Forget Amazon’s New Smart Plug These Do The Same Thing For Less
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET’s popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast . He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms .
It seems like a logical addition to the ecosystem: a smart plug that allows “dumb” appliances to work via Alexa voice commands. “Alexa, start the coffeemaker!” “Alexa, turn off the living-room lamp!” And so on.
And, lo, the . Priced at $25, it’s one of the many devices introduced at on Thursday. Just plug it into any electrical outlet, plug your lamp or appliance into the new outlet, then pair the Smart Plug to your Echo smart speaker. Great, right?
Change Up How Your Smart Home Functions
One of the most common causes for the multiple user problem is an Amazon Smart Plug that is located in a common area. Whether its a shared bedroom, hallways, or a living room, these areas can become tricky when it comes to sharing control with everyone who needs it.
A quick way to solve this problem is just to adjust how your smart home works for you. Thats the point of smart home technology, after all. We use these gadgets to improve our quality of life and give us easier and greater control over our homes. Changing which fixtures are connected to smart plugs, which rooms have them, and how users are divided amongst common devices can remove the problems caused by user restrictions just as easily as anything else.
We can also get around this issue by switching brands.
How To Setup Amazon Smart Plug
- Plug in the smart plug into the socket that you want to make smart.
- Open the Alexa app and click the +’ icon to add the plug into your devices’ list.
- Select Plug’ from the list and click on Next.
- Scan the QR code on the bundled quick start guide to add the device or press and hold the power button on the plug until the LED starts flashing blue and red.
- Press Next to continue setup.
- Give Wi-Fi access to the smart plug.
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What Are The Best Smart Plugs For Using With Amazon Echo And Google Home
Being able to sync up your smart plug with a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa is one of the best features, and luckily, there are many smart plugs on the market that are compatible with both. Three of the more popular smart plug brands are the Wemoâ¢ Smart Plug, the Kasa Smartâ¢ Wi-Fi Plug and the . Which one is best for you will depend on which features matter most â there are many options to choose from, from compact design to the ability to group your smart plug with other smart devices in your home for simple commands.
What Can A Smart Plug Do
Once Alexa recognizes the device, you can add it routines or create new ones specifically for the plug. Youll also be able to use voice commands via an Amazon ECHO device or the Alexa app on your phone to turn the plug on or off.
Combining the plug with other smart home devices could be a bright idea, allowing you to activate a home security routine while offsite or having a motion or light sensing device activate a command that turns the plug on to activate a light.
Alexa will also allow you to create time-based routines so that the plug could turn on at 8:00 am to activate your coffee maker or turn on a light source to help wake the kids up. As the plug is a simple on/off the device, youll need to ensure that whichever appliance you connect will work without any other input or switches.
You could use it to turn on holiday lights, a lamp by the front door at dusk, or a light in the garage or basement when you walk down there.
You might also connect the plug to a fan or heater and have Alexa turn the switch on when a certain temperature is reached. Theres lots of possibilities.
Managing the plug is easy inside the Alexa app. You can use the app as a remote control or talk to your Echo device.
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What Does A Smart Plug Do With Alexa
Integrating your smart plug with Alexa allows you to control it with your voice. Once integrated, you can ask Alexa to turn on, or off, the product that is connected to it.
In addition to being able to voice activate your smart plug, Alexa provides better automation functionality. If you have other smart home products that also integrate with Alexa, youll be able to use them all together.
For example, consider the following. You have a smart lock on your front door, smart light switches in your bedroom and a humidifier plugged into a smart plug.
You can now say Alexa, Goodnight and trigger a series of automations that lock your front door, turn your bedroom lights off and turn on your humidifier.
The possibilities are quite literately endless.
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Amazon Smart Plug lets you voice-control your lights, coffee machines, fans and more. All you need is an Alexa-enabled device like Echo, Fire TV, Fire tablet, Sonos One, or even just the Alexa App on your phone.
And with multiple Amazon Smart Plugs, you can control multiple electrical sockets.
Use the Alexa App to create routines for your Amazon Smart Plug that make life easierâall you have to do is ask. For example, you can create a morning routine that turns on lights and your coffee machine with a single request.
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How Does A Smart Plug Work
Almost all smart plugs on the market today work by plugging them into an existing outlet and then connecting them to your homes Wi-Fi network.
Once the smart plug is plugged into an outlet and Wi-Fi has been enabled, you can plug a device into the smart plug and begin controlling it from your smartphone, using the accompanying app.
The app simply sends a signal to the plug about when to turn on or off.
Most smart plugs do not require a smart hub in order to use them. However they can leverage them in order to communicate and work with other smart products.
What Is A Smart Plug
A smart plug can turn any standard electrical outlet into a smart home outlet.
Youll place the plug into an electrical socket and then plug in whatever youd 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, theres no need to worry about batteries or charging.
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Smarter Than The Average Plug
Have you ever wished that your appliances could do the thinking for you? That your house would just run itself? Or even that you could save energy without having to run around the house every night to switch off all the power points?
Finally, there is an easy, way to make your wishes come true! Smart plugs are the first easy step into home automation, and they will have you wondering how you ever got by without them.
Before we get into the awesome things you can do with them, you might be wondering what a Smart Plug is, and what makes them ‘Smart’?
Registering Echo Devices And Multiple Users
Heres how the flip side of this problem works. An Echo device registered to Account A can only see devices also registered to Account A. Even if that Echo is sitting right next to Account Bs smart plug, it wont be able to see a thing.
This means your verbal commands sent to an Echo device might not be able to interact with a nearby smart plug. It all comes down to which devices are registered to which accounts. This is even more important than physical range and distance between devices.
There seems to be a pretty large issue with multiple user environments and some of Amazons smart technology, but are there ways to get around these limitations? Well yes sort of.
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Smart Plug Wont Connect To Wifi
If your smart plug wont connect to WiFi, the first step is to make sure that your WiFi is working in the first place. Check on your phone or laptop that your connection is solid.
If you have a good connection, the next step would be to unplug the smart plug from the wall and then plug it back in. Press and hold the button found on the device until the light flashes. In the product specific app attempt to re-setup your smart plug.
If that all fails you likely have a more complicated, but not impossible, challenge on your hands a mesh network.
Without getting into too much detail, mesh networks combine 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies into a single WiFi network. Back in the day these frequencies would each have their own dedicated WiFi network. For example, you would see two WiFi networks for your home 1) Home_2.4GHz and 2) Home_5GHz.
Now a days these are often combined together. This posses a problem for your smart device since it is likely looking for just the 2.4GHz network to connect with.
Unfortunately, your best bet is setting up an inexpensive, separate 2.4GHz router that connects to your mesh network.
‘what Is An Amazon Smart Plug’: Everything You Need To Know About Amazon’s Outlet That Lets You Turn Devices On With Your Voice
- The is an outlet that you can plug into the existing outlets in your home.
- Any device that you plug into an Amazon Smart Plug can be turned on and off using the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.
- The Alexa app allows you to set timers and routines for all of the Smart Plugs in your home, and lets you control your devices remotely and with your voice.
Remember the Clapper? Clap once, your lights turned on. Clap again, and they turned off. It was a popular device that made turning on your lights as low-effort as possible.
Now, with the advent of smart technology like the , managing your electronics is even easier.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Amazon Smart Plug, one of Amazon’s tools for turning your living space into a Smart Home
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Should You Buy The Amazon Smart Plug: Is This The Right Smart Plug For You
The Amazon Smart Plug adds Alexa control to any device, but is it the right option for your needs? We’ll take you through it
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The Amazon Smart plug is Amazon’s own way to add smart control via Alexa to any device. Smart plugs are fantastically useful little bits of smart home kit, enabling you to control ‘dumb’ appliances such as lamps and anything else you can connect up to mains power they can be turned on and off from your smartphone, or on an automated schedule.
You can get the coffee machine started before you head downstairs, give the impression that someone is home when the house is empty, and plenty more besides. Here we’ll be looking at one of the most prominent devices on the market: the Amazon Smart Plug.
The Smart Plug: A Beginner’s Guide
Considering buying a smart plug to turn your home into an instantly smart space? Heres a guide to everything you need to know about the smart plug from what it can do to whether its worth the spend
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Heard the term smart plug bandied about and wondered what all the fuss was about? Here, we tell you what smart plugs are, what they do, whether theyre worth the trouble and how they can make your life easier . Theres also a quick list of the best buys.
Find more of the best smart home buys, advice and reviews on The Hub.
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Hair Straighteners & Curling Irons
Have you ever left the house wondering if you left your hair straighteners or curling iron on? Often this results in having to rush back home to check due to the potential risk of a fire starting. If you use your hair irons with smart plugs, you will be able to check and turn them off remotely, improving home safety.
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Simple To Set Up And Use
Plug in Amazon Smart Plug. If your Alexa app says âNew plug found,â go straight to Step 3.
Tap the Devices icon in the lower right of the Alexa App, then click the + icon to get started.
To use your device with Alexa, just say âAlexa, turn on First Plug.
With Wi-Fi simple setup, you can make your home smart in a snap. All you need is the Alexa app to control your outlet from anywhere.
Why Is The Amazon Smart Plug A Viral Home Technology Product
This affordable, easy-to-use smart plug simplifies just about everything that youd ever want to plug in: TVs, lamps, fans, the coffeemaker. It takes the guesswork out of turning things on and off from just about anywhereeven remotely.
That means you can schedule electronics to turn on and off automatically. You can also control them when youre away from the house or just shut off the living room lamps when youre in bed and too tired to get back up.
The works seamlessly with the Alexaapp to give you full access to anything plugged into the SmartPlug from the touch of a button on your phone or saying, Hey Alexa, followed by the command of your choice.
Each smart plug is offered at an affordable under-$25 price point. It offers priceless value when you dont have to rush home from work to shut off the lights, slow cooker, or other devices and showcases all the best of what Alexa can do to simplify life.
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Ways To Turn On Your Smart Plug
Alexa voice command
Alexa, turn on .
If youre using your smart plug to control a light, remember that you cant tell Alexa to dim the light because the smart plug functions as an on/off switch .
Via the Alexa app
Go to devices on the bottom navigation bar > Plugs > toggle on and off.
As part of a routine
Say you want your bedroom light to turn on as part of a morning wake-up routine.
In the Alexa app, go to the hamburger icon on the upper left > Routines > + icon on the upper right. Tap When this happens > Schedule > pick a time and Repeat setting > tap the Done button at the bottom. When youre back on the New Routine tab, tap Add action > Smart Home > Control device > first plug > toggle on > Next. This will bring you back to the New Routine tab one more time where you can tap Save in the upper right corner to create your new routine.
Make Sure The Device Is Updated
The first step you should take if you encounter any errors is to make sure both your Amazon Alexa app and your are updated to the latest version. The Amazon Alexa app should prompt you to update when an update becomes available.
Your should also automatically update over Wi-Fi when updates are released, but if it doesnt, unplug the device from the outlet for about 15 seconds and then plug it back in. This should prompt an update.
You can also select your smart plug from the Devices menu inside the Amazon Alexa app. Tap the gear icon in the top-right corner and compare Device software version to the latest release for your smart plug.
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