Smart Home thoughts ;)

With my (much) better half being disabled I have invested a fair amount of time and energy into helping her be able to live as easily as possible in our flat. We are situated on the ground floor and we have laminate floors throughout a great deal of the flat to help her. We also have 2 Amazon Echo Dots which I have linked into various things that help us as well. My latest purchase is a TP-Link HS100 smart plug which I grabbed yesterday using some vouchers we had from Argos. £30 buys you an unassuming little plug with a pass through to plug in whatever you want (maximum 13 amps) and then you can turn that on or off easily once it has been configured to your wi-fi network. The Kasa app is pretty simple, you find the smart home item – plug or light in our case, name it and then you can add it to the Kasa skill on Alexa app and control it from your Echo. We have given our items silly names as it means it is more likely to work, so we have a light in the living room with a death star shade, so “Alexa, turn on death star” works really well.

The death star bulb is also a tuneable light source so it can adapt to the light availabe and change the colour to suit. It works really well, is bright and has made a pretty big difference. We have a bulb in the hallway and the bedroom – and saying “Alexa, turn on bedroom light” is awesome when it’s dark and you need to go to the loo for example.

We have also got our bulbs scheduled – our flat is quite dark in the hallway so the hall light comes on at 4pm currently. We can program the lights to a schedule in the Kasa app dead easily, so security wise when we are away it is great to program lights to come on and off to make it appear we are in!

Overall I’m really pleased with the setup as it needs no additional control hubs or anything. Only downside I can see is if your wi-fi isn’t great and/or can’t reach a device it simply won’t work. Another advantage of the Kasa app (if you create an account) is that you can remotely access the devices via the app as long as you have a tinternet connection. So you could turn on a light when you arrive home for example. Can mess around though and turn lights on and off from afar (Yes Sian – very funny!)

*Updated with video of “Turn On Christmas”*

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