Inflation affects everyone, and it's surprising how the prices of certain things have increased in recent years. However, I tested a HomeKit plug that is surprisingly the cheapest one available in the market. The Sylvania Smart Bluetooth Outlet Adapter stands out with its affordable price compared to other smart home technology products I've studied over the years. This article is part of HomeKit Weekly, a series that covers smart home accessories, tips for automation, and everything related to Apple's smart home framework.
Now, let's address two questions: Why do you need a smart plug, and why opt for an adapter instead of a built-in solution? To answer the first question, a smart plug can turn any "dumb" home product into a smart one. Whether it's a lamp, a fan, an air purifier, or a coffee maker, a smart outlet adapter can upgrade them all. For example, let's say you want to cool your sunroom when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. You can use a product like Eve Weather to monitor the outside temperature and, when it reaches a certain threshold, the smart outlet adapter can turn on a fan to cool the room.
As for the second question, there are multiple reasons why an external adapter is preferable to replacing the actual outlet with a HomeKit-enabled one. Firstly, it's much easier to install an outlet adapter than to replace the entire outlet, which requires electrical skills. Even if you have those skills, I still recommend using a wall socket adapter because it allows for future upgrades. If you installed HomeKit outlets throughout your home in 2018, you would miss out on newer technologies like Thread. Outlet adapters make it simpler to upgrade to newer technologies as they become available in the market.
When installing the Sylvania Smart Bluetooth Outlet, I made the mistake of not reading the instructions (typical of me). Consequently, I couldn't connect it to HomeKit right away. Sylvania requires users to download their smart home app to check for firmware updates. Once I did that, I was able to open the Home app and add the adapter as usual. Sylvania does something commendable by including a QR code on the bottom of the switch and in the instruction booklet. This should be the default for HomeKit and Matter devices.
After going through the setup process, the outlet functions like any other standard HomeKit device. You can easily change its functionality to a fan, light, or switch, and then create automation around it. Its compact size allows you to stack multiple adapters on top of each other, which is not always possible with other smart socket adapters. To start using automations, simply go to the device, tap Add Automation, choose the event type (I personally like "A Time of Day Occurs"), and select your desired options. For example, if the socket is connected to a lamp, you can set it to turn on at sunset and off when you go to bed. This setup eliminates the need to think about turning the lamp on and off every night.
In summary, the Sylvania Smart Bluetooth Outlet is a reliable device, although it may lack certain features found in more expensive alternatives. However, considering its price, it is an excellent option for those looking to implement smart home technology in multiple rooms simultaneously. You can find the Sylvania Smart Bluetooth Outlet on Amazon. Please note that we use monetized auto-affiliate links.
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