Some smart home devices are complicated, requiring a lot of working knowledge of the Internet of Things (IoT) and your home Wi-Fi network for installation. The Kasa Smart Plug and other TP-Link smart devices offer relatively straightforward setup and use. You can get your feet wet without a lot of hassle or indepth knowledge.
You can also uninstall them and send them back if they don’t work for you so, with minimal risk, you can set up the Kasa smart plug and give it a try. TP-Link’s variety of devices is always growing, so you can find plenty of other devices to connect once you experience the Kasa smart plug.
What is TP-Link?
TP-Link manufactures a wide variety of devices like mobile phones, wireless routers, range extenders, IP cameras, switches, media converters, power banks, and much more. TP-Link also owns a brand of smartphones called Neffos in addition to manufacturing smart home items under the Kasa umbrella.
How to Get Started with TP-Link Wi-Fi
Getting started with TP-Link Wi-Fi devices is easy. All you have to do is get the Kasa app by downloading it and follow the on-screen prompts connecting each smart device. The devices connect to your Wi-Fi router at home directly. You don’t have to mess with connecting a hub, which costs more and is an extra hassle.
The only downside to TP-Link devices is that they only work on 2.4gHz band Wi-Fi. If your home router broadcasts 5gHz, you will need a new router to connect the TP-Link devices. However, if you have a dual-band router, you should have no problem.
For setup, connect your phone to the same 2.4gHz band, but afterward, you can move your phone over to a 5gHz band and control the devices with no problem. You can also use TPlinkwifi.net for additional setup instructions and troubleshooting.
What is the Kasa Smart Plug
The Kasa Smart Plug allows you control of any device you plug into it. The plug itself plugs into any outlet. Once you connect another device to it, like a lamp, you can turn it on and off wirelessly from anywhere with the Kasa app.
There are currently three versions of the Kasa smart plug available: the HS100 is a standard smart Wi-Fi plug; the HS105 is a smart Wi-Fi mini plug; the HS110 is a smart Wi-Fi plug with energy monitoring.
Each one is straightforward, so it’s hard to mess up. However, it comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty in case you have any problems.
The standard plug is large, and on a regular outlet with two vertical receptacles, there’s not a lot of room to plug something else in. The mini version solves this problem if you are worried about having access to both plugs.
The Kasa App
Kasa’s app helps you manage your TP-Link devices. You link all of your devices to it giving you control of all of them from one place.
Kasa scenes can manage multiple devices at once with the click of a button. Set up a good night scene that turns off all of your living room or office lamps and sets the dimmable bedroom lights to five percent. Or set up a good morning scene that turns on the kitchen lights and starts the coffee pot.
You can’t use the scenes function to do anything more than turn things on or off. It doesn’t currently work with timers or delays either, but it’s still a cool feature if you need to control multiple devices at once.
Controlling your devices
One of the neat features of the TP-Link Kasa devices is that you don’t have to open the app to see activity or manage your devices. Instead of opening the app, navigating to the device you want to control, and waiting, you can download the widget.
Place the widget on your home screen, and you can quickly view the four most-used scenes. Unlock your smartphone and select which scene you need instead of opening the app and waiting for it to load. The Kasa app includes instructions on how to install and use the widget for both iOS and Android.
How to Schedule and Control the Kasa Smart Plug
You have options controlling your Kasa smart plug. The Kasa app sets up scenes, as previously discussed. Common commands used in conjunction with each other are more straightforward, with just the click of one button instead of navigating to each item individually.
You can also identify specific times you want items turned on or off and set up your schedule. You can repeat particular commands on any day of the week or a combination of days. Use Kasa smart plugs with timers so you can automatically turn a device off after several hours of use.
Use away mode for vacation. Away mode randomly turns your Kasa smart plug on and off when you have it set to “away,” making it look like someone is at home. Lights and music can make it seem like you never left, making it hard to predict a schedule and deterring theft or vandalism.
Naming your Kasa smart plug makes it easier to control them using personal assistants like Amazon Echo. With your voice, you can tell Alexa to turn on your smart plug.
Uses for Kasa Smart Plugs
Using the Kasa smart plug is a lot of fun. Try using them for hard-to-reach places like behind your Christmas tree. Stringing the Christmas tree with lights isn’t a pleasant holiday experience, to begin with, and then stooping down behind the tree decorated with fragile ornaments is precarious.
If you plug your Christmas tree lights into a Kasa smart plug, turning them on and off is much easier, you eliminate the hassle of finding the switch everytime you want to. You could also use the smart plug to put the lights on a timer.
Use them for rooms where you have a lot of lamps plugged in, like the living room or bedroom. Instead of shutting off each light individually, just set up a scene controlling every lamp in the room, and with one click, you can switch them on or off.
The Kasa smart plugs are great for items you easily forget, such as warmers or diffusers. If you regularly forget turning these things off at night or before you leave the house, plug them into a smart plug and schedule it, or turn them off from anywhere.
There are many devices compatible with Kasa smart plugs that make your life easier.
TP-Link devices support the use of Amazon Echo, meaning you can pair your TP-Link devices with your Amazon personal assistant quickly and easily. Just enable the Kasa skill on your Echo and then use your Alexa app to discover devices.
Voice control on your Amazon Echo turns devices off or on, or manages your light’s intensity. TP-Link offers a full list of voice commands you can use via your Amazon Echo to control your devices.
Use Alexa as a controller for individual devices with voice commands or activate scenes using the scene name. As long as Alexa is closer than your phone, it’s just as easy, if not easier, to control all of your TP-Link devices.
TP-Link’s bulbs contain a Wi-Fi module inside, allowing you to control them via you Kasa app. Some are dimmable and some change in color. It’s a neat feature when it comes to building your smart home or customizing your controls.
Using smart bulbs, you can adjust the intensity from one to 100 percent. You change it by using the intensity slider in the app or with your Alexa personal assistant. You can also use specific times of the day to customize your schedule.
Having smart bulbs allows you to monitor how much energy you use and save money on utilities. By knowing your energy usage, you can customize a plan to use less, turn off lights you’re not using, and control lights while you’re away from home if you forget to turn them off before you leave.
By using the Kasa smart plugs, you can turn ordinary things into smart things. Now your entire home is smart, including coffee makers, lamps, and Christmas lights. It adds a touch of convenience and keeps you on a schedule, even if you forget.
TP-Link devices are reliable and responsive, and there are many options. It’s fun to build your smart home with things you know will make your life easier to manage.
Featured image by Amazon