Guide To Smart Plugs & Sockets

Controlling your appliances is now easier than ever.

By simply plugging in a smart plug between your appliance and your wall socket, or by replacing the socket itself, you can benefit from smartphone control, automations, scenes and timers quickly and easily.

There are numerous uses for this that can benefit your day to day life;

Lamps: Plug table or floor lamps into a smart plug or socket and control it through your smartphone, voice control with Alexa and create automatic timers to turn your lights on and off at preset times.

Hair Straighteners: Never leave your hair straighteners on again! With a smart plug or socket you can easily check it’s status and turn it off from anywhere with your smartphone. Always use the same socket? You can even create automatic timers that once you turn the socket on, it’ll automatically turn itself off after a preset time.

Ponds & Aquariums: Control aquarium lighting, pond pumps, fountains and much more. Simply plug in line with the device, add to the app and create timers to turn the lights on and off at preset times each day.

The options are as endless as your imagination.

If it plugs into a standard UK plug then you can plug it into a smart plug or socket to benefit from the smart features!

Types Of Smart Plugs & Sockets

Smart Plugs

These are the easiest and quickest way to start controlling your appliances.

Simply plug this device into your existing standard socket outlet, plug in your appliance and then add it to the app.

You can get full control of your appliance including timers, scenes and automations for as little as £12 and no installation required!

Smart plugs are ideal for Christmas lights, floor lamps etc.

The only downside is that they add a bit of extra bulk to the socket outlet as the device plugs in between your appliances standard plug and the wall socket.

If the socket is out of sight then this is a great, cost effective way to start automating your appliances.

Smart Sockets

Smart sockets give you all of the benefits of smart plugs but in a more discreet package.

These simply replace your existing socket outlets.

Most smart sockets even look like standard socket outlets so these are great for applications where the socket is on display.

Installing them is a bit trickier than smart plugs, but for most competent DIY’ers, electricians or handymen it’s just a case of replacing the standard socket for the smart socket and adding it to the app.

Some smart sockets such as from Lightwave also feature power monitoring allowing you to see and track the consumption of the connected device.

Another great smart device is the outdoor smart socket.

This looks like every other outdoor weatherproof socket outlet yet it can control & automate whatevers plugged into it.

These are great for controlling and automating festoon lights, outdoor heaters and many other use cases. 

At a similar cost to a standard socket outlet it’s now easy and cheap to automate your appliances which can also lead to reduced energy consumption thus saving money.

Smart Extension Leads

Imagine a standard extension lead, but each individual socket outlet can be controlled independently on the app.

Perfect for desks or other applications where there are multiple plugs that may need to be controlled, i.e Christmas lights, aquariums etc.

Each socket can be controlled in the app from anywhere in the world from your smartphone.

You can also create timers and scenes for each plug.

Most smart extension leads also feature USB outlets to power phones and other devices. These can also be controlled by the app, voice control, timers etc. however most of the time the control turns all USB’s on/off, not individual USBs.

Smart Features To Look Out For

Voice Control

Almost all of the smart plugs and sockets on the market today will feature voice control from Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Simply say “Alexa, turn the aquarium lights on” and the lights will turn themselves on!

All of the sockets and plugs you’ll find on our website work with Amazon Alexa & Google Home. 

The Lightwave sockets also work with Apple Homekit.

Power Monitoring

Some plugs & sockets also feature power monitoring allowing you to track and monitor the power consumption.

For instance the Lightwave smart socket has full power monitoring, within the app you can look at the power consumption which may help you to save money by reducing your energy use.

With the Fibaro smart plug you can even create rules based on the power to help you save energy and money.

WiFi / Z Wave

Smart plugs are typically WiFi and all of the ones you find on our website work on the Tuya Smart Life platform allowing you to group, control and automate them with other compatible products such as smart bulbs and sensors.

If you’re looking towards a Z Wave system such as the Fibaro smart home system then you’ll be pleased to know that you can also get a Z Wave Smart Plug which can be incorporated into your Z Wave system to get all the same benefits such as scenes, timers, automations.

Sensors & Contacts

You can also control smart plugs and sockets from smart motion sensors and door contacts.

For example you can have a floor lamp turn on automatically when you walk through the hallway after dark, then turn itself off again after 10 minutes.

All this requires is a smart plug and a wireless smart motion sensor and some imagination!

Conclusion

As you can see it is really easy to get up and running with a smart plug, socket or extension lead and there are numerous lights & appliances you can automate to make your life easier.

If you need any help choosing the right device for your needs please feel free to contact our expert team by email, live chat or calling on 02392 006118.

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