Best smart-plug/socket and is Z-wave/zigbee better than Wifi for these?

GidsterGidster London, UKMember Posts: 224
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So, I see there are loads of options on Amazon for wifi smart plugs for very low prices - even for under £10 (with deals) but from some unfamiliar brands. Should I buy?
Smart plugs are really useful - I have a few Hive plugs which I use them for voice controlling lights in difficult places and for timers on fans. But these are £26 right now.
And the ones I have are zigbee. Is there any downside to using wifi? I think some issues I've had on my network in the past may relate to too many attached to the router, so going via a hub might help?

Head of Product at Fing
VioletChepilkeith

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  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,370
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    I use Wemo mini's throughout the house.  They often go on sale for pretty cheap here in the states.  They are wifi only and the beauty of them is I don't need to have a zigbee hub anywhere, just wifi.  Of course the downside is that using them will only be as good as the signal in the area they are located.  Upside is that you can use fing to detect them and so far they have been very reliable for me...  
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    GidsterVioletChepilkeith
  • KenDKenD Member Posts: 14
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    I was using TP-Link smart wifi plugs but found these to be expensive here in Australia and also the plugs to be bulky. I've started purchasing Brilliant smart wifi plugs which can be brought for as low as $15 and have a much smaller foot print when plugged in, best of all it doesn't interfere with other plugs. The app also has the feature I require, which is a time schedule option I use for our fish tanks.
    keith
  • kltaylorkltaylor Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,191
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    Gidster said:
    So, I see there are loads of options on Amazon for wifi smart plugs for very low prices - even for under £10 (with deals) but from some unfamiliar brands. Should I buy?
    Smart plugs are really useful - I have a few Hive plugs which I use them for voice controlling lights in difficult places and for timers on fans. But these are £26 right now.
    And the ones I have are zigbee. Is there any downside to using wifi? I think some issues I've had on my network in the past may relate to too many attached to the router, so going via a hub might help?

    I'd do a bit of research on the brand before sinking the money, as the old cliche goes 'you get what you pay for'.
    Some off-name brands could be OEM of name brands, so it's worth looking into to collect information on the company, how long they've been in business, what other products they are selling, and what the public is saying about their product and service, too.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
    keith
  • keithkeith Member, Beta Tester Posts: 64
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    I have experimented over a few years with wifi plugs and led bulbs.
    Various obscure brands from china, so far zero failures, some have awkward phone apps, most now can be controlled by google or alexa. They are all usually espressif technology.
    My experience off the shelf known brand led bulbs, failures are common. (Not wifi)
    Most recently I have decided, proximity light control is the most convenient and probably most economical.
    I dont much like voice control after a day or two.
    Also, for controlling things like ventilation, heating or cooling, I have settled on sonoff's products.
    Again espressif based.
    The eWelink app allows scheduling, as discussed above, and responce to temperature changes with hysteresis, power levels up to 3kw. I also have some experience with solar water system controllers with complex 4 sensor differential control at affordable prices. Be aware, anything out of China will only be, at best, 80% of what you are told or think. But there are some gems, probably originating from Japanese or American technology. It is a fact, if a product is any good there will be 10+ Chinese copies, 5 will be junk, 4 will be fairly good, 1 will be perfect. My experience anyway. Happy to answer questions if I can.
    VioletChepil
  • keithkeith Member, Beta Tester Posts: 64
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    Oh, btw, no issues with fing and any of these products :)
    VioletChepil
  • HackencrashHackencrash Member Posts: 11
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    What do you mean by proximity light control?

    VioletChepil
  • PixelpopperPixelpopper Moderator Posts: 129
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    I have been using these smart switches for around nine months, with Alexa, and experienced no problems at all. There is also a lot of useful setup information in the reviews.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07JFJQ3ZP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Finding a Wi-fi light smart switch has been quite a problem. In the u.k. mains lighting circuits (in the majority of installations) don’t have earth terminations so many smart switches won’t work. The Phillips smart lamps use their own hub which overcomes the earth switching issue but at considerable expense. Maybe someone in these forums has identified a cheaper alternative for UK switching?
    VioletChepil
  • PixelpopperPixelpopper Moderator Posts: 129
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    edited August 2019

    What do you mean by proximity light control?

    I assume it’s......
    A passive infrared sensor (PIR sensor) is an electronic sensor that measures infrared (IR) light radiating from objects in its field of view. They are most often used in PIR-based motion detectors. ... PIR sensors detect general movement.
    VioletChepil
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