Any plans for more supported outlets/plugs?

I’m contemplating buying some outlets/plugs that Sense supports as a way to fill in the gaps for some of my missing devices/appliances. According to the app, Wemo and TP-Link are the only two brands currently supported. Will this likely change any time soon? I’d hate to go out and invest in some plugs only to find better options gain support in the near future.

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Hey @murray.sean.d. At this time, the Wemo and TP-Link smart plugs are the only that we currently support integrations with. We’re continuously looking at potential integrations (especially smart plugs), but do not have any updates on the near-term roadmap for development.

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The HS110 appears to be out of production. Amazon canceled my order.
I went to tp-link and selected places to buy, after going through several with non in stock, I finally found one site that had some (hopefully for real) and ordered.
It appears that existing stock is the end of sales for the HS110.
Also Kasa site does not show the HS110.

Time to move on to more options!

Betting that’s it’s not as easy to find a suitable replacement as it seems. Right combo of:

  • Widespread usage. There are almost too many options today, for 1-2 to bubble to the top.
  • Appropriate API - right combo of performance, simplicity, low data volume.
  • Sufficient update speed (once every 2 seconds from API)
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Hey @ziv1. Definitely recognize that there’s a lot of smart plug options out there. As Kevin pointed out, we do have some requirements that Smart Plugs need to meet on our end (example: a lot of smart plugs don’t meet our energy monitoring requirements).

The other issue here is exactly what you’re seeing with discontinued smart plugs - TP-Link and Wemo are big brands in the smart plug market. If we build an integration with a smart plug manufacturer who then discontinues their product, we’re back at square one.

Don’t want to discourage you, just give you a little insight into why we haven’t already branched out beyond Wemo and TP-Link models.

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Thanks for the feedback, Kevin1 and Justin at Sense!
The WEMO does not interest me given it being a bandwidth hog (from what I have read here).
I hope my order for eight HS110’s actually delivers as that will allow me to monitor my most interesting 120V devices (Fridge, Freezer, Well Pump, Microwave, Washer, etc).
However I did order some HS103’s to play around with and at that time I had the ignorant hope of them reporting on and off to Sense. If that can be added it would be a boon as just the on and off data helping positively identify a device seems fairly huge.
Thanks and Happy 4th of July!

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The HS103 does not monitor power usage.

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More reason to build an official API as many people including myself have requested:

I use Hubitat with many Zigbee power plugs that report usage that I could easily direct to Sense. I’d also love to pull sense data out to mirror devices in that ecosystem as well.

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Crazy question…Why not design and sell a sense branded “smart” plug? There’s not much to them. I can build one using a PZEM-004T and an esp8266 or esp32 for well under $20. Several years ago, I bought several Eco Plugs with energy monitoring that use esp8266 devices for network communication. I flashed them with my own custom firmware that used mqtt. I recently switched to esphome to integrate with Home Assistant more easily.

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I like KHouse75’s idea to build and market a genuine Sense product!
I bet KHouse75 would contribute or make a reasonable deal for his technology.

But, that said if that for some strange reason does not seem good:
Choose some product that does the best job, reasonable bandwidth and talk with that manufacturer to see how selecting their smart plug for Sense support might be a boon for both companies, if you won’t make your own.

I am sure we, your captive market, will buy loads of the devices over time!

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I also use Hubitat, but I have a zwave network. I don’t know about the Zigbee ones, but zwave power monitoring devices report power at most every 30 seconds. That’s not near fast enough for Sense. Sense needs data at least every 2 seconds, preferably faster.

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Hey @ritchierich. I hear you and would like to kindly mention that just because something is not on our short-term roadmap doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen. On the note of “most requested product features”, if you sort the Product Wishlist category by “views/likes” you can see that we’re actively working through (and have already addressed) a lot of the most requested wishlist items put forth by the community. When talking about requested features, I just like to highlight that we are aware of of the most frequently requested features from the community and your feedback does not go unheard :slight_smile:

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FYI - the HS110 uses this chip for measurements:

The HS300 uses two of these:

I think both of those are better choices for a device line power monitoring front-end. But I think Maxim is phasing out their part - that may be the reason the HS110 has bee discontinued.

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I had this same thought. This approach would eliminate the issue of having to support unique API’s from each Smart Plug manufacturer. The quality of the power monitoring may even be better than current options given that it was purpose-built for use with Sense. I imagine a much faster sampling rate would be achievable given that it would be communicating more directly with the Sense module.

I suppose the biggest issue then becomes addressing the other features one would expect in a Smart Plug, such as whether to support the various smart home ecosystems (Alexa, Homekit, etc.). While I imagine the API’s for these ecosystems are more stable and established, supporting them wouldn’t be much better than having to support multiple smart plug APIs. Personally I’d be fine with a product that didn’t aim to be “smart” and was essentially another set of current sensors that could be located downstream within a circuit branch. I’m already envisioning a few forms of this: a wall plug (similar to an HS110), a dedicated outlet to replace existing wall receptacles (I find these to feel more “professional”), maybe even a power strip like the HS300? A version that could be place inline with a power cord (with male & female receptacles at either end)? I know I’m being greedy here but it’s the optimist in me.

The Sense team seems to acknowledge that there are natural limitations to how many devices could ever be singled-out by monitoring the main power lines alone. The only way to take the next step is to support monitoring of individual circuit branches and/or devices. There seems to already be high demand for monitoring of individual circuits within the service panel, so I imagine we’ll see this first. But maybe one day in the future it will make sense for the Sense team to pursue these types of products. After all, even monitoring individual branches has it’s limitations.

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There is another path that Sense could take that minimizes the complexity that comes from adding smart plugs and other circuit-dedicated monitoring devices: Stick to the core tech with device disaggregation and (importantly) high resolution signal monitoring for failure detection and alerts … but allow dedicated device monitoring from spare Sense CTs or an additional Sense. Smart plugs with dissimilar signal monitoring don’t allow what multiple Sense monitors can: Aggregating detection across multiple monitors and thus boosting the core detection algorithm much more easily than using temporally mismatched, low resolution smart plug data.

More monitors in the field could potentially bring cost down. “Buy two get one free!”

Silicon (Sense processing) gets faster/cheaper while copper use (lots of smart plugs) is something to minimize.

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Since the WeMo smart plugs have some of the worst reviews I’ve seen on amazon, and the Kasa HS110 is EOL and no longer available, does Sense have plans to add compatibility with another energy monitoring plug?

I did a quick amazon search and found a ton of them available, but most of them seem to be from little garbage companies I’ve never heard of. I’d much rather have integration with something from a major vendor like Lutron, GE, Leviton, Aeotec… But I didn’t see offerings from them in the space of WiFi Energy monitoring plugs. I think that many of their Zwave devices will do energy monitoring, but Sense doesn’t speak Zwave, and even if it did, the Zwave network might be too slow for Sense???

I think you are hitting on two of the biggest challenges.

  1. Zwave/Zigbee isn’t designed for continuous energy monitoring from multiple smartplugs. Sense currently asks for data from the smartplugs every 2 seconds. Most of the smart plugs, etc. from major vendors are designed for hub-based control with Zigbee/Zwave connectivity.

" Z wave and zigbee home automation are mesh topologies, intended for very tiny messages sent infrequently. Data like “the light switch was turned on.” You’ll notice, for example, that many of the devices that report temperature or humidity will only do so once every 15 minutes. Even motion sensors may only check once every three minutes.

Monitoring energy usage just doesn’t fit that model. It’s almost always done every second or every five seconds, continuously 24 hours a day. It pounds the network, sends a ton of traffic, and almost guarantees that some of the messages sent to The pocketsocket for repeating will get lost or delayed. All the things that are bad about too frequent polling in a mesh network are also bad about too frequent energy reporting. In fact, if you want to crater your zwave network, try putting three energy reporting pocketsockets in the same room with no other nearby repeaters"

  1. There are tons of WiFi based smart plugs, some even with energy monitoring, but mostly from trashy suppliers, who don’t really have good APIs, etc.

I love the idea of a Sense branded plug!

I would suggest a focus on energy monitoring only for the first iteration. Screw integration with Alexa, HomeKit, Zwave, etc. At least for the first iteration. For now, too much work for Sense to try to support those other ecosystems. If I want the connected device to be controllable by some Hub (I have about 80 devices on Hubitat), i can just install a Zwave outlet. For example, I’d have a GE Zwave outlet that I can turn on and off with Hubitat (and Alexa), then plug in a Sense Plug, and then my Device.

Frankly, right now, i can think of a LOT of things I’d love to get energy monitoring on that I do NOT have as part of Hubitat. Freezers, Fridges, Dehumidifiers, are all good examples. No real need to control them. And heck, if I had a HS110 on them right now, Sense could send me messages through IFTTT already! For many things, notifications like that might be all that is ever needed.

Since I know NOTHING about electrical engineering, I also wonder if a Sense designed plug COULD help the system learn, unlike the current WeMo and Kasa plugs? If Sense plugs could enable the system to learn better, learn faster, they might be really, really useful. As in, maybe you buy a 2 pack of them for $100, plug things into them, and maybe after a few days/weeks/months, Sense tells you “Hey, I got this, I now know that you have your 7 eleven sized slurpee maker plugged into Plug 1, and you can now plug the device in directly”. Meaning, if the plugs could help the system learn, you’d leave stuff plugged into them until the system learned the device, after which you could take the Plug out and move it onto the next thing that you want the system to learn?!?!? Could something like that work?

Ultimately, maybe there ends up being 3 types of plugs, all with energy monitoring, but in different models:
-Basic, monitoring only
-Teaching, monitors Energy and helps sense learn
-Zwave & Alexa capable

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I agree. I bought sense with hopes of a future api. I use SmartThings, and Hubitat. I also use zooz which almost all of there wired devices report usage. Not to include SmartThings energy monitoring starts September 9th. I believe it’s going to be a slow roll out but never the less it’s coming.

Agreed I work for a large conglomerate and have noticed many of if not all smart switches are produced by a few companies and then rebranded.