Master Smartplug to Control Other Smartplugs?


(Vince Bitz) #1

Hello! New here to the Smart Things Community! Looking forward to learning from other users here (likely smarter than me) and contributing what I know (from working at a utility) about utility programs that integrate with Smart Homes to save people energy through automation & behavioral change. Apologies in advance if I unintentionally do/say something that is not kosher here on your forums.

Background before my question below: I’m participating in a 3rd party energy saving (demand response) program where a company will automatically turn off my Smart Devices (i.e. TP-Link Smartplugs & Nest Smart Thermostats) to help save energy when the grid is strained and energy reductions are needed to prevent brown/black-outs.

What’s cool about the program is that you get your first Smart Plug, a TP-Link HS 100, 105 or 110 for free, which is guaranteed to integrate with their system for automatic turn off and on during one of their 1-2 hour energy saving time periods. But I find that the Smartplugs they sell in their store and are compatible with their platform is limited to the TP Link, which is not the least expensive Smart Plug on the market.

Now Onto To The Question! Does anyone know of a way to integrate a TP-Link smartplug with Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri, so that when the TP link connected to one of these Smart AI platforms is turned off, the AI turns off (and hopefully back on) the less expensive Smartplugs that aren’t compatible with the program? Maybe an IFTTT recipe that integrates with the energy saving period email/text notifications? I estimate this “hack” (work-around) can save me up 80% on Smartplugs, allowing me to buy more and maximize the savings I get from the program.

I figure that since there are power strips where one outlet acts as the “master” and when you turn off the device plugged in to it i.e. a computer, it will then automatically turn off the “slave” (not my terminology) outlets, which then turn off peripherals plugged into these outlets such as a printer, speakers, monitor, etc., you can create a similar set up through Google Assistant, Alexa and/or Siri.

Feel free to send me a private message if you’re interested in learning more about this cool program. Happy to help!


(Jimmy) #2

You generally don’t want to kill power to a smart outlet. If it’s a zigbee or z-wave outlet, this will break a link in your mesh and wreak havoc on any sensors that were routing through it.


(Glen King) #3

One smartplug to rule them all, one smartplug to find them
One smartplug to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them!


#4

The Repeater Issue

You don’t want to kill the current into the zigbee/zwave smart plug, but just turning it off through an automation system is fine. It will continue to repeat.

None of that applies to the TP link Kasa, anyway, because it’s a Wi-Fi plug, so not a repeater.

OK, back to the original question…

Integrating TP-Link to SmartThings

There is a cloud cloud integration which was created by community member between the TP Link’s and smartthings, so they can be used with a SmartThings system. It shouldn’t be an issue as far as the power company goes, because since these are Wi-Fi plugs, the integration is cloud cloud, which allows for multiple integration partners at once.

So once you have the TP Link switches integrated into your smartthings account, it will be easy to use the official “smart lighting“ feature to create a rule “when the TP Link switch turns off, turn off these other switches which are also on my smartthings account.” :sunglasses:

Again, you aren’t cutting the current going into that smart plug, you’re just turning it off so that it is no longer drawing current except for that necessary to operate the radio, which is a very small amount. :zap:

The Original Question

BTW, the TP Link brand is already one of the least expensive relatively safe brands that you can buy at $16 for the pocket socket.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-HS100-Required-Google-Assistant/dp/B0178IC734/

To save “80%“ on that you would have to be buying a device for under four dollars, and I just don’t know of any that are safe to use in that price range. (Occasionally there’s a deal where there will be a WeMo or Amazon pocket socket available for $5 as an add-on when you are buying a voice assistant device or some other home automation devices, but you can’t buy the pocket socket at that standalone price.)

There just aren’t a lot that are cheaper than that that are safe to use with US wiring.

Also, while the TP Link’s do integrate with Alexa, I don’t understand what that has to do with the whole concept.

This forum is for people who are using the Samsung SmartThings home automation platform. So that’s where the rules are built, not typically in the voice assistant. (This is a very active forum so it can tend to come up near the top in Google searches on general home automation questions, but it is specific to this platform and all of the answers that you will get will be in the context of people who are using Samsung home automation gear.)

And the three questions we always ask: what model of the Samsung SmartThings hub do you have, what country are you in, and which version of the Samsung smartthings mobile app are you using? The device selection and rules options do vary somewhat depending on the answers to these three questions.


(Vince Bitz) #5

Sorry all to bring up another brand. Didn’t realize it was taboo. It sounds like the ST hub will help accomplish what I need w/o using voice activation AI (even better)! I’m in CA, USA. These questions suggested below sound helpful, so it would be great if anyone in the U.S. can answer to help a user new to Smart Things.
And the three questions we always ask: what model of the Samsung SmartThings hub do you have, what country are you in, and which version of the Samsung smartthings mobile app are you using?
[/quote]

And yes, TP link are relatively less expensive. Can I ask if anyone else has used a cheaper Smart Plug I found: $5.50 each + tax when buying 2-pack? I din’t want to offend anyone again because it not a Smart Thing product, but maybe it integrates with ST hub?


#6

The smartthings platform is very open: you can use all kinds of brands with it and we talk about literally hundreds of them. That’s not a problem. It’s just that the assumption is that you have one of the various models of smartthings hubs to tie everything together. :sunglasses: So the answers that you get are generally in the context of people who have that brand of hub. But when it comes to light switches, pocket sockets, sensors, sirens, etc. any brand is appropriate, people have all kinds.

As for the $5 device you’re asking about, we need brand and model number. Do you have a link?


(Vince Bitz) #7

The Smart Plug I’m referring to that costs $5.50 + tax is the Senders Smart Socket

And based on what I want to do, and the helpfulness of this community, I’m going to buy a Samsung Smarthome Hub. Thanks everyone! I’d like to get the least expensive one that’s compatible with Google Assistant and can be used to just control Smartplugs - unless there’s a huge advantage to getting newer / more expensive model. It looks like there are 3 for sell on Amazon. If there are other ones that exist that are not listed here, please include a link in your response.


(Glen King) #8

A note on this concept: I have a TPlink plug, and a couple others that are WiFi devices.
I’m in the process of ditching them. I ordered three of the GE zigbee dual plugs that fit better behind furniture. They integrate better with ST. I’ll be giving those WiFi plugs to a friend who has Echo devices.