With the holidays coming to an end I find myself with 2-3 smart plugs that I have not found a good use for in the “off-season”. Normally around Halloween there are i’ll kinds of lights and different devices that I want control throughout the day or at night. However now I don’t have much use for them. All of my lamps have smart bulbs, recessed lighting, and fans are controlled with smart switches.
What does everyone else use their smart plugs for when they’re not controlling holiday lights? Does anybody else have any good used cases top of their head?
We don’t have smart lights, so we use smart plugs in lamps instead so we can turn the light off without getting out of bed!
If you have a “dumb” kettle that turns on with a lever, you could leave it in ON mode and then turn it on in the morning so it’s hot when you are ready for it. Same if you have a “dumb” coffee machine. I say dumb because we have a digital kettle which doesn’t lend itself to a smart plug as you need to press a digital button to turn it on.
Finally I have one on my work desk, so I switch it off when I’m not working, rather than leaving my laptop charging and monitors on standby.
Unfortunately no kettle and our coffee maker has a timer on it. As for the desk, that’s not a bad idea!
I have a small space heater in my office, plugged into a Hue smart plug, named “heater”.
“Alexa, turn on/off the heater”.
Unfortunately, Siri is unable to distinguish between “heater” and “heat”, and my Ecobee advertises itself as “heat” and “a/c”. So, “Siri, turn off the heater” turns off the furnace. Someday I’ll get around to renaming the smart plug to “Vulcan” or something like that.
The smart plugs that I use for Christmas lights in the winter I rename and use for “dumb” box fans in the summer.
For the days when I work at home, I have plugs attached to white noise machines both inside and outside my home office, and one attached to my HomePod. I say “Privacy Noise On” and it turns on the white noise machines, and powers down the HomePod (to avoid someone using the “play everywhere” command while I’m working).
That’s what I’ve done. 2 White Noise makers on Wemo.
My most useful though is the Wemo I put on the hot water recirculator. Rather than use the built in timer I can set the on/off dynamically.
Interesting use case! Related, I’ve been trying to find a good white noise machine for awhile, I’m wondering if you or @hmurchison have any recommendations for one? Thanks!
I actually attempted this in the room where my kids sleep. However, I found that when the device is power cycled, it plays a default noise. The kids nor me liked the default noise (some sort of running water) so I replaced the noise machine with a HomePod mini. Now it’s a thread router, intercom, and white noise machine.
Anthony just last night I was in Home Despot looking for more junk and I saw that Home Depot is rolling out their own smart line of products with an app Hubspace developed by a software house Aferio.
The initial reviews look like the whole “paid” variety of enthusiasts of getting free hardware but their Dual Smart Outlet in-wall is intriguing because it’s just $19.99. I think i’m going to grab a couple because my TP-Link KP200 are backordered right now.
The Hubspace UI looks clean like they actually care about UI/UX but we’ll see. I may go pick a couple up on my lunch break.
I’m going to go with a Lutron applicance plug for my Recirc system next year when I start replacing my Caseta with RA3. I want to get the signal off of Wifi as well and I love the reliability of all of my Lutron stuff.
A bit off topic but have you seen SwitchAlwaysOn I think I saw in in CEPro because they won an award. It’s you DC power supply (two 12v two 5v) mated to a batter that gives up to 2 hours of backup and software for remote monitoring and reboot if necessary.
I feel like I can finally address my structured wiring panel (14x14) without cluttering up the box with AC Adapters and giving me Wattbox like control of a handful of small devices.
Thanks for the tip, will check these out next time I’m at Home Depot. Let us know how they work out for you.
I’m hoping that eventually Snap offers a Wattbox unit with 5/12v DC output. I have a total irrational hatred for external power supplies.
I’ll probably mix and match RA2 Pro and Maestro Dimmers and RA3 stuff. I"ve seen the Middle Atlantic stuff but it’s price prohibitive. I’m trying to gravitate towards PoE stuff. I’ve got the Bond Bridge Pro and soon the RA3 PoE bridge. Might do DMX for a project adding recessed lighting in the Office and removing the BR40 monstrosity in my sun room.