Connected wall plugs are a small, but mighty part of creating a home that feels truly smart. Plugs, outlets and switches are an easy way to add smarts to small appliances and devices without completely replacing them.
Fibaro's Wall Plug can do just that and monitor power consumption, too. If you have the Fibaro Home Center, it can even shut things off if they use too much power. At $60, the Fibaro Wall Plug is a pricey, considering plugs from Wemo, TP-Link and others costing nearly half as much. Still, it's worth the money if you're already using the Fibaro system ($40 at Amazon), or want a clear visual indicator of how much power your devices use.
Right out of the box, I liked the design of this plug. It might not be for everyone, but I thought the rounded, simple plug shape was attractive. The style doesn't overthink what a plug should look like, and in most cases, it won't block adjacent outlets, either.
What it does do is add an LED light ring around the edge to indicate power consumption level. The lighted ring is color-coded based on how many watts the connected device is using at the moment, and you can use it to monitor and control anything from lamps to a power-hungry refrigerators, really anything that uses a standard power outlet.
For a typical wall charger or lamp, it glows blue, with higher levels of energy depicted by green, yellow, orange, red and finally purple. I tested it out with a phone and computer charger showing blue. When I plugged it in a toaster oven, the plug glowed red.
Here's a breakdown of how much power is indicated by each color:
- Blue - 70 watts
- Green - 145 watts
- Yellow - 350 watts
- Orange - 750 watts
- Red - 1,350 watts
- Purple - 1,800 watts
I like the idea of a visual indication of how much power I'm using. Of course, if you're not interesting in a constantly glowing plug, you can turn the LED indicator off by pressing and holding the plug's white button for about 3 seconds. You can also reactivate the light this way. Fibaro markets the light ring as both a power indicator and a night light, but it's sensible that you can disable this feature completely if you prefer.
The Fibaro Wall Plug is compatible with all major Z-Wave hubs. I did my testing with the help of a SmartThings hub, which connected to the Fibaro Wall Plug right away. However, it's only when connected to one of Fibaro's Home Center hubs that you get really specific, charted data and options for power consumption available in the Fibaro app.