Smart technology is quickly transforming our homes and allowing us to live more simply, with help from devices such as smart thermostats, smart home systems, and intelligent lighting.
If you’re looking to add to your existing smart home system, or if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge with a full smart home installation, smart plugs could be the ideal stepping stone to a smarter home for you.
Smart Plugs operate like old timer switches, which can be very fiddly and not always accurate. By plugging in a device or lights, and then syncing the smart plug up to your phone, it gives you remote control over it, via an app or through smart hubs like Google, Amazon and Apple.
You can set timers, control devices remotely and monitor your appliances a little bit closer for energy usage. Some smart plugs will even learn your routine, turning multiple appliances on with just one action or trigger.
We have looked into some of the best and most reliable wifi smart plugs on the UK market, to find the right smart device for you.
TP-Link Smart Plug
There are two main TP-Link smart plugs available, the HS100 Smart Plug and its updated version, HS110 Smart Energy Plug and they both work over your wifi.
They both operate like timers, having scheduling and remote control functions, with the key difference being that the HS110 Smart Energy Plug allows you to monitor your energy usage.
The Smart Energy plug works by tracking how much power the device that is plugged into the Smart Plug in using, and it will produce weekly and monthly reports that you can view on the app.
If you already have Google Home or Amazon Alexa in your home, then both TP-Link Smart Plug models will work alongside it and allow you to control your devices by voice command.
Working as a standalone device, the Smart Plug operates through a free app, Kasa, where the installation of a smart plug is quick and easy. TP Link also provide an ‘Away’ setting, which turns any plugged in devices on and off at different points throughout the day, to make it seem as if someone is home.
TP Link HS100 Smart plug costs £29.99 per plug and TP Link HS110 Smart Energy Plug costs £34.99. (Argos)
Hive Active Smart Plugs
If you already have a Hive hub installed in your home, then Hive Active Smart Plugs will be the ideal fit for you.
Controlled by the Hive app, you can schedule devices to turn on and off up to six times each day, you can set multiple devices up to work in conjunction with each other and also monitor your devices closely.
It is operated over a mobile internet or wifi connection, it also syncs up with Amazon Alexa as well, to allow you voice control over your devices.
Although it is very simple to install and set up, the only drawback is that you must have a Hive hub installed for the Hive Smart Plug to work.
Hive Active Smart Plug costs £39.99 (from Currys)
Elgato Eve Energy Smart Wireless Plug
For those who have Apple phones, tablets and desktops, the Elgato Eve Smart Plug is ideal for you. Running off Bluetooth, it has no need for wifi, it’s simple to set up and is part of the smart home Eve range.
Eve Energy Smart Wireless Plug will allow you to see at a glance your energy usage, producing daily, monthly and annual reports, in order for you to make your home smarter, while saving on energy bills.
If you don’t have an Apple Home smart hub installed, that is fine, as this smart plug can work off voice command with the help of Siri on your iOS devices. By assigning custom names to each device plugged in, you can have complete control over your home, set timers and also set multiple devices to work in conjunction in their “create scenes” mode.
Elgate Eve Energy Smart Wireless Plug costs £44.95 (from Argos)
If you’re looking for a cost effective solution, to test out some smart home technology in your home, then we recommend the Orvibo B25 Smart Socket.
It works as a standalone device, controlled through the HomeMate app and allows you to monitor your appliances at any time.
The app offers a timer and scheduling settings, gives you “scene connection” to make apps work in conjunction and also has a power saving remainder. If you do have an Amazon Alexa smart hub installed in your home, the newly upgrade smart socket can also work with it.
We have recently set up Orvibo sockets throughout our centre and found them to be cost effective, simple to use and set up, and also easy to manage devices and schedules.
Orvibo B25 Smart Socket is the cheapest amongst these smart plugs and costs £19.14 (inc VAT) (from CEF)
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