Wi-Fi smart plugs offer a quick and easy way to control lamps and other appliances using your phone, and some of them even tell you how much energy you’re using. The $ 59.99
Design and Features
With its glossy white enclosure and silvery reflective face, the Currant is one of the more stylish smart plugs we’ve seen. It measures 3.2 by 2.5 by 1.5 inches (HWD) and has two three-pronged outlets on the right side and a three-pronged plug on the back that’s positioned so that the device doesn’t block out the second outlet on a two-outlet receptacle. You can remove the plug and flip it upside down to have the outlets face left if you so desire. There are two backlit arrows on the face that are buttons for turning each outlet on and off. Connectivity comes by way of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios.
The app isn’t fancy, but it’s very straightforward and easy to use. The Dashboard screen displays all installed smart plugs, and each plug has separate tabs for the top and bottom outlet with current usage in watts for each outlet. There’s an on/off switch for each outlet and a switch that controls both outlets at the same time. Tap the arrow on either outlet to view usage in watts, amps, and volts, and to see daily usage charts for that outlet. To see estimated energy costs, tap the Spent button, enter your zip code, and select your utility service provider. You’ll see how much power the outlet has used and how much the usage will cost you. Below each chart is a list of on and off events with timestamps.
At the bottom of the screen are Dashboard, Usage, and Rules buttons. The Dashboard button takes you back to the main screen, and the Usage button takes you to a screen where you can view a bar or pie chart of total power usage for all installed plugs. Tap the chart to see how much your provider charges per kWh (estimated) or to change your provider. Tap the Rules button to view suggestions on how to conserve energy and to create Schedule, Home/Away, Usage Limit, and Power Save rules. Schedule rules allow you to turn one or both outlets on and off based on the time of day, sunrise, and sunset. Home/Away rules use your phone’s location services to turn the outlets on and off when you leave and arrive home. The Usage Limit setting lets you turn off outlets after being on for a specific period of time with a range of five minutes to 24 hours, and the Power Save setting will turn one or both outlets off at a certain time each day.
Installation and Performance
Although the Currant is designed for easy installation I ran into a small hiccup using the iOS app. When I tried to download it from the App Store, it refused to download on my iPhone 8. I tried again with an iPhone 7 and again had no luck. However, I had no trouble downloading the Android app. As it turns out, once I disabled Touch ID on my iPhone, the app downloaded without issue.
Once installed, I entered my email address, enabled location services, and followed the instructions to plug in the outlet. It was immediately recognized and I pressed Set Up in the app. I selected my SSID, entered my password, and was done.