You know when you go out for the day and realize you won’t be home until late? The other day, I took my son clothes shopping. He needed a business outfit for his first Model United Nations attendance. The boy is very tall and skinny for his age. What I thought would be a quick run to Target, turned into a four-hour shopping trip. By the time we came home it was dark and the house was pitch black. It’s not a good feeling to come home to a dark house, especially as a single mom. I also felt bad for the dogs who sat in the dark for hours.
One of the things I love about blogging is that I get to try some really cool gadgets I wouldn’t know about otherwise. And then I get to share them with my readers.
Here’s what I used to do. On days I knew I wouldn’t get home until dark, I would leave the living room light on all day so I wouldn’t return to a dark home. Needless to say, this was wasting electricity. The Smart Plug lets me control my light with my phone. No longer do I return to a dark home or waste energy. Having the light on also discourages burglars.
I can set a schedule for my lights to turn on and off at specific times. Since it gets dark early now, I have it set to 4 pm so my son doesn’t return from school to a dark home.
I can also monitor how much power is being consumed by my lights. The Smart Plug works with TP-Link Kasa, a free Android and iOS app. Voice commands also work on Amazon Alexa devices (Echo, Echo Dot, Tap). I don’t have these devices but you would say, for example, “Alexa, turn on my kitchen light.” And the light will turn on.
The set up was so easy. I just plugged it in and configured on my iPhone with Kasa. Anyone can get this smart plug working. The smart plug will be perfect for my holiday lights. I can set the timer to switch on and off. Last year, I had to go in my garage to plug in and unplug the holiday lights.
I was also able to try the Smart Bulb. This is my first Wi-Fi enabled LED bulb and I had it working in less than five minutes. The installation involved just screwing the Smart Bulb into a standard light bulb socket (no need to replace fixtures or wiring) and downloading the free Kasa app to my phone. Kasa guided me through an intuitive quick setup. No hubs or additional hardware were required.
The smart bulb is in the overhead light in my son’s room. I can check at work whether he forgot to turn off his light. I can dim the light or make it brighter.
But wait, there’s more. The Smart Bulb has a color changing feature, which means you can match your mood with 16 million color options. My teen LOVES this feature. Just touch a color in your app and your room turns into a beautiful retreat. How cool is that?
As with the smart plug, I can track the day-to-day and historical energy use of my lighting. Plus, the smart bulb uses LEDs to reduce its power usage up to 80% compared to a standard 60-watt light bulb.
It’s fun to convert your home into a smart home. What’s great is that the TP-Link’s line of Smart Home products are affordable – they range from just $29.99 to $49.99 MSRP.
I think these smart products would make great holiday gifts.
Visit TP-Link.com and use code TPLinkSmart for 20% off your purchase through 31 Dec 2016.