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Small Cabin Forum / Off Topic / WiFi controlled Smart Plugs question / feedback
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Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 12:07
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Good Day Folks,

I'm in the process of switching things around and optimizing my power usage in general, as a result I started looking into these WiFi Controlled Smart Plugs which would allow me to shut them off using my cell phone or pc.

There are so many brands, models and options, it can make your head spin ! The price points are also quite nuts. I don't need Alexa, Siri or Echo compatibility or anything like that. As a Computer Engineering type I spotted the TP-Link models (know that company from the networking sector) and they seem to fit the bill.

The one that fits is the HS110 which has power usage monitoring as well. REF: https://www.tp-link.com/ca/home-networking/smart-plug/hs110/?utm_medium=select-local

Does anyone here have experience with these ?
What kind of distance can I expect in real world ?
Are there better offerings at better price points ?

Basically, I want to be able to shut off whatever is on the plug and being able to see it's power usage would be a great bonus.

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 12:10
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https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/361476/the-best-smart-plugs

https://www.cnet.com/news/best-smart-plugs-of-2019-homekit-google-assistant-alexa-ama zon-siri-plug-wi-fi/

snobdds
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 12:56
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I use a wemo and it's been great. I am gone a lot and I have it so it turns on lights at a specific time and it turns them off at a specific time. There are also compatible with my nest to control the heating and AC.

Great little things.

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 15:17
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The TP Link units are good stuff. I had used them quite a bit but moved away from them. If all you want to do is turn you lights on and off remotely or to a preset schedule they work great.

I moved to Smart things which is a hub but I can do far more tricks with routines. When door opens these lights come on etc.

You referenced the HS110. Main problem I had with that unit is it takes the entire duplex of plug to serve one outlet. their HS105 is half height so you can use both parts of duplex

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 16:21
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thanks for the feedback. The HS110 with power usage monitoring is what really caught my eye as it were but losing one outlet isn't a real option for me.

I'll have to look into Smart Things and WeMo but one consideration for me, is that I want to incorporate them into a Node-Red program I am developing for my solar controls which is seemingly going to morph into something more like my cabin management system, running off a Raspberry Pi with Raspian. Another item on the add to it list is a Weather Station but that's something else … lol... winter projects !

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2019 18:07
Reply 


Isn't your need for limited power consumption in conflict with constant Wi-Fi communication. I'm on grid so power consumption isn't a concern. But you do have me interested.
I liked Smarthings because it worked with a lot of devices that weren't TM Smarthings. And its easy to configure and make routines. And I found myself making a lot of changes at first until I liked how it worked. Mostly durations and delays

I really love the remote access. Lights and heat are turn on before we get there. Lights outside are a real bonus as it's darker than a tomb out there if there's no moon.

Wi-Fi weather station is a must on my list.
I finally figured out the forecast from area actually comes from a small airport which is in a valley. Which explain why my reports were so bogus.

I'm the top of a mountain. You drive three miles down the mountain and that's the difference between a foot of snow or none. Even in summer its cooler up top and windier too. I'd like a decent weather station but the reviews are so mixed.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 10 Sep 2019 04:03
Reply 


Consider the "trickle" amount the plug's wifi modem uses in standby is nearly nothing, it's far cheaper in power than leaving the Sat Modem or HRV on. Even my HRV is now running with low power Axial fans from AC Infiniti REF: https://www.acinfinity.com/ but I want to be able yo shut that down too.

The Weather Stations I'm looking at can be powered with a small solar panel on it's own which has a basic transmitter that I can access with an IoT module in Node-Red and a dongle on the Raspberry Pi. Essentially, the Raspberry Pi will act as an IoT Hub pulling the info from the weather station, classic 200 controller, Samlex Inverter and other devices.

As a "twist" I'm setting up the Raspberry Pi in the powerhouse along with the Router & Modbus to IP manager, to run off a step down 24v->12V converter. The Sat Modem unfortunately has to stay on it's fugly power supply which I need to shutdown when not in use.

Just checked and there appears to be good support for Smarthings devices in Node-Red with an add-on module.

morock
Member
# Posted: 10 Sep 2019 09:53
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If your a bit of a techie take a look at home assistant. It will easily do what you want using a pi. You will also have a wider selection of device to choose from and won't require cloud access to run.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 10 Sep 2019 10:53
Reply 


All the ones I am looking at do not require a cloud or actual hub to run which is what I want. I do not want / need external access from the cabin.

Lot's of looking into it and so far SmartThings TM products would certainly meet with my needs and libraries are available for the devices so I can code them in.

The "Home Assistant" even has a HASS.IO interface for *NIX / Raspberry Pi plus... this is good ! Looking into that end of it now... Great Stuff !
https://www.home-assistant.io/getting-started/ Hmmm most interesting and the compat with so many devices makes it almost impossible to not want it.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 12 Sep 2019 18:55
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A quick update, I just ordered 2 SmartThings Plugs via Amazon and hopefully delivered by the 22nd. There is tutorials & info on smartthings to NodeRed integration as well as using the Home Assistant in it as well. Looks like I'm gonna have funny coding this winter, \\YAY//.

Thanks for the input ! Always good to get good feedback.

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 12 Sep 2019 19:39
Reply 


Steve
I've had good luck with Smarthings devices. But beware, there's some real stinkers out there that are very unreliable. The GE stuff is awful and there's all sorts of no name Chinese stuff that's not UL or CA approved.

It is fun figuring out routines that work and make life easier

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