How to automate home smart plugs


I'm thinking of buying this product. What's the easiest way to create automation of smart plugs using near real time directional data about my energy usage. I have solar panels so sometimes I have a positive flow from the grid and sometimes a negative flow out to the grid. I want to be able to automate plugs based on either state - turning things on or off if values are exceeded.

Is this something I can do fairly easily using tools like IFTTT, Alexa, SmartThings. Or will I need to build something on a Raspberry PI and get more hands on ?

Advice appreciated.



  • I saw another comment that export data might be desupported manufacturers. Do we know if that could impact real time signed data on energy flow ? I don't mind too much about history but I do need to integrate how much I'm exporting in the moment for my plans.

  • I can well imagine doing something like this with Home Assistant. Which implies a Raspberry Pi or some other computer you can run all the time.

    I have been able to write a Python script to monitor various temperature sensors in my house to make decisions about the heating, for example. And I am planning to add heating cost estimates based on the output from the Glow.

    Early days, though; I have not got my Glow working just yet. But assuming it works, it is possible to program this sort of logic with either the web user interface in Home Assistant or with Python scripts.

  • Hi @awebb - I do this already but rely on a few things to get me there.

    I use the CAD to provide me real time power consumption (both what I am currently importing\ exporting). This comes in via MQTT which I use Home Assistant to read in. I have Solar so I can see when I am exporting to the Grid in real time this way.

    I then use the HA Node Red add on to have some logic that says when the power draw in the house is low or I am exporting then I should charge the car or do something else that has a high power load.

    I have a 13-amp rated Smart Plug that I can control via HA and as such in Node Red I just send a command to this to turn that plug on or off depending on the provided power draw.

    Once you have the technical components (CAD, MQTT, Home Assistant, Node Red Add On, Smart Plug with MQTT) then its pretty easy to configure but effort is needed to setup all those other things first. If you want to code it using Python then I think you could probably remove the need for HA and Node Red but I think you will still need MQTT as the messaging interface,

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