Schedule devices to turn on remotely, turn them on and off from your mobile, control power consumption… These are the main advantages of using smart sockets at home or in the office to expand the ability to manage devices that are not a priori. They are not the only ones, because if they are used as an add-on in home automation systems, their capabilities are multiplied many times over. Example: plug a night light into a socket so that the motion sensor detects that you are getting up and turns it on automatically.
How do smart plugs work?
How these smart plugs work (smart plug in English) It’s very simple. It is enough to place them permanently in a household outlet and tie them to a mobile phone through the application, for which you need to connect them to home wifi network. It is important to note that, as with most connected home devices, this network must operate at 2.4 GHz; 5 GHz is not supported. From there, it is the app that determines its features and capabilities.
For this comparison, we tested five models from different manufacturers, characterized by their low price which, in turn, are among the best sellers. In particular, we had: Amazon SmartPlug (with an average score of 8.5 points) D link W218 (8.75 points), SPC Clever PlugUSB (8.25), TP-Link Tapo P110 (9) and Xiaomi Mi smart socket (eight).
What is the cheapest smart wifi socket for home?
After three weeks of testing, which mainly consisted of installing each of the smart plugs and configuring all of their options, we were able to evaluate various aspects:
– Design. Apart from the quality of construction, also in its size and shape. In this sense, it should be taken into account that the most voluminous ones can block the elements nearby (other plugs, switches …), so this must be taken into account.
– Configuration and operation. Easy installation, intuitive application management, operation options, etc.
– Ecosystem. Compatible with various mobile operating systems (usually not a problem) or home automation ecosystems such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit…
– Additional characteristics. Yes, in addition to controlling devices on and off, they also monitor consumption or integrate other add-ons.
Based on all these aspects, Tapo P110 Smart Fork Winner; extremely easy to set up and very economical model that includes the essential features and has no frills performance.
Smart socket TP-Link Tapo P110: our choice and the best value for money
With a compact design that does not block adjacent exits and is made of non-flammable material, Smart socket TP-Link Tapo P110 It is suitable for homes with children, as its output prevents accidental discharges. Its configuration is one of the fastest: the Tapo app guides you step by step through the setup, which only takes a couple of minutes.
It is divided into screens for its various possibilities: one that shows the status of the smart plug, another one for programming, another one for setting the timer, and another one that is called, and this is nothing but a mode that automatically turns the equipment on and off at different times every day, simulating that there is someone Houses; a suitable measure when you want, for example, not to be known that you are empty during your holidays.
WiFi type: 2.4 GHz
System requirements: Android 4.4 or higher, iOS 9.0 or higher.
Buttons: Power button with status LED.
Required power: 220-240V AC.
Working temperature: 0ºC – 35ºC.
Operating Humidity: 10%-90%.
It is compatible with major smart assistants (Alexa and Google Assistant) and, as an add-on, provides data on energy consumption device connected to it. Of course, this is very basic information: what you consume in real time, monthly and daily consumption, as well as the time of use on the current day and last month.
Best, worst and conclusions
The worst: offers power consumption data, but it’s very basic.
Conclusion: a smart socket with a simple design and intuitive operation, allowing you to make the necessary options and do it optimally.
Smart socket D-Link DSP-W218: an alternative
Very compact and with a very thoughtful design, Smart socket D-Link DSP-W218 It is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT to create sets of scheduled activities. It is controlled from the mydlink app and integrates very well into the company’s home automation ecosystem, allowing it to be integrated with surveillance cameras or sensors, among other things, in a few steps.
This application is very visual, something that is also noticeable, for example in the consumption screen to which it adds a graph so that one can see its evolution in watts and kWh. It is quite detailed, with a history in which you can examine the consumption by hour for the last days, as well as by day, month and year.
A very interesting detail is that this smart plug has overload protection. In fact, in the initial configuration, it says that it is activated by default and can be turned off from the menu, where you can also determine the value in watts from which it will turn off automatically to avoid problems.
Smart socket Amazon Smart socket
Amazon Smart Plug it’s installed and managed from the Alexa app, so the process is as quick and easy as with the rest of Amazon’s smart devices. In addition, if we have a smart speaker at home, it also responds to voice commands. Like curiosity, say what you can change the name and put the one you want.
For example, if it is going to be put in a coffee maker, it can be called like this (coffee maker) so that it responds to the command: “Alexa, turn off the coffee maker at 12″. This application is also very easy to set up to create routines that, with just one word, trigger various actions on connected devices.
Its design is very thoughtful, although it is rather bulky (the largest we have tested) and can get in the way if we place it next to another plug or switch. Like other models, works on a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network and in this case, the manufacturer reports that the maximum power is 10 A. Used for humidifiers, lamps, fans, coffee makers, Christmas tree lights…
Smart socket SPC Smart socket USB
smart socket SPC Clever Plug USB Its peculiarity is that, together with the plug, it has two USB ports for charging other devices. Operation, yes, completely independent. This means that equipment connected in this way cannot be controlled remotely. In turn, even if the smart plug is disabled, these ports are still active and working.
However, The configuration is very simple via Programs IoT NPC (the same as the rest of the company’s connected devices) and its interface is just as simple. The home screen has a large plug that you can press to turn it on or off. Below a short menu allows us to choose between set a timer, countdown or check your electricity consumption.
In this case, it shows the consumption for the day in question (current in mA, power in W, voltage and total kWh) and a monthly report can also be accessed. We will always know if it is on, because if it is, then the blue light stays on. As for other possibilities, compatible with Alexa and Google Assistantprovides for scene creation and automation, and users can be added to control the plug from their mobile phones.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Plug Smart Plug
smart socket Xiaomi Mi Smart Plug This is a slightly large model. Otherwise, its design is correct, with a physical button that allows you to turn it on and off manually. Its configuration is uncomplicated thanks to the Mi Home app and an LED that reports the status of the device in different colors.
Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistantfind an interface that distributes options in callouts: view consumption, make schedules, set a timer… This is somewhat less friendly than the other options. For example, while users can be invited to control it from their smartphones, this control is limited to turning it on or off; for example, they cannot change schedules. The application has a section for creating automation (setting up a plugin in a home automation system) and real-time information about daily consumption in kWh and monthly accumulated consumption.
*All purchase prices shown in this article are current as of May 16, 2022.
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