Kasa Smart-plug

I’ve several KP115 smart plugs in use….
Wine fridge, fridge, dehumidifier, hot water heater, toaster, coffee maker, griddle, etc.

As well as power strips…
Computer center, network center, TV center.

I’m assume, being they feed Sense all the info they want, but yet I still get found “new” devices (/heater/motor/etc)….

Do I merge these with the smart plug?!?! So confused

Example… main Fridge on smart plug…, yet when I open the door, the lights go on, and says new light1…

What good is a smart plug if it isn’t ‘smart’

@larryk ,
You’re asking a good question. I’m going to give you a longer answer than you might want, but understanding the different kinds of a Sense detections/identifications will help in understanding how to get the most out of your Sense.

There are four different general technical types of device identifications in Sense-land. And there could be more in the future.

  • Native Detections - for devices that have “clean” on and off transitions in the timeframe Sense is looking for (1/2 second transitions). Sense learns these on/off pairs as detections using machine learning and tries to categorize these based on the physics of the on/off measurements (Heat, Motor, Microwave, Light, Fridge). Unfortunately a wide range of devices don’t have clear transition-based on/off cycles, like most consumer electronics, PCs, etc., so Sense has added additional methods of detection (below).

  • Direct Measurement - These networked smart devices have built-in power meters that regularly update Sense over the network with the actual usage based on a measurements. This data can be used as “ground truth” for training Sense, but isn’t directly used to “learn” the specific waveforms of the connected devices. Measurement comes in a few flavors today:

  • Special Native Detections - for devices that use lots of power, but don’t have on and off transitions that fit Sense’s 1/2 second detection windows, mostly HVAC and EV charging. Sense has developed special models for these, but they are very dependent on picking up the complex power ramps and waveforms that specific electric vehicle / AC / Heat pump models kick out. My Tesla detections have been found, then lost numerous times because Tesla software often changes charge.

  • Smart Assist - Sense uses readings from a smart device that doesn’t do power measurement, to assist with learning. The actual device still needs to have clear on and off transitions, but Sense gets clues from data coming from the device. Two flavors of this that I am aware of:

    • NDI (network device identification) - Sense monitor uses network traffic to spot ons and off of some very specific smart TV models.
    • Ecobee Historic - Uses Ecobee 5 minute updates to better refine HVAC detection. The data from the Ecobee comes too infrequently to be monitored on Sense directly (bubble would be off even though AC has kicked in), but is very useful in training Sense and improving Sense HVAC models.
  • Sense is also working on an improvement called Progressive Device Detection - more on it here:
    [Video] 2021 Data Science Device Detection Updates

Native detections and Direct Measurement (via a smart plug) see the same devices in your house differently. Many complex devices, like your fridge, can generate a number of different native detections - one for the light (Light), one for the defroster (Heat), one for the compressor (Fridge/Motor), and one or two for the ice maker (Motor and possibly Heat). There are also some devices like electric burners or ovens that can show up as multiple devices based on their heat settings - High heat on a range can show up as a different native detection than Med. Or native detection might totally miss devices that don’t have nice on/off patterns altogether. Direct measurement detections (your KP115) faithfully shows the entire power that is flowing to the device or outlet strip plugged into it. As you have seen with your fridge, you can get into situations where Sense sees both native detections and direct measurements for the same device. You have two options in those situations:

  1. If the native detections are picking up almost all of your devices usage, then you can pull your smartplug from that device (i.e. your fridge), and repurpose the KP115.

  2. If the direct measurements from the KP115 are picking up substantially more usage than native detection, than you can tell Sense which detection(s) are included in that direct measurement from the KP115. There’s an option under Settings > Manage, that allows you to mark the native detections via “What’s connected to this?”. That does a special kind of merge, that avoids double counting.


Ok :ok_hand: so I guess Thanks :pray: for the info?!

In other words… Smart plugs are completely useless… unless the device has a constant feed/input -on/off to Sense!

… and here I thought after spending many$$ on smart plugs compatible to figure out what device used what… and 5 years of trying to eliminate undetectable items…. Nothing changed…. Except my wallet!!!

I wasn’t born yesterday; I’ve used previous similar energy monitoring devices with better success. And they worked very well!

I don’t regret trying Sense,… I regret that trying something that does not really work as stated (as far as smart plugs/etc)… DO NOT conform to what the purpose is.

Perhaps y’all should communicate and work together.

Thanks for your info tho… now I gotta find a better device. … tired of resetting my stats… makes the history of usage completely useless.

It’s not clear what you are trying to do with smart plugs. Sounds like you are making your experience more difficult than you need to. Generally the strategy works like this:

  • Install Sense and wait a few months to see what is discovered by native detections.
  • In the meantime, rotate one or two smartplugs around various devices in plugs around your house that haven’t been detected to get 48 hour traces on the usage patterns for each device or outlet strip.
  • Those usage traces will give you the info on where best to deploy smart plugs. For every device / outlet strip you put on the roaming smart plug for 48 hours, you can glean two key numbers - Dynamic power is the difference between the highest usage and lowest usage during that 48 hour period. Always On power is number computed by Sense that is the near lowest usage of the device over the 48 hours. For me, the decision points are Dynamic power = High happens around 25W, and High for Always On about 5W.
Dynamic Power Always On Power What to do ?
High High Use smart plug
High Low Use smart plug
Low High Use Always On measurement from smart plug to itemize Always On power in Always On Devices list. No need for permanent smart plug.
Low Low No permanent smart plug needed.

ps: I’m not Sense person. Just a user who is getting quite good results and feedback from my Sense. Plus I had to discover how to use smart plugs the wrong way a couple times, so I’m hoping to make other users smarter, earlier in the process.