Tried & Tested

Is a wi-fi smart plug this winter’s power buy?

India Price,-Writer

It’s £12.99 and promises to put a dent in your energy bills… But is Tapo’s Smart Plug all it’s cracked up to be? We shine a light on this household bright spark to find out what’s watt

What is it?

The TP-Link Tapo P105 Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug is exactly that: a (super) smart plug. Sounds underwhelming, right? Hear me out: What if I told you that this tiny plug – just £12.99 – has the ability to reduce your energy bills, make your life easier and ensure your home is safer? Would you believe me then? This particular smart plug is about the same size as a standard adapter, but it does so much more. And once you’ve downloaded the Tapo app, you can control your plug through your phone, which is pretty neat when you’re out and about.

Why do you need it?

It’s no secret that the cost of living has skyrocketed and energy bills are creeping up, fast. Therefore, it makes sense to do what we can to bring down the price of everything in our power. Installing smart plugs throughout your home is an easy and relatively low-cost way of doing that – just plug in, download the app, and control the amount of energy that goes into specific electronics.

Take a lamp, for example. You probably don’t need the lamp on all day, but maybe the plug socket is hard to get to. So, you switch the power off at the wall and your lamp sits there, collecting dust, because you’re too stubborn (or lazy) to move your desk and switch it back on. But the days are getting shorter and you need your lamp on to actually see anything. Hello, smart plug. Now you can control the plug point via your phone.

There are also features that enable you to turn on lights at sunset and off at sunrise; a ‘leave home’ setting that means you can sync all of your smart plugs and switch them off with the tap on the app. Plus, you can put your plugs on a timer so you don’t need to do anything on a day-to-day basis. Bonus.

The facts

– Smart plugs are a brilliant way of saving electricity by switching off electronics that may be wasting precious power while in standby mode.

– They help keep your home safe by, say, switching on a lamp when you’re out late to deter burglars.

– You can control your Tapo plug from anywhere, so if you’re worried you may have left on your hair straighteners, you can pop into the app and check.

– You can use voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant Devices to control plugs.

The metrics that matter
Value for moneyAt £12.99, this is worth every penny. The time, money and effort it saves makes it worth far more than the equivalent of a few coffees at a local trendy café.
Ease of useNormally, I hate technology and it hates me right back, so the thought of setting up a smart plug filled me with dread. However, the super-simple setup process was a dream.
QualityI’ve only been using it for a few weeks but, so far, the quality seems brilliant. The plug is sturdy, does everything it promises to do and looks pretty inoffensive to boot.

Is it worth it?

Yes, absolutely. Despite being sceptical at first, I now plan on buying a number of these clever plugs to use throughout the house, especially now it’s winter and dark. Plus, if you’re concerned about how much energy you’re wasting, this is a great investment. It’s easy to use, simple to set up, satisfying to put into practice and something that I genuinely never thought I’d get excited about… but here we are.

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