectly installed electrical device could start a fire. So, don’t risk it - seek the services of a fully licensed electrician instead.

3 General and 5 Specific Reasons You Should Invest in a Smart Plug

It was only a few years back that if the electronics in your house started working of their own volition, you’d be inviting the priest over for an exorcism, stat.

Fast-forward to present day, and many homes exhibit this spooky autonomy, but they’re not haunted by ghouls, ghosts, or demons, they’re just kitted out with smart plugs!

Why Use Smart Plugs?

A relatively new addition to the “smart” market, these brain box plugs are steadily sweeping the nation, granting people articulate control over almost any electronics in their home, without even lifting a finger.

Well...that’s not entirely true; you may have to tap your phone, so lifting the finger is sort of the bare minimum, but I digress.

Many are already won over by these nifty devices, but if you’re a little on the fence about the whole situation, then prepare to be converted. Today I’m going to be telling you what the big fuss is about and why you could benefit from a smart plug or two (or 10) in your home.

What Are Smart Plugs?

In essence, a smart plug is a plug adapter with a Wi-Fi connection. It connects to your smart home system and to your phone via a company app.

Once you have one set up, you can plug whatever was in the wall outlet to begin with into the adapter, and then, as if by magic, you can turn that device on or off via the app on your phone, or even with voice commands via a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant. Pretty magical, right?

Why Use a Smart Plug: The Core Reasons

With the basics covered, let’s take a look at the general reasons you might want to boost your outlets’ IQ.

Energy Efficiency

You’d be forgiven for thinking an advanced bit of gear like a smart plug would use more energy. In fact, that’s one of the number one reasons some people refuse to bring them into their household, but the truth of the matter is that they’re better for the old energy bill than you’d expect.

While it’s true that smart plugs draw roughly 1-watt in standby mode, if used correctly, they can indeed reduce your carbon footprint.

According to the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), smart plugs could cut between 1 and 4.58% from your typical energy usage. That’s roughly 500–1000kw a year, which equates to about a month’s energy for the average household!

Affordability

Of all the smart gear doing the rounds right now, smart plugs are some of the most affordable, which means you can get in on the automated fun without smashing your piggy bank — hooray!

Control

I’m the first person to admit that some smart devices are definitely superfluous luxuries, but smart plugs are incredibly practical devices that give you more articulate control over your electronics.

The ability to set on/off timings and control your home electronics on the go opens up a myriad of energy-saving and stress-relieving doors.

5 Awesome Ways to Use Your Smart Plugs

So, that’s the big scoop on the smart plug situation, which means, now, we can get down to the nitty-gritty with some specific ways you can use your smart plugs to make life easier, save some energy, and protect your home.

1. Fool ne’er do wells into thinking you’re home

Leaving your lights or TV on when you’re out for an evening is a tried and tested burglar deterrent, but the illusion is even more effective if lights turn on and off at certain times, and it saves you a bunch on the energy bill, too.

Simply set a lamp near a window, dial in the timings with the app, and voilà; the thieves and trespassers will recede into the shadows from whence they came.

2. Reduce the suck of vampire power

For the uninitiated, vampire power is the energy used by all your electrons that spend most of the day in standby mode — we’re talking microwaves, routers, computers, laptops, heaters, and so on.

You may think that these devices aren’t using all that much energy, and individually, they’re not, but working as a team, they’re gobbling through some serious power, so much that vampiric drain accounts for 1% of global CO2 emissions.

With a smart plug, you can set timings for these devices, so they’re only powered when you’re actually around to use them.

3. Optimize your phone’s battery service life

It’s safe to say that most of us charge our phones before bed so they’re juiced when we wake up, affording us a full day of slacking off at work playing Angry Birds (or whatever the kids or playing these days).

But here’s the thing, we may need a full 8 hours sleep per night, but our phone batteries don’t. Overcharging can reduce their service life, but with a smart plug set to turn on for 2–3 hours, they get just the right amount of power they need.

4. Prepare dinner for your arrival

You’ve been salivating all over your important work documents thinking about that lasagne waiting for you back home, but it’s going to take an hour to cook...unacceptable.

With a smart plug, you can get that oven heating on the commute home. You could even set the lasagne up in there before work, so it’s ready to eat as you walk through the door.

5. Keep cozy in bed

I, personally, need numerous fans to help me fall asleep during the summer, but inevitably, I’ll get a tad chilly around 4 or 5 am, and I’ll have to fumble around in the dark trying to turn them off.

A smart plug asks us why we bother wrestling our electronics in the dark when they can take care of business for us, leaving us to our sweet dreams — thanks smart plug!

What Are the Best Smart Plugs on the Market?

1. Amazon Smart Plug

As an Amazon device, this smart plug will slide seamlessly into your Amazon smart home network.

2. Kasa Smart HS103P2

Well-designed, easy to use, affordable...this Kasa masterpiece is the perfect place for “smart” novices to start.

3. TanTan Mini Smart Plug 

One smart plug drawback is that they can jut quite far from the wall, but this Mini design by TanTan keeps things nice and trim.

A Final Thought on Smart Plugs

Honestly, we’ve barely scratched the surface on the usefulness of smart plugs here today. When you invest in your own, you’ll constantly find new and exciting ways to use them that make your life a whole heck of a lot easier, save you a few bucks, and even protect you and your home from danger— still on the smart plug fence?