We here at Essex WiFi are currently basking in the influx of new and more advanced smart plugs! There are now so many choices available for the average consumer and because of this, we have taken it upon ourselves to write this blog so that you can make not only an informed decision but the right decision as well. We want you to be getting the best smart plug you can for your £50! When it comes to smart plugs, your choices are almost endless, and you don’t have to look very far to be bombarded by options, extras and/or features! In addittion, you don’t have to have a superfast broadband connection for these devices to work at their best! So let’s boil it down a little. We have scoured the web and compiled a list of the top 3 smart plugs that are guaranteed to make your home smarter as well as safer and more energy efficient! As far as options are concerned you can have your bog-standard plug with remote app control, you can have a more advanced piece of kit that allows you to monitor specific outlet energy flow, you can have plugs with Nest integration and Bluetooth, and you can now get smart plugs that are designed for outdoor use – so no matter where you are, and no matter what sort of internet setup you have be it a rural broadband configuration or otherwise, you are only a button press away from the flick of a switch.
So, let’s get into this! For ease of view, we’ve compiled our list starting with the cheapest and ending with the most expensive. Here’s our top 3:
- Energenie Adapter: £26.59
- TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug HS100 + energy monitoring: £34.99
- Belkin Wemo Insight Plug: £49.99
Energenie Adapter: £26.59
(Image credit: Amazon)
We start our list off with the Energenie smart adapter. Although it does come inat a smart looking £26, making it the cheapest on our list, it DOES require you to purchase an adapter hub that will set you back £49, which is a shame though we believe that it should not be grounds for exclusion from this list – especially if you are looking to purchase more than one smart plug. The TP-Link is Alexa enabled, which is a massive plus point, more and more manufacturers are starting to include this compatibility, but do bare in mind that this feature is not yet an industry standard. With this plug you can also set up sophisticated geofencing that allows you to regulate the on-off cycles of your devices to a T. So when you leave in the morning – off goes the plugs, and when the kids come home, on comes the plug. Simple. You can also create as many timed lists as you like so that your devices can work around your schedule. If you want your kettle on at 8:30am, no problem. As for energy monitoring, you can see (via the app) average power use, current power use, as well as hourly and daily totals. We would recommend this product and the adapter hub for those of you out there who are looking for a medium scale smart plug solution and who aren’t looking to spend a great deal.
(Image credit: Overclockers UK)
Second in our list is the excellent TP-Link smart plug. This product comes in two models. The first is your standard plug and play, whilst the second is a little more advanced with energy monitoring as standard. We would wholeheartedly recommend going for the model with energy monitoring as it is, as of our writing of this blog only £5 more; well worth it in our books. One of our favourite, but by no means the flagship feature of the TP-Link is the ability to trigger off/on functions to coincide with the rising and the setting of the sun – using your location as the mode. A very nice touch. This smart plug doesn’t require a hub adapter and can plug directly into any outlet, it then connects to your WiFi connection; hassle free. This alone, in our book, places it way above the Energenie. It does essentially do everything that the Energenie does without requiring you to purchase an adapter hub (sophisticated scheduling included). When you throw in fantastic energy monitoring and Alexa compatibility, you may well have the perfect smart plug. This plug is for those first time smart plug buyers looking to dip their toes into the water of the modern home experience! Especially if they aren’t looking to break the bank.
Belkin Wemo Insight Plug: £49.99
(Image credit: Belkin)
And now we have arrived at our final destination. If you have done any research on smart plugs then you will undoubtedly have heard a lot about the Belkin WeMo. We will be reviewing the insight plug in this article, given its extra features and functionality come for only for a few extra pounds, it is absolutely worth the upgrade. However, we do believe that £49.99 is a lot to spend on a smart plug given that you can get more or less the same product for 40% less. This plug operates without a hub – thank god! So, why has this plug made it onto our list? Well, we believe that it epitomizes everything that is right about smart plugs. It is sharp, it is designed incredibly well and when utilized correctly it absolutely will help you cut down on your energy consumption whilst also making your life easier! In addition, the rules section of the Wemo is exceptionally clever. It includes custom notifications, for example you can set a rule so that you are informed you when your laundry is ready! Subtle and yet so very useful. Its app also has a very user-friendly interface, so the non-tech-savvy among you will have no problem navigating through its features. A place on our list is well earned for the Wemo.
If you have an unlimited budget and want to experience the best of what a budget smart plug can do for you and your home, then go for the Wemo. If you’re not wanting to spend £50 and are still looking for a quality smart plug then the TP-Link is absolutely your best bet. If you are looking for a larger smart plug solution i.e. a circuit with 2-4 smart plugs, then you can do no better than the Energenie! Just make sure you don’t buy each piece individually as sets are available at a much lower price. We hope that you have found this article informative, and we also hope that this article will help inform your next smart plug purchase! We would just like to reiterate, these fantastic devices will work whether you’re on a rural broadband connection or a superfast county broadband based solution!Stay tuned for all things technological from Essex WiFi.