10 Handy Uses for a Smart Plug

Updated: Feb. 12, 2024

Stop worrying, make mornings better, find out if you need a new appliance and more, thanks to help from smart plugs.

Smart plugs can automate just about anything in your house in minutes. Plug one into the wall, plug a lamp or a common electric device into the smart plug, and voila: Instant “smart.”

Now you can turn it on and off with your phone, put it on a schedule or even monitor its energy usage. Smart plugs are truly becoming a must-have in any home. There are almost endless uses for smart plugs, but we’ve rounded up the most useful ideas to get you started.

Never Forget Again

How many times have you left the house and wondered if you left the stove or a hair-styling tool on? Inevitably, you imagine your whole house burning down and speed back home to check. With smart plugs, you can turn off an appliance no matter where you are. No more worry or mad dashes home.

Schedule Safety

If you’re going out of town, putting your television or lamps on a timer to trick potential burglars into thinking you’re home is always a good idea. Smart plugs make it easy. You can schedule on and off times through the plug’s app and even change up the schedule while you’re away.

Christmas Light Timer

Many people like to switch off their Christmas lights before they go to bed to save on electricity. Others forget to turn them on at sunset. Adding a smart plug to this year’s decorations can solve both problems. Just set up a light schedule and you never have to worry about your lights — until you have to take them down, at least. If your outlet is outside, make sure to use an outdoor-rated smart plug like the Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug ($30).

Find the Energy Vampire

Older appliances tend to suck more energy than new appliances. To determine if it’s time for an upgrade, plug the appliance into a smart plug that tracks energy usage, such as the ConnectSense CS-SO-2 Smart Outlet ($60) or the TP Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring ($30).

Automate Your Morning Joe

If you can’t function until you’ve had your first cup of coffee in the morning, plug your coffee maker into a smart plug and schedule it to kick on 10 minutes before your alarm goes off. Add coffee grounds and water before you go to bed. In the morning, you’ll have a fresh pot waiting for you when you stumble into the kitchen.

Or, Tea It Up

If you’re a tea drinker, add a smart plug to an electric tea kettle to get your mornings started right. Don’t forget to fill your kettle with water before you head off to bed.

Preheat to Perfection

Another morning time-saver: Plugging hair-styling devices like a curling iron or hair straightener into smart plugs. Schedule them to heat up right before you typically style your hair, so they are hot and ready when you need them.

Stop Stumbling

After you turn off the living room lights to go to bed, do you stumble around and bump into things? From now on, plug a lamp into a smart plug and leave the lamp on when you go to bed. Then when you’re safely in your room, use the smart plug’s app to switch off the lamp.

Reset Routers

Getting up, unplugging it, waiting for 10 to 30 seconds and then plugging it in again to reset your router is a pain. You can simplify the process by plugging your router into a smart plug. Then whenever you need a reset, you can switch off the power supply to the router and switch it back on with the smart plug app, without interrupting what you’re doing.

Slow Cooking Stoppage

Using a slow cooker is a great way to have dinner ready when you get home, unless you come home late and the slow cooker didn’t turn off in time. Adding a smart plug to your slow cooker lets you switch it off when you find out you won’t be home until long after dinner is ready.