In recent years, smart technologies have quickly become a staple of the modern home.
Virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Home have solidified their spots as our at-home DJs, weather reporters, and general keepers of knowledge. Smart thermostats have helped us to build more comfortable and efficient heating and cooling routines. And smart lighting systems have allowed us to create ambiance with ease, whether it's a cozy night-in or a Friday night kitchen dance party.
But there’s one piece of smart home tech that has the power to automate and transform your life more than any other, and it also happens to be one of the most affordable and easy to use.
That’s right, we’re talking about the smart plug.
Smart plugs are much more than just your typical electrical outlet. Their Wi-Fi capabilities allow you to use a smart device (like your phone or tablet) to control appliances and tech throughout your home, giving you more power (no pun intended) over which devices you keep on or off throughout the day and how you choose to use them.
Many smart plugs provide real-time insights into your energy consumption habits, showing you which devices might be impacting your energy bill most, and have the ability to develop pre-programmed routines and schedules that can help streamline your usage (and your lifestyle) whether you’re at home or on the go.
Simply put, if you’re looking for a device that will simplify your life (and save you some energy and money along the way), smart plugs are your answer.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to automate your life using smart plugs.
The first place we’ll start is in your home office — because who doesn’t want to make the work day a little easier?
There’s nothing more annoying than having your Wi-Fi cut out in the middle of the workday, especially when the router is all the way on the other side of the house. But connecting your Wi-Fi router to a smart plug enables you to cut power remotely so you can restart the modem with the tap of a button, all without leaving your desk. *Poof* — problem solved!
Finding a good work-life balance is challenging for many of us, but it’s gotten particularly difficult over the past few years as working from home has become increasingly more common. Luckily, there’s a way smart plugs can help.
Consider plugging your work equipment into smart plugs and setting a schedule so that your devices power down at 5:00 p.m. and power back on at 9:00 a.m. the following morning. It’s a great reminder to log off on time and enjoy your evening with family and friends — just don’t forget to save your work!
Similar to scheduling your transition from work time to offline hours, smart plugs are also super useful for automating your morning routine!
Here are a few fun ways you can set yourself up for success from the moment you wake up.
Connecting your coffee machine to a smart plug is one of our favorite ways to level up your morning routine.
Simply load up your machine with fresh coffee grounds the night before and schedule it to turn on thirty minutes before you get out of bed in the morning! Not only is it a timesaver, but you also get to wake up to the smell of a delicious fresh brew — yes, please!
Unlock the opportunity to hit that snooze button one more time by automating some of the appliances and devices you use when getting ready in the morning.
For instance, consider connecting your curling iron or hair straightener to a smart plug and start pre-heating the devices while you’re having your morning shower. You can also program your radio to turn on after your alarm so you can catch up on the morning news while you make your bed. And if you have a heated towel rack, try scheduling it to start warming fifteen minutes before you head to the bathroom — it’s more efficient than having it on all the time, and you still get the benefit of a cozy post-shower dry.
Plus, there’s an added bonus if you’ve ever left the house and thought, “Wait, did I unplug that?” because a smart plug allows you to double-check your devices and turn off the power from your phone while on the go. Goodbye, midday scaries!
PRO TIP! If your smart plugs have voice control integration, connect your morning routine outlets to a virtual assistant, like Alexa, Siri, or Google Home, and set them to automatically engage with a cue like “Good morning!” This gives you the flexibility to start your wake-up routine at a time that works best for you without having to adjust for schedule variations day to day.
And finally, now that we’ve touched on the beginning and middle of your day, it’s time to finish things off with your bedtime routine.
Try implementing these smart plug tricks to end your day with ease.
Ever fallen asleep with the TV or lights on? It’s something we’re all guilty of, and there’s nothing more disorienting than waking up hours later to an illuminated bedroom and an old re-run of How I Met Your Mother playing in the background.
Fortunately, you can avoid the unwelcome midnight wake-up call by putting your bedroom lamps and television on a smart plug timer so that they’ll automatically turn off after a set amount of time — unless you turn them off sooner, of course!
If your home uses a smart thermostat, your smart plugs may also be able to team up with your thermostat device to keep your room extra comfortable while you sleep!
For instance, if your room rises above a particular temperature, you may want to have a smart plug connected to a fan kick into gear to help cool things down — or vice versa during colder seasons with a space heater.
It’s a great trick to use throughout the night, but can also be helpful for wake-up routines during the winter months when you want to give your room an extra cozy boost before getting out from under the covers!
And finally, you can avoid unnecessary idle energy use throughout the night by connecting energy vampire devices like toasters, blenders, televisions, and video game consoles to smart plugs.
Simply schedule them to power down at a certain time of night and back on in the morning, or cut power manually through your smart device when you go to bed.
Knowing your devices are saving you energy and money while you sleep? Now that’s the key to a restful slumber if you ask us!
Ready to get started on your smart plug journey? Awesome!
We’ve rounded up a couple of our smart plug picks for 2023 to help you on your way — OhmConnect compatibility guaranteed!
Reasons we love it:
Reasons we love it:
Editor’s note: If you make a purchase through our affiliate partner links, we may receive a commission. This does not impact the recommendations we make.