TECH BYTE: Smart Plugs Helpful When on the Go

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Many of us are on the go, and that means we can be forgetful.

The good news is smart plugs can help with this, if you accidentally leave an appliance on.

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If you’re looking to get a smart home at some point, Best Buy’s Nathan Roach says getting a smart plug is a good place to start.

“A perfect example is, if you’ve ever left the house, and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, did I leave the curling iron on? Or did I leave the coffee pot on?'” Roach said. “Now you can literally pull out an app and see. If you did, you can turn it off.”

All you have to do is put the smart plug into the wall, just like a regular outlet.



If you have a voice assistant like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can just tell it to turn the device on or off.

“You’ll buy one smart plug for each product that you want to use, and of course you can move those around,” Roach said. “So if you used it with one thing and want to change it out, that’s fine, but we always recommend one smart plug for each product, and that will make it smart, and it ties to a lot of the other smart electronics that you already have in your house, or it may be the beginning of something great in your home.”

You don’t even have to have a voice assistant to use a smart plug.

They can work with any of your appliances just as well without them.

“You do not have to be high tech to use smart plugs, which is the great thing,” he said. “One of the great things I think people don’t even realize about smart plugs, is it’s a great way to deter thieves. Smart plugs can be used to turn lights on and off, TVs on and off, multiple appliances on and off, and it gives that perception that somebody is home when you’re away. So it’s another way to just help secure your house, and keep your home safe.”

Roach says what makes smart plugs different than regular timers, is you can schedule them any way you want.

“In the old days, you set a timer to come on at a certain time, and go off at a certain time. Now you can have 15 set points during the day to where it comes on and goes off, comes on and goes off, and that’s completely customizable.”

The good news is, smart plugs are relatively inexpensive. You can get them at stores like Best Buy, or even online.

Another note, if you have a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, Roach says you don’t have to get the corresponding smart plug to go with it. Any brand should work.

For more stories on how the latest technology can change your everyday life, visit the TechByte page.