How to automate your appliances & lighting with smart sockets

Making the move to smart home is getting easier, with connectivity being made available for more home fixtures. This not only makes everyday tasks easier, it can also help to save energy and cut costs on your bills. Today, I'm researching smart sockets - whaaat?

Making the move to smart home is getting easier, with connectivity being made available for more home fixtures. This not only makes everyday tasks easier, it can also help to save energy and cut costs on your bills. Today, I’m researching smart sockets – whaaat?

You may have noticed that I’ve blogged about smart homes a few times over the past year. Smart technology is a topic that fascinates me, but one that I also don’t really yet know how to use to its maximum potential.

I’m sure some of you may already have seamless smart homes with all the information and tasks you need at your fingertips, but I’m far from that! I’m taking it one step at a time and gradually switching over to smarter systems.

Here’s what we already use:

  • Smart TV – which we use all the time to watch programmes on the catch-up apps as we don’t have an aerial to receive regular TV transmissions.
  • Echo Dot – that we’ve actually unplugged recently and haven’t got round to setting it back up.
  • Smart lighting – three bulbs, I think, although I can’t remember where we put the 3rd one so we’re obviously not using it THAT much!
  • The usual smart devices.

However, we are shortly getting a smart meter fitted for our gas and electric supplies and I’m very interested in getting the smart thermostat that I blogged about previously. Both of these smart items will help us to keep track of our energy usage and save money on our bills, but there’s something else we can do too.

Now, I hadn’t heard of smart switches until this week. My research led me to Den Automation, which is a range of socket and light switches that seamlessly integrate into any home. The wiring is the same as a ‘normal’ socket so they can be replace in the same was as a regular plug socket. The difference is that you can control any appliance that’s attached to the socket remotely.

Not only can you turn items on and off even when you’re out of the house (fantastic if you can’t remember whether you left the iron on), you can learn more about your energy use too. The sockets have an inbuilt mechanism that allows you to measure how much energy each appliance is using and you can view just how much energy your sockets are consuming in real time.

This means I can obsessively check how much energy each task requires and cut down to save money wherever possible. Plus, I can set up timers and schedules throughout the day for things to come on and go off. I wonder if I can boil the kitchen kettle remotely from my home office whenever I want a cuppa?

One of the add-ons that really impressed me is the Den Smart Motion Sensor, which turns on the ‘big lights’ when motion is detected. That’s a pretty handy security feature, huh? And it’s also useful if anyone goes wandering around the house at night, as you don’t have to grapple to find the light switch in the kitchen when you’re searching for a night-time snack. You can tell what’s important to me, can’t you??

Considering that I still have some sockets to update in my fixer-upper home, I’m definitely considering making them smart at the same time. Have you already tried smart sockets or similar lighting/energy smart tech in your home? Let me know how you’re getting on with them in the comments below and tell me whether you’d recommend a system like this 🙂

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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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