Smart plugs and sockets
Imagine simply plugging your old floor lamp into the outlet and switching it on and off via your smartphone. Or you can program your old toaster so that it pops out crispy toast just in time for breakfast. This is very easy with smart sockets, also called smart plugs.
You can use them to make almost any old appliance smart. They are the universal talents among smart home devices and probably offer the easiest and cheapest way to connect your existing devices. We’ll show you how the smart plugs work, what their advantages are, and what you should keep in mind.
What connected power sources can do
- Easy integration: with connected plugs, many existing household appliances and lamps can be integrated into the smart home.
- Practical control: devices can be automated via the plugs and controlled by voice command, app, or remote access.
- Wide range of systems: smart plugs are available with different connection technologies: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee or DECT.
Smart home has never been easier. Whether it’s a chain of lights, an antique floor lamp, a coffee machine, or a toaster – with smart plugs, you can turn all devices that receive their energy via a power cable into a smart device. At the same time, smart plugs are basically nothing more than intermediate plugs that are compatible with any conventional plug. They are wirelessly connected to your smart home system via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or the DECT standard and control the power supply for the connected devices.
Basically, you can turn your devices on and off via the plug with your smartphone using an app. For example, you can conveniently activate the coffee machine directly from your bed, so that you have aromatic, hot coffee as soon as you come into the kitchen. In this way, the smart home provides more enjoyment and quality of life with little effort and an inexpensive solution.
If you want to smartly connect several devices at the same time in one place, there are also Wi-Fi plugs in the form of a power strip. Each individual socket of the power strip can be controlled and programmed individually. This is a great solution for home cinema in the living room, for example. Here, for example, you can simply connect the smart TV to the old sound system and also integrate the lamps with the smart plug and dim them down when the movie starts. And with the help of the new Home Connect Plus app, your smartphone becomes the universal remote control for your home entertainment. However, smart plugs open up even more control options.
Depending on the model, the plugs can also be controlled by voice command in conjunction with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri. Wi-Fi plugs that are connected to the Internet via the Wi-Fi router can even be controlled remotely when you are on the road.
For advanced users: Wi-Fi plugs with additional functions
- More possibilities: with well-thought-out schedules, devices can be programmed and controlled automatically.
- More sustainability: functions for measuring electricity help to find the power wasters and save energy.
- More security: presence simulation deters burglars and thus contributes to the security of the smart home.
If you already have some experience with your smart home, you can also use the smart plugs to program your devices within the smart home system and create individual schedules. At 6 a.m., for example, the radiant heater in the bathroom comes on so that it’s nice and warm when you get up half an hour later and take a shower. At the same time, the kettle starts automatically via a set-up scenario, so that you can begin steeping your breakfast tea as soon as you come into the kitchen.
Schedules are not only practical, but also help you save energy in the household. Many devices still consume a lot of power even in standby mode. Connected to a Wi-Fi plug, you can now switch them off completely at times when you don’t need them. A minor additional tip: if possible, make sure that the smart plug itself does not consume more power than the stand-by mode of the device. Ideally, the smart plug should not consume more than 0.5 watts in stand-by mode. And this brings us to another feature that some smart plugs with advanced features offer – an integrated measurement and analysis of power consumption. They show you the current power consumption of the connected device in the app and you can easily identify the power wasters in your home.
Another useful additional function of many smart Wi-Fi plugs is presence simulation. For example, burglar gangs often spy on homes to determine when the residents are on vacation. With presence simulation, the connected plugs in the smart home switch lights and various devices such as the TV on and off according to a realistic scenario, fooling potential burglars into thinking that someone is there. Meanwhile, you can relax in the sun and enjoy your vacation without any worries.
Buying a smart plug: what you should keep in mind
- Compatibility: smart plugs should be compatible with the existing smart home system so that you can use their full functions – ideally with the Home Connect Plus app.
- Good performance: high power consumption and switching capacity are important so that you can also safely connect power-intensive devices.
- The right choice: make sure the smart plug has the features you need for your purposes, such as programming, timing, or consumption analysis.
If you want to buy one or more plugs for your smart home, make sure that they are compatible with your smart home. If you want to control the smart plugs directly with the app, for example, a model with Bluetooth is sufficient. If you want to integrate the plugs more into the smart home system and combine them with other smart devices, Wi-Fi plugs or those with the Zigbee standard are the right choice for you. And with the Home Connect Plus app, you naturally have full control over all compatible smart plugs.
Smart plugs offer the most joy and possibilities if they have the highest possible power consumption and switching capacity. If you want to connect power-intensive devices, we recommend devices with a current consumption of 16 amps, which can withstand a total power of 3,680 watts.
Before buying, think carefully about what you want to do with the smart plug. Is it enough for you to operate the connected devices via app? Or do you also want to use programming and timer functions, consumption analysis, or presence simulation? If you also want to use the Wi-Fi plug with voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri, make sure that the selected model is also compatible with the respective service.
Thanks to Home Connect Plus, you have a free choice and can decide for yourself which purposes your smart plugs should fulfill. Or base your decision on the best price-performance ratio. Home Connect Plus then integrates them into a smart home system without any effort. If you want to make sure that your plug works with the Home Connect Plus app, we’ve listed some products below from our partner brands.
Smart plugs: our partners
Smart plugs can do more than just reduce power consumption. Their biggest advantage is that you can make all your old devices smart without much effort. This makes entering the smart home world even more fun, especially when you use the Home Connect Plus app to combine and centrally control a wide variety of device categories and systems from our partners. There are no limits to your creativity.
Devices or brand missing? Let us know!
We’re constantly expanding our extensive partner network. If your smart devices or brands are missing, please let us know.
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