Random Thoughts – Smart Home – TP-Link HS100 Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Based on the reaction from visitors, my favourite use for the TP-Link HS100 Wi-Fi Smart Plug so far is to ask it to put the kettle on.

Of course you need to make sure the kettle has water in it and the switch on the kettle is in the on position.

Love it 🙂

Brian Collins

Voice Control Personal Assistants

As time goes on, I realise that I for one, depend on Voice Control for a number of the devices that I have and use on a daily basis.

From mobile phones to computers and entertainment devices.

Specifically, Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant and Alexa.

I perform a number of tasks with these assistants from dialling a phone number to controlling my smart home and listening to and watching my entertainment choices.

Comparing one to another is not really fair, as each have their strengths and weaknesses.

When deciding which assistant I would like to help me, I invariably choose the one that is easiest to use (and get to understand me).

A secondary consideration is the task most suited to the assistant.

Although life would be simpler if one assistant was capable of doing everything, I quite like the idea of being surrounded by a number of assistants – I spent a lot of my professional life as a manager, so am used to heading a team to work together to complete tasks.

Where possible, information such as contacts, calendars, reminders and messages are shared between the various devices.

Sometimes this can be technically challenging but is very useful.

Brian Collins

Amazon Echo – Smart Home – Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

Although I am able to talk to my Amazon Echo from anywhere, I liked the idea of not having to raise my voice and placed this on my bedside table.

Like her big sister, works faultlessly, the only difference is the much smaller speaker.

This would be ideal if you match it with a Bluetooth speaker or stereo system.

Brian Collins

Amazon Echo – Smart Home – TP-Link LB110 Smart LED Wi-Fi Light Bulb

The major difference with this bulb and the LB120 is you are able to dim it and it does not have a Circadian function.

Like it’s big brother, it was easy to setup and now proudly lights my hallway (which has no windows).

Brian Collins

Amazon Echo – Smart Home – TP-Link LB120 Smart LED Wi-Fi Light Bulb

Reasons I chose this bulb are it is made by the same company as the Smart Plug and it has the facility to change the white balance from around 2500 k to 6500 k which allows me to create lighting for indoor photography.

Setup was easy and mostly the same as the Smart Plug.

Although there are a number of manual settings from the Kasa App, I have initially set this bulb to it’s Circadian function which follows the time of day in your location to automatically adjust the brightness.

Unlike the Smart Plug, I have left this switched on since installation, no problems so far.

I still have a number of functions and modes to explore and will do this in time.

Positives are easy setup, nice and bright and of course cost effective.

Brian Collins

Amazon Echo – Smart Home – TP-Link HS100 Wi-Fi Smart Plug

After a couple of weeks, I have finally decided which of the (confusing) number of Smart Home systems to try out.

For my first foray into Amazon Echo Smart Home compatible devices, I have ordered the TP-Link HS100 Wi-Fi Smart Plug and the TP-Link LB120 Smart LED Wi-Fi Light Bulb.

I’ve received the Smart Plug and set it up to run the right side of my living room which has a number of devices (7) connected to 2 power extensions.

I deliberately chose this socket as it was one that I would normally switch off before going to bed and does not have any devices that need to be left on when I am not using them.

Setup was straightforward with the first three steps being printed on the box, download the app (Kasa) which is free, plug the smart Wi-Fi plug into a socket, switch it on and configure it through the app.

Once you have a connection to your Wi-Fi (there are lights to guide you), you can then enable the appropriate skill in your Amazon Echo, there is a page pointed to on the TP-Link website that covers this.

Although there a number of steps you need to work through, I found them all to work first time.

There were two Smart Plugs to choose from, the only difference I could see is the other one monitored how much electricity was used through it, as I have a Smart Meter, I am able to do this anyway.

Until I have more confidence, I still switch off at the socket before going to bed.

No overheating or problems so far.

The main reasons I went for the TP-Link system is that each device connects directly to your Wi-Fi rather though another hub.

Another reason is coming from a successful PC networking manufacturer.

Looking forward to trying out the light bulb next week.

Brian Collins