Smart plugs are the cheapest way to convert your home appliances to smart devices. Instead of buying say, a new smart TV, you can use a smart plug to make your current TV smart.
The Amazon Smart plug is one of the best smart plugs in the market today. it is also quite cheap going for just about $25. However, it is important to note that this plug is only compatible with Alexa.
If you’re in the Apple or Google ecosystem, this is not the smart plug for you as they are not compatible. If you’re an Alexa guy, this can be a great purchase for you.
How to setup the Amazon Smart Plug
When setting up this plug, you need Wi-Fi connectivity just like majority of other smart plugs. You also need a hub like Echo Plus or Wi-Fi Simple Setup to make the process smooth.
Through this two, you can directly ask Alexa to discover devices for the installation process. With the Wi-Fi Simple Setup, the process is fast and easy and allows easy connection across the Alexa platform.
It works simple by sending and receiving encrypted data about your Wifi settings. Simply by asking Alexa to discover new devices, you are ready to go once they connect.
This saves a lot of time and frustration that comes with installation as you will not need to move back and forth through the apps and network settings to get the system running
Amazon also allows the device to be renamed through voice command. This unique feature is not found in any other smart plug which is a great plus.
Amazon Smart Plug Design
The design of the Amazon plug is simple and plain which is turn off for some people. Amazon simply did not do their best and this was done to keep the plug affordable and cheap.
It is very similar to what is already in the market and not a lot of creativity went into designing this small price of hardware. The plug is white and only comes in this color.
It is a rectangular little device with a power button and an LED indicator to show whether it is on or off. This small device measures 3.2 by 1.5 inches which is rather small. The small design saves space and does not block adjacent outlets from being used.
Furthermore, the Amazon Smart Plug can do what any other smart plug does. This includes setting up schedules, routines, remote control from anywhere in the house and more.
The remote control functionality is enabled by the Alexa app and can be controlled from anywhere in the house provided there is an internet connection.
Once you add the plug to the Alexa routine or set a schedule, you ca control the device from the Alexa App.
The biggest issue with the Amazon Plug is that there is no energy monitoring tool. In most plugs such as the WeMo Insight or TP Link, there is a section in the app that provides reports on energy consumption and the costs associated with them.
These reports are not available for the Amazon Smart Plug which is quite a bummer. This is however expected considering the low price tag in comparison with the WeMo Insight or TP Link. Another thing to note is that there is no Away mode with this smart plug.
Away mode is supposed to let you create schedules and routines that will run when you’re not home. There is also the compatibility issue we mentioned earlier.
With this plug, you will not be able to add it to your Google Home or Apple Home Kit setup because it is only an Alexa compatible smart plug. However, in this guide we are going to show you how to get around this limitation so that you can add it to your Google Home.
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Setting up Amazon Smart plug with Google Home
The following steps show hoe you can add the Amazon Smart plug to your Google Home.
After unpacking the smart plug, place it in the desired outlet. As you do this, download the Smart Life app from Google Play Store if you are on android and Apple app store if you’re on iOS.
Install the app and create an account and sign in
Once the Smart Life setup is done, it will display an option to create family. Tap on this button and provide the name you want it to be called. You will get a message confirming that the family has been created successfully
The screen should now display a Welcome Home window and here is where you can customize and personalize all the devices connected to the smart plug. There is a plus sign on the top right of the screen that lets you add new devices. Click on the plus sign and continue
Make sure the smart plug is visible to the smart life app. Do this by pressing and holding down the power button on the smart plug until the light comes on and flashes.
When it starts blinking rapidly, this means the smart plug is discoverable
This step involves setting and connecting it to your Wifi network. Select your network and put in the password. Wait a couple of minutes as it connects.
After the plug is connected to the network, select the room the smart plug is located in and tap Completed. A notification alert will tell you that the socket is now on.
After this, you can setup your Google Home by downloading it and linking it to the smart life app.
There is no direct way of connecting the Amazon Smart plug to Google Home since is built to be only compatible with Alexa. However, through the above steps, you can work around this and be able to work with Google Home.