There was an early stage in the smart home gadget market where you would only be a participant if you were very technologically in tune (so many didn’t even know what the Internet of Things, or IoT, was!) and had enough money to spend to actually get into the game. However the past few years have seen the smart home market explode in offerings and popularity, and a large part of that trend has been the fact that smart home products have become quite affordable and intuitive and easy to use. While new smart home products and appliances are being added to the market every year-- from smart washing machines to smart electric vehicle chargers and more-- smart plugs have long been available to fill in the gap and make ‘smart’ any product or piece of equipment that uses electricity. These smart plugs fit right into the mold of a smart home product that’s not expensive and can be used by anyone to improve the smart aspects of their home.
Smart plugs don’t just allow the flexibility to make your home products smart and convenient, though. Rather, one of the most exciting aspects of smart plugs is that they can easily open up the door for energy efficiency and eliminating wasted energy anywhere across your home, ensuring your smart home is also an eco-friendly green home.
What are smart plugs?
Smart plugs are small products that plug directly into the outlet in your wall and have the same outlet openings on their other side to allow you to plug products into the smart plug just like you would typically plug straight into the wall. Within the smart plug, though, is where the magic happens. Smart plugs are able to be controlled remotely or automatically, connecting via WiFi to the rest of your smart home devices. This connectivity gives users the ability to turn a smart plug on and off from the Atlantic Energy App on your smartphone, or with the voice command going to Amazon Alexa or Google home, and even with an automated schedule you set up ahead of time via the Atlantic Energy App. The ability to control whether the product plugged into your smart plug is on or off remotely, without needing to be in the room or even in the house, is the crux of a smart plug’s ability.
How do you use a smart plug?
The actual use of a smart plug depends on the exact model you have, as different products have their own instructions and functionalities. But broadly speaking, once you plug your smart plug into the wall you’ll then be able to follow the product’s directions to connect the smart plug to your Atlantic Energy App . Once connected, all you ever have to do is activate and deactivate the smart plug and whatever you’ve plugged into it-- a lamp, an entertainment center, a fan, or really anything else with a plug load-- will turn on and off instantly. Again, you can also set up the smart plug to work on an automatic timer, such as connecting holiday decoration lights to a smart plug so they automatically get powered on when the sun goes down and powered off when you go to bed.
The possibilities for how to use this function stretch as far as you can be creative. You can use them to turn the bedroom lamp on or off from bed, to turn off the home entertainment center when you know you’re always out of the house, and more. But how do you connect these functionalities with energy efficiency, environmental practices, and the trend of going green?
Increasing sustainability and going green with smart plugs
Smart plugs create the ability to reduce energy use during times when energy going into devices in your home would be inherently wasted. For large houses or homes with children, a common source of energy waste comes from leaving the lights on when no one is home. With lights connected to a smart plug, you can have peace of mind by checking and turning off the lights even when you’re not home that may have been left on and were drawing power. Users can also automatically turn off lights during specific times when homes are always empty.
Going further, a common source of wasted energy is when large electrical setups remain plugged in and drawing power even when they’re off. Typical examples of these situations include home offices (with a computer, a monitor, a printer, a fax machine a phone, etc. all plugged in and drawing standby power while not in use) or home entertainment centers (television, cable box, AV receiver , DVD player, video game console, etc. all plugged in and drawing standby power while not in use). If these setups are plugged into a smart plug, then users can automatically turn all of these devices off with the single press of a button when they are not in use, or tell the smart plug to turn them off during the expected hours they will not be needed, and thus save all that wasted energy!
Customers of Atlantic Energy that want to start saving energy and making their smart home eco-friendly are in luck, because smart plugs are included as a part of the Smart Home Bundle. Customers will receive 3 WiFi enabled smart plugs after 18 months of being with Atlantic Energy. So what are you waiting for?