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Connected Plug

Although a fully automated smart home that can be remotely controlled on your smartphone or iPad sounds like a fantastic idea, it's a sizeable investment. Nevertheless, it's completely possible to enjoy the technological advances in domestic smart devices without spending a fortune. For a modest price, connected plugs allow you to switch on, control and program any electronic device using an iOS or Android mobile app on your smartphone or tablet.

Also called smart plugs, connected plugs are very easy-to-use smart home devices. All you need is an internet connection and a smartphone to control the devices and electronic accessories in your home, without having to spend huge amounts of money on a complex home automation setup.

What is a connected plug for?

A connected plug lets you control the lighting and switch off your electronic devices, wherever they are: small devices (e.g. a coffee machine), household appliances, lighting, electric heating, etc. Devices can be controlled both locally, using a small switch on the plug, and remotely via a mobile app on your smartphone or tablet such as an iPad.
  • Remote control
Remotely controlling connected plugs allows you to control the power supply to your electronic devices even if you're in another room or away from home. This product is also very practical if some of your plugs are difficult to reach.

Using the mobile app, you can switch any device connected to the plug on or off, check whether the lights were left on when you went out or if a stand-alone heater was switched off. You can even turn on the heating before you get home with one simple gesture on your tablet or iPhone. Devices can also be remotely controlled by voice through a compatible smart voice assistant such as Siri on the iPhone and the Google Home assistant.

Lastly, remotely controlling connected plugs is very useful for the elderly or people with reduced mobility, as it provides total control over electronic devices without having to move.
  • Connected plugs and programming
The other benefit of a connected plug is that you can program when devices switch on using an app. This allows you to configure when you use the washing machine to take advantage of off-peak hours, open the blinds at the time you wake up, program the coffee machine to switch on in the morning or the radiators to come on before you get back in the evening, etc. By controlling the power supply times, you can convert any device into a programmable system.

Other programming methods are also available depending on the type of connected plug you choose. Some switch on when they detect motion (turning on the lights when someone walks by) or according to the temperature of the room (in the case of an electric heater).

Some types of connected plug also feature a timer that automatically switches off the connected device if it's not used for a set period of time.
  • Presence simulation
Using a connected plug (or several plugs) is also an excellent way to pretend someone's at home while you're not there, whether it's during the day or when you're on holiday. For example, by programming when the lights switch on or setting the blinds to open and close at predetermined times, you can give the impression that your home is occupied even if you're away for some time.
  • Integration into a smart home setup
A connected plug can fully interact with other connected products and be integrated into a home automation scenario, whether through voice assistants (Google Homekit, Alexa, etc.) or IFTTT services. This is an excellent way to create a smart home setup for less money than a comprehensive home automation system.

How does a connected plug work?

  • Bluetooth or Wi-Fi?
A connected plug can be remotely controlled from a smartphone using an iOS or Android mobile app via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signal. Although Bluetooth is the simplest option it limits the use of the app to your home, as smart plugs can only connect to your iPhone or smartphone within a limited range. Meanwhile, using the Wi-Fi network allows you to control a smart plug remotely, even if you're far away from home. All you need is internet access (Wi-Fi or 3G) where you are in order to use the mobile on your smartphone or iPad.
  • How can you control several products?
If you buy several connected plugs you can control them on your iPhone or iPad (or any other mobile phone or tablet). If you connect a multi-socket to your connected plug, all of the connected devices will be affected when you switch on or off or program the plug. Some smart multi-sockets also allow you to control the different devices independently in the app. Discover all our products

Connected plugs and energy savings

A connected plug is also a very easy way to manage your energy consumption and save electricity. By just looking at your iPhone or iPad you can check that energy-intensive devices have been switched off when you go out or go to bed. If you purchase multiple plugs you can also switch off devices on standby to cut down on unnecessary power consumption. Programming the lighting or electrical devices that consume the most energy, such as washing machines, is also an excellent way to manage your energy consumption and take advantage of off-peak hours.

There are also connected plugs that measure the consumption of the devices connected and identify the consumption peaks. This tells you which devices (domestic appliances, lighting, electric heating, etc.) consume the most and to adapt your habits to save energy. It's best to buy a connected plug that allows you to track your daily consumption and sends alerts so that you can be notified if there's a power cut.

An alternative to a home automation solution?

A plug connected via Wi-Fi is certainly no replacement for a complete home automation system. Each device needs to have a different plug and if you connect multiple products this can quickly push up the total cost of your smart home setup. Nevertheless, this cost is in no way comparable to that of a smart home controlled by an integrated home automation system.

By carefully choosing the devices whose operation and consumption you want to control, using connected plugs can optimise your domestic comfort while also saving energy. This simple and inexpensive setup requires no home alterations or expensive initial outlay and lets you enjoy the latest smart home advances.

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