What is a smart plug?
Make your electronics smart, with a smart plug!
These handy devices may resemble an ordinary plug, but they are actually quite different.
They are usually controlled via an app, and allow you to turn on or off any electronic appliance that plugs into a standard wall socket remotely. Meaning you can use it with your TV, lights, coffee maker, AC and more.
There are also quite a few benefits to owning a smart plug, such as cutting down on energy costs. Because you are automatically turning off your devices when not needed, so you won’t be wasting any electricity in case you have forgotten to switch anything off. Also, many smart plugs come with the ability to monitor your energy usage too.
Additionally, smart plugs are a pretty convenient too with the scheduling feature, allowing you to set your coffee maker to turn on the morning before you even get out of bed, or have your bedside lamp turn off just as you drift off to sleep.
They are even good for security reasons, as you can have your lights turn on and off while you are traveling, to appear as if someone is home.
Today, we’ll be looking at the best smart plugs that work with Alexa.
Connecting your smart plug with Alexa allows you to use voice commands, making the whole experience even more efficient and fun.
The type of voice commands you could use are:
“Alexa, switch on the coffee maker”
“Alexa, switch off the lamp”
“Alexa, switch on the fan”.
Imagine how great it would be after a long night to just simply ask Alexa to turn off the light you forgot downstairs, or even ask Alexa to turn on the heating as you’re getting out of bed on a chilly morning. A simple pleasure such as having your morning coffee already brewing before you even get to the kitchen is enough to put a smile on your face.
So let’s get right to it and check out some of the smart plugs that you can include in your home.
Belkin WeMo Insight
A good smart plug to look into is the WeMo Insight. Not only does it support Alexa, but it can also connect together with IFTTT, Apple Homekit, and Google Assistant as well.
It’s pretty useful for monitoring your energy usage using its real-time energy reports. It also allows you to see which devices are consuming the most power, i.e space heater, so you know where to cut back.
For those of you who like routine, you will also like the scheduling feature. Using the Wemo app, you have to power to schedule your bedside lamp turn on in the morning with your alarm, or your AC turned off while you’re sleeping.
Don’t worry about long travels, as the “Away Mode” on Wemo will turn your lamps on and off at random times to create the illusion that you’re at home when you’re away.
Amazon Smart Plug
The Amazon Smart Plug was created to work specifically with Alexa, so all you really need is an Alexa device such as Echo or Fire TV, and the Alexa app to get it up and going.
With this smart plug, you can easily set up routines to help your day, such as having your coffee machine turn on before your morning alarm goes off.
Use voice commands to turn off the TV as you are going to bed, or ask Alexa to turn on your fan while you are cooking, there is little this smart plug can’t do. You can easily purchase multiple plugs so all your dumb everyday devices can be turned in to smart technology that can be operated through a button from your app, or just your voice.
The only downside of the Amazon plug is the fact that if you wish to move onto Google Home, this smart plug won’t be compatible with the Google voice assistant. Even though you’ll still be able to control it through the Alexa app.
TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug
The TP-Link smart plug is compatible with both Amazon Alexa, as well as Google Assistant too.
All you need to do is plug this smart plug into your standard socket, followed by the device you wish to control, such as your TV, lamp, coffee maker, toaster and more.
You’ll also need a steady internet connection, as well as an iOS or Android device, through which you can access the app in order to control your device remotely or by using Alexa voice commands.
As with most smart plugs, TP-Link HS110 smart plug allows you to easily monitor your energy usage so you can save on energy costs by having control over the devices that use the most power.
You can even protect your home with its “Away Mode”, by connecting one or two lamps using the smart plug, and they will randomly flicker on and off to let a potential intruder know that someone is home.
Additionally, TP Link’s scheduling feature will allow you to set the time for when the lights should switch off in the night, or even help control your kid’s study time by having the TV switched off when they should be doing their homework.
iDevices Switch IDEV0001P5
The compact and sleek iDevices Switch works with Siri, Alexa, as well as Google Assistant. Offering you hands-free control over any device that is connected to it.
While using the iDevices Connected app, you have the power to remotely control your electronics from wherever you are with its in-built cloud technology, meaning that you can have your front porch lights turn on as you are nearing home, or your bedside lamp turn off as you are approaching your bedtime.
It’s also useful to set up a schedule to ensure your mornings go as smoothly as possible. For example, have all the lights turn on before your alarm goes off, and have the coffee maker brewing before you go into the kitchen. You have the power to set scenes that fit in with your lifestyle.
Samsung SmartThings Outlet
The Samsung SmartThings Outlet is a ZigBee-enabled device, and you can control all the devices connected to it from wherever you are in the world.
However, you will need a Samsung SmartThings Hub in order to function, but if you already have SmartThing devices in your home, then this smart plug will be a great addition.
With SmartThings smart plug, you’ll receive alerts if you have accidentally left any devices on, and it will also turn on your lights automatically when you arrive home, or off when you leave.
This smart plug is also compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant allowing you to take advantage of the voice control technology.
iHome iSP100 Outdoor SmartPlug
For those of you who like the idea of an outdoor plug, then the iHome iSP100 smart plug is the way to go! So now you can control your outdoor Christmas lights with ease, without having to worry about the weather.
It also works with both Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, as well as Google Home, allowing you to have a full app, as well as voice control over your electronic devices.
However, the only downside with this smart plug is that it doesn’t have the energy monitoring feature that most of the other brands do, yet it still remains to be an efficient tool for those of you who have outdoor devices you wish to control via the app, or even by voice control.
VOCOlinc Smart Plug
These smart plugs come at a great value if you go for a pack of two or even four, as they are both slim and compact so they can be discreetly placed around your home.
These smart plugs are also compatible with Google Home, Alexa, and even Homekit too.
VOCOlinc Smart Plugs connect directly to your WiFi network, allowing you to control your devices both from home and away.
Using your voice assistant, you can also have hands free control of any device you have connected to your smart plug. So that means you can tell Alexa to turn off the Tv as you’re going to bed, or even have control over your energy usage by setting specific times when your AC should be turned off.
Also, through the VOCOlinc LinkWise app, you can also create custom schedules too, that will allow you to switch on the VOCOlinc smart plug and power strip on and off at the times or days that you wish.
Best Smart Plugs That Work With Alexa — Our Thoughts
When it comes to choosing the best type of smart plug for your home, it’s easy to see that there are so many options out there.
Most models offer features such as app and voice control, energy monitoring, and even remote control, that will turn a regular device into a smart one.
While the Amazon Smart Plug is specifically designed to work with Alexa, all the plugs on this list will work with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant as well, so you can enjoy hands-free control of any electronic appliance you connect it to.
In the end, we like the VOCOlinc Smart Plug option, not only because it offers great value when bought in a pack, but also because it can be operated remotely without a hub, offers a great scheduling feature, and is small enough so that the socket never gets completely blocked off, making it a handy choice for any home.