Almost a decade ago, the smartphone replaced the multi-media mobile phone and a decade later the smartphone is still evolving into incredible versions of itself. A similar phenomenon is happening as smart home devices are replacing ordinary devices. IoT-based smart devices are one of the hottest topics of interest on the internet and people can’t get enough of them. While it can cost a fortune to transform your home into a smart home, if you are looking to get a taste of smart living then you must buy a smart plug. It is a handy little gadget that can convert your ordinary devices into smart devices. In this article, you will find out interesting features about the smart plug and everything else that you must know before buying your first smart device.
Consider the Following Before You Buy a Smart Plug
You want to buy a smart plug right away but you do not know the first thing about them. That is absolutely normal but before learning about smart plugs, you must know why you need them. Therefore consider the following factors and draw inferences from the explanation that has been provided specially for you and others like you.
Devices to Use With the Smart Plug
First and foremost, you must know what devices are the ones that you want to transform into smart devices. Usually, the devices that take a little bit of time to get going like an AC or a geyser are the ones that should be connected to a smart plug.
Although you can use the smart plug to control regular items like lights, fans, and kettles as well. If you are actually looking to buy a smart plug for any appliance that has a slight delay, you must make sure that the smart plug you buy has a scheduling feature. Scheduling will allow you to let the devices turn on automatically at a scheduled time.
Buy a Smart Plug Compatible With Your Home Assistant
Home assistants are becoming popular every passing second. They make your life very easy in the sense that they can listen to your commands and obey them on cue. If you don’t have a home assistant like Alexa or Google Home, you will have them in a few years. So it is important to check whether the smart plug that you like is compatible with them or not.
By integrating your smart plug with home assistants, you can do much more with your smart plug and enjoy a smart lifestyle. Older models of smart plugs may have issues in connectivity and require a hub but new models can be connected with your home assistants with the help of a Wi-Fi network and a companion app.
Indoor or Outdoor Smart Plugs?
Generally, smart plugs are made for use indoors only because of weather issues. Although, there are some options that can be used outdoors for your garden and pool areas. Most indoor smart plugs are white in colour while outdoor smart plugs are black to denote the fact that they can be used outdoors.
Power and Wattage
Not all devices can be plugged into smart plugs. Most smart plugs are built to control small appliances like a coffee maker or a light or a fan. Although there are many options that are specifically built for heavy appliances like fridges, AC, blenders, etc.
Make sure before buying a smart plug that it can support the devices that you want to connect to it. The zunpulse smart plug for instance is a 16A, 4000W smart plug and you can easily use it to control the heaviest of appliances with it.
There are several wireless protocols available in today’s times like Bluetooth, ZigBee, Bluetooth, and ZWave. While the Wi-Fi-enabled smart plugs do not need a home hub, the others do. It is better to make sure about the wireless protocol that a particular smart plug before buying it. The added cost of the hub can really make the whole purchase a bitter experience.
Features to Consider
There are a lot of awesome features that make the smart plug the real king of smart devices. While there are quite a few options that have all the amazing features that you want in a smart plug, some don’t. Here are the features that you must look out for in the smart plug that you buy.
Remote Access: The best feature of a smart plug has to be remote access. You could be on a vacation, miles away from home when suddenly you realize that you left a heavy appliance on by mistake. If you have a wi-fi smart plug, you have nothing to worry about because these come with the remote access feature. You can turn off the said device just with a tap on your smartphone. Besides you can also use this feature to turn on the devices before you reach home like air conditioning for a cool home environment or the geyser for a hot shower.
Energy Monitoring: Vampire energy is sucking you dry and you don’t even realize it. Most heavy appliances like microwaves and entertainment systems keep consuming power even when they are not functional. The energy monitoring feature lets you keep an eye on the power consumption of the connected device. Also, with time many devices start consuming more power than usual which causes heavy wastage of electricity and money. With the energy monitoring feature, you can replace the old appliances that are draining power unnecessarily.
Scheduling: Another must-have feature in a smart plug is the scheduling feature. With the help of the scheduling feature, you can set your smart plug to switch on and off as per your schedule. You can wake up to hot coffee brewed and ready, the hot bath ready, come back to a pleasantly air-conditioned home, schedule light out, and this is not even the tip of the iceberg. There are endless uses of a smart plug with scheduling features.
Voice Assistant Compatibility: In the true sense any smart device is not smart until and unless you can talk to it and it can listen. Most of the smart plugs available in the market are compatible with popular home assistants and can be easily paired with Alexa and Google Home. Although, make sure you read the specifications and confirm the mention of the same because some of these smart plugs available at lower prices do not have home assistant compatibility.
Finding a smart plug is not a problem in the Indian market as there are a lot of options. To conclude this buying guide, let’s discuss the price of smart plugs available in India. It goes without saying that price is the most important factor when buying something. No matter how amazing a smart device is, it needs to fit in your budget for you to be able to buy it. The price of smart plugs in India varies roughly between ₹900 to ₹3000. However, to get a smart plug with all the desirable features you need to look at an expense of something around ₹1500 at the least. zunpulse smart plug, which is wi-fi enabled smart plug is priced at ₹1490 on the zunpulse website. You can also find it listed on various popular eCommerce portals like Flipkart, SnapDeal, TATA Cliq, and Amazon.
This is your chance to bring home the best smart plug at an affordable price. If you want to know everything about smart plugs, check out our guide to smart plugs.