Installing smart home devices in your house thoroughly changes the entire appearance and feel of it. TP-Link smart devices are one of the best available addition to your world of smart homes. Whether it is the smart bulb or smart plug, they can be installed easily without any hassle. Not only this, but you can also uninstall it easily and return it if they do not match your requirement.
The biggest USP of TP-Link Suite is that its variants are expanding, thereby presenting us with more choices. These comprise smart switches, plugs, and lights. We brought smart plugs (HS100) to test their working along with smart lights (LB110), and we have been extremely happy with their work.
We used it along with my Amazon Echo Dot. Herein, we integrated the lights of our room to turn on with my morning alarm. Herein, we used the smart plug to control our Christmas tree lights and that of the living room and humidifier. And we can say that we have used it a hundred times and been completely satisfied and happy with its working.
These devices are extremely simple, especially when compared to smart thermostats. Thus, it is quite easy to use them. Moreover, we are completely impressed with its responsiveness and connectivity.
- It requires no hub
- You can control almost all the devices of TP-Link using the Kasa App
- Now use the voice control feature by pairing it with Amazon Echo
- Control multiple devices and scenes with just one press
So, in this article, we will now talk about the myriad of features offered by TP-Link devices with its smart connectivity with WiFi and how to use its application to control most devices. Besides, we will also offer a detailed insight into smart light and smart bulbs and explain the unique features.
Ways to start a TP-Link
You need to download the Kasa app on your smartphone foremost.
After downloading, follow the directions that are mentioned to connect all devices.
It is easy to set up TP-Link devices with ease. Moreover, you can directly connect these devices with your home WiFi router, which means there is less hassle and no extra spending on setting the hub.
The commonest problem faced by most users is connecting the device with the wrong WiFi band. Most TP-Link connect only with WiFi routers with a bandwidth of 2.4gHz. We had a dual-band router at our place, which offers a bandwidth signal of both 2.4gHz and 5gHz. While we connected the device, it got perfectly connected with the 2.4gHz band. But after following the initial setup, we could also connect our device and phone to the 5gHx band and control all the functions of the TP-Link devices without any hassle.
Reliability of TP-Link Devices
Well, our answer is Yes.
The device offers an instant reaction time. As soon as you press the connect button on the app, the device turns on and off instantly within seconds. That is extremely important as even a little delay in connectivity can annoy the users, especially when switching on the light.
The second thing about the device is its connectivity. We have been using the device for two months, and it was hardly two times when we couldn’t connect the device and the app. When there was a lapse in the connectivity, we restarted the app, and it again worked excellently.
Do you know what yet another exciting feature about TP-Link devices is? You can connect it and control it remotely using the Kasa App. That means if your phone is not connecting with the device, or WiFi you can still work the application perfectly. Whenever we left our home, and the WiFi was disconnected, we could use and control the device with our Kasa App. And the device was still working. While it does hesitate for a few seconds, on restarting the app, you can control the TP-Link device from all across the globe.
What is the Kasa App of TP-Link
Kasa is the application using which you can control the TP-Link Smart WiFi device. Besides, it enables you to link every device connected with your TP-Link and manage it splendidly from one location.
Setting Kasa Scenes
The best thing about a Kasa App enables controlling multiple devices by merely using the feature scenes. For example, if you have created a good night scene that allows you to turn off all the lamps in your living room and turn on the lamp in your bedroom, this scene will help it well. Herein, we connected my TP-Link with one smart plug and smart light.
Presently we only switch on and off devices using the scene feature. Besides, you cannot use the delay or timer feature for controlling scenes. But do you know what do we like the most about the app?
Well, pressing the scene with good night starts the timer when the lights in the living room are turned on. Besides, just after 5 minutes, all the switches shut off. Simultaneously, the bedtime scene switches on the bedroom lamp to 1% and begins a timer. And just after 10 minutes, even the bedroom lamp turns off.
We do hope this functionality is added to future updates. As of now, we have just stuck between the on and off features.
Control your activities without opening the Kasa App
We were first extremely annoyed when using the TP-Link. The reason – we had to switch it on and off everything by opening the app. Besides, we had to wait for at least 4 to 5 seconds for the application to load back.
But we did find a handy widget for Kasa App, which I added to the home screen. It made it easier for us to access the app from the home screen, which kept the most used scenes on the phone available instantly. Thus, instead of opening the application and waiting for a long time, we just unlocked the phone and tapped the scene we desire to start. The instructions for using iOS and Android can be used from the Kasa App. You need to go to the help button or quick shortcuts and select the desired scene.
How to link Amazon Echo with TP-Link Smart WiFi Devices
Are you wondering about purchasing Amazon’s voice assistant, namely Amazon Echo, that is winning the public’s hearts? But is it also in the back of your mind whether TP-Link Smart will be compatible with Amazon Echo or not?
The answer is Yes. TP-Link devices certainly support Amazon Echo, and pairing both devices is relatively easy. You need to integrate Kasa with Echo foremost and later go to the Alexa app, and now you are all set to discover new devices.
Follow this link to set up your Alexa with TP-Link – http://www.tp-link.com/us/faq-944.html.
You can use voice control to command basic features like turning on and off of devices. However, in the case of lights, it wins a brownie point, where you can also decide the specific intensities in the range of 1 to 100%.
Check out the list of commands here – http://www.tp-link.com/us/faq-1356.html.
On the con side, you can only set individual devices with Amazon Echo. Besides, the feature to activate scenes using Alexa was not introduced until Oct 2017. However, now you can easily even activate scenes using Alexa by just commanding – Alexa, please turn on followed by the scene name.
Availability of IFTTT Feature
Well, the wait has finally ended. Now Kasa also has an IFTTT channel, which is presently in beta. Thus, you may face certain issues when using it. However, unlike the claims, we haven’t encountered any issues with the device until now. (Lucky us!, Maybe!)
Review – TP-Link Smart WiFi Plug
Now coming to the smart plug, well, it is no complex device. All you need to do is plug inside any standard outlet and later plug it with the device you wish to control using your smart plug. Right now, the smart plugs are available in three different versions, which includes:
We recently brought the HS100 version that is UL certified and offers a power of 15A (Click Here! If you need more power!). It’s now been two months, I have been using my smart plug, and it has worked wonders until now. The device is a simple one and won’t certainly go wrong. However, the company does offer a 2-year warranty; in this case, it knocks down in between.
As soon as we unboxed the smart plug, we found it to be quite big. It comprises a standard outlet along with two more vertical receptacles. Herein, there is hardly any room left for plugging another cord to the bottom of the receptacle. It is to be noted that when you plug your smart plug from the bottom receptacle that top half will certainly cover the topmost receptacle.
There is also a mini version of the smart plug, i.e., HS105, offered by TP-Link. We found it to be more space effective. Herein, you can easily plug your smart mini plug into any receptacle and continue to access it with another receptacle with ease.
Method for setting control and scheduling your Smart Plug
There is no dearth of options when it comes to controlling your smart plug. Below listed are a few:
- Add schedules by selecting timing when you wish to turn it on and off. Besides, use Kasa App for repeating the commands during specific days of the week.
- There is the option for timers. You can command your smart plug to turn on and off anywhere from 0 to 24 hours. (Now, ain’t that smart of the device!)
- The third option is the away mode. It is useful if you are going on a vacation and ensure the smart plug doesn’t feel alone. The away mode will allow your smart plug to randomly turn on or whichever device is plugged inside it during the span you have scheduled the away mode.
Yet another alluring option is naming your smart plug whatever you wish to like. It can be done using the Kasa App. Do you have an Amazon Echo? Well, then, no worries. You can still control the device using the name you have given. Here is an example – suppose you have named your device smart plug. Then just command, Alexa turn on/off smart plug. And taddaaa.. the device will work!
Plenty of benefits
Here we shall present to you three different purposes of our smart plug, which are:
We used it for our Christmas Tree lights. Well, we certainly found the entire plugging to be quite tenacious, with it being located behind the tree or the shelving. Bending and locating the plug to switch it on and off was truly a pain. Here is where our smart plug came to bail us out. It eliminated the entire inconvenience. Besides, the timer option did work wonders for us!
Apart from Christmas Tree Lights, we used the smart plug for our living room lamp. We have two shelf lamps and one larger one in the living room to sparkle the room with a lot of light. Thus, you can imagine how tenacious it can be to walk all over the room to turn it on and off. Here, I just plugged two of my shelf lamps inside the smart plug, replaced the smart bulb in the place of an ordinary one for the floor lamp, and then commanded through my Kasa app to turn on and off all the lights. It WORKED! With just a mere click.
We are also using a smart plug for our countertop Scentsy. We always leave the Scentsy on throughout the day to get rid of the smell and fill the room with a pleasing aroma. However, running it continuously for 2 to 3 days at a stretch left no wax inside it, and we had to replace it with a fresh one again. Well, then our smart plug did free us from the tax. We now enable automatic scheduling of Scentsy for a period of 2 to 3 hours and only when we wish to have some fresh air filled with a pleasant aroma.
Review – TP-Link Smart WiFi LED Bulbs
You can easily screw your smart bulb with any standard A19 light socket. Besides, the bulb comes with a WiFi module and LED light enclosed inside it. Moreover, some specific models can also change the color temperature and also change color.
TP-Link comprises different bulbs that ensure there is something served to everyone in their platter. These include the following:
- LB130 – Dimmable, Tunable, Multicolor, 60W Equivalent, 2500k to 9000 (soft white to daylight)
- LB120 – Dimmable, Tunable White, 60W Equivalent, 2700k to 6500 (soft white to daylight)
- LB110 – Dimmable White, 60W Equivalent, 2700k (soft white)
We tested LB110. This smart bulb is dimmable, thus making it easy for us to adjust its brightness. However, you cannot adjust its hue or color temperature. For that, you must get yourself either an LB130 or LB120.
- LB100 – Dimmable White, 50W Equivalent, 2700k (soft white)
Method to control and schedule your smart bulb
The setting schedule follows the same process and procedure as that of smart plugs. However, it differs a little in its mechanism. Apart from switching on and off the bulb along with adjusting the intensity.
You can adjust the intensity of light from 1 to 100%. It has to be noted that when you set the light at 100%, it will give out over 800 lumens. It is equivalent to lighting a 60W incandescent bulb.
Besides, you can adjust the overall intensity with the help of a slider available in the app or by commanding Alexa. Moreover, you can also schedule your smart bulb to turn off and turn on by adjusting it with the local timing of sunrise and sunset.
Easy monitoring of energy usage and how much you have saved
The best thing about a smart bulb is that you can now easily monitor the overall energy usage through the app. You can monitor the usage; energy saved is equivalent to that of a 60W incandescent bulb.
Well, you may find the smart bulb cost to be on the expensive side. However, considering the high durability and energy-saving potential of LED bulbs, many will find it a cheaper and better option in the long run.
On the other hand, if you wish to go for a cheaper option and save a little more, all you require are LED bulbs. Check out the soft white LED lights variant on Amazon.
You cannot dim it as you like
While the bulb provides good brightness even when you set it on 1%, being a smart bulb, it will automatically dim itself to 1% in the morning as the alarm goes off. However, the light is so bright that it just ended up waking us.
As per our estimate, the lowest brightness setting on the bulb is equivalent to that of a 15W incandescent bulb.
The limited dimming issue is not only about TP-Link bulbs; rather, it is a common feature of LED bulbs considering its overall science of working. The more power you reduce on an LED bulb, you will only reduce or dim it to a certain extent. However, after a specific point, the light will completely shut off.
If you are looking for bulbs that work best for dimming, then incandescent bulbs make a great option. Moreover, the incandescent light bulb on dimming it further turns on a red dim glow that of a filament.
A Feature we would like to add – Automatic Dimming
We want TP-Link smart bulbs to add an extra feature that includes turning on and off the light slowly after a certain time. For example, we would want the light to switch on with 1% brightness before the alarm goes off. Later increase the intensity slowly to 100% until the alarm is completely turned off.
Presently there is no provision for automatic dimming. You can still schedule manually, mentioning the intensity you would want it to set over some time. However, the entire task can be quite difficult. Besides, if you change your alarm setting even a little for the next day, you will have to rework the light schedule set up.
The tp link smart WiFi device enables users to turn even ordinary electronics into a smart device. From a lamp to the coffee maker to Christmas lights, you can practically use any device using the Kasa App and integrate it with the TP-Link Smart devices. Besides, you can schedule it at your convenience.
The Kasa app is extremely easy and reliable to use for its responsiveness.
Additionally, you get many options for smart bulbs and smart plugs. We haven’t tried all the features and cannot determine if all the features are perfect. But we did enjoy using the features for the past months and thus recommend this device to everyone.