Smart home products all the rage these days, and whether you’re interested in enabling basic automation or want your lights to flash a multitude of colours each time your favourite sports team scores, there’s probably a product on the market that will do what you want.
One core component of home automation, and a place where many people start, is the ability to control lights and appliances and to better understand the power usage of the devices you use. If you’ve ever wanted the ability to turn lights or appliances on and off using your smartphone, or wondered exactly how much it costs to have a gadget running 24×7, then odds are the TP-Link HS110 Wi-Fi Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring and the TP-Link HS200 Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch will be of interest.
The TP-Link HS110 Wi-Fi Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring plugs into to an existing wall socket and connects to your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to easily manage home electronics or appliances using your smartphone while offering scheduling, remote access, energy monitoring, and the ability to analyze a device’s real-time or historical power use to devices that otherwise lack these features.
Similarly, the TP-Link HS200 Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch offers many of the features of the HS110 but replaces a standard wall switch instead of plugging into a wall socket. This allows you to automate lights that are wired in the home, something that has been difficult in the past.
Scheduling allows the HS110 and HS200 to automatically turn on or off as needed. For example, you could set your lights to automatically turn on at sunset and then turn off at sunrise, or setup your lights to turn on and off at random times while you are away on vacation, allowing you to reduce the overall cost of lighting your home, improve security, and eliminating the need to remember to turn your lights off manually.
The addition of energy monitoring on the HS110 is particularly useful as this provides real-time and historical power consumption data for the connected device or appliance, allowing you to determine how much it actually costs to use the device you have connected and make more educated decisions regarding how, or when, to best use your appliances, etc.
Remote access and control is provided through the use of the free Kasa app on iOS or Android smartphones. Through the app you can power the HS110 / HS200 on or off, set schedules, set timers, enable Away mode, and see HS110 energy usage statistics on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
The HS110 and HS220 both support 802.11b/g/n and connect to a 2.4GHz WiFi network. Setup of the HS110 is quick and easy, and takes only a few minutes through the Kasa app. Installing the HS200 is quick but somewhat more involved as it requires you to remove and replace an existing wall switch, so you should be comfortable with performing electrical work before starting, otherwise contacting an electrician might be a better choice. Remember, if you aren’t sure, call a professional.
Once the HS110 / HS200 are setup, you use the Kasa app for everything, which allows you to configure and control these devices from anywhere you can get an Internet connection. Both integrate with Amazon Alexa, so if you have an Echo, Dot, or Tap you can use voice to control your lights or connected devices.
Both the HS110 and HS200 are well built and sturdy products, so you can be confident that they won’t break or fall apart under normal use.
One important note: The HS110 and HS200 do not support HomeKit, which means you cannot use the iOS 10 Home app or Siri to control connected lights or appliances, something to be aware of if you are going for an all-HomeKit experience. Also, the HS110 unit itself is somewhat bulky, so if you are planning to use it in an outlet where space is at a premium it might not be your first choice.
All in all, the HS110 and HS200 are quality products that bring automation to the home at a reasonable price. Both products are available from Amazon.ca for $49.98 and $49.99 respectively. Right now, coupon code SAVE15L can get you 15% off on Amazon, and these might be included.
What do you think? Have you taken the home-automation plunge? Do you see TP-Link in your Smart Home? Let us know in the comments.