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Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Pretty much every company that dabbles in smarthome technology sells their own smart plug. With so many choices, it can be hard to choose the best one to use with your lamps and other appliances.

Luckily, smart plugs are pretty simple devices—you plug stuff into them and control them remotely from your smartphone (or using a voice assistant). So, there are really only a few things you need to keep in mind when shopping around for one.

Energy Usage Monitoring

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Some smart plugs keep track of how much power your appliances use, and even automatically calculate how much that power costs you if you enter your electric company’s rates.

This kind of feature can be great if you’re plugging in something like a space heater or other appliance that uses up a lot of electricity—sometimes you don’t really know just how much these devices are costing you over the long run until you take a closer look.

However, if you’re just plugging in a lamp or even a small fan, energy usage monitoring isn’t all that important. In any case, you won’t really be paying more for the privilege of energy usage monitoring, but it will narrow down your choices.

Size Matters

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Smart plugs come in all different shapes and sizes, but deciding how big or small you want your smart plug comes down to one thing, which is whether or not it will block the second outlet receptacle.

A lot of newer smart plugs are designed to be a bit smaller than older ones, making room for that other receptacle on an outlet. Of course, there are still ways around it if you end up getting a larger smart plug that takes over the whole outlet, but if you’re shopping around for a new smart plug, consider its size if you plan on plugging anything else into that same outlet.

Can It Link to Other Products & Services?

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

If you have a smarthome hub or use a voice assistant of some kind (say, Alexa or Google Assistant), you’ll want to make sure that the smart plug you’re getting can work with whatever you want to connect it to.

For example, Belkin WeMo switches don’t work with Wink’s smarthome hub. So if you were planning on including these plugs into your larger smarthome scheme via the hub, you’d be out of luck there. Similarly, Eufy’s smart plugs don’t work with IFTTT, which lets you do a whole lot of things with your various smarthome devices.

Most smart plugs that we’ve come across, though, do work with Alexa or Google Assistant. Of course, all of this is only important if don’t plan on using the smart plug’s app to control the device. Even if you do plan on using mostly the app, it’s still worthwhile to look at what else is supported, so you have more options if you change your mind.

The App Is Just As Important

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

It’s great if the smart plug itself works well, but the accompanying app that you control it with is just as important, if not more so.

All smart plugs are roughly the same—you plug something into them and you can control it remotely from your smartphone. That’s dandy and all, but a smart plug is only as good as its app interface, which varies wildly depending on the brands you’re looking at.

Most smart plug apps come with the basics, though, including setting on/off schedules, timers, away modes, and more. It mostly comes down to how easy the app is to use and whether or not it works well in the first place. For instance, Belkin’s WeMo app comes with all the features you’d want in a smart plug app, but it’s also a bit slow and laggy for our tastes.

So Which One Should You Buy?

Honestly, if you’re not too picky about features and just want a simple smart plug that works, you could literally just print off a list of smart plug models and throw a dart at it to choose one.

If energy usage monitoring is your jam, though, there are a few worth looking into, namely Belkin’s WeMo Insight Switch and Eufy’s Smart Plug Mini. TP-Link’s Kasa smart plug also comes with energy usage monitoring, but it doesn’t include automatic cost calculation, whereas Belkin and Eufy both offer this feature.

If you’re just looking for the cheapest smart plug out there, you’ll find a lot of low-cost options on Amazon from unknown brands, like this one from Gosund which is only $14. However, if you want to stick to name brands, Eufy’s smart plug is only $20. TP-Link’s model is $25, but you can get a two pack for $40 (which essentially lets you buy them for just $20 each).

Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read more.

Smart appliances offer voice control, smartphone apps, and powerful automations. But why spend hundreds of dollars on the latest models? With some inexpensive smart plugs, you can give your dumb devices the same features for a fraction of the cost.

Dumb Devices Are Best

Smart plugs work on a pretty simple principle. You insert one into an outlet and plug in something. It cuts power to turn off devices and restores it to turn them back on. If you control any outlets in your home with a light switch, the principle is essentially the same. But that same principle also limits the types of appliances a smart plug can control.

Appliances and fixtures either have a mechanical or electronic switch. A mechanical switch physically cuts power. An electronic switch stores the current state and toggles to the opposite state when you push the power button.

The latter presents a problem because the “current state” is stored using power. If you lose power in your home, the device defaults to “off” with the next toggle set to “on.”

Mechanical switches tend to be a toggle or rocker switch, while electronic switches tend to be a soft push button. If you aren’t sure if your fixture has a mechanical or electrical switch, you can test it in just a few seconds. First, turn the device on, and then unplug it. Count to five, and then plug it back in. If the fixture turns on, it’s compatible with a smart plug. If you had to press a button to turn it on after plugging it in, a smart plug won’t work with that device.

Smart plugs are an excellent option for some window or portable A/C units, fans and heaters, curling irons and straighteners, Christmas lights, lamps, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, and more.

What You’ll Need

To get started, you need a smart plug. They come in many shapes and sizes, and prices vary. Some have extra features, like energy monitoring, but most offer compatibility with Alexa, Google Home, or both. Unless you have a specific need for energy monitoring, you can skip that feature and save money.

Smart plugs come in Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, and even Bluetooth formats. We don’t recommend Bluetooth because of range issues, though. If you own a smart hub, a Z-Wave or ZigBee plug is a good choice because they offer faster local control. Otherwise, Wi-Fi smart plugs are the most accessible option.

Belkin makes a relatively inexpensive Wi-Fi smart plug for around $20. If you’re willing to wait, Wyze is releasing a Wi-Fi smart plug two-pack for $15 later this year (September 2019). Our sister site, Review Geek, has several other recommendations you might want to consider.

Unfortunately, Europeans have far fewer options. Ikea might be the most reliable, well-known European supplier of smart plugs; they offer a version for France and Great Britain. But you’ll need to buy additional items, like a hub.

If you own an Echo or Google Home device, make sure the smart plug you buy is compatible with it (most work with at least one, if not both). If a smart plug doesn’t work with a voice assistant, you should skip it.

You also need a smartphone or tablet and an app to set up your smart plug. Depending on which plug you chose, you need a way to connect it. For Wi-Fi smart plugs, you need a Wi-Fi router, and for Z-Wave or ZigBee plugs, you need a smart hub.

How to Set It Up

To get your smart plug up and running, plug it into an outlet. If it’s brand new, it should enter pairing mode immediately. If not (or you need to repair), most smart plugs have a physical button you press and hold to enter pairing mode. Typically, smart plugs also include an LED that indicates when it’s on, off, or pairing.

When the smart plug is in pairing mode, open the related app on your smartphone or tablet and look for “add device” or a similar option. When the device is paired, give it a memorable name. It’s usually a good idea to name it after whatever it controls, like “curling iron” or “lamp.” If you choose good names for your smart plugs, it helps with voice control.

Now, plug in whatever you want the smart plug to control, and test it to make sure everything works.

How to Control Smart Plugs with Your Voice and Smartphone

Most smart plugs include voice control with either Alexa, Google Home, or both. If you want voice control, you need to add the device to your voice assistant.

For Alexa, open the app, tap the hamburger menu in the top left, and then tap Add Device. Choose the plug category. Select its manufacturer, and then follow the prompts to link your accounts.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

The process is similar with Google Home. Open the Home app and tap the add button. Tap “set up device,” and then tap “Works with Google.” The Google Home app presents you with a list of manufacturers. Find the right one and follow the linking process.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

After you connect your smart plug to Google or Alexa, add it to a Google room or Alexa group. Voice control works best when you group your devices properly.

If you’re not using a voice assistant, your smart plug’s app is the best way to control it. You’ll find on, off, and other features in the app. If you use a voice assistant, you should control your device with the Google Home or Alexa app.

Both apps have similar on and off options. If you use Google Home or Alexa as your single app instead of the smart plug’s app, you can also control other smart devices easily (even smart plugs from other manufacturers). This also means you won’t have to try to remember which app controls what.

How to Configure Schedules and Automations

You can now set up your smart plug to perform actions automatically. For example, you can set it to turn on an old, non-smart lamp at sunset or run a dehumidifier for specific hours each day.

If you don’t own a Google Home or Echo device, you can create schedules in the smart plug app, or your Hub app if it’s Z-Wave or ZigBee. Every app is a little different but just look for a feature called timer, routine, or schedule. Typically, you can add one or more plugs to a routine. You specify a “turn on” and “turn off” time, and which days to run the routine. You can also set a smart plug to turn off but not on, and vice versa.

You should create your routines in the Google or Alexa app if you do own a Google Home or Echo device. Again, you select which plug(s) you want to create a routine for, and then choose an “on” time, an “off” time, and which days to run the routine.

When you create your routines in the Google or Alexa app instead of the plug app, it allows you to include other smart things in your routines. For example, you can create a schedule that turns off all the smart plugs and smart lights, and locks the door every day at 10:30 p.m. Unless you use a smart hub, your smart plug app can’t do all that.

If you use a single app to control everything, it also makes it much easier to remember where to go when you need to adjust something or change a routine.

Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

TP-Link’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug is a fairly popular option for those looking to turn lamps and fans on from their phones, especially since it’s regularly on sale and was even a part of Amazon’s Echo deals over the holidays. Here’s how to set it up.

If you’ve shopped for a smart plug in the recent past and just wanted the cheapest option from a reputable brand, it’s likely you bought this TP-Link model or its multi-pack. You can grab one for around $15-$20 when it’s on sale, but if you bought an Amazon Echo during the holidays, you had the opportunity to tack one onto your order for just $5.

To start the setup process, you first need to download the Kasa app on your iPhone or Android device. This is TP-Link’s official app for its smarthome devices.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

After installing it, open up the app and tap the “Create Account” link in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Type your email address, create a password, and then hit the “Create Account” button.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

You’ll need to verify your email address to continue. Open your email inbox, select the email you received, and then click the verification link it contains. Once that’s done, you can return to the Kasa app, and then tap the “Continue” button.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Next, you can choose whether or not you want to allow the app to access your location. This allows you to set a schedule for the smart plug based on sunrise and sunset. If you don’t need to do that, then there’s no reason to share your location.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

You’ll then be taken to the main screen. To set up your smart plug, tap on the “+” button in the top right corner of the screen.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Scroll through the list and select the device that you’re setting up. In this case, we’ll select the “Smart Plug”.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Now, plug the smart plug into an outlet and wait for it to boot up—it should take just a few seconds. The Wi-Fi logo lights up orange and then eventually flashes between orange and green. When you see this, tap the “Next” button in the app twice.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Now, you need to access the Wi-Fi settings for your phone, and connect your phone to the TP-Link Smart Plug’s Wi-Fi. Once that’s done, you can return to the Kasa app.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

You’ll now move onto naming the smart plug. Type in whatever you want, and then hit the “Next” button.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Select an icon you want to use to identify the device in the app. This really isn’t that important, but it is kind of fun. You can even choose a photo from your camera roll for a specific reminder of the device you’re controlling. Select your icon (or photo), and then tap the “Next” button.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Next, the device must join your home Wi-Fi network. Type the password for your network, and then hit the “Next” button. If you want to use a different Wi-Fi network than the one Kasa pulls up first, tap the “I’d like to use a different network” link at the bottom of the screen.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

After connecting to your network, the device must grab the latest firmware update from the Internet. Tap the “Update Now” button.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Give it a few minutes for the update to install. During this time, the smart plug may turn on and off automatically.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

When the update is complete, hit the “Done” button.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Your smart plug now appears on the main screen in the Kasa app, and you can tap the power button to the device’s right to turn it on and off.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Tapping the smart plug opens up more information about its usage.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Tapping the “Total Runtime” figure brings up more information about how long the plug has been on, along with 7-day and 30-day total and averages.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

The TP-Link Smart Plug provides basic runtime information that’s pretty in line with what other smart plugs offer. Unfortunately, the information is not as detailed as that provided by the Belkin’s WeMo Insight (which can actually estimate energy costs), but it’s certainly better than nothing. Plus the Kasa app is really easy to use.

Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read more.

Window A/C units are critical in homes without central air conditioning. But turning every unit on and off is a pain, and smart air conditioners are expensive. With a smart plug, you can make many A/C units smart.

Why Make a Window A/C Smart?

Window air conditioners are expensive, often ranging from $200 to $500. They do make up for that cost by lasting a long time—it’s not uncommon to see them work for five to ten years. The best way to cool several rooms in a home is to buy multiple units, one for each room. But that leaves you running from room to room to turn them on when you get home. Later, you’re running around to turn them off to save electricity. And when you come home, your home may be hot until you turn your air conditioners on and they have a chance to cool things down. But you may not want to run them all day if you’re away from home.

Some newer A/C units have Wi-Fi options for voice and remote control, but buying an entirely new air conditioner for that feature doesn’t make sense if the old one otherwise works fine and is energy efficient. So the next best thing is to make your dumb A/C smart by adding a smart plug. With a smart plug, you use an app or voice control to turn on and off any air conditioner in the house or apartment. And you can power them on remotely when you’re on the way home, so your home is cool when you arrive.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Smart plugs are inexpensive, ranging from $15 to $30, and can be ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth based. Most work with either Alexa or Google Assistant, and you can easily control them from your phone. The best use for smart plugs is voice control and automation, but it’s possible to save money too. But, not every A/C unit is compatible with smart switches, so the first thing you should do is check if yours will work with smart plugs.

How to Check If Your A/C Works With a Smart Plug

Smart plugs are great gadgets that work on simple principles. First, plug a device—like a lamp or coffee maker—into the smart plug. Plug the smart plug into the electrical outlet. Now, you can program and control the plug with its smartphone app.

When you turn the smart plug off, it cuts power to whatever is attached to it. Effectively, it’s the same as unplugging the lamp or coffee maker. When you turn the smart plug on, you’ve “plugged the lamp in.”

But that same simple principle of cutting and restoring power limits smart plug capabilities. Not all appliances will work with a smart plug because some use an electrical switch. Electrical switches store the current state of on and off on a circuit board, and that memory is lost when power is lost. Mechanical switches let power through based on their physical state, just like a standard light switch.

The first thing you want to do before buying a smart plug for your window A/C is to examine the power buttons. Is it a soft push button with an LED display? Or a mechanical switch that flips into different positions for on and off such a toggle or dial?

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to knowSoft buttons and an LED screen are usually an electrical switch, and will not work with a smart plug. Josh Hendrickson

If it’s a soft push button, the unit likely won’t work with a smart plug. If it’s a mechanical switch, then you can make it smart. If you still aren’t sure, there’s a simple test to check. Turn your A/C unit on then unplug it. Wait five seconds, then plug it back in. If your A/C unit turned on without you pressing any buttons, then it will work with a smart switch.

This will work for portable air conditioners, too. However, the same restriction applies: You need a portable air conditioner that has mechanical switches—one that can turn on the moment you plug it in without any additional button presses.

Once you’ve determined your air conditioner does work with smart plugs, it’s time to purchase some. We have several recommendations for smart plugs, and if you don’t have a hub, you should consider one based Wi-Fi. A slim Smart Plug, like the eufy Smart Plug Mini, may fit your space best if your A/C unit’s plug is large and unwieldy.

How to Set Up Your A/C With Your Smart Plug

Once you have your smart plug, getting everything ready is a straight forward process. If you haven’t already, install your window A/C unit as usual. Plug it into your smart plug, and that into the wall. Then download and install the smart plug’s app.

The setup process for the app and smart plug will vary depending on your smart plugs. Here are guides for the Kasa, eufy, and Belkin smart plugs. It’s just setting up a smart plug with any other device, and if you’ve done this before you should already know what to do.

Once you have the smart plug set up, you may want to integrate it with Google Assistant or Alexa.

When you connect a smart plug with a voice assistant, think through the name you give each plug and don’t forget to add them to a group or room. That will make controlling them even easier.

Once you’ve finished connecting them to a voice assistant, you can create a routine to automatically turn your A/C unit on and off during certain times of the day or night. We recommend doing this through the Google Home or Alexa app and not the smart plug app. If you follow that advice with all your devices, then you’ll always know which app to go to when you need to adjust a routine. It’s more convenient than trying to remember to use the Kasa app for smart plug timers, but the Philips Hue app for lights, and so on.

Smart plugs aren’t a perfect automation solution. You can’t adjust temperature or speed, for instance. And if your A/C unit is old enough it wastes electricity or doesn’t cool a room anymore; you should consider replacing it instead of buying a smart plug. But if your window air conditioner works fine and isn’t too hard on electricity, and all you need is on and off capability, then smart plugs are a great way to add voice and remote control, along with automation, for less money than buying a smart air conditioner.

You can use this same trick to make other appliances smart, too. You could even set up some “smart” fans to keep your home cool without running the air conditioning.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Geoffrey_Carr

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

“Smart” parduotuvės yra pigus būdas paversti įprastus prietaisus ir prietaisus į protingus įrenginius. Naudodamiesi “smart” lizdu, galite įjungti arba išjungti savo prietaisus iš savo telefono arba (kai kuriais atvejais) savo balsu per tokius įrenginius kaip Amazonės aidas. Bet ne kiekvienas įrenginys dirbs su “smart” parduotuvėmis.

Visos “smart” parduotuvės (pvz., “Belkin WeMo”, “ConnectSense” ir kt.) Daugiausia dirba tuo pačiu būdu – įjungiate jas į esamą lizdą, nustatote jas, kad prijungtumėte juos prie namų “Wi-Fi” tinklo, tada įjunkite kažką į “smart” parduotuvę pradėkite valdyti jį iš savo išmaniojo telefono naudodami pridedamą programą.

Tačiau tai reiškia, kad įjungiamas elektroninis įtaisas visuomet turi būti įjungtas, kad “Smart” parduotuvė ją valdytų. Tai iš tikrųjų gali sukelti tam tikrų problemų, nes daugelis įrenginių veikia tiek, kiek galia.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Visuose prietaisuose ir elektronikoje yra mechaninis jungiklis arba elektroninis jungiklis, į kurį galima įjungti ir išjungti, ir žinoti, kad skirtumas tarp dviejų yra labai svarbus, jei norite pasinaudoti sumania išvestimi.

Mechaninis įrenginio įjungimas yra jungiklis su dviem būsenomis, kurias jūs fiziškai persijungiate pirmyn ir atgal, kad įjungtumėte ir išjungtumėte. Kalbėdamas apie rodyklės jungiklį arba perjungiklį, kai kalbama apie tai – perjungiate jungiklį iš vienos pusės į kitą, kad įjungtumėte arba išjungtumėte.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Elektroninis jungiklis yra tik mygtukas, kuris perjungia valstybes. Kai paspausite mygtuką, jis įjungs įrenginį priešingoje būsenoje, nesvarbu, kas atsitiko, kai jį paspaudėte. Skirtingai nuo fizinio jungiklio, turinčio skirtingas “įjungimo” ir “išjungimo” pozicijas, jis naudoja plokštės atminties, norint sužinoti, ar kitas mygtuko paspaudimas turėtų būti “įjungtas” arba “išjungtas”. Kai išvalysite šią atmintį atjungdami įrenginį, pirmasis paspaudimas po to, kai vėl prijungsite jį, visada bus “įjungtas”, nes taip yra užprogramuota atmintinė.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Kaip tai įtakoja pažangias realizacijas? Kai įjungiate arba išjungiate įrenginį išmaniuoju išvesties lizdu, iš esmės tas pats, kaip ištraukite prietaisą arba elektroninį prietaisą ir prijunkite jį atgal (atitinkamai). Tai puikiai tinka prietaisams su mechaniniais jungikliais, nes jų jungiklis vis tiek bus “įjungtas” padėtyje, kai “smart” elektros lizdas vėl įsijungs. Bet tai neveikia prietaisams su elektroniniais jungikliais, kurie išlieka, kol vėl paspausite jungiklį.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Tai riboja tai, ką galite naudoti su išmaniu lizdu. Vis daugiau prietaisų ir elektroninių prietaisų naudoja elektroninius jungiklius, nes gamintojai pereina prie skaitmeninių komponentų naudojimo, o ne senesnių analoginių komponentų.

Istorijos moralė? Jei perkate prietaisą, kurį planuojate naudoti su išmaniu lizdu, įsitikinkite, kad jis turi tinkamą jungiklį.

Šiandien dauguma kiekvieno žibinto ar šviestuvo vis dar naudoja mechaninį jungiklį. Taip pat galite rasti erdvinių šildytuvų, oro kondicionierių ir kitų naujesnių prietaisų, kurie vis dar naudoja mechaninius jungiklius, jums reikės patikrinti prieš perkant.

Jei nesate tikri, koks yra įrenginio perjungimo būdas, greitas būdas išsiaiškinti, įjungiant, ištraukite iš elektros tinklo ištraukiant, kol jis vis dar įjungtas, ir vėl įjunkite jį. Jei jis automatiškai neatsijungs, tada jis neveiks su išmaniu lizdu.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

ช่องเสียบสมาร์ทเป็นวิธีที่ประหยัดในการเปลี่ยนเครื่องใช้และอุปกรณ์ติดตั้งธรรมดาของคุณให้กลายเป็นอุปกรณ์อัจฉริยะ ด้วยเต้าเสียบอัจฉริยะคุณสามารถเปิดและปิดอุปกรณ์ของคุณจากโทรศัพท์ของคุณหรือ (ในบางกรณี) ด้วยเสียงผ่านอุปกรณ์เช่น Amazon Echo แต่ไม่ใช่ว่าทุกอุปกรณ์จะใช้งานได้กับสมาร์ทเล็ต.

ช่องเสียบอัจฉริยะทั้งหมด (เช่น Belkin WeMo, ConnectSense และอื่น ๆ ) ส่วนใหญ่ใช้งานได้เหมือนกัน – คุณเสียบเข้ากับเต้าเสียบที่มีอยู่แล้วตั้งค่าให้เชื่อมต่อเข้ากับเครือข่าย Wi-Fi ในบ้านของคุณ เริ่มควบคุมมันจากสมาร์ทโฟนของคุณโดยใช้แอพประกอบ.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

สวิตช์เชิงกลบนอุปกรณ์คือสวิตช์ที่มีสองสถานะที่คุณสลับไปมาเพื่อเปิดและปิดสวิตช์ นึกถึงสวิตช์โยกหรือสวิตช์สลับเมื่อมันมาถึง – คุณพลิกสวิตช์จากด้านหนึ่งไปอีกด้านหนึ่งเพื่อเปิดหรือปิดสวิตช์.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to knowด้านบน: ตัวอย่างของสวิตช์เชิงกลที่มีสถานะเปิดและปิดทางกายภาพ.

สวิตช์อิเล็กทรอนิกส์เป็นเพียงปุ่มที่สลับไปมาระหว่างรัฐ เมื่อคุณกดปุ่มมันจะทำให้อุปกรณ์อยู่ในสถานะตรงกันข้ามในขณะนั้นไม่ว่าจะเกิดอะไรขึ้นเมื่อคุณกดครั้งสุดท้าย ซึ่งแตกต่างจากสวิตช์ทางกายภาพซึ่งมีตำแหน่ง“ เปิด” และ“ ปิด” ที่แตกต่างกันจะใช้หน่วยความจำของแผงวงจรเพื่อทราบว่าการกดปุ่มถัดไปควรเป็น “เปิด” หรือ “ปิด” เมื่อคุณล้างหน่วยความจำนั้นโดยการถอดอุปกรณ์การกดครั้งแรกหลังจากที่คุณเสียบกลับเข้าไปจะเป็น “เปิด” เสมอเนื่องจากเป็นวิธีที่หน่วยความจำถูกตั้งโปรแกรม.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to knowด้านบน: ตัวอย่างของสวิตช์อิเล็กทรอนิกส์ที่สลับเปิดและปิดด้วยการกดทุกครั้ง คอมพิวเตอร์ทุกเครื่องมีสวิตช์ไฟฟ้า.

สิ่งนี้ส่งผลกระทบต่อร้านค้าอัจฉริยะอย่างไร เมื่อคุณเปิดหรือปิดอุปกรณ์ด้วยเต้ารับอัจฉริยะอุปกรณ์จะเหมือนกับการถอดปลั๊กอุปกรณ์หรืออุปกรณ์อิเล็กทรอนิกส์และเสียบกลับเข้าไปใหม่ (ตามลำดับ) นี่เป็นสิ่งที่ดีสำหรับอุปกรณ์ที่มีสวิตช์เชิงกลเนื่องจากสวิตช์ของพวกเขาจะยังคงอยู่ในตำแหน่ง “เปิด” เมื่อสมาร์ทเต้าเสียบเปิดขึ้น แต่มันจะไม่ทำงานสำหรับอุปกรณ์ที่มีสวิตช์อิเล็กทรอนิกส์ซึ่งจะยังคงปิดอยู่จนกว่าคุณจะกดสวิตช์อีกครั้ง.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

นี่เป็นการ จำกัด สิ่งที่คุณสามารถใช้ได้กับเต้าเสียบอัจฉริยะ เครื่องใช้ไฟฟ้าและอุปกรณ์อิเล็กทรอนิกส์จำนวนมากขึ้นกำลังใช้สวิตช์อิเล็กทรอนิกส์ในขณะที่ผู้ผลิตย้ายไปใช้ส่วนประกอบดิจิตอลแทนอุปกรณ์อะนาล็อกที่เก่ากว่า.

ทุกวันนี้โคมไฟหรือโคมไฟทุกอันยังคงใช้สวิตช์เชิงกลอยู่ทุกวันนี้ คุณยังสามารถหาเครื่องทำความร้อนพื้นที่เครื่องปรับอากาศและเครื่องใช้ไฟฟ้ารุ่นใหม่อื่น ๆ ที่ยังคงใช้สวิตช์เชิงกลคุณจะต้องตรวจสอบก่อนซื้อ.

Window A/C units are critical in homes without central air conditioning. But turning every unit on and off is a pain, and smart air conditioners are expensive. With a smart plug, you can make many A/C units smart.

Why Make a Window A/C Smart?

Window air conditioners are expensive, often ranging from $200 to $500. They do make up for that cost by lasting a long time—it’s not uncommon to see them work for five to ten years. The best way to cool several rooms in a home is to buy multiple units, one for each room. But that leaves you running from room to room to turn them on when you get home. Later, you’re running around to turn them off to save electricity. And when you come home, your home may be hot until you turn your air conditioners on and they have a chance to cool things down. But you may not want to run them all day if you’re away from home.

Some newer A/C units have Wi-Fi options for voice and remote control, but buying an entirely new air conditioner for that feature doesn’t make sense if the old one otherwise works fine and is energy efficient. So the next best thing is to make your dumb A/C smart by adding a smart plug. With a smart plug, you use an app or voice control to turn on and off any air conditioner in the house or apartment. And you can power them on remotely when you’re on the way home, so your home is cool when you arrive.

Smart plugs are inexpensive, ranging from $15 to $30, and can be ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth based. Most work with either Alexa or Google Assistant, and you can easily control them from your phone. The best use for smart plugs is voice control and automation, but it’s possible to save money too. But, not every A/C unit is compatible with smart switches, so the first thing you should do is check if yours will work with smart plugs.

How to Check If Your A/C Works With a Smart Plug

Smart plugs are great gadgets that work on simple principles. First, plug a device—like a lamp or coffee maker—into the smart plug. Plug the smart plug into the electrical outlet. Now, you can program and control the plug with its smartphone app.

When you turn the smart plug off, it cuts power to whatever is attached to it. Effectively, it’s the same as unplugging the lamp or coffee maker. When you turn the smart plug on, you’ve “plugged the lamp in.”

But that same simple principle of cutting and restoring power limits smart plug capabilities. Not all appliances will work with a smart plug because some use an electrical switch. Electrical switches store the current state of on and off on a circuit board, and that memory is lost when power is lost. Mechanical switches let power through based on their physical state, just like a standard light switch.

The first thing you want to do before buying a smart plug for your window A/C is to examine the power buttons. Is it a soft push button with an LED display? Or a mechanical switch that flips into different positions for on and off such a toggle or dial?

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to knowSoft buttons and an LED screen are usually an electrical switch, and will not work with a smart plug. Josh Hendrickson

If it’s a soft push button, the unit likely won’t work with a smart plug. If it’s a mechanical switch, then you can make it smart. If you still aren’t sure, there’s a simple test to check. Turn your A/C unit on then unplug it. Wait five seconds, then plug it back in. If your A/C unit turned on without you pressing any buttons, then it will work with a smart switch.

This will work for portable air conditioners, too. However, the same restriction applies: You need a portable air conditioner that has mechanical switches—one that can turn on the moment you plug it in without any additional button presses.

Once you’ve determined your air conditioner does work with smart plugs, it’s time to purchase some. We have several recommendations for smart plugs, and if you don’t have a hub, you should consider one based Wi-Fi. A slim Smart Plug, like the eufy Smart Plug Mini, may fit your space best if your A/C unit’s plug is large and unwieldy.

How to Set Up Your A/C With Your Smart Plug

Once you have your smart plug, getting everything ready is a straight forward process. If you haven’t already, install your window A/C unit as usual. Plug it into your smart plug, and that into the wall. Then download and install the smart plug’s app.

The setup process for the app and smart plug will vary depending on your smart plugs. Here are guides for the Kasa, eufy, and Belkin smart plugs. It’s just setting up a smart plug with any other device, and if you’ve done this before you should already know what to do.

Once you have the smart plug set up, you may want to integrate it with Google Assistant or Alexa.

When you connect a smart plug with a voice assistant, think through the name you give each plug and don’t forget to add them to a group or room. That will make controlling them even easier.

Once you’ve finished connecting them to a voice assistant, you can create a routine to automatically turn your A/C unit on and off during certain times of the day or night. We recommend doing this through the Google Home or Alexa app and not the smart plug app. If you follow that advice with all your devices, then you’ll always know which app to go to when you need to adjust a routine. It’s more convenient than trying to remember to use the Kasa app for smart plug timers, but the Philips Hue app for lights, and so on.

Smart plugs aren’t a perfect automation solution. You can’t adjust temperature or speed, for instance. And if your A/C unit is old enough it wastes electricity or doesn’t cool a room anymore; you should consider replacing it instead of buying a smart plug. But if your window air conditioner works fine and isn’t too hard on electricity, and all you need is on and off capability, then smart plugs are a great way to add voice and remote control, along with automation, for less money than buying a smart air conditioner.

You can use this same trick to make other appliances smart, too. You could even set up some “smart” fans to keep your home cool without running the air conditioning.

Get more use out of your outlets and stay safe while doing it.

There are only two power outlets in my bedroom, and both are hidden behind furniture. That means I rely on power strips to plug in my phone charger, Kindle charger, laptop charger, alarm clock, lamps, TV, sewing machine, Chromecast and the list just keeps going.

If, like me, your outlets are at capacity, there are a few smart (and safe!) solutions you can employ.

Safety first and always

First and foremost, electrical outlets can pose a safety risk. An overloaded power outlet can cause a tripped circuit breaker, increase your risk for electrocution, or start a fire. You want to be mindful of how many things you are plugging in, and what they are.

According to the US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), products that generate heat, such as hair dryers, space heaters, toasters or crock pots, should always be plugged directly into the electrical outlet. They pull too much power to safely use with a power strip or extension cord.

24 tips to help you save on your electric bill

The Electrical Safety Foundation International and the NFPA both agree that temporary solutions, such as power strips and extension cords, should not be used long-term. The safest way to get access to more electricity in any part of your home is to hire an electrician to install new power outlets.

But, as any renter knows, that’s not always doable. Read on for a few ways to cope with not having enough outlets when you can’t get more.

At the plug

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Outlet taps add more receptacles right at the wall outlet.

Now that we’ve covered the safety precautions, let’s talk about ways to free up some outlet space. One of your best bets is an outlet tap, which plugs into and covers your existing outlet to add more receptacles.

They are commonly available in three- and six-outlet configurations, and some even offer USB ports to charge your devices. Look for outlet taps that have surge protection, which help protect your electronics from damaging power surges .

Get some distance

If the problem is that your wall outlets are just out of reach and you need something to bridge the gap while also adding more receptacles, a power strip is the right tool for the job.

They come in many different shapes, sizes and cord lengths, generally from 2 feet to 25 feet. You probably have several already in your home, but do you know the safety precautions you should take when using them?

Power strip safety tips

  • Do not let any flammable material, including pillows, sheets or clothes, cover your power strips. They need adequate airflow to prevent overheating.
  • Likewise, avoid wedging them behind furniture that does not give them airflow, like a dresser.
  • Do not “daisy-chain” power strips together or plug a power strip to an extension cord to get extra length or outlet space.
  • Keep the area around the power strip clean of dust, which can catch fire from electrical sparks.

Even farther out

If you need to plug in just one item, say a pendant lamp in a corner or your laptop charger that just won’t reach, it’s time to get an extension cord.

While shopping, know exactly what you need to use the cord for and buy accordingly. Thinner indoor extension cords should never be used outside, as they’re not durable enough and can fray.

6 products to organize all of your messy cords

Also, be sure that the cord can handle the power needs of what you’re plugging into it. For most household applications, such as plugging in a lamp or a computer charger, an extension cord that can handle up to 13 amps should suffice.

To figure out exactly how many amps your DC-powered item uses, look for the wattage and volts it uses, which is usually stamped or printed on the product. Divide the watts by the volts, and you have the amps.

Stay safe with extension cords

  • Do not run extension cords under rugs. Foot traffic can damage the wiring in the cord, which then can spark and cause a fire.
  • Replace any old extension cords, or those that show any signs of wear. Fraying wires are a fire hazard.
  • Do not use extension cords for heat-producing appliances.

For more household how-tos and tips, check out CNET’s Guide to Smart Living.

Technology makes our lives better and introducing smart home technology might just be the perfect solution to boost energy efficiency.

Not all appliances work with smart outlets. here’s how to know

Whether you’re trying to boost your RV or build a smarter home to enhance comfort and minimize spending, there’s no denying that introducing smart tech is the way to go. Technology makes our lives better and more comfortable in many ways, and introducing smart home technology might just be the perfect solution to boost energy efficiency and water conservation in your household.

After all, building a greener living environment is not just about conservation, it’s also about minimizing your financial expenditure. There are many gadgets and solutions you can introduce, from solar technology to smarter appliances and even IoT-enabled devices that you can control from your smartphone. Let’s put all of that into perspective and take a look at the five energy-efficient solutions you need to introduce into your smart home.

Eliminate energy vampires with smart power strips

You probably know by now that many appliances around the house tend to suck energy from outlets whenever they’re plugged in, even if you’re not using them. You’ve also been told a million times to unplug those devices to save energy, but sometimes you either forget or can’t be bothered to do so. And that’s okay, we all have more important things to worry about.

Regardless, these devices just keep on sucking the energy out of the outlets, and you need to put a stop to it. Enter the smart power strip. The smart power strip does exactly what you think it does – it cuts the power supply to any device that’s not in use. This includes smart devices that are in idle, sleep, or standby modes.

You can find various smart power strips around, and some of them even have color-coded sockets for appliances that you always need to stay juiced up. You can also find high-priced ones that have phone and network connections, and some are even voice-enabled.

Hook your lighting system to your phone

There has been a lot of talk about smart lighting technology in recent years, and there’s no denying that this tech is revolutionizing the modern household. With smart lighting, you can take control of your entire lighting scheme and manage your lighting to conserve energy, eliminate energy waste in empty spaces, and optimize the ambiance, of course.

There are many options out there, from your basic smart-ish lightbulbs to complete connected systems that you can manage and control with your voice or via smartphone. Ideally, you will switch fully to smart Wi-Fi-enabled lights around your house so that you can connect them to your smartphone and scale your usage remotely, but also monitor the lighting energy consumption in a more efficient and effective way. At the very least, though, you should install motion sensing lighting to reduce energy use when a room is empty.

Invest in a smarter solar system for your home

Solar conversion should be at the top of your list if your goal is to lower your overall energy expenditure and make gradual financial savings over the long term. The solar industry has become extremely accessible nowadays, and given the fact that you can find interest free solar panels online, you can easily put home-wide solar conversion into your budget. That said, you should opt for the smartest solar solutions around.

Make sure to compare the prices of IoT-enabled solar systems that you can connect to your smartphone and monitor remotely. You should be able to monitor and manage your solar converter and your smart solar battery for maximum energy efficiency and power conservation as well. Smart solar systems are pricier, of course, but if you find a good deal and work out a sensible payment plan, you can convert to solar and start saving for the future.

Bank on appliances that conserve energy and water

Of course, you can’t have a smart home nowadays without technologically advanced appliances and devices tailored for energy conservation and connectivity. After all, if you want to minimize your energy use and your expenses, then all of your appliances need to boast a high energy conservation rating and allow you to completely optimize their usage.

You can only do this with IoT-enabled appliances that have some form of smart software installed. Everything from your dishwasher to the dryer, from the HVAC system to the washing machine, all the way to your water heater and your refrigerator – these appliances come in smart models that allow you to optimize their energy consumption with ease.

Integrate everything into a mobile app

Last but not least, it’s not really a smart home if your devices and appliances are all working independently and if you don’t have a comprehensive overview of your household. It’s important to connect all your energy-saving solutions to your smartphone or computer in order to monitor the overall energy use of your home in real time.

But real-time monitoring is not enough, because you also need to compare usage periods, generate reports, and scale your energy use with accurate predictions. Modern home hubs can help sync all these tools on a single platform, but you can also use dedicated branded apps for every appliance to monitor and analyze its performance. Because remember, having the right, accurate data will allow you to scale your energy consumption just right.

True energy efficiency in the modern world can only be achieved with smarter tech. Use these solutions to make your home smarter and your energy usage more efficient in order to save money and protect the environment in the process.

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