In this product review, George Robertson tries out the new Energenie MiHome WiFi Smart Plug.
I’ve always been an enthusiastic adopter of all things connected: smart thermostats, radiator valves, outdoor and indoor cameras, colour changing led lamps – my home has them all, and some have been more successful than others.
With that in mind I was intrigued to have a play with this new range of MiHome WiFi Smart Plugs from Energenie when the opportunity became available. The first thing to point out is that they’re an absolute doddle to install and connect, and even my 11-year old Grandson had one up and running on his iPhone within minutes.
Unlike many of competitor products that I’ve seen on the market, these units are small enough to be mounted side-by-side in a normal double socket and only extend outwards by a mere 30mm, so are small and unobtrusive. Plus, they don’t require a separate hub, which to me is a big plus! Who wants their home overflowing with hubs for each separate piece of kit they need to connect?
Setting up is simple – you download the MiHome App on to your phone or tablet (there is a handy QR code to scan on the plug packaging and on the quick start guide that comes with each plug), create your own MiHome account (which takes a matter of minutes) and you’re ready to go.
It’s then a case of plugging the Smart Plug into the socket, make sure the status LED on the side of the unit is flashing green every 15 seconds or so then log into your MIHome account, select ‘add a new device’ from the menu and just follow the simple instructions.
Unlike many other systems, this is so easy and self-explanatory that it’s honestly very difficult to go wrong. Once you have the plug paired with your device you can use the App for remote switching (the plugs also have a function button on the side which allows you to manually switch the units on and off, if needed), while other functions include the ability to:
Set up timers
Set up triggers from other devices
Set up Geofencing triggers
Set up voice control from Alexa or Google
Set up IFTTT triggers
Pairing the plug with my Alexa was a lot easier than expected and has worked without a hitch ever since.
If, like me, you were wondering what IFTTT stands for then let me explain. IFTTT, or as those of us who are ‘in the know’ call it – “If this then that” – means you can use a host of other Apps and devices to trigger your plug. Luckily this is all explained on the Energenie and MIHome websites and I think you’ll be as surprised as I was at what you can use to trigger your new WiFi Smart Plug.
So who needs a robot butler anyway? You’re better off buying yourself a couple of these plugs and having a good play around with them instead. They offer electricians a fantastic extra up-sell opportunity for clients, though you probably won’t want to part with them once you’ve seen what they can do.
For more information about the MiHome WiFi Smart Plug from Energenie visit: https://energenie4u.co.uk