Smart plugs differ in various aspects, plus they behave differently to other products that we’re comfortable using at home. For that reason, let’s demystify the top 5 smart plug FAQs. There are common questions that everybody should know whether you want to buy a smart plug or already own one. Plus, get some expert tips and best in class product recommendations along the way!
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A study has shown that smart plugs can save around 1 – 4.58% energy per year. That’s equivalent to about one month of electricity! Source
Smart Plug FAQs
Can you plug a power strip into a smart plug?
Power strips can be plugged into a smart plug. In order for it to work safely, the total power of all the devices plugged into the power strip must be below the maximum load that both the power strip and smart plug can tolerate.
For example, the smart plug has a max load of 15A and the power strip has a max load of 10A. The lower of the 2 is 10A. Therefore, the devices plugged into the power strip cannot exceed 10A.
Recommended product: Kasa Smart Plug Power Strip (link on Amazon)
Can smart plugs be used outside?
There are outside smart plugs which are designed to withstand the weather and elements of the outdoors. A good outdoor smart plug will be fire retardant, have an IP64 weather rating and be resistant to dust and water splashes.
Most smart plugs are designed for indoor use as they are not watertight and weather resistant.
Therefore, indoor smart plugs should not be used outside.
Tip: If powering outdoor equipment with a smart plug, make sure that the plug is capable of the load.
Can smart plugs work without internet?
Smart plugs can work without internet if it cuts out for short durations. However, if the internet is down for too long, it can interfere with the timing and programming of the smart plug.
Smart plugs can also perform certain function without internet if it is connected to a smart home hub plus devices compatible with Z-Wave Zigbee.
These devices allow wireless communication between each other, similar to a Bluetooth connection.
Some smart plugs have a backup of their programmed settings which means that if there is an internet or electricity outage, you can easily retrieve the original settings.
Furthermore, if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection, you won’t be able to use the app to check the status of the smart plug. Voice assistant won’t operate without Wi-Fi either.
This could pose a problem if you’re away and wanted to turn something on or off.
If you are in an internet blackspot or the room where you intend to use the smart plug doesn’t have internet connection, you could consider a mechanical timer instead. It won’t offer as much functionality as a smart plug, but it doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi.
Can smart plugs be used as timers?
Practically all smart plugs have a timer function which enables you to program a device to be turned on and off at different times. Smart plugs are also more accurate than mechanical timers.
Some plug-in timers only allow you to set them to turn on or off after 15 or 30 minutes of use. In contrast, smart plugs can be programmed down to the minute.
This is much more efficient than having items, operating for longer than needed. such as a crock pot.
Smart plugs can also be programmed to allow a greater number of timer settings to be active.
For instance, if you want to set the on and off time of heating with a mechanical timer, it might only allow you 1 sequence of on and off, e.g., 6pm – 8 pm.
A smart plug, on the other hand, could allow you several sequences to run simultaneously, e.g., heating to run at 6am – 7am, 9am – 11am, 6pm – 8pm etc.
Kasa Smart Plug Works with Alexa, Echo, Google Home (link on Amazon)
How long do smart plugs last?
Smart plugs don’t have a fixed lifespan, but they should last for years if they are taken care of and used properly. Smart plugs generally have a warranty of 1 – 2 years.
This can help you gauge the quality of the product as the longer the warranty, the greater trust the manufacturer has in the product.
Reading the product review can also give you an inclination regarding how reliable the smart plug is.
From reading about 30+ reviews of smart plugs, I have noticed that there will always be a few customers complaining that the smart plug didn’t last a few weeks or 6 months. But since they are in warranty, it shouldn’t be a problem getting a replacement.
Using a smart plug isn’t as cut and dry as you may think. But by following the guidelines provided above, you can dodge common pitfalls that many people fall for.
Of course, this is just a flavor of what you should know about smart plugs. If you would like to further develop your knowledge and learn about some mind-blowing things that smart plugs can do to make your life easier, then you’re in luck!
Here are some other useful articles I wrote that you should go check out:
- Essential work at home gadgets – 5 must-haves!
- Do LED Bulbs Emit Blue Light? And 3 Spectacular FAQs!
- How To Choose A Smart Plug – 9 Must Know Factors!
- Smart Plug Pros And Cons – 11 Must Know Helpful Factors!
- Smart Plug V Timer – Plus The Best Buy For You!