Smart homeowners realize the value of using a surge protector to guard their appliances. In the event of a power surge, they will not have to worry about fires or their equipment being damaged. The risks are significantly minimized and they also save money on repurchasing goods that have been destroyed.
Usually, surge protectors have a single purpose – a shield against surges.
Recently, however, consumers are recognizing a shift in the market. Manufacturers of smart devices have created more advanced electronics, which are also able to perform other functions within the home.
With the rise of automated electronic assistants around the home, the use of a power surge with advanced capabilities seemed to be the next logical step. The Belkin smart outlet is one such.
It is a surge protector, which enables you to do a little more with one handy device.
This outlet is ideal both for the person who already has an automated home and wants to sync appliances or for the individual who is just starting out.
What is Belkin Smart Outlet and What is Its Purpose?
If you have a Wi-Fi system already in place at your home, then you’re all set to use the Belkin smart outlet. It doesn’t require a pre-installed automation network to connect with other devices, which makes it easier to operate.
Owners are able to connect to Belkin through the Wemo app which is compatible with other smart products offered by Belkin. Users can remotely control lighting at home when they are away and also thermostats, specifically made by Nest.
Wherever there is an internet connection, Wemo can be accessed, and so too can your devices and appliances at home.
Belkin offers three different smart outlets that consumers are able to choose from depending on your tastes. You can opt for products that offer security in the event of a spike in voltage or those with advanced features, which also contribute to energy conservation.
The Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- Control from anywhere. Plug in a WeMo Mini Smart Plug, download the free app, and control your lights and appliances...
- Randomize Lights. The Mini Smart Plug protects your home better than a mechanical timer. “Away Mode” will turn your...
- Voice control with Alexa, the Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit. Pair with voice built in devices like Apple Home pod...
This Belkin smart outlet is the simplest of the three but is as efficient as it needs to be. Its design is such that it allows usage of other wall outlets, which may be adjacent to the plug.
In other words, you can have more than one smart outlet connected next to each other.
If you do not own another automated system, or home, and are looking to get into smart home living, then this is one of the best entry-level outlets to buy. You would, however, only be able to control power remotely to single appliances. If you want to create a more complex model without buying a more advanced plug, then you can combine multiple outlets and enjoy the same benefits.
The Wemo Switch Smart Plug
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately)
- Wemo is home automation the easy way: Plug in a Wemo Switch, download the free app, and start controlling your lights...
- Why come home to a dark house? Why let the fan run if nobody’s home? Set on and off times for your lights and small...
Although this is an older model than the mini smart plug, it comes with the same features. The main difference is it is a little bulkier.
It is cheaper than the other plugs but performs the necessary functions of a smart plug. It does not have a wide range. Therefore, it can only connect to devices and appliances that are in wall outlets nearby.
The Mini smart plug would be a better option if a wider coverage is desired.
The Wemo Insight Smart Plug
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately)
- Control from anywhere. Plug in a WeMo Insight smart plug, download the WeMo app, and control your lights and appliances...
- Works with voice. WeMo pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google assistant so you can control your home with the power of your...
This Belkin smart outlet is the most advanced of all with its energy saving feature. It not only comes packed with all the goodies the mini smart plug has, but it also gathers analytical data concerning your energy consumption patterns.
You can check your average electricity usage through the Wemo app and adjust the outlets so as to reduce energy consumption. Electricity bills are always on the rise, and so is the need for solar panels. With the Wemo insight smart plug, your power usage falls back into your hands.
The Belkin 8-Outlet Conserve Surge Protector with Timer is one of the more advanced of the outlets under the Belkin brand for energy saving. The auto-shutoff feature for six of the outlets is an added bonus and is the ideal way of minimizing power usage.
What is Unique About the Belkin Smart Outlet?
Most of the other products in this class on the market requires homeowners to already have an automation hub. These other companies tend to sell these products as complements to each other. When consumers purchase these products, they then have to also purchase their home automation hub to connect them.
This is additional spending consumers might be trying to escape. Even after purchasing the manufacturer’s automation hub, you might get bogged down with a complicated setup. An automation hub is also an unnecessary expense if all you want is to connect a few appliances to a surge protector.
For this reason, Belkin’s products rank higher in the market. They are ideal for the customers new to automation and the outlets can be controlled using their smartphone or via the Wemo app. While Wemo is the official app that is partnered with Belkin, the products are also compatible with other automated assistants like IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
You do not have to purchase add-ons with Belkin smart outlets. The Wemo app is free and allows you remote access to all of your connected devices, light switches, and even your thermostat provided it is a Nest.
The app also enables other features such as setting schedules to turn outlets off or switching to a randomized mode that turns lights on and off to give the impression you are home.
One of the most important features is the plugs’ design. They are compact and allow for more than one outlet to be connected to your wall unit. Other manufacturers have bulkier designs that block access to any other devices or appliances.
How Belkin Smart Outlet Stands Up to the Competition
While Belkin currently has some of the best automation outlets, there are other manufacturers with comparable products and similar prices.
What makes Belkin stand out among the group is the ability of their products to be paired with Google Assistant, Android, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and iOS. You don’t need to purchase a home automation hub in order to get the most out of these products when compared to other brands.
Another plus for Belkin is that the outlets do not hog space.
Users can plug in other devices adjacent to the smart plugs offered by Belkin. The fact that the Insight Smart Plug is also capable of monitoring electricity usage is another reason that it trumps other products.
Overall, only three products on the market are able to effectively rival the Belkin smart outlets.
Insteon is an alternative smart outlet that provides a plug with two outlets. It costs twice as much as the Mini Smart Plug, but that’s understandable since it offers twice the features. You would need to purchase two Mini Smart Plugs to be able to control two appliances, whereas you could use just the one Insteon.
Another option is the D-Link Smart Plug, which compares with the Insight Smart Plug, in that it, too can monitor your electricity consumption. A huge advantage to buying this product is that it is cheaper, and is also compatible with IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
It also has the added feature of detecting overheating on connected appliances. The main drawback to this plug, though, is that setup can be complicated, and there have been negative reviews concerning the software.
The third alternative is the Edimax Wi-Fi Smart Plug.
Not only does this outlet provide information on energy consumption patterns and a similar price, it also sends email notifications concerning energy use. This isn’t a feature of the Wemo app, so is an added bonus.
It is, however, bulkier than the Belkin products, so it restricts access to adjacent outlets. It isn’t compatible with automated assistants but comes with its own app, the EdiRange app, which works similarly to Wemo.
This manufacturer doesn’t have similar products to connect with the Edimax plug, so syncing other products will be harder. Belkin makes the better alternative in this area since it has other products such as smart switches and thermostats that can be controlled from the Wemo app.
Which is the Better Smart Plug for You
Modern homeowners are increasingly going the route of making their homes automated. Making a decision about which products to use, especially to someone who doesn’t know the first thing about smart plugs, can be challenging.
However, Belkin stands out in its class, offering some of the best alternatives on the market.
They have products that are easy to set-up and ideal for the entry-level smart homeowner. If you already have smart devices in your home and need additions, then their Insight Smart Plug would make an ideal fit.
Plus, with the easy setup features, you won’t require a professional to come in and install. The convenient Wemo app allows you to control your devices and schedule timers when you’re away, or for added convenience. These can be paired with other automated assistants to operate by voice command.
You can even control your energy use with the Insight Smart Plug, making it an added bonus.
Overall, the Belkin package would make a nice fit for anyone seeking to automate their home. The products are sold in convenient locations, both instore and online, for ease of purchase.
Choose the right product for you and your home needs from among the wide range of products Belkin offers. Their line offers other smart options that make it easier to connect to other smart electronics.