When it comes to automating your home, nothing gets the job done quite like smart plugs.
These devices intuitively take the hassle out of regulating the electrical appliances in your home since they allow you to control each one separately with one phone.
They’re also nifty tools for the energy-conscious since, in one fell swoop, they let you control how long your devices are in use.
Two separate phones can control one smart plug, provided they log their devices into a singular account. You can use a joint account to control your smart plugs from multiple phones, but you can also opt for a remote-controlled smart plug if you don’t want to share private account information.
In this article, I’ll go over how smart plugs work and how you can extend their functionality across several mobile phones.
So, let’s get into it and get the most out of your smart plugs.
- Getting familiar with smart plugs
- Multi-user smart plug control
- Smart plugs’ functionality
Getting familiar with smart plugs
Fixing a smart plug between a power source and your electric device of choice transforms the appliance remarkably.
Not only can you turn it on and off via the plug’s mobile app, but you can also schedule its activity and manage its power consumption.
Smart plugs send wireless information between the power source and a central control hub (usually the plug’s app) using your home’s WiFi connection.
Multi-user smart plug control
Given their extensive range of uses, people living in a shared home naturally wish to have a say over what their smart plugs do.
Fortunately, this is possible if they sign their different devices into the same smart plug account.
Obvious privacy concerns may arise in this case.
Let’s look into the ways various users can manage one smart plug.
#1: Password sharing
Every smart plug regulated using a mobile phone app demands to be connected exclusively to one account.
For example, if you’ve got an Amazon smart plug, the Amazon account that sets it up will be the only one that can send commands to it.
Even if another household member logged in to a different Amazon account is physically closer to the smart plug, the original account will take precedence.
Consequently, to control smart plugs within a home, everyone must have access to their parent account.
Sharing passwords is a sticky proposition, particularly with the heaps of personal information at stake.
A good workaround would be setting up a joint account to regulate the smart plugs.
If anyone within the home wishes to control the smart plugs, all they’d need to do is sign in to the shared account.
They will then be able to enjoy the smart plugs’ benefits without compromising on their data.
#2: Reduce your reliance on smart plugs
Handy as they are, smart plugs often only cater to individual users’ needs.
For example, the people within the house may wish for the lights to be on at varying intensities and at different times.
There could also be divergent preferences around fans, ACs, and charging stations.
To better share smart plugs in these common areas, you may want to consider going old school.
To start, everyone should agree on a schedule for when and how the home’s appliances work.
The household members then wouldn’t be allowed to override the pre-established routines from their devices.
You can also cut some machines off from the smart plugs and use them based on user-specific needs.
#3: Opt for remote-controlled smart plugs
Innr and Philips Hue have changed the smart plug manufacturing game.
Their smart plugs are effectively grounded back to their primary functions owing to a physical remote control.
Remotes are especially effective for users who still aren’t comfortable sharing an account with other household members.
A rudimentary remote control does impose massive limitations on what your smart plug can do.
For example, you’d only be able to turn the smart plugs on and off. You’d also need to overhaul your current smart home technology completely.
However, users keen on retaining their privacy are unlikely to mind these downsides.
Smart plugs’ functionality
Multiple people within the home having control of their smart plugs opens up countless possibilities for what they can achieve. Here are a few examples:
#1: Regulate your energy consumption
You can use your smart plug to take precise measurements of the energy consumption of your electric appliances.
With this information, you can replace the energy gluttons or reduce their active time.
A smart plug comes back into the picture here; most smart plug offerings allow you to schedule when and how long the device it’s attached to is awake.
#2: Turn down your vampire power
Vampire power is the stand-by power that appliances gobble up when they’re not actively in use. This stand-by consumption accounts for 5-10% of your energy bill.
By connecting devices notorious for consuming vampire power to a smart plug, you can schedule for them to be off when you’re not using them.
#3: Remotely customize the room’s temperature
Waiting for heaters and ACs to get a room to your preferred temperature can be time-consuming.
However, if you connect these appliances to a smart plug, you can let them know just when to kick into action, allowing you to walk into a room pre-set to a temperature ideal for you.
#4: Improve your home’s security
According to a significant study by New York authorities, outdoor lighting reduces crime by about 7%.
Smart plugs emerge as a great resource if you’re away from your house and wish to enhance its security.
By connecting outdoor and some indoor lights to a smart plug, you can program them to turn on at dusk and then off at dawn.
You might also want to check out: 15 Best Compatible Cameras For SmartThings (Guide)
#5: Extend your phone’s battery life
Many people leave their phones charging overnight as they catch some Zs.
Convenient as this is, phone batteries struggle to withstand multiple hours of electrical juice.
Using a smart plug, you can arrange for the charger to go off just as your phone reaches its maximum charge.
This regulation will go a long way towards preserving your battery’s health and, by extension, the phone’s lifespan.
Smart plugs wouldn’t be as valuable as they are if they didn’t allow several users to determine the scope of their functionality.
With a shared account dedicated to the smart plugs in your home, every household member can flexibly control them from different phones.