Smart plugs are a game-changer for home automation, allowing you to control the power supply to your appliances remotely.
But did you know you can also set a timer for your smart plug using Google Home? By setting up a timer, you can easily schedule when your appliances turn on or off, helping you save energy and simplify your daily routine.
In this article, we show you how to set a smart plug timer on Google Home so you can take full advantage of this convenient feature.
How To Set a Smart Plug Timer on Google Home
Follow these four simple steps to set your smart plug timer on Google Home:
1. Download Google Home
Confirm which Google account you want to use with the Google Home app by selecting it then tap OK. If you don’t already have a Google account, you can create one by tapping “Use Another Account” and selecting “Create Account” on the next page.
2. Download the smart plug app
Download the software for your smart plug. There are dozens of different makes of smart plugs, and each brand comes with its own software.
In this tutorial, I’m using a Lenovo smart plug. You’ll probably be using a different brand. But that’s fine – the steps you need to follow are the same regardless of what brand of smart plug you are using.
This plug may look strange to you – that’s because I’m in Australia. If you’re in the USA or the UK, don’t worry – the setup is exactly the same.
Now, plug the smart plug into a wall socket. Then, open the smart plug’s app on your phone and follow the instructions for adding the smart plug to the app.
3. Connect the smart plug to your home WiFi
This part of the process can be tricky. The first time I added a smart plug to our home, I had quite a bit of trouble adding the plug to the WiFi.
The reason is that our WiFi was on 5 GHz whereas most smart plugs need 2.4 GHz. The difference between the two is this: 5 GHz provides faster download speeds, but 2.4 GHz reaches a larger area of your house. And that’s why you need 2.4 GHz for smart plugs.
So you need to go into the menu of your router (using either a website or an app) and make sure that the frequency for your WiFi is set to 2.4 GHz:
Next, you need to turn off your WiFi router and restart it.
Then, follow the instructions that came with your smart plug for connecting to your home WiFi. This will usually involve pressing the reset button on the smart plug until it starts flashing fast.
4. Add your smart plug to Google Home
Now you need to link the smart plug app to Google Home. In Google Home tap on the ‘Set up device’ option:
On the next screen, choose ‘Works with Google’:
Because we have set up our device in the smart plug’s own software, all we need to do now is to link that account to Google Home.
On the next screen, type the name of your smart plug into the search box at the top and then tap on the app that you added your smart plug to:
How To Set Up a Routine In Google Home
In Google Home, a ‘routine’ is a set of tasks that Google Assistant will perform in response to either a voice command or at a set time of the day.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to set up a routine by time of day. These are routines that will happen automatically at a certain time each day without you having to tell Google to do anything.
Tap on the ‘Routines’ button and then click on the plus icon in the bottom right corner:
When you create a new routine in Google Home, you have to do two things:
1. Add a starter. This is the condition that will trigger your routine
2. Add an action. This is the thing that will happen when the routine starts
Tap on ‘Add a starter’ and then choose the type of condition you want.
In my case, I want a lamp in the dining room to come on at 5.30 pm every day and I want it to turn off at 6.00 am every day. So I need to tap on ‘At a specific time’:
On the next screen, set the time of day you want the routine to start and which days of the week you want it to run:
Then tap the ‘Add starter’ button.
Next, tap on ‘Add action’. On the next screen, choose the option that says ‘Adjust home devices’:
Next, tap the option that says ‘Adjust lights, plugs, and more’:
On the next screen, find your device and choose the action you want to happen. In my case, I want the lamp to turn on every evening:
You then need to add another action. In my case, this will be turning the lamp off. To do this, repeat the steps above using the ‘add another action’ button.
And that’s it!
You have now set up a routine in Google Home that will turn your household appliance on and off at set times of the day.
Fifteen Ideas for Using Smart Timers
So now you know how to set a timer on a smart plug, you’re probably wondering what are some nifty ways to automate your house with timers.
Here are some ideas.
Some of these functions can be done within the manufacturer’s smart plug app; others are best done in Google Assistant (or another smart home hub).
1. Make it look as if you are at home when you’re out
Use a timer in conjunction with your outside lights and motion detector. Set the timer so that the lights at the front of the house turn off 10 minutes after motion is detected, the lights on the side of the house turn off 15 minutes after motion is detected, and the lights in the front room turn off 20 minutes after motion is detected.
This will give the impression to anyone watching the house that there is someone inside.
2. Wake up to the smell of coffee
Use a timer to turn on your coffee machine 15 minutes before you wake up.
3. Turn on the slow cooker
Put the ingredients in the slow cooker before you go to work, and then use a smart plug to turn it on at the right time, so that ot is ready when yu get home.
4. Bathroom extractor fan
Use a timer switch so that the bathroom extractor keeps running after the bathroom lights have gone off (to ensure you get all that steamy vapor out of the bathroom).
5. Heated towel rail
Use a smart plug to turn your towel rail on and off at certain times of the day (morning and evening, for example)
6. Make it look as if you are at home when you’re out
Use a timer in conjunction with your outside lights and motion detector. Set the timer so that the lights at the front of the house turn off 10 minutes after motion is detected, the lights on the side of the house turn off 15 minutes after motion is detected, and the lights in the front room turn off 20 minutes after motion is detected. This will give the impression to anyone watching the house that there is someone inside.
7. Turn on the slow cooker
Put the ingredients in the slow cooker before you go to work, and then use a smart plug to turn it on at the right time so that it is ready when you get home.
8. Closing the cat door at night
Connect your cat flap to Google Assistant and set a timer so that the cat door closes and locks after a certain hour of the day (choose a time you know your cat is indoors).
9. Turn the sprinklers on and off
Use a smart plug or Google Assistant to turn your sprinklers on and off at set times each day
10. Yogurt maker
Use a smart plug to turn your yogurt maker on early in the morning so its ready when you wake up
11. Turn a patio water feature off
Use a smart plug to turn a patio water feature on and off at set times each day.
12. Lift and lower the blinds
Connect your smart blinds to a smart plug or Google Assistant so that they go up in the morning and down in the afternoon.
13. Turn on the bread-maker early in the morning
Use a smart plug to turn the bread maker on an hour before you get up so you have fresh bread waiting for you at breakfast.
14. Close and pen the cat flap
Connect your cat flap to Google Assistant and set a timer so that the cat door closes and locks after a certain hour of the day (choose a time that you know your cat is indoors).
If you do have trouble doing this, remember to a) make sure your WiFi router is set to 2.4 GHz and not 5 GHz, and b) reset the router before trying to add the smart plug.