REVIEW – Just a short time ago, home automation was a relatively big-dollar, time-consuming pursuit. Now SwitchBot has joined the race. At $10.19 from Amazon, adding these handy devices to control your home’s gadgetry is virtually a no-brainer!
What is it?
The SwitchBot Plug Mini is an app-controlled 120-volt device that turns switches an electrical device on or off based on user selection, timers, or external triggers and monitors energy usage.
- Dimensions: 70 x 39 x 59mm (2.8 x 1.6 x 2.4 inches)
- Weight: 70g (2.5oz)
- Input voltage: 100-125VAC
- Input frequency: 50/60Hz
- Output power: 1875 Watts
- Output current: 15 Amps max (resistive load)
- Operating Temperature: -15 to 40°C (5 to 104°F)
- Communication: IEEE802.11 b/g/n, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth low energy
- Disconnect means: Type 1B
- Polution degree: 2
- Rated impulse voltage: 1500V
- Automatic action: 50,000 cycles
What’s in the Box?
- SwitchBot Mini Plug model W1901400
- User manual
Design and Features
I’m a big fan of minimal packaging. SwitchBot packaging is familiar, minimal, protective, and recyclable.
Inside the box are the Plug Mini and the manual. SwitchBot manuals are well written, and have valuable information, but have itty-bitty print.
There isn’t much to the Plug Mini. It’s a rectangular box with a grounded plug on one side and a socket on the other.
A button on one end initiates pairing and allows the Plug Mini to be turned on and off without connectivity.
The Plug Mini occupies one socket in a typical wall socket, but if you are planning on using it in a power strip, it might prevent access to adjacent outlets. Please excuse my dirty plug ;-D
Pairing took only a few moments, during, the lone LED flashes blue. During normal operation, the LED illuminates white when the plug is turned on.
When the Plug mini is off, the LED is extinguished. If you don’t want the use the LED at all, it can be disabled in the app. Nice touch.
The Plug Mini will handle a full 15-Amp load, but isn’t waterproof so you probably won’t want to use it for your pool motor (unless it’s indoors 😀 ). Gotta love home automation!
Adding the Plug Mini is easy: Pick the icon from a list…
Heed the warnings…
Press the button for two seconds to start pairing. Enter your SSID and network password…boom.
In my case, within seconds of adding the Plug Mini, Alexa recognized it and it was ready to accept voice commands.
I try my best to conserve energy whenever and wherever I can. As such, I appreciate the energy monitoring capabilities in the Plug Mini. From the app, I can see wattage, current, voltage, and usage in kWh (kilowatt-hours). I can imagine using the monitoring functions just to keep an eye on some of my appliances. I’m planning on doing an “energy inventory” of my home to see what’s hogging power and eventually replace wasteful appliances. Sure, other gadgets perform this function, but since it’s built into the Plug Mini, it only makes sense to use it to its full potential.
Usage data can even be exported. So cool!
To add utility, the app also has schedule functions for turning the Plug-Mini on and off. Remember that coffee? You can turn on your bedside lamp when your alarm goes off AND turn it back off again 10 minutes before you leave for work. That being said, use abundant care when using the Switchbot Plug Mini to run motorized or heating equipment because a mistake could mean fire or other costly damage. I’m talking about stuff like coffee makers, big battery chargers, or beefy fans.
There’s also a handy delay function that turns the Plug Mini on immediately, then off again after a programmed time.
Like all SwitchBot products, thee are lots of cool features. I’ve already mentioned the indicator light toggle.
There is also “Mistouch Protection” that enables a confirmation when operating the Plug Mini which is great if you are the “pocket dial” type.
Cloud services include Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Clova for Japanese users, and Siri Shortcuts. All work reliably
SwitchBot continues to amaze me. Their products are reliable, prices are outstanding, IFTTT, Amazon, and Google integration are great, and the app is packed with features. The Plug Mini fits nicely into my home automation system and I particularly like them for use with lamps. It’s great to be on the way out of the room and say, “Alexa, please turn off the living room lamp.”
What I Like
- Integrates easily with Google, Alexa, and IFTTT
- Energy usage information and graphing are handy
What I Would Change
SwitchBot continues to amaze me with its solid offerings, great app integration, and mammoth bang-for-the-buck! On top of being less than $12, the Plug Mini’s performance is top-notch and the energy usage and graphing capabilities are icing on the cake. Well done, SwitchBot. Please check out my other Switchbot reviews.