Starting Out With Smart Home Tech? A Smart Plug Is Your Easiest In

One of the handiest and easiest Smart Home devices to set up is the Smart Plug. Because it’s either off, or on, it’s easy to get to grips with and will allow you to familiarise yourself with the principles of how Smart devices work. This week you’ll be connecting your smart plug, next week you’ll be securely installing and enjoying a complete Smart Home environment!

They’re handy because they allow you to control all the little devices you have around your home which wouldn’t normally be smart or be controlled remotely. So if you have floor lamps, desk fans, electric heaters, or a radio or TV which you’ve had for years but don’t need to be replaced, you can at least make them on-and-offable via a phone app, smart speaker, or home hub.

Each Smart Plug manufacturer is different, but the idea behind the settings on your new Smart Device remain the same, so if your device isn’t exactly the same, you should be able to figure out how to get the same results from your device notwithstanding.

Step 1, Download The Smart Plug App

First of all, it needs something to connect to, so download the plug’s user app to your phone or use a universal app which can detect and control any number of different Smart Home devices. Once you’ve got the software choose ‘add a new device’ from the menu and you’ll be offered a range of different items which can connect via the app, all other devices that the manufacturer makes. Choose the Smart plug and then plug the plug into the wall. The plug will tell you, usually via a blinking LED that it is in pairing mode. The app on the phone should detect this as well and you can now connect them. Once the smart plug is connected to the app you will be asked to give a name to the device. Don’t call it ‘Smart Plug’ but instead call it the object you want to control, and remember whenever you unplug the device, unplug the Smart plug to, or things will get VERY confusing! (You’ll likely have to pair your Smart Plug to your app each time you remove it from the socket, so best to decide where you want everything to stay before you start installing a raft of new Smart Plugs!)

Looks Good, Take A Photo!

If you’re given the option, use an icon, or better yet a photo of the object which the Smart Plug will be powering. Once you’re ready to go you can open the app and find the device you want to control. You can just turn it off and on, or you can use timer options which are easily set by going into the settings or preferences sub-menu for this particular plug. Use it to control devices so they come on at a certain time and go off again after a pre-determined period, or set up a schedule so that it does the same thing at the same time every day, or on specific days throughout the week.

Depending on your device and app you may be given the option to create ‘scenes’. These are moments when several things happen all at the same time. So for example your Morning Scene might be turning on a coffee machine (which you remembered to prepare before going to bed last night), turning on a bedside lamp if you’re getting up before sunrise, and turning the radio on.

You will also have an ‘Away’ option where the device will turn off and on at random or semi-random times if you’re away from home to give the impression that there is someone in the house. This is perfect for lights, TV or radios as leaving them on or off while you’re away is tempting to burglars, while having them turn on and off at precisely the same time every day only fools them for so long.

Sync Your Smart Plug To Your Home Hub Or Alexa

Once your happy with your settings you can connect the plug’s app in the Google Home app or by enabling the plug’s ‘skill’ in the Amazon Alexa app. Connecting them via your Google Home or Alexa app you should be able to control your plugs using voice commands instead of finding your phone, finding the app, scrolling through to the device, and toggling the switch manually.

If you don’t have a Google Home Hub or Amazon Alexa Smart Speaker controlling all of your Smart Devices then IfTTT is a website which provides menus or ‘applets’ which allow you to not only control your devices from your phone even if they run on different apps, but you can allow external websites, RSS feeds, or other apps and devices to have an effect on your Smart plug. That means that if an RSS feed is activated by a new item then maybe a light comes on to let you know, alternatively, if your smart home security devices are IfTTT connected then as well as starting to record, you can have the TV, radio or indoor lights come on when your Smart CCTV camera detects someone on your property.

Briant Communications provide a host of Smart Devices from Smart Plugs right through to Smart Access Control, CCTV, and Smart Environmental Controls. We provide a complete supply and installation service where we not only sync them to the app, but secure them against hackers. For your free consultation and price estimate call 01273 465377 or send us an email at enquiries@briantcomms.com

Originally published at https://www.briantcomms.com on October 6, 2021.