It seems like everything in our homes is getting smarter, but trying to update all your kit can be expensive. With ‘Smart plugs’, you can get a fancy ‘smart lamp’ just by plugging your regular, old one in.
The main aim of a smart plug is to bring your old kit into the connected world. If you have Google Home or Alexa, you can set things up to be controlled with your voice. Like mechanical timers, you can set the plugs on a schedule. That means you can set them to come on at a specific time, but you can use the app to tweak timings if anything changes.
On some of them, you also have an ‘away mode’ which can turn things like lamps and TV’s on and off at different times, to make it look like someone’s home.
We’ve all had that panic-stricken moment when we’re not sure if we’ve left the iron/hair straighteners on (or forgotten to put the slow-cooker on), and it’s not always possible to nip home and check. If you have smart plugs, you can just pop into the app and sort it.
If you can plug it into a wall, you can connect a smart plug. The main thing you’ll want to do is match your smart plug to your ‘smart assistant’ (if you’ve got one). Google Home and Amazon Echo are popular choices, so just make sure that the smart plug you buy works with the rest of your kit.