9 clever things you can do with a smart plug

Why you need a smart plug and 9 seriously helpful ways to use it

How to use a smart plug
(Image credit: Philips Hue)

Want better control over your smart home devices? Or maybe you want to add smart features to your non-smart appliances? Then you need a smart plug.

The best smart plugs are Wi-Fi enabled power adapters that give you full control over your plug-in devices. To start using a smart plug, all you have to do is plug it into the wall or an extension lead, download the accompanying app on your smartphone or tablet and you’re ready to go! By using voice commands or the app, you can control the flow of electricity to your devices, set schedules and timers, and save money on your energy bills… what more could you want, really?!

But with so many smart home devices on the market, the smart plug often gets overlooked. But as T3’s Smart Home expert, I’m here to tell you why you need a smart plug and 9 seriously helpful ways to use one.

1. Upgrade your morning routine

A smart plug is a handy way to schedule and automate routines around your home. With a smart plug, you can upgrade your morning routine to the next level by having everything ready to go as you wake up. For example, let’s say you want your bedside lamp to turn on, your coffee machine to start brewing and your radio to turn on after your alarm goes off in the morning. With a smart plug, you can fully automate this process so these things happen automatically without you having to do anything.

2. Get cooking

For the evening, many people enjoy using their smart plug to get started making dinner. If you’re making a slow cooker recipe or batch cooking in the best air fryer, you can get a head start by switching your appliances on while you’re travelling home using a smart plug.

3. Set timers on appliances

With a smart plug, you can set timers on all your appliances, whether they’re smart or not. If you’re a forgetful person or you’re trying to cut down on your energy consumption, setting a timer with a smart plug means your device will turn itself on and off after a specific period of time. This is particularly useful with massagers, electric blankets or heaters, but can come in handy with lighting, and you don’t even have to have smart lighting to enjoy this functionality!

The best smart plugs 2022

(Image credit: Canva)

4. Never leave anything on standby again

Leaving appliances on standby can ramp up the costs of your energy and electricity usage. But because it looks like your device is off, standby mode isn’t the first thing you think about, especially if you’re in a rush. When you’re away from home, you can use your app to check in and see what’s on standby and turn it off. Key things like your TV, kettle, lamps and other kitchen appliances are worth turning off properly and with a smart plug, you won’t have to worry about it again.

5. Turn off things remotely if you’ve forgotten

Who hasn’t worried about accidentally leaving their hair straighteners on after they’ve left for the day?! With a smart plug, you can quickly pop on the app to check if you’ve turned them off and if you haven’t, you can do it with the tap of a button. You can also set a timer for your straighteners, or you can set up an extension cord purely for those devices you forget to turn off! That way, you can turn them all off in one go and give yourself peace of mind.

6. Easy access to hard-to-reach areas

If you have an attic, garage or basement with hard-to-reach outlets, having a smart plug can make a huge difference. Of course, you’ll need to plug your smart plug into that awkward area, but once you have, you won’t have to worry about accessing it again. Once it’s plugged in, your smart plug can stay there and manage all the devices you need it to.

Hive smart plug

(Image credit: Hive)

7. Reset your router

If your Wi-Fi has cut out or you’re experiencing connectivity problems, you can quickly reset your router with a smart plug. To make things easier, you can automate this process by getting your smart plug to switch off for 30 seconds or more before getting it to turn back on. This will effectively get your router to restart and if you schedule this to happen when you’re not using the internet (like when you’re sleeping), you can sort out these problems without even having to be conscious!

8. Scare off potential intruders

To scare off potential intruders and break-ins, use your smart plug to make it look like you’re home. This is a fun feature that many people do with their smart lighting, and your smart plug can also get in on the action. If you’re not going to be home until late, you can schedule your lights or other appliances to turn on to make it appear that someone is at the premises. Burglars are less likely to break in if someone’s home so this is a handy trick to dissuade any break-ins.

9. Keep the costs down

The best thing about smart plugs is their ability to monitor your energy usage. Most smart plugs on the market like TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Slim KP115 have energy monitoring features which will measure how much energy is being used by your devices. In response, you can turn off appliances that aren’t in use or set timers and schedules, which can help you save money on your monthly bills.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!