What exactly is a Smart Plug and why do you need one?

A while back you might have used those plugs with a mechanical on/off timer with your lamps to make it look like you were out of town or to control your holiday lights without having to worry about turning them on and off every night.

Controlled by an app or your voice, a smart plug lets you turn on and off any appliance that plugs into a standard wall socket. When added to a smart home hub, you also have the option to automate it so that it reacts to schedules and triggers created based on your daily routines. Simply plug it into any wall socket, then plug your chosen appliance into it. You can use it with a lamp, a TV, a cable box, a coffee machine... whatever you like.

What are the most common uses of a smart plug?

  • Use them to save energy so they can turn off an appliance automatically when not in use
  • Enjoy a ready-made coffee when you wake up in the morning
  • Fool some opportunistic burglars by randomly turning lights on and off when you’re away
  • Get peace of mind knowing that any accidentally left-on appliance can be switched off from anywhere 
  • Schedule certain appliances or lamps to turn off automatically at bedtime
  • Control any appliance with your favorite voice assistant
  • Monitor energy usage and even get a notification when a device starts using unusual amounts of energy

What types of smart plugs are there and which one do I need?

Depending on your application you can get a smart plug in one of four variations. Outdoor smart plugs are designed to withstand the elements so you can safely control your outdoor lighting or your backyard oven. Smart plugs also come in power strip format so you can easily control lots of appliances at the same time. They may offer additional benefits like being a surge protector. Dimmer smart plugs have the ability to control a dimmable light or a ceiling fan with a touch screen slider or your voice. And the most common smart plugs are the simple on/off switches which are less expensive than their counterparts and smaller in size which make them great for use in tight spaces like behind media cabinets or sofas.

Finally, should you buy a smart plug?

If you like a fantastically useful little thing that enables you to control any small plug-in appliance, a smart plug is right down your alley. They are getting very affordable as well.

Check out our article on “8 Awesome Things You Can Do With Smart Plugs” to learn about more things you can do with your smart plugs. 

Want a smart plug that can also control other devices? The Ezlo PlugHub Energy, which combines the features of a smart plug with the capabilities of a hub, lets you control whatever device is plugged into it, but it also enables control of other smart plugs, lights, sensors, thermostats, and more—either through a single app or by using your voice. It’s like a smart home starter kit all by itself. Learn more about the Ezlo PlugHub Energy here.