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Emporia is best known for the Vue Energy Monitor, which is regarded as the best 2/3 phase smart home energy monitor on the market.

They also manufacture a range of other energy-related products, including EV chargers and smart plugs, and they have recently launched a UK variant of the smart plug.

This is an attractively priced smart plug that I think is an excellent alternative to the TP-Link Tapo and Kasa range of plugs. For me, these plugs are ideal for anyone that wants more detail from the energy monitoring side of things.

Specification / Features

  • CONTROL YOUR APPLIANCES & DEVICES. Control lights, fans, lamps, humidifiers, and any other appliances or electronics that plug into 240V outlets with a 10A Maximum Continuous Load (13A Max Peak Load for up to 1hr/Day), conveniently from your smartphone or Google Home Assistant.
  • MONITOR YOUR ENERGY USE. Monitor energy used by your devices and appliances. Eliminate wasteful stand-by power, save on electricity, and extend product life.
  • SCHEDULE ON/OFF TIMES. Schedule your appliances and devices to automatically switch on and off with daily activities. Wake up to freshly brewed coffee.
  • REMOTE CONTROL FROM ANYWHERE. Control your home remotely using the Emporia App on your phone. Leave the lights on? Forget to turn off an appliance? Check the real-time status and toggle it on or off anytime, anywhere! Or manually turn off/on with power button located on the right side of the plug.
  • REQUIRES 2.4 GHz WIFI WITH AN INTERNET CONNECTION to control your devices remotely from your phone with an internet connection.

Emporia Smart Plugs vs TP-Link Tapo P110 Maximum Load / Amp Limitation

When I first looked into these plugs I noticed some criticism about the continuous load that these are capable of.

When you set the plug up, you will be warned not to continuously run these at over 10A or 13A maximum (up to 1 hour at 13A).

If you exceed this load, the plug will shut off for 24 hours.

The TP-Link Tapo P110 is rated for a 13A restive load at up to 2990W. However, when it comes to a motor load, this is limited to 2.0 Full Load Ampere or 13 Lock Rotor Ampere.

I am fairly sure I used the TP-Link Tapo P110 when I wrote my guide on the running costs of a washing machine; however, the above specification seems to indicate that the plug is not designed to be used with appliances like this.

Looking at other competing options, many of them suggest 16A maximum but don’t state the sustained load, and quite a lot of reviews on Amazon indicate that they will completely fail at a sustained load of 13A.

While it would be inconvenient to have the Emporia plug to shut down for 24 hours, I think I would prefer that to the total failure that many other cheap brands appear to suffer from.

I personally only use plugs like this for my computers, lights, TV and other reasonably low-powered devices, so I have never exceeded the power limitation.

As a basic test, I used one of the Emporia plugs with my washing machine and did a quick 30 min wash at 30°C. The power peaked at 2.4kW and remained this high for a few minutes while the water heated up, then dropped back down to 200W and below and completed the cycling without any issues.

Set Up

The set up process is simple, but it seems to take a while to complete. You can either do the automatic set up, or you can connect to the plug WiFi and pass over your credentials.

I used the automatic method, and all I needed to do was provide the credentials for my 2.4GHz SSID network and then name the plug.

It takes a while to connect and pass over the credentials, and it will then check for a firmware update. Each plug takes a few minutes to complete this process.

Remote Control and Schedules

For scheduling, there were options for either a custom schedule or a schedule based on off-peak hours.

The off-peak hours use default times, but there is an option to set it up using utility rates. The rate based on location option uses data from OpenEI, which is a US-orientated service. Therefore there is only limited use if you want to use the off-peak hours setting in the UK. You can achieve the same functionality by manually setting up your schedules.

Energy Monitoring

Emporia made a name for themselves with the Vue whole home energy monitoring sensors, so it comes as no surprise that the best feature of these plugs is the energy monitoring.

Under the monitoring section, you have the energy use plotted out into a graph which updates in real-time and can be broken down into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or year.

You can then also see current consumption, peak demand for the last 15 minutes and total usage for the month.

It is also possible to export the raw data into a CSV, which will get emailed to you.

In comparison, the TP-Link Kasa plugs only give you basic information about the current usage, past 7 days and past 30 days. The Tapo app is marginally better as this has graphs for 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days and 12 months, but it is not as detailed as the Emporia plugs.

Smart Control

Emporia advertise this as being compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.

However, this doesn’t appear to be the case for the UK plugs. The Emporia skill is only available on the Amazon US store, and you can’t enable it for the UK version. I assume this will be fixed at some point.

Price and Alternative Options

The Emporia Smart Plugs are available in a one, two or four pack. The price at the time of writing (26th/06/2023) on Amazon was:

  • Single plug: £12.99
  • Two Pack: £20.99 (£10.50 per plug)
  • Four Pack: £37.99 (£9.50 per plug)

The TP-Link Tapo P110 is priced at:

  • Single plug: £9.99
  • Two Pack: £17.99
  • Four Pack: £32.99

The TP-Link Kasa KP115 is priced at £12.99 with no multi-packs available on Amazon, but £45.99 via the official TP-Link store.

There are a growing number of competing options from brands such as Meross or the many brands that sell smart devices using the Tuya ecosystem, such as Maxesla.

Overall

Overall, I like the Emporia smart plugs, and I think they are an excellent choice for anyone that wants a detailed level of insight into the electricity devices use.

However, there is clearly a lot of room for improvement.

You have some limitations on the load that these plugs can take, I didn’t find this an issue, but some people will no doubt want to be able to use these for more demanding appliances.

There is also quite a bit of functionality missing at the moment. The UK plugs are not currently compatible with Alexa, and many of the notification features are not functional yet.

Emporia Smart Plugs with Power Monitoring Review Rating

Summary

Overall, I like the Emporia smart plugs, and I think they are an excellent choice for anyone that wants a detailed level of insight into the electricity devices use.

Some features are currently missing in the UK but I expect this will be fixed in the coming months.

Overall
80%
80%
  • Overall - 80%
    80%

Pros

  • Superior level of energy monitoring detail than competing brands
  • 13A max load limitation and shutdown should (hopefully) prevent the total failure of the plug

Cons

  • App needs updating to enable more features for the UK
  • 10A continuous load limitation

Last update on 2024-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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