Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2019
UPDATE: TP-Link continues to drag their feet on the three SMART ACTION limit per account. Inexcusable oversight that limits the ability to use the otherwise very good individual Kasa components for a comprehensive home automation system.

First of all, there are many smart plugs out there that "work". The cute, inexpensive ones that are ubiquitous on Amazon will make you work to get them to work. However, these TP-Link Kasa's separate themselves from the pack in four ways:

1. Hardware - solid signal, well built, and includes a nice feature of maintaining its ON/OFF state in the event of a power outage. Rated at 12amps, it should handle most appliances including small window air conditioners.

2. Software - it's exceptionally well done. So well done, they should license it to other manufacturers of these smart plugs. Yes, it currently only works with Kasa branded smart plugs. If you're familiar with the Honeywell RPLS740/RPLS741B programmable wall switch, this Kasa smart plug includes the same Sunrise/Sunset logic based on location of the switch (setting the longitude/latitude accordingly) and includes the random "vacation" mode that few other smart plugs have.

3. Integration with Google Home and Alexa - The Kasa devices have their own setup shortcut. It couldn't be easier, allowing you to control your lights by voice from either Alexa or Google Home (we have both and it functions flawlessly from either).

4. Setup - You will initially set these plugs up using the Kasa app and it's pretty simple once you've created a cloud account. That account is what facilitates the ease of setting up with Alexa and Google Home devices as well.

You can control the plug manually using the button on the smart plug, using a Google Home or Alexa voice command, using the Kasa app, or using either the Alexa or Google Home apps. On Android, Kasa also includes corresponding widgets. Therefore, you can add an ON/OFF switch right to your phone's home screen making it like a handy remote, without the need of using an app or voice. However, using the Kasa app for remote control is relaltively painless.

In case you're wondering, these smart plugs operate using your wireless router's 2.4 GHz band. In my case, the Google Home device is connected to our 5.0 GHz band while the two Amazon Echo devices (Alexa) ride on the 2.4 GHz band. Regardless, everything just works and I have no idea how. If you do have trouble, you may want to consider splitting your wireless SSID values if you're using just one name (some routers don't handle the hand-offs well). This means if you have an SSID called MyNetwork, consider splitting them into MyNetwork-2.4 & MyNetwork-5.0. Also, you can operate the TP-link plugs from anywhere across the WAN. This means you can turn on a lamp in your home while vacationing thousands of miles away.

According to TP-Link's own Kasa Energy Monitor (also very nice), each Smart Plug consumes approximately:
- .3w in the OFF state
- .8w in the ON state (w/o anything plugged in)
Assuming you pay 12¢ per kWh, each Smart Plug will cost approximately $14/year while in the OFF state. Using a typical plug (ON & OFF), realistically you'll like spend $20 per year per plug for the convenience. For us, it adds up since we have approximately 10 smart plugs and switches. But, worth the convenience and the reliability these devices have shown this far.

Suggested Future Improvement to TP-Link for the Kasa app:
1. Start/End-Time: add a +/- OFFSET in hrs/min to the SUNSET/SUNRISE selections (similar to the Honeywell RPLS740/RPLS741B programmable wall switch).

2. add the ability to the "Away" END-TIME to include SUNRISE & SUNSET +/ an OFFSET in hrs/min. For example, an Away setting to START-TIME=SUNSET(-10min) and END-TIME=SUNSET(+3hrs).

Suggested Future Improvements to Amazon & Google: add the SUNRISE/SUNSET features to your respective platforms to allow your software to be an alternative to Kasa for any manufactured Smart Plug.

As for these Smart Plugs as they are, they're still a 5-Star product. Well done TP-Link, well done.
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