Smart Power Strip:
Power strips are used to provide power to various devices such as TV’s, DVD players, etc. They usually come with a variety of different wattage options. These wattages range from low (10 watts) up to high (200 watts). Some power strips have built-in outlets which can be plugged into your wall outlet or they may require additional adapters.
The most common type of power strips are those that connect directly to your appliances. These types of power strips are called “plug and play” because all you need to do is plug them into any electrical outlet and they will automatically turn on when the appliance is turned on. There are many advantages to using these types of power strips over other kinds, but there are some disadvantages too.
Some of the disadvantages include:
They can only supply a limited amount of power at one time. If you want to use more than what is provided by the power strip, then you’ll need to purchase additional adapters.
You might not get full power out if your appliances don’t draw enough current from their respective outlets. You could run out of juice before you’re done watching a movie!
Most power strips will not work if there is any kind of power outage. This can be rather frustrating if you’ve already invested a decent amount of money into your electronics and they all happen to die at the same time for no reason.
These types of power strips are only compatible with “standard” U.S appliances. If you have anything that is non-U.S, such as a U.K.
DVD player, then it probably won’t work with these strips.
Even though there are some disadvantages to using this type of power strips, most people find them to be very useful and cost-effective. If you’re planning on buying a new DVD player or anything else that requires a lot of power, then this is the way to go.
How a Smart Power Strip Works
A smart power strip is different than an ordinary one in that it requires a specific type of adapter in order to work properly. This type of strip works by providing power to multiple appliances simultaneously and can easily be controlled by using a cell phone or computer. Some types of these strips allow you to add or remove items whenever you want while others will only turn on and off according to a preset schedule that you create.
Most smart strips come with their own unique app that you can download onto your computer or phone. Using this app, you’ll be able to create different on/off schedules for every day of the week. You’ll also have the ability to add or remove items whenever you want. Other apps might only allow you to turn the items on and off according to a schedule that was predetermined by the manufacturer.
Benefits of Using a Smart Power Strip
The main benefit of using a smart power strip is convenience. Not only can you easily control your electronics from your phone or computer, but you can do it from anywhere in the world. This might not seem important now, but it can sure come in handy when you least expect it.
Another great feature that these strips offer is the ability to save energy by turning off appliances that aren’t being used. There are many appliances in the average home that continue to suck electricity even when they’re turned off. For instance, this can be the case with TVs, cable boxes, DVRs, routers, and even video game consoles. Normally you wouldn’t think about any of these things consuming power when they’re not in use, but the fact of the matter is they do. By using a smart power strip, you can easily turn everything off when you’re not using it and literally save hundreds of dollars each year on your energy bill.
Smart strips can also make it very easy to keep track of your home’s energy consumption. Normally you would have to keep detailed records yourself or rely on estimates from your utility company. A smart power strip makes this process easy because all of the work is done automatically.
Finally, the convenience of being able to control all of your devices from anywhere in the world is a feature that many people enjoy. It’s similar to having a remote for your home. You can turn things on and off and even check to see if they’re working properly. With some types of smart strips, you can even control them with your voice through a device like Amazon’s Alexa. For instance, if you have a TV, cable box, and DVD player connected to the strip, you can simply say “Alexa, turn on the TV” and it will turn everything on automatically.
How to Save Money on Your Utilities
Now that you have a better understanding of how smart power strips work and their many benefits, it’s time to learn about some of your options when it comes time to buy. In addition to learning about the types of smart strips and what you can do with them, we’ll also go over some of the best models on the market right now. This way you’ll know exactly what to look for when comparing different strips.
Every home is different and what might work for one person might not be the best choice for someone else. The same concept applies when it comes to smart power strips. Some might not work for you depending on the size of your home and the electronics you want to control. That’s why it’s important to learn about all of your options before making a final decision.
Types of Smart Power Strips
One of the first things you’ll need to decide is which type of smart power strip is right for you. We’ve already briefly discussed the differences between them, but let’s go into more detail so that you can make an informed decision. Here are your options.
These smart strips connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and allow you to control their functions through an app on your phone or tablet. In addition to being able to turn devices on and off, you’ll also be able to schedule appliances to turn on and off at specific times. This can help you save even more money on your energy bill by having things like the heater or air conditioner turn on before you get home from work.
The downside to these types of smart strips is that they need to be placed within range of your Wi-Fi router. If your router isn’t located near where you plan on placing the strip, this might not be the best option for you.
This is similar to the Wi-Fi version in that it allows you to control your electronics through an app on your phone or tablet. The main difference is that this type of strip is compatible with various other smart home devices such as security cameras, locks, and light bulbs.
One thing to keep in mind is your phone needs to be compatible with Zigbee in order for it to work. If you don’t have a phone that can support this feature, then a Wi-Fi based smart strip might be your best bet.
This type of strip is similar to the Wi-Fi and Zigbee versions in that it allows you to control your electronics from anywhere. The difference is that instead of using your home’s Wi-Fi, these strips connect to your phone through Bluetooth.
Just like the other types, you’ll be able to control all of your electronics through an app on your phone or tablet. If you already have a Bluetooth speaker system in your home or plan on buying one soon, this is probably your best bet.
Remote Control Based
If you’re looking for something simple that doesn’t require any type of installation, then consider getting a remote controlled smart strip. All you have to do is plug the strip into the wall and then plug your devices into the strip. To control everything, simply use the included remote to turn devices on or off.
Now that you know what types of smart power strips are available, let’s take a look at some of the top models on the market right now.
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch not only saves you money by turning things on and off automatically, but it also shows you just how much energy each of your devices are using with the help of its in-depth app.
The app will tell you which appliances and electronics are costing you the most by breaking down the energy consumption into easy to understand graphs.
It’s also capable of learning your habits in order to predict when you’re going to do things like turn on the coffee maker or your patio heater. Over time, it will adjust the electricity output of your devices in order to save you as much money as possible.
One of the best things about the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch is that it can easily replace your traditional light switches. It comes with clear overlay stickers that easily go on top of your old switches in order to help you learn how to operate it.
The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch works with Android, Windows, and iOS devices. There’s also the option of getting a dual pack or a triple pack depending on how many appliances you want connected.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug
The WeMo Mini Smart Plug is the smallest version of the WeMo Insight Switch that was mentioned above. This one is capable of turning any device plugged into it on or off through your phone with its simple to use app.
In addition to turning things on and off, you’ll also be able to set schedules for whatever is plugged into the Smart Plug at the time.
This is a great way to make sure your devices are only being used when they need to be. For example, if you have a heater that you only use during the cold months, you can set it up so that it only turns on during those times, thus saving you money.
The WeMo Mini Smart Plug is a bit different than the Insight Switch in that you don’t actually need an existing WiFi hub in order to use it. It connects directly to your WiFi in order to send the commands to your connected devices.
Like the Insight Switch, the WeMo Mini Smart Plug comes with its own app that you can use on your phone or tablet. The app is available for both Android and iOS.
Sources & references used in this article:
Implementation of Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa on Raspberry Pi by SD Arya, D Patel – arXiv preprint arXiv:2006.08220, 2020 – arxiv.org
Siri, Alexa, and Other Digital Assistants: The Librarian’s Quick Guide by N Hennig – 2018 – books.google.com