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    WiFi Outlets

    I need to add several more outlets that I can control via HS. All my current outlets are based on z-wave. But searching on Amazon it seems WiFi outlets are like half the price ($20) compared to z-wave ($40). Is there any disadvantage using WiFi-based outlets and how do WiFi based devices integrate with HS?

    #2
    I do not know additional features provided by Zwave, but I suspect there are not any for smartplugs. With WiFi you have two approaches. One is to buy Tuya compatible units that are supported by HS. I do not know if a compatibility list has been published by HS, but reading the HS Tuya forum should give you some ideas.

    The second is to buy units that can be flashed with Tasmota firmware. The Sonoff S31 is a good choice and S31 lite if you do not want energy monitoring. mcsMQTT integrates nicely with Tasmota or any other firmware that uses MQTT.

    Last year you could convert any Tuya product to Tasmota without opening the unit (OTA). Tuya has changed the firmware for new releases and OTA is not possible. There is also rumor that Tuya will be making units more DIY friendly in their roadmap, but has not yet happened.

    Typical smartplug are rated at resistive loads of 10 amps, 15 amps or 16 amps. Be aware that inductive loads put a much greater demand so the practical capacity is much less if controlling things with motors such as a fan.

    i had one rated at 16 amps that I used to power a space heater. Over time it heated up at the plug contact and was burning the plastic. Could have been a fire hazard if I did not notice it. It would not matter if it was WiFi or Zwave on the DC side if the AC side could not handle the load. I have not seen any smartplug that have obtained UL approval. Shelly does sell some WiFi smart devices with UL rating, they are intended to be installed inside the junction box and not as a plug on the outside.

    Zigbee is another choice at typically lower price points. With these make certain they also serve the repeater/router function to improve the mesh and reduce load on coordinator.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm using 3 of these Z-wave outlets from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      The seem to work fine and are about $25 (or $23/ea in a 2 pack) as I write this.

      Comment


        #4
        jgreenberg01 I kind of try to avoid those "plugin" devices as I like things to look "clean". They are kind of nice though if you want to move things around or when they are covered behind a couch, etc.

        Michael McSharry I really have to look into those Tuya outlets. They even have some with USB connection and a controlled connector. https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Compa...57007108&psc=1

        This actually looks very interesting and it is only $17/each (set of 2). It says WiFi though.

        Comment


          #5
          In house #2 here doing all Tasmota WiFi modded in wall and external outlet modules. Propietary Ring (cloud) alarm that uses Z-Wave wireless trinkets and managed now by HS/HA via MQTT.

          I have always stayed away from automated outlets since the X10 days. I would put child proof caps over automated outlets such that cleaning folks wouldn't use the outlet for a vacuum cleaner. That is me.



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          Way back in the early days of Z-Wave did have a ZWave external module do a flash a burn which I saw happening behind a couch. I did take it apart and posted pictures here on the forum many years ago.

          Today using UPB for light switches (years) in one house and WiFi for light switches in house #2.

          House #1 can do X10, UPB, Zigbee and ZWave (Leviton Omni Pro 2 panel, Homeseer and Home Assistant).


          For Christmas lightning here still use X10 which is always packed away with the decorations. I like having one house code for all of the lights.

          What is nice about Tasmota switches is that you can configure these with built in timers that can be set for sunset et al without external automation if you want.

          Relating to both houses using purchased Arris Modem, Ruckus WAPs, PFSense and TP-Link managed POE, L2/L3 switches plus LTE combo modem for backup internet and voice. (automation, security, CCTV are hobbies here versus a necessity)

          Using HS and HA in house #2 today. Only have 6 switches configured in house #2. Here is a TasmoAdmin interface running on HA for house #2.
          I like that it shows me Tasmota Firmware version, Wireless connectivity, et al.

          In house #1 using Tasmota and Espurna devices. (switches, temperature and humidity sensors, 1-Wire temperature sensors and a custom RGB firmware for my under counter LED lamps).

          Overall costs using WiFi modded devices (with MQTT) is much less than using ZWave, Zigbee, X-10, UPB switches.

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          - Pete

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          Comment


            #6
            +1 WiFi/Tasmota
            ​​​​​​https://templates.blakadder.com/plug.html

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              #7
              Shelly has an outlet coming out in December @ around $13... Tasmota is a good option if you are up to the labor involved with soldering etc...

              I meant smart plug...

              Comment


                #8
                I see you were thinking outlets and not plugs. You will find that the smart outlets are deeper than standard outlets. The additional space taken by these is no more than the size of a Shelly 1, 1PM or 2.5 so you can wire the Shelly device behind the existing outlet and not change the appearance of your outlets at all. The 2.5 would be used in the junction boxes that have two circuits. They could also be used behind switches so you could make both smart switches and smart outlets. Shelly has mcsMQTT, mcsShelly and AKShelly plugins to integrate with HS.

                You can see the devices on the mcsShelly forum such as the Shelly 1 at Shelly 1 Relay / Switch - HomeSeer Message Board. Some Shelly devices have UL approved versions that you will likely not find with any other smart outlets.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post

                  I have not seen any smartplug that have obtained UL approval.
                  I strongly recommend TP-Link Kasa products. They're all UL listed, higher quality than the commodity products, have US-based customer support, and I have never had one overheat or otherwise fail. I run two space heaters daily, connected to TP-Link plugs, with no problems.

                  You can either use their own app with Google Home/Assistant or Alexa,or use the Kasa plugin for HS.

                  They're having a black Friday sale now:

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by SteveW View Post

                    I strongly recommend TP-Link Kasa products.
                    +1. I have a bunch, and totally agree. Having the Kasa plugin makes these devices work great along side my other zwave devices.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I strongly recommend TP-Link Kasa products. ... higher quality than the commodity products
                      What are you using as the criteria to assess quality?

                      I do not deny that they are a good plug, but interested in how you evaluate one vs. the other. I believe the one I used that developed an overheat condition at the AC connector was BNLINK which was a Tuya that I converted to Tasmota using OTA a year to two ago. I replaced it with the same plug and have not seen any signs of overheating this year. It was around $6 on Amazon lightning deal. I documented it in mcsMQTT.pdf. The Shelly devices report overtemperature and overcurrent condititions.

                      I did a quick search for TP-Link Kasa and did not find any outlets. I could only find plugs. Do you have a link to their outlets?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post

                        What are you using as the criteria to assess quality?
                        1) UL rated
                        2) US-based company with many years of product experience and a major presence on both online and brick-and-mortar retail, all with highly-rated user reviews.
                        3) Warranty replacement if needed.
                        4) Personal experience using many of their products in two homes, with different inductive and/or resistive loads.
                        5) High-quality AC socket contacts that don't wiggle loose or lose spring tension. High quality construction with flame-retardant housing. Plugs/outlets available that use relays for universal compatibility with resistive or inductive loads, not solid state switches. Wall outlets have Tamper Resistant, code-compliant connectors.
                        6) Stable, mature firmware; firmware updates can be easily downloaded and installed OTA from the Kasa app. No need to modify firmware or otherwise turn a plug into a hobby.

                        I try to stay away from AC line power control devices made in some anonymous commodity Chinese factory and then sold by various online sellers. Buying a generic cell phone case, housewares, fashion, etc: very low risk. Buying stuff that can cause a shock or catch on fire, with no UL or ETL certification, forget it.


                        I did a quick search for TP-Link Kasa and did not find any outlets. I could only find plugs. Do you have a link to their outlets?
                        https://www.kasasmart.com/us/product...r-outlet-kp200

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I have not seen any consumer smart plugs that use solid state relays. They all use the traditional jelly bean encapsulated relay. Inductive loads will either fuse the relay contacts or burn them. The rate at which this happens depends upon the inductive energy. Small amounts will not harm them, but heavy loads will. The difference between product A and B is the additional circuitry that is added to absorb energy spikes. My feeling is that if only one amperage rating is provided there was no effort in the design to address inductive spikes and the manufactures is just copying the contact rating of their relay supplier.

                          UL testing is for safety and sometimes a requirement for building codes or insurance. I built a house and installed a fireplace. The inspector wanted to see the UL sticker on the fireplace fan motor before he would approve occupancy. it did not matter if the fireplace emitted CO or CO2 or the door opened and burning logs rolled out.

                          The UL rating does not measure the robustness of the engineering design and does not address product lifetime expectations. Nevertheless, submitting a product for UL testing does signal well for the company and its intent to be in business next year.

                          I looked at the KP200. It did not appear to have UL testing and it is made in Vietnam. Vietnam is where China makes their products to lower cost. It may be a fine plug, but probably should not be bundled in the same quality rationale as domestic products that have additional certification.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Avoid anything Tuya - they are a company that collects your information with blatant disregard of privacy. Tasmota is the way to go, however 90% of the cheap WiFi devices are Tuya and Tuya makes their own hardware now making it difficult to flash anything into it even if you want to use wires to do it. The GPIO0 is hidden and not accessible hence you can't put the controller in programming mode.

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