Smart Home: Setting Up the TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini and Connecting to the Alexa ServiceMar 14, 2017
This device plugs into a wall socket, connects to your home wireless network and can be controlled manually by pressing the On/Off button on its side.
Of course, manual control defeats the purpose of having a smart device so you can also remotely control it using the TP-Links Kasa for Mobile app (Android or iOS) or if you are also using Amazon's Alexa service you can use the Kasa Skill to create that connection and have voice control through your Amazon Echo, Tap, or Dot.
Once you have the plug unboxed and plugged into an electrical outlet, by the way I have it plugged into a power strip and it works fine, you have to install the Kasa for Mobile app on your device to begin the setup process and get your plug connected to your home Wi-Fi network so that it can be accessed through the app or ultimately Alexa.
So here are the steps to getting it setup with the Kasa app:
- Download the Kasa for Mobile App (Android or iOS) and start the app up.
- You can skip creating a TP-Link Cloud Account however, that will mean you can only control the mini plug when you are connected to the same network. If you want to have remote control through the app or Alexa then you need this account. My recommendation is to go ahead and create that account now.
- Once you are in the app you need to add the plug to your device list.
- You will be asked what type of device you are adding; insure it is detecting your home wireless network; name the device; choose a custom icon; enter your Wi-Fi password/credentials
- The plug is now live on your local network and can be turned on and off using the app or, if you created a TP-Link Cloud account it can be turned off over the Internet or connected to services like Alexa.
- The Kasa app also allows the optional creation of scenes to control your devices however, this also requires that TP-Link Cloud account. Scenes are used with multiple connected devices to use default settings for lights, etc. and to activate them all at once through this scene option.
- The Kasa app also provides some details about runtime of your smart plug with daily, monthly averages plus total runtime.
Once you have your TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini setup in the Kasa app it is now time to activate the Kasa Skill for Alexa
- Using the Alexa app or through the web interface at Amazon, search for and find the Kasa Skill.
- Once you find it click/tap the Enable button and log in with your TP-Link Cloud Account credentials.
- Once the skill is active you will then search for connected devices so that the device and skill can be linked in Alexa.
- At this point you are ready to use your smart plug with Alexa voice control.
This gallery shows you the above screens and others to help you get familiar with the setup and activation process.
To use voice control with Alexa you just need to remember the name you gave your mini smart plug when you set it up in the Kasa App. For me I named it Podcast Studio Lights because that is the light it is controlling.
Voice commands I use to turn this plug and subsequently the light on and off are:
Computer turn on the Podcast Studio Lights or Computer turn off the Podcast Studio Lights.
I must admit - voice control of my lights is pretty nifty!