New Smart Plug: TP-Link Kasa KP-115

We’re excited to confirm that the TP-Link Kasa KP-115 is compatible with Sense.

As many of you have seen, TP-Link recently released a new energy monitoring smart plug, the KP-115, to replace the discontinued HS-110.

The KP-115 can be set up using the existing TP-Link integration set-up process, which you can find here. There is no update required in order to complete set-up of the KP-115 in the Sense app. Although the HS-110 has been discontinued, we still continue to support it with the existing integration.

Sense is currently compatible with the below smart plugs:

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So, with the experience Sense has with these devices … do any of them power-on in the same state they were in at the time there was a power outage? That is, if the device is on before a power-failure, it should be on after the power is restored.

There are “important loads” (like a freezer) which ought to automatically be “on” after power is restored.

I can tell you that does NOT happen with the Wemo Insight Plug (with current firmware, anyway). It’s kind of a pain, because I don’t (yet) have a reliable “trigger” to even have an automation (HomeKIt or IFTTT) to take actions after power is restored.

Just as an FYI, most of my lower-power “important” devices are on mini-UPS devices (550 or less) so they’ll “ride-through” most short-term utility outages (really helpful for all the network devices!). However, that’s not practical for higher-power devices (if one doesn’t have full-scale solar+battery system).

How does the KP-115 behave after a power outage?

I have yet to confirm this on my own, but I believe that the KP-115 behaves like it’s predecessor and reverts back to ‘ON’ once power is restored. Once mine arrive, I’ll see if i can test this with some breaker tests.

Until then, I would hold off until a community member can confirm this is the case. I wouldn’t want to go and spoil your fridge for you :slight_smile: .

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@Dan.C, a simple test to ease your mind, while you are home just shut the breaker off for your freezer with the KP-115, wait a minute or two, turn it back on and then check the freezer.

I’ve now seen several replies (one on Amazon) that the KP-115 does “power on” to the same state it was in prior to the “power outage”.

FYI: As of this moment, the Amazon price is up to $33 (vs. $22 at ShopBLT.com), so there’s some supply & demand pricing happening …

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Whether it powers on at the ‘same’ state is, strictly speaking not a ‘Sense’ issue. One can however ensure it is always on by using for example IFTTT. All that is needed is to send an ‘On’ command multiple times a day … for a fridge, maybe every 30 mins is sufficient. I’m sure there are other ways to do some ‘smart’ logic to turn the switch on after a power outage.

I see a lot of discussion on this board about this specific issue. The fix appears rather simple, or am I missing something here?

I can understand @Dan.C’s concern especially if something like a freezer with $100s of food is in it as you would want to ensure it turns back on when power is restored. IFTTT requires an internet connection and there could be cases where you may not have internet after power is restored, thus the smart switch may not turn back on since IFTTT cannot communicate with the device. I personally moved away from cloud based home automation systems a few years ago because of this.

But regardless @Dan.C I have 3 of these devices and can confirm if they were on at power loss, they will return to on once power is restored and vice versa.

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@ritchierich has it right; while the Internet is great for remote (away from home) monitoring, one doesn’t want to depend on it for basic safety and ‘important’ actions if reasonably possible. That is the fundamental problem with using IFTTT – it is solely driven from the Internet.

Having “home network” on mini-UPS devices allows Apple’s HomeKit to be a bit more “available”, albeit that their automation rules are quite simplistic. That at least handles short-duration power outages.

Now, from Sense’s perspective, if smart plug “device detection” were able to stay reliable when the device was no longer on the smart plug (i.e.: it would learn to recognize the device from the pattern while no longer needing the assist of the smart plug or the “Flexible Sensor” - aka Dedicated Circuit), that would be quite helpful. One could leave a device on a smart plug for a while, Sense could provide some kind of ‘tag’ in the app showing “I got this now”, then that smart plug could be moved to a different, perhaps previously undetected, device.

That seems to be especially do-able for devices which don’t have an Always On component (like pumps, electric heaters, …). Smart plugs would probably need to stay in place for variable-usage devices with an Always On component, though.

This could be a viable, reasonably automated, and perhaps reliable, method of ‘training’ the Sense device – something high on everyone’s “wish list”.

Sidebar: (need to find the right topic for this): It’d be nice to have some means to “buffer” the Sense device itself (and its data collection) through short-term power outages. My home network stays up and connected to the Internet through perhaps a few 10’s of minutes of a power outage; might need a new Sense hardware revision to provide for that, though (e.g. a DC power port to connect to battery or similar short-term supply). Two Sense versions: v1 = Simple home monitoring; v2 = High-availability monitoring. I’d do that upgrade!

Don’t want to beat this topic to death, but the discussion is very interesting. Few points:

  1. Whether a smartplug reverts to on/off after power failure is really a topic to be discussed with TP-Link. They do have their own dedicated forum and we’d have more success pushing for this feature with them. Granted, I’m not saying keep the discussion away from here, not at all. My thinking is, if it is such a necessary feature (and it is), TP-Link should be able to fix it with a simple firmware update.

  2. Intermittent Internet - A while back I had a different ISP (Internet Service Provider) on my Cable service, and they were notorious for dropping service routinely (either willingly or not). My Cable-Modem+Router back then would struggle to reconnect and I had to power-cycle whenever the service dropped. This was more than annoying. One solution I explored was to install a ‘smart-plug’, installed before the cable-modem, that would power cycle few times a day. Granted, not the most efficient, but workable with the limitations back then.

  3. UPS - They seem ‘optional’ technology but you need them at times when you expect that the least. This includes: battery-powered garage opener, work computer (working from home, during pandemic), cable-modem+router.

  4. Last, none of these home automation devices and services (be it Alexa or else) are 100% reliable. In such situation, there is only one solution: Redundancy.

Again, my point is not to ‘lecture’ the community, just sharing what has (and not) worked for me.

Again, a bit of a side-bar: fixing the “power on” status might be purely a hardware (design) issue, not a firmware issue. It is a Sense-relevant topic in that “home automation” kind of depends on knowing how the devices behave under different important scenarios – like losing and restoring power. Sense is a part of that “home automation” ecosystem as they recognize and allow control of (a subset of) smart plugs.

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Fair enough. I’ll ask in the Kasa forum, and get back, based on what the manufacturer’s reply is.

As for Home Automation that does NOT depend on the Cloud, I’m exploring OpenHab now … Have you tried it? Better yet, are there bindings for Sense in OpenHab? Would be nice if someone developed those.

Based on my reading (in a variety of places) and experience, my summary is:

– Kasa (TP-link) and iDevice (not yet relevant to Sense) plugs do power-on to the same state they were in prior to ‘power failure’.

– Wemo Insight plugs do not. (no insights yet as to whether that is firmware fixable or not)

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Not sure what your networking setup is, but Unifi actually offers a plug to do specifically that: https://store.ui.com/collections/unifi-accessories/products/unifi-smart-power

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Thank you. I no longer use a cable modem (Xfinity/Comcast is not the best in my area). I use an Optical Fiber system now (MetroNet). Based on their web page it should work with Optical networks as well. Tempted to give it a try, though it’s been a very long time since I had to power cycle my devices.

That’s great. I just bought the 6 outlet Kasa strip to play around with it and Sense, but wanted a cheaper option for other devices. Question: Will using this help Sense learn a device? Ideally, I’d let Sense learn what is plugged in to this, then change what it’s plugged in to. Any chance of that or will it jut help everyone “in the long run?”

Thanks!
Jerry

Hi @jerry. At this time, devices detected via a smart plug must be connected to the smart plug to maintain that detection. Ground-truth data from smart plugs will help all in the “long-run”, as you mentioned.

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