Smart plugs are intuitive. They make powering up and turning off your electronics simple.
In fact, they’re so smart you’ll never have to worry about manually turning your electronics off and on ever again.
But can you use them with timers, or do you need to use the app every time?
You can set timers on smart plugs by finding the device in the corresponding app and selecting the “timer” option. Alternatively, you can set routines so your device will turn certain electronics off and on at specific times. Lastly, some smart plugs let you set timers depending on different modes.
This article will go over using the timing features on your smart plug with Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa.
We’ll also walk you through setting up your smart plug and explain how using away mode will allow the device to anticipate your every move.
Setting a Timer on Your Smart Plug
Have you ever left the house and spent the whole time away wondering if you left your curling iron on?
Unfortunately, we all have.
Smart plugs are simple and intuitive devices that allow you to take control of your life and your home.
Usually controlled with an app, smart plugs let you turn the lights on from halfway around the world. But one of their best features has to be the “timer” option.
With smart plugs and timers, you never have to worry about accidentally setting your house on fire again.
You can easily set a timer on your smart plug using the associated app or asking your smart AI device to do so.
Each interface will be different, but timers and schedules come as standard for most smart plugs and devices.
However, in order to properly set a timer, you’ll need to ensure that each device has its own smart plug and that it’s set up accordingly.
How To Set Up Your Smart Plug
To set up your new smart plug, follow these easy steps:
- Plug the smart plug into an electrical socket.
- Plug the desired electronic device into your smart plug.
- Download the corresponding app from your app store.
- Open your smart plug app and tap on “Devices.”
- Click on the Settings cog associated with your device.
- Give your device a name (e.g. ‘bedroom lamp’).
- Repeat for each plug and device.
Once you are all set up, you can start to set up your smart plug timers and schedules to fit your daily routines.
The good news is that there are a number of different ways to set up timers on your smart plug.
So, even if you’re not at home or if your phone is dead, it can still be done.
Reading recommendation: 5 Steps To Connect Your Smart Life Plug to a New WiFi
How To Set a Timer on Your Smart Plug Using Alexa
The vast majority of smart plugs available on Amazon are designed to be used with Alexa devices.
So, if you have a smart plug connected to an Alexa device, you can set simple timers with voice commands.
Here’s how to set a timer on your smart plug using Alexa:
- Say, “Alexa” or your chosen wake word.
- Say, “set a timer for X minutes on Y device.”
If you don’t give Alexa the specific device, she will ask and prompt you to tell her.
She’ll also repeat the command, so you know if she heard correctly.
In most scenarios, the device should already be switched on, and Alexa will power the device down when the timer runs out.
This feature is great for having the lights go out in your kids’ room or ensuring your hair straighteners will turn off after you’re done.
Using Routines on Your Smart Plug With Alexa
Another way to set timers on your smart plugs is by using “routines.”
This feature will turn devices on and off at the same time every day or on a particular day of the week.
Setting a routine and using it as a timer can seem challenging at first.
But, once you get the hang of it, you will be able to personalize your smart plug timers at any time.
To set these times schedules, you’ll need to head to the app:
- Open your smart plug app.
- On the main menu, click on “Routine.”
- Tap on the “+” to add a new timer.
- Tap on “When This Happens” and set a trigger for your routine, which could be a time or a voice command.
- Click on “Smart Home” followed by “Control Device.”
- Select the device that you want to set the routine for and set it to “On.”
- Click on the “+” and “Add Action.”
- Scroll down to “Wait” and select the amount of time you want the plug to stay on.
Now that you have set the routine, every time you turn on that specific smart plug, it will stay on for the specified amount of time and then turn itself off.
You may also wonder: Do smart plugs use electricity when turned off?
How To Set a Smart Plug Routine on Google Home
Google Home has a similar timer feature as Amazon’s Alexa.
However, Google Home’s “Routines” have some extra features that make setting them up a bit more confusing.
Still, if you know the basics, using all of these features is a piece of cake.
To set a routine using Google Home:
- Open your Google Home app and make sure your plug is connected.
- Tap on your account icon in the top right corner of the screen.
- Tap on “Assistant Settings.”
- Tap on the “Assistant” tab followed by “Routines.”
- Tap on “Add a Routine.”
- Set up a command and a time for the device.
- Tap on “Add Action” and then “Browse Popular Actions” tab.
- Tap on the wheel icon next to “Adjust Lights, Plugs, and More.”
- Choose the smart plug that you want to set a timer for.
- Set the plug to “turn on” or “turn off.”
- Tap “OK” to save.
- Ensure that the box next to “Lights, Plugs, and More” is checked and press “Add.”
- Tap on “Save.”
Now the scheduled smart plug will turn on and off at a specific time or when you trigger it with a voice command.
You can also add other features to your routine.
If you have a smart speaker connected to your Google Home, you can have it play music, tell you the weather, play the news, and so much more when your smart plug turns on.
How To Use Away Mode on Your Smart Plug
Smart plugs are great for turning off that light you left on downstairs or setting your fan going before you get home from work.
But they’re also perfect for when you are away from home.
By programming your smart plug to turn itself on and off at set times, you can make it look like someone is home and hopefully help deter intruders.
This is known as “Away” mode.
You’ll find this section in the associated app, and you can customize it to turn all kinds of devices on at just one command.
For example, you may choose to have it turn on a couple of lamps and maybe even the radio.
Once you have the mode set up with the desired devices, you can set away mode with Google Home or Alexa by telling your smart home device to “Set away mode for [the name of your smart plug].”
Why You Should Use Smart Plug Timers
If you think that all you can do with smart plugs is turn your lights on and off, you have another thing coming.
There are so many ways to use smart plug timers to make your life easier, such as:
- Have your coffee maker turn on automatically when you wake up.
- Set your lights to turn off and back on every day when you leave for work and come back home.
- Turn your TV off at bedtime every night.
- Have your curling iron, iron, or kitchen devices turn off when you leave for work or school.
- Have your electric blanket turn on just before you go to bed.
- Set a timer to turn your fan on and off during the hottest times of the day.
- Have your phone or laptop charger turn off while you sleep to preserve the battery.
- Turn off the slow cooker while you are away from home.
Smart plug timers can do a lot of things for you.
From making your life easier to keep you and your home safe, using timers is a great way to personalize and simplify your life.
If you have a smart home device, you can use voice control or apps to set routines, turning your smart plug on and off whenever you want.
You can also use your smart plug app to set temporary timers, routines, and set away mode.