Having a smart home is indeed convenient especially for busy people. However, purchasing smart appliances can cost a lot of money. If you’re just starting out with setting up a smart home, or if you’re on a budget but wants the convenience at the same time, there’s a solution to turn your home appliances and other devices into smart ones. How? Through the use of smart wall chargers and outlets.
What are Smart Wall Chargers and Outlets?
Smart wall chargers and outlets are internet-enabled electrical outlets and plugs that allows you to switch appliances on and off remotely or place them on a timer. They work by plugging them into a standard home socket and connecting them to the Wi-Fi or a hub.
Basically, smart wall chargers and outlets are smart switches acting as the intermediary between your small appliances and any smart functionality like voice control or remote operation that you want to bring to your existing devices. Therefore, when you plug any appliance in any smart outlets, they will be part of your smart home, enabling you to communicate with them remotely.
Aside from the convenience that smart chargers and outlets give, they are also useful energy saving tools because some of our wasted energy comes from forgetting to turn appliances off at the plug.
What to Look for in Smart Wall Chargers and Outlets?
If you want to try using smart wall chargers and outlets at home, there are a couple of considerations before purchasing one. These will help you decide on the best device that will cater your needs and enable you to maximize its effectiveness.
All smart wall chargers and outlets work the same. Their only difference is their protocols for control. You should choose one that will work with as many different standards, platforms, and protocols as possible.
There are two types of smart wall chargers and outlets you can find on the market. The first one is those that use Wi-Fi enabled devices that are connected to your home network. These chargers and outlets do not require any additional hardware, as long as your area has a strong wireless signal, they will work anywhere in your home through an app. This is a good choice if you’re not intending to build a larger smart home environment.
The other type of smart wall chargers and outlets are those that use other communication protocols which connect through a hub. They are usually cheaper, however, they need to integrate with other systems. If you plan to scale up your home automation system across multiple devices, it means that you’ll likely be investing in a hub. That means, this type can be the best choice for you.
Also, if you want to control your smart wall chargers and outlets through voice commands, then you should choose those that are compatible with systems like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple’s HomeKit system.
When it comes to size, there are two types of smart wall chargers and outlets you can choose from. There are those compact ones that are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible while maintaining the core set of smart functionality. They are smaller plug outlets which size can be places in a double power outlet without blocking the entire socket. If you have a double outlet fixture, you will be able to plug two of this kind of smart wall charger and outlet to it.
The other size is larger and better suited for single outlets. They can also offer more enhanced functionality compared to the smaller ones. Some additional features are energy monitoring and enhanced wireless range.
Do You Need Smart Wall Chargers and Outlets at Home?
When it comes to finding the best smart wall chargers and outlets for your home, you need to look into some factors such as the room and appliances you want to connect and the kind of connected functionality you want to achieve from your smart outlet devices once they are connected.
To be able to decide, they best way is to create an inventory of all the traditional or non-smart appliances and devices that you usually plug-in manually. These can be lamps or other small kitchen appliance such as coffee machines.
After creating the list, try asking yourself if the ability to automate, schedule, or wirelessly control these appliances would be a useful addition. If the answer is yes to most of the appliances, then it means that using smart wall chargers and outlets at home has a big benefit for you.
The Best Smart Wall Chargers and Outlets for Your Home
Here are some of the best smart wall chargers and outlets we can recommend for your home.
Where to Buy
1. WeMo Mini Smart Plug
This smart outlet comes in a compact size. It means that you will be able to connect multiple devices where there’s more than one socket available. This is one of the best smart wall outlets on the market because it’s easy to use and compatible with multiple platforms.
Through a downloadable app, this mini smart plug can work with both Android and iOS devices, and integrates effortlessly with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice control. It utilized Wi-Fi, meaning, there’s no need for you to have a dedicated hub for it to operate.
It has the ability to schedule activation of your devices to pre-set times. It also has an “Away Mode” which allows you to turn your lights on and off even when you’re away from home. It also works with Nest, meaning, you can automatically sync it to a Nest device such as the Learning Thermostat, linking its activation with the Nest device.
So, if you’re looking for a smart outlet that takes up minimal space while still providing an essential level of smart technology for your devices, then this is one of the best choice.
This is the world’s first remote-controllable dual outlet. It will allow you to control and schedule your electronic devices from any location. To be able to control it, you can use any Insteon device, a wireless remote, or your smartphone and tablet via the Insteon Hub.
It will also enable you to control the upper and lower outlets individually. Meaning, there’s no need for you to buy two Insteon devices to control various electronics. This smart wall outlet has a sleek and slim design which is best for those who are focused on aesthetics. There are also a lot of colors to choose from that will match the look of your home.
This smart plug will keep you connected with your home at all times. You can use it to turn your appliances on and off, receive alerts, and as well as monitor the current status of the devices connected to it. Aside from that, you can also set a power limit for it whether daily, weekly, or monthly. Once the smart plug reaches its limit, it will turn off automatically.
This smart plug will also enable you to view your appliances’ energy usage either in kilowatts or real currency to give you an insight on how much each of your appliance costs. It is one of the most advanced smart plugs you can find on the market that comes in an affordable price.
This is one of Samsung SmartThings range of devices which can provide excellent functionality for controlling non-smart appliances and devices in your home.
This smart outlet also utilizes ZigBee protocol to communicate between SmartThings hub and any other devices which are either between the SmartThings family or across other products like Alexa devices and Philips Hue bulbs.
It will allow you to control any connected appliances, as well as schedule them to activate remotely. It is also designed to work with Alexa for voice control. It will allow you to control any devices such as fans and coffee machines from your smartphone.
Also, if you connect it with other sensing devices like the SmartThings motion detector, it will enable you to build a level of automation into your smart plugs. For example, it can activate a connected lamp when you walk through the door.
And when you forget to turn off one of your connected devices when you leave the house, this smart outlet has your back. It will send an alert to your smartphone and will allow you to switch any active devices off remotely. If you already have a SmartThings hub, this is a perfect choice for you.
This is a HomeKit enabled smart plug that has a built-in energy meter. If you have Apple devices, this is the best smart outlet for you. You can also control it using your voice through Siri.
It provides connectivity through Bluetooth LE. Also, you will need an Apple system in place for remote control of the device, to enable you to control it through Siri on compatible phones and tablets. If you already have an Apple HomeKit, then this is a great choice.
It has the standard feature set like other smart plugs and outlets such as remotely controlling the devices and appliances connected to it. It is best for those who are looking for an Apple-ready smart plug.
This smart wall outlet is a replacement for your whole outlet unlike those that are just plugged into your current wall sockets. It provides a much more integrated look compared to those plug options. However, it also comes in a much higher price.
This smart wall outlet works with Alexa for voice control. It is easy to use and to set up as well. With it, you will be able to monitor, control, and schedule electronic appliances using the iDevices Connected app, and as well as Siri or Alexa voice commands. It is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
It also has an energy tracking and reporting feature that will help you make smarter decisions to lower your utility bills and monitor the daily energy usage of electronics in your home. With this smart wall outlet, you will be able to control and monitor your appliances from anywhere.
If one smart outlet is not enough for your home, you can also go for smart power strips and the LockState multi-outlet is one of the best options. With this, you will be able to monitor and control up to 4 outlets from anywhere you are.
You can turn on and off some appliances remotely from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and any other device. You can also use it to set schedules to have it turn on and off between specific times of the day, and as well as monitor power use remotely.
It includes 6 outlets in all. Four of those outlets can be controlled remotely and two of them are always on. If you want to manage clusters of appliances such as a home theater setup, then this is a great choice for you.
This smart plug utilizes Wi-Fi, meaning you can start controlling the appliances and devices connected to it without the need for a hub. You just need to plug it into a free outlet and connect it to your home network.
This smart plug also works with both Alexa and Google Assistant. It is preconfigured for voice control, meaning, as soon as you connect it to a device and socket, your appliances are just a verbal command away.
Another useful feature of this smart plug is its ability to know whether you’ve forgotten to switch off an appliance when you left home. It also has a countdown feature which will automatically turn off a device once the pre-configured timer runs out. You no longer have to worry when you leave the iron on when you leave the house. This is one of the best plug and play smart home solution.
Installing smart wall chargers and outlets is certainly one of the best ways to upgrade your home and bring home automation to your fingertips. We hope this guide will help you decide and choose the best smart wall chargers and outlets for your home.