In this article, I’m taking a look at the best smart plug for UK homes, what a smart plug is and the many advantages of having smart plugs around your home.
If you haven’t ventured into the area of smart plugs for your home yet, you’ll soon realise just how convenient they are, as well as learning how they can improve home safety and home security.
Below is a handy table of contents. Clicking on any of the article headers below will jump you straight to the place on this page you are interested in. I am an Amazon Associate, and earn commissions on qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
What Is A Smart Plug?
A smart plug is a normal plug that you plug into an electrical socket. Once plugged in, there is another entry point to enable the user to plug in another electrical item. The smart plug then uses wireless technology to communicate over WIFI, smart hubs and your mobile smartphone to allow control of that individual socket – and the electrical item that is plugged into it.
For example, if you plugged a smart plug into a socket, and then plugged a living room lamp into that socket, you can then control turning that lamp on and off either by using an app on your phone, or by using voice commands if you have a smart hub (like Alexa, for example).
You could also schedule the lamp to automatically turn on and off at times and days specified by you in your smartphone app, like Alexa, Hive or Google Home.
Best Smart Plug (Top 3 UK)
FIRST PLACE: TAPO SMART PLUG
The best smart plug for home use is this TP Link TAPO smart plug 4 pack. If you don’t have or don’t want a hub, it will work fine without one. If you have a hub, then great, it works with Alexa and google Home etc.
I’ve chosen this because this has been the best smart plug I’ve used over the years, and continues to stand the test of time.
The TAPO and TP Link brand has been around for many years now, and is as trusted as Amazon’s own smart plugs. They are agressively priced to make them affordable and great value for money, as opposed to Amazon brand smart plugs which are quite expensive – just for one plug.
Installation is a breeze too, simply download the free TAPO app, connect to your WIFI with your password, plug in your smart plug, press the button on the side and wait for it to connect.
Alternatively, you can connect it to Alexa, which will then let you control it through the Alexa app as well as using voice commands such as ‘Alexa, lights off’
They are extremely compact too (measuring just 3 inches x 2 inches), and won’t protrude from the outline of the actual socket face – so if it’s a double socket, you still have access to the switches and use of other socket, which was a complaint form earlier models which saw the smart plug make any socket next to it unavailable due to the overhang of the body.
This is a great smart plug, at a great price point, and comes fully recommended.
SECOND PLACE: KASA MINI SMART PLUG
The Kasa Mini Smart Plug is a an affordable option, especially if you are only after 1 or 2 plugs for your home.
Again, it’s made by TP-Link, which is a trusted name in the home electronics category, and comes without the needing a hub if you haven’t got one.
If you do have a smart hub, then it’s fully compatible with the likes of Alexa and google Home, giving you additional functionality such as voice control, instead of controlling it through the free app.
I’ve named it the second best smart plug in this list because of it’s size, price and the excellent all round reviews it gets across the internet.
THIRD PLACE: AMAZON SMART PLUG
I’m listing the Amazon Smart plug, simply because it is a good piece of kit. But it comes at a premium price point.
If you really want the Amazon offering, my advice is to wait for Black Friday or Amazon Prime days, where this plug will be on offer for a discount of more than 50% off (usually).
Yes, I have 4 of these plugs around my home, and they’ve never let me down or ‘dropped out’ and become unresponsive.
I’ve never had any problems, but at the current, non discount price point, I advice on going for the two offerings above, or as I say, waiting for a discount on these before purchasing.
Four of these at the current price is going to set you back nearly £100. Which is excessively expensive.
Whereas, 4 of the Tapo smart plugs are going to cost you the same as 1 Amazon plug.
And there is a problem with this smart plug, and it’s the bulk (or overhang) at the bottom.
If you have low plug sockets, or plug sockets that are sunk into skirting board, or have objects in the way, the bulk at the bottom will mean it doesn’t fit, so be wary of where you plan to use these.
Why they can’t take the bulk out is anyone’s guess.
Advantages Of Using Smart Plugs
There’s many advantages of using smart plugs around your home, here’s just a few of them:
- Convenience. If you have Alexa for example, you can say ‘lamp on’ or fan on’, and the corresponding item will respond without the need for you to physically go and switch something on.
- Safety. Schedules can be set for when lights can go on or off for example, setting your hallway light or living room lights to turn on at 5pm in winter, will mean you return home to a nicely lit house, instead of darkness.
- Security. Away for the weekend? On holiday? Simply set a schedule for different lights or lamps to turn on and off at different times, giving the impression that the home is occupied. It’s an excellent home security device.
Adding A Smart Hub
Buying the cheapest Alexa smart hub (below image) will improve your experience with smart plugs exponentially, because then you can use voice commands to turn electrical items on and off from the comfort of your armchair.
There’s also the added benefit of using it as a speaker to play songs, get Amazon order updates and asking Alexa questions.
Smart Plug Safety
There is of course safety implications with these smart plugs.
If you use a smart plug, do ensure that:
- It is plugged into a mains socket, and not an extension cord.
- There is plenty of space around your smart plug so it doesn’t overheat.
- You don’t overload the socket – just make sure the item drawing less than the smart plug is rated for.
- You don’t buy cheap, unbranded Chinese rubbish that may be produced on the cheap with cheaper components.
It’s also fair to point out that these branded smart plugs also have built in protection, however, use common sense and these smart plugs are extremely safe.
Make no mistake about it, a smart plug is not an essential purchase for your home. We have lived quite happily for many many years without smart devices, and we’ll continue to live for many many years going forward too.
But things like smart plugs makes life a little bit easier. A little more convenient. A little more safer.
There’s something to be said for coming home on a dark, cold winter evening, to find your home lit up, warm and inviting because you’ve set your smart plugs to turn on the lights at 5pm.
There’s something to be said for peace of mind when away on holiday, because you know your home won’t be sat in darkness for 2 weeks giving opportunist criminals the green light that your home is empty and you’re away.
The best smart plug in this list of 3 is the TAPO, and for the price, you’ll be able to plug in multiple items in multiple rooms and be able to set up a schedule, ensuring your home is warm and welcoming when coming home on dark evenings.
Other Articles You May Like
Here’s a small selection of articles you may also like from this site:
- – 75 Ways To Improve Home Security
- – Best Carbon Monoxide Detector
- – Best Smoke Detectors
- – Best First Aid Kit For Home Use
- – When To Dial 111, And When Not To
Here’s the complete list of products and links mentioned on this page.
Questions & Comments
If you have a question or a comment on the best smart plug for UK homes, please use the comments box below.
I’ll try my best to reply to each and every one of your questions, comments and suggestions.
Stay Safe. Stay Secure.