What smart plugs work with Alexa?

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Written By Dinu Sri

Dr. H. T. D. S. Madusanka is an electronic enthusiastic, involved in research and development.

Most of the time, we do not process the ability to build our home as SMART from scratch. Isn’t it?

What we do is, we modify our homes to be SMART, and that is totally fine and reliable with our budget too.

So when it comes to home automation, smart plugs are one of main item that used to play significant role.

Typically, a smart plug will plug into a traditional electrical outlet to get control of your household electrical items. With the smart plug, you will have the ability to control it by using a smartphone app, web or through virtual assistant such as Alexa.

Smart Lighting for Home
Smart Lighting for Home

What can a smart plug do?

Before going into the details of best smart plugs that can work with Alexa, let’s have a small introduction about standard features of smart plugs.

  • Basic features such as turn on and off your electrical items that are connected to the smart plug.
  • Virtual assistant supported (such as Alexa, Siri or google assistant) smart plugs can control directly from your voice. So you do not need to work around any mobile app or web interface.
  •  Ability to set schedules for your smart plugs. So you can set turn ON/OFF time for your connected electrical items.
  • Energy consumption tracking for further green power management in house.
  • Unique designs for outdoor use. The outdoor smart plugs give ability to control your garden lights or decoration.
  • Latent energy consumption prevention capability when your devices are turned off.
  • Safety notification capability. Most of the smart plugs process the surge protector circuits, and importantly, they send a notification to alert you when there is a power surge.

What smart plugs work with Alexa?

Let’s check out some of the selected best smart plugs for Alexa. All of these selections will be work through WI-FI, and most of them supported not only Alexa but also other voice controllers like google assistant.

1. Currant Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring

The smart plug from Currant is actually consisted with lot of cool features. It comes with an app that shows real-time energy consumption. The energy usage analysis can be done by using many ways such as cost by hour, day month or even year.

If you are willing to go for more than one smart plugs, then these plugs come with another handy option. That is their own Bluetooth based network capability. With this Bluetooth network, you will be able to communicate with each and every plug through their remote app, or else using voice over Amazon Alexa and google assistant.

There is an autopilot mode. That means you can configure several customise rules for your home or rooms. So, your smart plug can check these rules in a scheduled manner and do necessary tasks automatically.

Further, this smart plug comes with two individually controllable outlets which are quite handy with the price.

Finally, Currant uses artificial intelligence model to track your energy patterns in terms of helping the energy saving. Based on your energy usage, the smart plug will suggest changes that you can follow to save on your energy bill.

If you are interested with Currant smart plug, you can check it out from here (Amazon)

2. Amazon Smart Plug – A Certified for Humans Device

I think this is the simplest and easiest way to connect a smart plug into your Alexa. Since this plug is exclusively from Amazon, it will support your Alexa without any hassle. Moreover, if you are looking to invest in Amazon smart ecosystem, then this is a product that you need to have.

The most attractive point is the simplicity that this smart plug offers. You do not need to have any kind of technical knowledge to set up this smart plug. You can just plug it and then Alexa will detect it through its app (yes, you can control it via voice).

No smart home central hub is required to work with this plug. All the features will be available through Alexa app such as routines and schedules.

Check out the Amazon smart plug here. It’s price also relatively lower than other solutions.

3. TP-LINK Kasa 2 Outlet Smart Plug

TP-Link is one of well-known brand in the electronics industry. In recent years, they have been into this home automation field and produce several products with excellent quality.

The Kasa smart plug has consisted all the major features similar to the devices I have explained in the above sections. Further, this smart plug has two separate outlets.

Moreover, there is a dedicated kasa smart app available for the device to control it via your mobile too.

One more thing, there is a feature called ‘away mode’. This is useful when you are not at home. When this is activated, the plug will automatically turn on/off your electrical devices like lamps at random intervals. So it will mimic a sense that you are at home all the time, which is good for home security.

Find out the TP-LINK Kasa from this link in Amazon.

4. Samsung SmartThings Outlet

Samsung is another big giant in the home automation field. They do have their own smart home platform called Samsung’s SmartThings. This smart plug is one of the items from their platform.

Anyhow, this device is fully compatible with Alexa and other voice controllers such as google assistant. The free SmartThings app will produce more control over the device, and if you have a SmartThings hub, then it will directly communicate it to make everything fully networked.

Other than the typical usages, this device further works as a ZigBee repeater. That means each smart plug can extend the ZigBee network for your device.  

Find out more about Samsung SmartThings Outlet from here.

5. TP-LINK Kasa Smart Power Strip

I have added this power strip because of its unique feature. This is actually not a single power outlet, it’s a smart strip with six outlets. The uniqueness is that you can control all these six outlets individually.

Further, this one has 3 USB ports to charge your mobile devices.

Surge protection, remote controlling and energy monitoring integrated with the power strip and you can monitor the respective information through Kasa smart app.

This power strip is compatible with not only Amazon Alexa, but also for google assistant and Microsoft Cortana.

If you are interested with the Kasa smart power strip, you can check it here for more technical information and price info.

Few common concerns about smart plugs

If you are determined to buy a smart plug for your home automation, then probably you would have these question in your mind. So, I’ll try to answer them as much as possible with my knowledge.

Is Smart Plug safe?

Usually, they are pretty much safe other than your traditional power outlets. Smart plugs are designed to meet international safety standards. Further, smart plugs are consists surge protection circuits and automatic turn off features in an emergency case.

(read our article about the way of setting your smart plug with Alexa here )

However, you may need to give you attention to buy a quality branded product to be confirm with the protection. There are lot of Chinese products at a very lower cost which does not meet the expected safety standards.

Are there devices not be used with a smart plug?

If the devices are within your current/voltage range, then mostly you can use each and every electrical equipment in your home.

 Anyhow, if your device has an electronic switch, then it may not work with your smart plug. That can be explained by using a simple example. Let’s say, you have a television that needs to turn on by pressing its switch manually even it has direct power. This kind of devices will not automatically turn on even you tell your Alexa to turn on. That’s because your television has an electronic switch that needs manual operation even it has live power supply.

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