A smart in-wall outlet is easy to install. You need to cut power to the wall outlet at the circuit breaker before beginning. Remove the existing outlet, and connect the wires to the in-wall outlet. Remember that black is negative (-) and red is positive (+). Then restore power to the wall outlet. You should then be able to connect devices to smart outlet to receive power.
What makes a smart in-wall outlet unique is that it actively communicates with a certain network. This is necessary for accessing the device from a remotely so that you can operate the connected devices from another location. In other words you can turn the devices plugged into a smart outlet from virtually anywhere in the world using your smart phone.
Smart outlets are great for situations where you aren't sure if you accidentally left a device running. For example, if you think you left the TV on, you can check the current status for your smart outlet. If it shows that the device is currently powered on, then you can cut power to the smart outlet and turn off the device. This feature is very useful for many users who want to double check to make sure that their electrical devices are powered off.
The service used with a smart outlet will depend on which wireless protocol the device uses. Some smart outlets connect with a local WIFI network so that they can be used with a smart platform like Apple HomeKit. Many smart outlets that use WIFI are also directly compatible with voice-automation services like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. This way, you can control your electrical devices with simple voice commands.
Other smart outlet devices use Z-Wave connectivity. This is great for owners of home security systems, as alarm control panels often serve as Z-Wave hubs. You can enroll the smart outlet with the Z-Wave network and use it alongside all the other devices in the Z-Wave network. Z-Wave devices can also be used with interactive service platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com.
You can also use your smart outlet with smart scenes for automatic activation based on a predetermined schedule or with certain system events. This is great for adding convenience to one's life and for saving money on energy bills. Nearly every smart automation platform like HomeKit, TC2 or ADC will allow for such functionality. This is truly one of the most exciting aspects of using a smart outlet.