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Upgrading your home for a smarter living experience may be simpler (and cheaper) than you imagined.
The secret is Amazon’s Smart Plug, which has garnered over 65,000 glowing reviews.
Why we rate it
This gadget adds Amazon voice control to any standard electrical socket, and if used with the right appliance, allows for simple voice controlled operation.
It’s a doddle to set up.
The Smart Plug simply pops into an existing socket and connects to your home Wi-Fi. The app prompts you to complete the setup when first installed, so you will be ready to transform your house into a smart home in a jiffy.
If you’re already kitted out with an Amazon Echo speaker, you’re as good as up and running. In fact, you don’t even need a smart speaker, as the plug will work with the Alexa app alone.
The most obvious use is light control, whether you have fairy lights for late night ambiance or a reading light overlooking your sofa, you can operate them with voice commands. You can also put lights on a timer, or similarly turn appliances on or off.
The best part is no additional smart home hardware required, as Alexa supplies the connective wizardry.
The more smart plugs you connect, the greater the number of devices you can control. It doesn’t work with everything, as it simply sends a single on/off command, but you get the gist.
However, you can use the Alexa App to create a routine that strings together multiple commands. You might want to create a schedule that wakes you up with your favourite album, turn on the lights, and switches on the coffee machine — all before you’ve climbed out of bed.
Buy it: Amazon Smart Plug | £24.99 from Amazon
What the reviews say
Some shoppers use the plug for simply making things around the home easier. For example, do you have a table lamp where the switch is hard to reach? Struggle no longer by turning it on and off using the app.
You can also programme the plug to turn on and off from the app anywhere in the world, which some customers say makes them feel happier while away.
Other customers say it has made their early morning routine "a pleasure". If you're someone who struggles with the snooze button you can schedule your side light to come on at a certain time and the coffee machine in the kitchen to be ready with your cuppa as soon as you're out of bed. Genius, right?
While you may want to start with just one plug to see how you get on, one customer said they have purchased a further eight to create a super smart home, saying they "connect seamlessly".
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