What can a smart socket do?

 If you are just thinking about a smart home device, start small - buy a smart plug. This simple and inexpensive device will introduce you to the possibilities of smart technologies and make your home more comfortable and safe.

A smart socket is like a little brick in smart home construction, but in fact, its capabilities are so diverse that you will want to use them with most electrical appliances. Compact dimensions, laconic design and safe performance allow you to install smart sockets in any room.

How a smart plug works

The task of a smart socket is to control the power supply of the device, which is connected to the electrical network through it. The socket allows you to automate the power supply: turn it on / off at the user's command or in accordance with the schedule. Let's consider several popular scenarios for using smart plugs in everyday life.

Remote switching on of electrical appliances . It can be an air conditioner, a fan, a convector, a humidifier, an electric kettle - something that you use all the time. To turn them on, just send a command via your smartphone. Similarly, before returning home, you can warm up the water in the boiler, boil the kettle or turn on the irrigation system without leaving the room.

Automatic shutdown of electrical appliances . Leave the apartment in complete confidence that potentially dangerous electrical appliances will not remain on at home. Now you will not be haunted by the thought that a working iron or hair curler is left at home. De-energize the outlet remotely and there is one less problem.

Switching off and on electrical appliances according to the script . If the socket is used as part of a smart home, synchronize its operation with other sensors. For example, if the door opening sensor is triggered, you can automatically turn on the lights, air conditioner or convector.

Turning off electrical appliances after a specified time . Some outlets support a countdown function. If the outlet was initially turned on (powered), set the time after which it turns off by itself. For example, friends have come to a child and you know that in a couple of hours their parents will take them home. For the next two hours, warm floors can be left on.

Execution options

The smart socket has two of them. In the first case, it is an electronic module that is inserted directly into the socket. This does not change the appearance of the standard outlet. In the second case, the outlet looks like a separate device that plugs into a standard household outlet. Most often, there are sockets of the second type on sale: you can use them immediately after plugging into a regular household outlet.

Data management and transmission

Some smart sockets are autonomous (they have their own Wi-Fi module), while others work only in tandem with a hub (gateway) - “brains”, or a smart home control unit to which all smart devices are connected. The smart socket communicates with the hub using a special wireless protocol, which is often ZigBee.

A prerequisite for connecting a hub is a router. Through the developer's application, the gateway sends data to the server in the cloud, and then to the user's mobile smartphone. The user gives commands to the smart socket according to the reverse scheme: cloud service - hub - end device. If the server in the cloud is intermittent, it will not be possible to send a command or receive an alert, but the socket will continue to process events that are recorded in its memory.

Sometimes smart sockets are included in the kit for organizing a smart home. For example, a smart socket is  included in the Control kit along with a hub, a 3-in-1 motion sensor, a 3-in-1 opening sensor and a smart colored light bulb. You can buy the kit in installments on favorable terms, you can order by phone with home delivery. A separate smart socket can be bought in  the OnLime online store .

Measure electricity consumption

The built-in monitoring functions are responsible for this, which calculate how much electricity the device consumes right now, on average per day, week, month - the exact list of period options depends on the manufacturer and model of the device. This will help you find out how much a convector or boiler costs each month.

Recharge other devices

If there is one or more USB ports on the case of a smart socket, they can be used to recharge smartphones, tablets, e-books and other electronic devices.

Simulate the presence of people in the apartment

During a long absence, the Away function will help. If you activate it and connect the light fixture to the smart socket, it will turn on and off randomly in the set time interval. This is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your apartment safe from thieves.

For those who need comprehensive and most reliable protection, we suggest connecting the Smart Home service. Video Surveillance " from OnLime and add the Advanced smart home kit to it . You will get access to video cameras from anywhere in the world, round-the-clock technical support and simple installation of the necessary equipment. You can choose to organize internal or external video surveillance for an apartment, private house, garage, adjacent territory. Sensors promptly report intruders, water leaks and smoke, as well as transmit temperature information and help control lighting.

Work outdoors

This can be done by smart sockets, in which the case is protected according to the IP44 standard and higher. They are not afraid of moisture in the form of precipitation, rain or morning dew. Outside the house, an outlet may be needed to connect an irrigation system, video surveillance, and a water pumping system.

Support SMS control

These are GSM sockets, which are controlled by SMS messages. Here you need to fulfill two conditions: install the SIM-card of the cellular operator in the socket and make sure that the cellular network confidently keeps the signal in the room where the smart device is installed.

Popular smart plug models

The Chinese company Xiaomi is the market leader in smart gadgets for the home, so let's start this review with a description of its product.

Xiaomi Mi Smart ZigBee

This outlet has a laconic design, a convenient shape (you can use several of these outlets with a proprietary surge protector) and an affordable cost. To work, she definitely needs a hub - Agara Gateway or Mi Home Gateway. When setting up a smart device, you can choose its location in an apartment or house, turn off the luminous indicator (so as not to interfere at night) and activate charge protection: the outlet will turn off on its own if the voltage in the network is below the permissible level.

The state of the socket can be monitored through the ControlPanel utility, it also allows you to turn on and off the device in one click. Its capabilities are standard, and they are enough for popular use cases:

  • maximum power of consumers - 2.5 kW;
  • power supply control;
  • setting timers;
  • electricity metering;
  • notification of network problems;
  • adding a smart home to the ecosystem.

The Xiaomi Mi Smart ZigBee has a high level of protection. The user will receive an alert about overheating of the device, while the device itself will automatically turn off the power supply. To protect the outlet from children and pets, the manufacturer took care of protective curtains. Plus, the device is enclosed in a fire-resistant casing that can withstand temperatures up to 750 ° C.


TP-Link is known for its reliable networking equipment and has recently entered the smart device market. Its TP-LINK HS110 smart plug is equipped with Wi-Fi, which makes it standalone, and supports energy monitoring function. There are two physical buttons on its body - one is responsible for turning on / off, the second is needed to reset the settings or reconfigure. An indicator light built into the first button serves as a source of information about the operating mode (on or off, active or inactive wireless module, etc.). It's nice that the manufacturer has provided a European plug here, so you won't have to buy adapters.

For configuration and further work, you will need a proprietary Kasa for mobile application, which is available for popular mobile platforms. In it, you need to select the type of device with which you plan to work (TP-Link produces many other useful devices). For data transmission, a home Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n network operating at 2.4 GHz is suitable.

TP-LINK HS110 features:

  • maximum power of consumers - 3.7 kW;
  • energy consumption monitoring;
  • control of several devices at the same time;
  • imitation of a person's presence at home.
  • Redmond SkyPlug 100S

A budgetary, compact, ascetic-style outlet is offered by Redmond, a company that was one of the first on the Russian market to offer high-quality smart devices for household consumption. To work with an outlet, you do not need to buy a hub, but you should download the R4S Gateway application on a smartphone or tablet that is constantly at home and synchronize it with a similar smartphone on your personal mobile device that you carry with you. Data transfer between the control device and the outlet can be organized via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but remember that for the second, the range is limited to 10 meters.

What you need to know about the Redmond SkyPlug 100S:

  • maximum consumer power - 2.3 kW;
  • work on schedule;
  • remote on / off of electrical appliances.
  • How to connect and set up a smart plug

Let's take a look at how to get started with a smart socket using the Xiaomi Smart Socket as an example. This is the basic model in the minimum configuration, for which you need an adapter. It is easy to find it at your nearest store with household appliances or household items. Pre-install the proprietary MiHome application on your smartphone or tablet (available for Android and iOS).

What the connection looks like:

Plug the smart plug into a regular household outlet. If the latter is operational and energized, a yellow indicator on the smart device will light up;

open the MiHome application on your smartphone and click the button for connecting a new device in the upper right corner - this will start automatic scanning and search for suitable smart devices;

when you see the name of your smart socket on the screen, click on the button with its image and connect to your home Wi-Fi network.

If after that the indicator on the body of the outlet glows blue, it means that you have successfully completed the setup. Now go into the application and press the button with the socket: this is enough to turn it on / off.

You can set the smart socket to work on a timer or use different scenarios for its operation. And you can combine both methods and create several complex scenarios: turn it on on certain days, but when certain events occur. This is easy to implement when other sensors are used in the smart home ecosystem. Here are some popular options:

  • turn on the convector when the outside temperature drops below a predetermined mark;
  • turn on the sconces in the hallway when the front door opens;
  • turn on the electric kettle when the front door opens in a given period of time;
  • lower the curtains (they must be equipped with an electronic mechanism) at daylight.
  • Recommendations for working with smart plugs
  • Refuse to use an outlet that emits extraneous sounds or odors during operation.
  • Connect smart sockets only to a household industrial network. Most models support 100-240 VAC 50/60 Hz operation.
  • Observe the manufacturer's approved load (maximum power of the connected consumers). Usually this is from 2.5 to 3.5 kW.


  1. Unlocking the potential of smart sockets! From remote control to energy monitoring, this article brilliantly explores the myriad functions, making us rethink the capabilities of a simple socket
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  2. With a smart socket, you may use a smartphone app or voice command to remotely regulate the power of any plugged-in electrical equipment. The socket connects to your home Wi-Fi network. A smart socket's primary functions include scheduling the on and off times of your gadgets, tracking energy use, sending out alerts for increases in power use, and integrating with other smart home appliances to create a seamless automation experience. All things considered, a smart socket provides efficiency, convenience, and peace of mind for more intelligent and effective management of your electronic gadgets.
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