Inflation certainly affects everyone. It's funny how some things have become more expensive over the past few years. I tested the HomeKit plug, which luckily turned out to be the cheapest plug I've seen on the market. The Sylvania Smart Bluetooth Outlet Adapter is the only plug I've seen at this price in all my years of covering smart home tech.
HomeKit Weekly is a series dedicated to smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything which is related to Apple products. smart home system.
Why a smart plug?
There are actually two questions to answer here. First, why you need a smart plug, and second, why use an adapter instead of something more built-in. To answer the first question, I would say that a smart plug turns everything “not smart” into a smart home product. Be it a lamp, freestanding fan, air purifier, coffee maker, etc. If your office is plug and play, a smart plug adapter is a great way to upgrade it. . An example would be a free-standing fan. Let's say you want to run a fan to cool your tanning bed when the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. You can use a product like Eve Weather to monitor the weather outside your home, and when it reaches a certain location, it can turn on a fan using a smart plug adapter to cool the room.
Second question: why an external adapter instead of replacing the actual outlet with one with HomeKit. There are several reasons for this. First of all, it's much easier. Wiring an outlet adapter is as easy as plugging in a lamp, and replacing an outlet requires electrical skills. Even if you have electrician skills, I would still advocate an outlet adapter because it will allow you to upgrade in the future. If you built a house full of HomeKit outlets in 2018, you'd be missing out on modern technology like Thread. Outlet adapters make it much easier to upgrade in the future as new technologies become available.
Installing a Sylvania Smart Bluetooth outlet
I made the mistake of not reading the instructions because that's my style. I wasn't able to pair it with HomeKit right out of the box. Sylvania wants you to start by downloading your smart home app to check for firmware updates. Once I did this, I was able to open the Home app from their app and then add it as usual. Sylvania does two things that I really appreciate here. The QR code is located at the bottom of the switch and also in the instruction booklet. For HomeKit and Matter devices, this should definitely be the standard.
Once you complete this process, it will be a standard HomeKit outlet. You can easily replace it with a fan, light or switch and then run all of our automation around it. It's small enough that you can easily stack them on top of each other, which isn't always possible with smart plug adapters.
To start using automation with it, go to your device, click Add Automation, select an event type (Time of Day Occurs is my favorite), and then start choosing options. If the outlet is connected to a lamp, an easy option is to set it to turn on at sunset and turn off before you go to bed. We have this lamp setup that we use every night. I haven't had to think about it in months. It turns on at sunset and turns off at 23:00. every night.
Summing up the Sylvania Bluetooth Smart Plug
Overall, this is a solid device. Is he missing a thread? Yes. Is it less than $10? Yes. There will always be a trade-off between performance and price, but for now this is a solid device. Especially if you're trying to implement smart home technology in many rooms at once, it's hard to ignore the price.
The Sylvania Bluetooth Smart Plug is available on Amazon.