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VG Tuesday Tips: 11 Ways Smart Plugs Can Help You Be More Efficient (Or Lazy)

  Virtual Graffiti

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Ever since we had light switches and outlets, we’ve been looking for reasons not to get up and use them. Which might be one reason why we have smart plugs now.

But, the truth is, smart plugs provide us with reasons to be more efficient—and lazier—than we ever thought possible. They have features such as schedules, timers, and countdowns that give us the power to turn them into mini helpers.

So, unless you have an abundance of wealth and a personal staff at your home to take care of everything for you—or even if you do—here are 11 ways smart plugs can help you be more efficient—or lazy.

Smart Plugs Can Help With Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

Without conducting an official study, we’re going to assume you’re like most people and sleep better when you’re not coughing all night long.

To prevent their rooms from becoming deserts, some people use a humidifier.

Of course, the same is true for a room that’s too humid. However, rather than leave your humidifier running all day and turning your room into a rainforest, you could use your smart plug’s scheduling feature to have it turn on automatically just before bed and turn off for you when you get up in the morning. The same goes for a dehumidifier.

Not only will you sleep more comfortably with a humidity-controlled room, you’ll also sleep better knowing your electric bill won’t be as expensive.


You know it’s too humid when the window’s start to bead with condensation.

Smart Plugs Can Warm Up Griddles, Waffle Irons, and More

If you’re like us, your morning starts 45 minutes after your alarm goes off and 15 minutes before you have to be at work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a completely unhealthy, sugar-loaded breakfast.

Warm up your griddle or waffle iron in advance by setting it on a schedule, which you can also use to turn it off in case you’re forgetful.

Then, even on the mornings you’re running later than usual, you can still smother something with syrup before you head out the door to merge in with the rest of traffic.


You want pancakes now, don’t you?

Smart Plugs Can Prevent Curling Irons Damage and Fires

Let’s face it. Someone, at some point, has left one of these things on. If you’re lucky, it leaves you with a burnt countertop or damaged bathroom. If you’re not, it can cause six-figure damage totals and leave you displaced.

Keep it plugged into a smart plug and you can turn it off even after you left the house. You could also set a timer every time you turn it on to have it turn off in case you forget. Also, you could use a schedule if you’re that habitual.

What we’re saying is, a smart plug could help you here.

Smart Plugs Can Help Cook Dinner With Slow Cookers

Maybe it only takes six hours for you to cook something but you’re going to be away for eight. As long as the food will be fine sitting in a pot at room temperature, you could hook your slow cooker up to a smart plug and come home to warm dinner.

Smart Plugs Can Keep Fish and Other Life Happy In Aquariums

Aquatic ecosystems usually depend on consistent temperature ranges, balanced pH levels, and precise CO2 levels. Some of the instruments involved in this process, such as lights and temperature controllers, can be automated with a smart plug’s scheduling option.


The shark’s optional.

Smart Plugs Can Provide Added Security

Going away for a vacation or someplace overnight and worried about burglars seizing on the opportunities presented by a dark, vacant-looking home? Use a smart plug and set schedules to have the lights turn off and on at random times to make it look like you’re home. While you’re at it, you can also trigger them to turn whenever a camera detects motion, too.

Smart Plugs Can Be Used For Makeshift Alarm Clocks

Snooze buttons are easy to hit in the morning, but lights are annoying. Help yourself get up early (and enjoy a good breakfast) by scheduling your lights to flip on at the same time every morning and blast your eyes with a flood of burning light.

Then, to help with the electricity, you can schedule them to turn off shortly after you leave.

Smarts Plugs Can Help With Router Reboots

Every now and then your router needs a good hard reboot. (Hey, sometimes the internet goes out and things get out of whack.) While you could get off the couch and unplug it manually, you could also stay right where you are and reset it with your phone. Or, if you want, you could schedule it to reboot daily.

Smart Plugs Can Shine A Little Light In The Dark

You know what’s not fun to do? Step on a toy in the dark on the way to the fridge for a late-night snack.

You know what makes that easier?

Shoes.

But also lights, which you can turn on from bed instead of having to get up and find your shoes. And, for those late fall and winter nights when coming home from work often means arriving in the dark, you can have the lights turn on for you before you have your keys out for the door or step inside your home.

Smart Plugs Can Help You With Work Lamps, Fans, and Space Heaters

Harsh halogen lights beating your eyes all day. Weak air conditioning in the summer and pitiful heating in the winter. Your coworker Jessica in the adjacent cubicle coughing so much you’re pretty sure she has herself a hernia now. Who doesn’t like their office space?

However, you can make it a little nicer with some fans, lamps, and space heaters. What’s more, you can make sure you don’t run up your company’s electric bill by setting them on a schedule.

That is if your company allows that kind of thing.


“Sorry, Steve. The rules are no fans larger than coffee mugs.”

Smart Plugs Also Work for Household Fans and Space Heaters

Same goes for the home. You can schedule your devices to cool or heat a room before you get up in the morning or arrive home. You can also schedule them to turn off before you go to bed to save some energy.

***

Before we close this, we do want to offer one final piece of advice, which is to make sure your smart plug is rated to handle the power load of anything plugged into it.

If you exceed your plug’s power load rating, you risk overloading the device, which can lead to electrical fires.

For reference, our indoor smart plug is rated for the following power load:

1800 Watts

120 Volts

15 Amps