The best way to start saving on your electricity costs is to get smart with how you use electricity, one of the best ways to do this would be to use smart plugs. Smart plugs convert ordinary household devices and appliances into smart devices and can automate just about anything in your house in minutes. They do this by allowing you to control the power supply to each appliance through an app on your smart phone. It’s also worth mentioning that habit would be the next best way of getting smart with your electricity bills, getting into the habit of not using lights in during the day time, turning the TV completely off when you’re not watching it and only turning things on as you need them can also save you money.
Benefits of using smart plugs:
Many smart plug models can make you more aware of the energy you’re using, how much it’s costing you and where you could be saving money. Smart plugs from brands such as Eve Energy and TP-Link will monitor how much energy the appliance connected to them is using. Keeping track of how much energy we use isn’t the only way they can help. You are probably aware that keeping devices on standby accounts for a chunk of totally unnecessary energy use. By having items such as your TV, Sky TV box and games console on standby, or charging your laptop and tablet all the time they’re not in use, you’re continuously using electricity. In fact, the Energy Saving Trust believes the average UK home wastes £35.00 per year through appliances left on standby alone.
For many of us these appliances may not be easy to switch on and off at the wall socket regularly. However, a smart plug ensures you can use your smartphone, rather than fiddling about behind furniture trying to find the switch which makes the process much less of a chore and gives you far less of an excuse to leave it on!
Best budget smart plug? There are a load of smart plugs out there but many of them are big and bulky. But if you are looking for a great option to start you off, the TP-Link Tapo P100 is a great option.
Another selling point is price. The TP-Link Tapo smart plugs are very affordable and come with various purchase options:
1 – socket – £7.99
2 – pack – £13.99
4 – pack – £26.99
These smart plugs have a tiny body only a little larger than a regular plug, so you can put one in a double socket without obscuring anything.
The Tapo smart plugs are controlled via the Tapo application or voice contol with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
The Tapo app is what you’d expect from tech giant TP-Link. It is simple and user friendly to use. Via the app, the smart plugs are straightforward and easy to set up. The app also supports scheduling features. For example, you can schedule times for your TV’s to turn off, for your kettle to turn on in the morning. The app also support runtime statistics. There is also a nifty ‘Away Mode’ security feature which randomly turns on and off TV or Lamp you have setup to give the impression you’re home, which can help prevent a burglar.
The only drawback is that Samsung SmartThings produces don’t work with these smart plugs.
Click play on the video below for setup:
In order for your smart plug to work properly, you’re going to need a stable Wi-Fi connection and a mobile phone with the Tapo app installed.
Best all round smart plug? In my opinion, the best all round smart plug would be the TP-Link Kasa HS100 smart plugs. It is TP-Links top of the range and more expensive smart plugs but it boasts all the same features as the Tapo smart plugs and more, including compatibility with Samsung SmartThings which the Tapo smart plugs don’t support.
Scheduling – Schedule the Smart Plug to automatically power electronics on and off as needed, like setting lights to come on at dusk or turn off at sunrise.
Energy Monitoring – Analyse a device’s real-time and historical power consumption.
Away Mode – Turns your devices on and off at different times to give the appearance that someone is home.
Voice Control – Pair to Amazon Alexa or The Google Assistant to enable voice control.
Grouping – Use Grouping to combine all 3 of your smart plugs on the power strip with other Kasa Smart devices for seamless control with one single tap on your smartphone.
Smart Actions – Enable device interconnections and home automation for your Kasa devices. There are three types of Actions that can be created: “Motion Sensing”, “Schedule a Scene” and “Auto-off Timer”.
It’s worth noting that the Kesa smart plug is not as sleek as the Tapo, however, it is still small enough to get two side by side on a double socket with no issues.
The Kesa smart plugs utalise a different app than the Tapo smart plugs, even though they are from the same company. To setup and use the Kesa smart plugs you will need a smart phone with the ‘Kesa’ application installed from the play store or App store.
The Kesa App may not be as sleek looking at the Tapo app however it is just as easy to use and smart plugs are just as straight forward to set up in the Kesa app.
Click the video below for setup:
In order for your smart plug to work properly, you’re going to need a stable Wi-Fi connection and a mobile phone with the Kasa app installed.
Tapo Smart plug purchase link – TP-Link Tapo Smart Plug Wi-Fi Outlet, Works with Amazon Alexa (Echo and Echo Dot), Google Home, Wireless Smart Socket, Device Sharing, Without Energy Monitoring, No Hub Required – Tapo P100 (4-Pack) : Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories
Kasa HS100 – HS110 | Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring | TP-Link United Kingdom
Kasa HS100 – Kasa Smart Plug by TP-Link, WiFi Outlet, Works with Amazon Alexa (Echo and Echo Dot), Google Home and Samsung SmartThings, Wireless Smart Socket Remote Control Timer Switch, No Hub Required(HS100) : Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories