Smart plugs have many advantages; you don’t have to buy new lamps, your home becomes more intelligent, you save on your energy consumption and most brands have smart brands. This way you can easily combine an existing smart solution from the same brand!
For your home, make sure you pair a wireless switch or a motion sensor. Nobody wants to sit on the couch and spend 2 minutes on their phone turning on the light.
Which brands offer smart plugs?
- Philips Hue
- TP-Link Tapo
- Samsung SmartThings
- Belkin Wemo
Best smart plugs?
We recommend Philips Hue partly because with this hub (which you have to buy with it) most integrations work perfectly. The price of a Philips Hue starter package is therefore slightly higher than that of other brands, but that is where the difference in use really lies.
Philips Hue offers both outdoor lighting, indoor lamps and smart plugs. This gives them a complete solution that you can also operate from a distance with the Philips Hue bridge. This hub is also easy to integrate into your existing solution and allows (voice) control to turn on the lights even when you are not at home.
Energy measurement with smart plugs?
Some brands offer smart plugs that can also measure your energy consumption. In this way you gain insight into your consumption and you may consider adjusting the use. Partly due to the high electricity prices, this quickly becomes a very profitable solution.
Brands that offer smart plugs with energy metering are:
Can you save with a smart plug?
Yes, absolutely. On the one hand by gaining insight into which devices in your house consume a lot of power and on the other hand by devising smart solutions. For example, turn off your TV, amplifier and game console at night and not on standby. This can save tens of euros per year, especially with today’s high energy prices. A smart plug itself consumes about 80 cents of electricity per year.
There are also plenty of solutions in the field of fire safety, for example switch off the charging of your phone when you sleep the deepest.
Connection of smart plugs?
Loose smart plugs are usually controlled by a bluetooth connection directly from your phone. A bluetooth connection is only possible if you are close by, in an open space up to 10 meters. Without walls! If you buy a hub from the brand, you get the option to control all lamps centrally over the WiFi and your lamps will be controlled by this hub, often through a Zigbee connection.
Hub for smart plugs?
Many brands also offer a hub. This way you can not only easily control your lights centrally, but also remotely. For example, you can switch on your lamps in the evening from a standing chair while on holiday to show that there is movement. With a hub it is often also possible to create scenes. For example, you can program a scene that when you come home, the lamp in the hall and the lamps in the living room will come on at the same time. If the brand has an alarm system, lamps can often be linked. This way, all lights will turn on as soon as the alarm goes off.
Alarm systems with smart plugs
Many alarm systems also offer smart plugs. For example, you can automatically switch on certain lights in the event of an alarm. Of course you can also connect something else to your smart plug, an extra siren or a vacuum cleaner that switches on. You can think of it yourself with smart plugs! Brands that offer alarm systems with smart plugs are;
- Arlo / Verisure
Home automation and smart plugs
If you already have home automation in your house, but the unrenovated part turns out to function hopelessly. No problem. Some brands offer the option to enable an alternative connection wirelessly. For example, with Loxone Smart Home you can completely integrate a smart plug, a remote control into the existing system.
Different protocols for smart plugs
A protocol should be seen as the way and technique of talking to each other. A very well-known protocol is bluetooth, for example, but in the field of plugs there are many more and we dare say better. A short list:
Bluetooth is a very broad protocol with which you can do a lot. Bluetooth has been around since 1994. The first standard was the IEEE 802.15.1.
Plugs that support bluetooth have a direct link with your phone, so you don’t need a hub. The disadvantage of this is that you always have to be within a radius of 10m to switch your plug on or off. Another disadvantage is that bluetooth is not the most secure protocol: or better: it allows manufacturers to use it insecurely. Too bad because bluetooth has the ability to send 128bit encrypted authentication and can use encryption keys up to 256bit.
Brands that use Bluetooth are
- TP-Link in the Tapo range
- Eve Energy
Zigbee can be compared to WiFi, but specially designed with a smart home in mind. Zigbee is also an energy-efficient protocol on the same frequency as WiFi and Bluetooth being 2.4 Ghz and can control 65,000 devices in 1 network. Furthermore, it has 2-way communication and can therefore send information back to the hub with Zigbee support to, for example, pass on the consumption of the plug.
A disadvantage is that these plugs cannot be connected directly to a smartphone. Also note: you can connect Philips Hue plugs to a Zigbee network, but you cannot connect Zigbee devices to the Philips Hue hub. This is due to commercial choices made by Philips.
Brands that use Zigbee are:
Z-wave plugs work with a so-called Mesh network and work on 866Mhz band, which means they are less bothered by walls and go much further than Zigbee. Z-wave has 2-way communication, just like Zigbee, but can connect up to “only” 232 devices.
Brands that use Z-wave are: