Many people want some way to take their existing equipment and household accessories and make it compatible with smart home technology. Plug-in modules are a great way to accomplish this. You connect the plug-in module to a standard wall outlet. The plug-in module will then have a side outlet that effectively serves as a smart outlet. Any device connected to this outlet will operate as a smart device that can be controlled remotely or activated automatically based on a schedule or with certain predetermined events.
The plug-in modules sold from Alarm Grid all utilize some type of smart home protocol. Many use Z-Wave technology. Z-Wave is a wireless protocol specifically designed for home automation. A Z-Wave device will communicate with a Z-Wave hub or controller. Many panels include built-in Z-Wave controllers. This allows users to control their Z-Wave devices directly from their security panels.
What's even better is that most modern alarm systems are connected with an interactive service platform that can be accessed remotely. This includes great platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com. These services both offer mobile apps that can be accessed from virtually anywhere. A user can open up the corresponding mobile app and effectively control their Z-Wave devices from anywhere. Any Z-Wave plug-in module will include the connected Z-Wave devices into the network.
Z-Wave devices can also be grouped into smart scenes to control multiple Z-Wave devices at once. This is perfect if you have a normal routine that you follow, and you know that you will want to activate specific Z-Wave devices in certain situations. For example, you might have Z-Wave scene to turn on certain lights in your home, unlock your Z-Wave lock and set your Z-Wave thermostat to cool your home. And of course, any electrical appliances connected with a Z-Wave plug-in module can also be included into the network.
However, not all plug-in modules use Z-Wave. Some use other types of smart home automation networks. For example, a plug-in module might be used to join connected appliances to a local WIFI network. This way, the devices can be operated through Apple HomeKit or controlled through Amazon Alexa voice commands. The capabilities really depend upon the exact plug-in module that is used. You should check the functions of any plug-in module you are interested in to see which wireless protocols it utilizes.
If you have an existing setup of Amazon Alexa devices, then it could be worthwhile to get a plug-in module compatible with Alexa. You would first sync the module with your Alexa hub. Then you would be able to control any connected device through Alexa voice commands. Likewise, if you have an Apple HomeKit network, then you might want a plug-in module compatible with HomeKit. This is great for iOS users, especially those with a HomeKit-compatible Honeywell Lyric Controller Alarm System.