How does a Smart Plug work?

With every day of our lives getting smarter shouldn’t our homes be getting smarter too? In recent years many novelties have been introduced in this field. Many such smart devices have been introduced, but buying and spending on all these different devices do not seem feasible. The idea of smart homes for the middle class seems just lavish and unreasonable. Here’s where smart plugs come into the picture.

So what are smart plugs? Why spend money on them? Do we need them?

What is a smart plug?

A smart plug is an easy, affordable way to control the devices in our home using our smartphones from anywhere in the world, and most certainly if we are in the next room. They are capable of making the ‘dumb’ devices in our room smarter.

what is a smart plug
Smart plug inserted in a normal electrical outlet

How do Smart Plugs work?

It acts like an adapter that connects the devices of our home with our smartphone. It simply connects itself to any normal electrical outlet. It can control the amount of power going to every device connected to it. They are WiFi-enabled, thus all you require to use a smart plug is a good WiFi network and of course the smart plug itself!

How does a smart plug works

All that needs to be done is to connect the smart plug to any electrical socket and turn on its WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity. Next, connect any appliance to the smart plug and download the manufacturer application. Then connect your smartphone to the same network as the smart plug, and voila, your smart devices are up and running. Now you have control on turning on or off your devices remotely.

smart plug application
smart plug mobile application

Smart plugs help to comfort our lives unconditionally, they save time and money, both of which are most crucial in the present day. The only disadvantage is that because of this smart device we actually might not have enough exercise of getting up to do our chores like stomping up and down a flight of stairs to switch on/off the lights, fans, etc. Anyhow, we have other ways to remain fit and have a smarter home at the same time.

Smart Plugs Uses

There are many uses of smart plugs. Some of them are as follows.

● We can remotely set timers and schedules for appliances to turn on and off automatically.

● Turn on/off the lamps, bulbs inside and outside the house. This is of key importance as with this feature we can ensure the security of our homes too. In case we are away from home, being able to turn lights on/off can make others think that the house isn’t empty thus deterring burglars off.

● Most smart plugs are voice-assistant enabled i.e. they can be controlled with our voice. Speaking to our smartphones and getting our tasks done is a common habit now. Some popular being Alexa, google home, etc.

● Not only light, but appliances like our coffee maker, straighteners, hairdryers, irons, etc. can also be controlled. Thus if we forget to turn off any of our appliances, we can do it remotely no matter where we are. This prevents any misfortunes and reduces energy consumption as well.

● The features of this device are useful to the elderly and specially enabled too. This device offers to do little chores beforehand for them in their day-to-day lives. At the comfort of their seat, they can control all the appliances of their home.

● We can also monitor the amount of time our kids spend watching television and auto-switch them off after the desired time. Isn’t it wonderful to control the screen time of our children while we are away at work?

● Another use is the temperature control of our home. We can control Air conditioners or thermostats at our comfort and thus have just the perfect, cozy temperature while getting out of bed. Doesn’t that sound just great?

● This plug also checks the temperature of the appliance connected to the plug and notifies the user to incase of overheating troubles, if a power surge occurs or any hazard poses towards our house. This reduces the chances of electrical fires.

● We can also monitor the energy-hungry appliances and each of their consumption. This would solve the mystery of which appliance is contributing most to the energy bill (it’s important to catch these power-suckers) and saving up on an upcoming purchase.

Now to ensure that your smart plug would give the maximum benefits, the key points you must look into are

  • The smart plug should have the feature of voice assistant compatibility.
  • It should come with surge protection for the safety of our homes.
  • It may be useful to have additional ports on one smart plug, thus empowering it to connect to many appliances.
  • The price range should be affordable while covering all required, basic features.
  • Not all appliances are compatible with all smart plugs. Thus choose the right plug wattage.

When there is such an easy way to make our lives homely and pleasant why not just go for it. Smart plugs have made it possible for every person to achieve their dream smart home fantasy. So for all the control freaks and lazy people out here, Smart plugs should be your go-to choice.


Shriya Upasani
MIT World Peace University


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