If you’re looking for affordable, reliable, and fully featured smarthome gear you should take a look at TP-Link smart devices. Over the last few months, I’ve purchased a smart plug (HS105), a smart light switch (HS200), and a smart bulb (KL-130) and I’ve been happy with all three.
Why I decided to try TP-Link’s smart switch, bulb, and plug
I’ve been a fan of TP-Link products because of their value. They sell good products at reasonable prices. I’ve been happily using TP-Link Access points for years. I originally reviewed the EAP 225 and 245 access points here, and the new version of the EAP 225 (v3) here. I also have some TP-link network switches and travel routers that I’ve been happy with.
What I like about the TP-Link smart devices I have
I honestly haven’t purchased a TP-Link product I haven’t been happy with. The things the TP-Link smart devices have in common that I like are:
- Local control – Although TP-Link smart devices have cloud integration, they also have a local control API for controlling these devices on your LAN.
- They integrate with Home Assistant – Home Assistant is my smarthome hub of choice, and I generally don’t buy smart devices that can’t integrate with it anymore.
- MAC address available before connecting to my network – This seems like a simple thing, but it’s very helpful. Each TP-Link product I’ve purchased has the MAC address in the documentation, or on the box, or on the device itself. This allows me to assign a static DHCP lease before connecting the device to my network. Without this, I have to connect devices to my LAN, go look up the MAC address, then assign a lease and reboot the device. Fewer steps make me happy.
- Price compare to Wemo, LIFX, Phillips Hue and Z-Wave devices – TP-Link is almost always less expensive than its name-brand competitors. For example, a LIFX A19 Smart Bulb will run you around $50, whereas the TP-Link bulb in the same class is usually around $29.
- No hub required – I prefer devices that connect directly to my network as opposed to having to purchase a separate hub for devices to work, like the Philips Hue devices.
- Google Assistant and Alexa compatible – All the devices come ready to work with Google Assistant and Alexa.
- Schedules and scenes via the app – The app has pretty powerful scheduling and automation features. I don’t use them as I do all of this through Home Assistant, but for those without a hub, this is great.
TP-Link smart plug review (HS105)
I like the smart plug for more than just the general features I mentioned above. This smart plug doesn’t block a second outlet and has been rock solid reliable. However, it is missing energy monitoring capabilities. A great alternative that also includes energy monitoring is the Shelly Plug US.
TP-Link smart switch review (HS200)
I like that this switch has the LED light on when the lights it is connected to are off. This makes the switch easy to find in the dark. This is great for dimly lit rooms you enter when you aren’t quite awake, like a bathroom. It has a good feel to the button. Like most other smart switches, it requires a neutral connection.
TP-Link smart bulb review (KL130)
I have LIFX lights and this bulb compares favorably to them. It is able to replicate the same colors and is just as easy to control. The specs say it has fewer lumens than the LIFX (as do most lights). However, it has been plenty bright enough for me.
It’s not quite as inexpensive as some other bargain smart lights, like the Geeni Prisma. But it has a better app and better color production and allows local control so it is not totally dependent on the cloud.
TP-Link smart devices hit the sweet spot of features and affordability. They have been reliable for me, as have their other products. If you are in the market for these types of products, be sure to take a look.
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