Smart Plugs: Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I change the device plugged into my smart plug?
To change the device plugged into your smart plug:

  1. Go to your smart plug device and navigate to Device Settings > Manage
  2. Tap “What’s plugged into this?” near the bottom of the screen.
  3. Uncheck your previous choice(s) and check something(s) new off. If you’re going from “Other” to a new “Other” device, you can just edit the device name and type.

What happens if I plug a device into my smart plug that Sense has already detected?
For any smart plug device, you will see a “What’s plugged in?” option in Device Details. When answering this, you can assign the smart plug to an already detected device. Sense will now merge the smart plug data with the data of the identified device.

Note: if you have a power strip plugged into your smart plug, with multiple devices on it (e.g., an entertainment center with a TV, DVR, game console, or other devices), and Sense has previously detected any of these devices, Sense will still combine all of these devices into a single bubble/device in the Sense app. So, if your TV had been previously detected by Sense, and your TV is on a power strip that is on a smart plug along with other devices, you will no longer see your TV individually tracked in Sense. Its historic data will become part of the combined smart plug device. If you choose not to merge the TV in, you can keep it as a separate device, but this is not ideal because it will likely be double counted as we are still looking for the TV device while the smart plug is also reporting its wattage.

Will Sense remember my devices if I remove them from the smart plug?
We are not yet training your Sense monitor to recognize the plugged-in device in the absence of the smart plug. Therefore, for the best experience, we recommend that you set up your smart plug to monitor a device or set of devices, and then leaving it in place. That said, the new data collected by smart plugs will be of great benefit to our Data Science team in improving our device models and detection. With this in mind, we hope to utilize them towards implementing such a training feature in the future

Why are my wattage numbers incorrect?
If you are experiencing strange or incorrect wattage numbers, please check to make sure your smart plugs have the latest firmware. You can do this via the Kasa and Wemo apps. If this does not solve the issue, please write into Support.

Is there a limit to the number of smart plugs I can connect to Sense?
The number of smart plugs is limited primarily by Wi-Fi network bandwidth. Typical Sense users can use about 20 smart plugs without issue. Note that each used plug of the TP-Link HS300 smart strip counts as 1 smart plug.

What are the differences between On, Off, and Idle?
There are three states associated with smart plugs: On, Off, and Idle. “On” means that Sense has detected that the device is active. “Off” means that it’s inactive, and drawing zero or nearly zero watts. “Idle” means that Sense has detected that the device is drawing significant power, but doesn’t seem to be active right now. For example, a TV might draw 5 watts while idle, but 200 watts when on.

This can be particularly useful to know since some devices we assume are off are actually constantly drawing energy. Learning the amount of constant idle energy draw can help you decide if it’s worth completely unplugging a device or not.

I’m getting too many timeline notifications for a smart plug
Because of the new “idle” state, smart plugs can have transitions that appear more often in your timeline than other devices. This could potentially be annoying if you have a device that automatically transitions between states very frequently, and clogs up your timeline. To avoid this, you can turn off timeline items for that specific device under Device Settings > Manage on the Devices screen.

The “idle” wattage threshold for my smart plug appears to be incorrect (too low/high)
Sense has certain logic rules in place to determine if a smart plug device should have an idle state, and if so, what the wattage threshold is for that idle state. This logic won’t always be perfect, and over time we hope to improve it. The more Sense users who connect with smart plugs, the better data we will have to make this logic better.

In the meantime, if you believe the idle threshold should be different, you can contact our Support team, and let us know which device you are referring to and what threshold you believe would be better.