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Which Appliances Do Smart Plugs Work With? And Which Don’t?

When you want to turn your appliances into smart appliances, you must consider what gives you the best value for your money. Your appliances and sockets can be harmed if you use a defective device.

Any appliance will work on a smart plug as long as it has a physical on/off switch, or turns on as soon as it’s plugged in. Smart plugs work best with devices like lamps, lights, kettles, and electric fans, but aren’t recommended for high-power-use devices like air conditioners and refridgerators.

Knowing this is important so that you do not cause damage to your appliances or home. Continue reading to learn more about our smart plug recommendations and how to use them.

How Do Smart Plugs Work?

TPLink Smart Wi-Fi Outlet

A smart plug is a small adapter that enables you to turn your appliance into a smart appliance, which is any device that you can automate using a smartphone app or voice command.

For a smart plug to work, you will need an internet connection and an app on a smartphone. Once you plug your smart plug into an ordinary socket, it will now connect to your smartphone app via the internet. You may now configure your appliance through the app. Some will even allow you to use voice commands to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Do Smart Plugs Only Work With Smart Appliances? 

Smart plugs do not need an appliance to be smart to work with it. Remember, a smart plug is a device that should make your ordinary appliance smart.

As long as your appliance has a switch, it should be good to go.

Which Appliances Don’t Work with Smart Plugs?

A smart plug works by providing and cutting off power from your appliance. This means that for it to work, your device must be turned on at all times. This is why smart plugs work best with light appliances such as lamps, lights, fans, and kettles which still use mechanical switches to turn the appliance on or off.

On the other hand, the automation may not always work if the appliance has an electronic switch.

The Difference Between a Mechanical and an Electronic Switch

Most of the appliances will either have a mechanical or an electrical switch. An electrical switch will always put a device in the opposite state than the one you had previously set. They usually look like button switches like the ones you see in laptops. This is also known as a “toggle” switch.

The way an electrical switch works is this: if you plug your appliance into a smart plug, turn it on, and then unplug it, your machine will be off when you stick it back in the smart plug. The circuit is unable to instruct the appliance to remain in the on position.

An appliance with a mechanical switch is relatively easy to operate. You have to physically turn the device on and off if you want it to change state. When you plug the appliance into a smart plug, switch it on, and then unplug it, it will remain in this state when you plug it back in.

This is a critical detail: only devices with a mechanical switch on the device can be turned on AND off with a smart plug. Devices with an electrical or toggle switch can be turned off with a smart plug, but they can’t be turned back on (because the smart plug can’t hit the electrical/toggle switch).

Power/Wattage Consumption

Another thing to consider is that smart plugs are small devices and are not meant to handle equipment with huge power consumption such as air conditioners, heaters, and refrigerators. Doing so may cause unwanted electrical damage on your appliances and even accidents!

Hence, when buying a smart plug, consider whether most of the appliances you’re planning to operate will be compatible with it.

Do Smart Plugs Work With TVs?

It depends on the power mechanism of the TV and if its wattage consumption is within the capacities of the smart plug. Some TVs may not work with a smart plug if it requires the remote control to turn it on.

To check if your smart plug works with your TV, turn your TV on and play some content. Then, unplug it from the outlet. Then, plug it in again. If it turns back on, this means you may use it on your smart plug.

Can a Smart Plug Turn On a Kettle? 

Yes, without a doubt! But, as mentioned above, only if the kettle has a mechanical on/off switch and powers on as soon as it’s plugged in when the switch is in the “on” position.

If you would like to go to bed and have a hot kettle already on when you wake up, all you have to do is plug your mechanical-switch-equipped kettle in your smart plug and make sure that it is switched on. With your app, you may program the smart plug to turn on first thing in the morning so that the water will be hot by the time you prepare your morning coffee.

Remember that any electric kettle with a mechanical switch can work with a smart plug, such as this stylish Russell Hobbs Electric Kettle (on Amazon).

What Are Some Great Uses of Smart Plugs? 

Smart Wi-Fi switch with support for control via mobile phone

Some of the fantastic ways you can make use of your smart plug are the following:

  • Save you time in the morning by having smart plugs automate your kitchen appliances such as toasters, kettles, and coffee makers
  • Manage your family time by setting when the TV, video game consoles, or lights go on and off
  • Make your home safe by turning off appliances that, when left on, may cause severe damage
  • Keep off intruders by turning your lights on when away to make your home look like someone’s inside

What’s a Great Smart Plug to Get Started? 

For beginners, we recommend the trusted Kasa Smart Plug HS103P4 (on Amazon) as it’s packed with several features such as Scheduling, Count Down Timer, Away Mode, Run Time, and Usage. It’s also compatible with WiFi, Alexa, and Google Assistant, and it comes with an app that will guide you through setup.

Another one we recommend is the ConnectSense CS-SO-2 Smart Outlet² Plug (on Amazon). This one has two sockets so you can connect two appliances at once. Like the Kasa, it is very good at scheduling, easy to install, and easy to configure in the app. It can also work with voice commands like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant.

Final Thoughts

If you would like to slowly transform your home into a smart one, it is best to start with smart plugs. You will like how convenient they will make your life for you. Just make sure to buy from trusted quality brands so you can ensure its durability and the safety of your appliances.