Home security is a big issue these days and lots of people are fitting better locks, adding security lighting and even adding security cameras (internal and external), I have just added the Tapo C200 Smart Security Camera and it works brilliantly. But there are also some other excellent reasonably low cost measures that you can take to increase the overall security of your home and I have been trying out the Tapo P100 Mini Smart Wi-Fi Socket and the Tapo Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb, both from the smart home security range from TP-Link.
Home security isn’t just about locking doors and windows or having video footage if someone did enter your house, it is also about making it look like someone is at home even when you’re not. A good way to do this is leaving a radio or television on and having lights on at night. Whilst these are excellent ideas, a would be burglar good soon figure out your routine if your lights came on at the same time every night, so having a light on a timer needs to be a staggered pattern and one that can be changed very easily. I have been using the Tapo Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb (L510E), RRP: £12.99, to automate a light. The L510E is a screw fit light bulb but it can also be purchased in a bayonet type (L510B).
This is truly a smart bulb packed with features over and above a light bulb on a timer. Its features are:
- Schedule & Timer
- Voice Control
- Away Mode
- Easy Setup
- Energy Saving
- Tapo Ecosystem
- No Hub Required
The Tapo Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb is 8.7w light bulb (for people like me that is the equivalent of a 60w bulb) with a brightness of 806 lumens. But this is a smart light bulb so is packed with features. It connects to your home wi-fi to make it dimmable and be on a timer with a host of cool functions to discourage would-be intruders or just for turning on a light before you wake up or get home from work.
Wi-Fi, Smart, Technology, Setup etc. are words that may put fear into people, but even the worst technophobe need not worry as this light bulb is extremely easy to setup and operate. You just need to download the app to your smartphone or tablet (there is even a QR code to take you to the correct app should you wish to scan it) and follow the on-screen prompts. Within a few minutes the bulb is installed and configured.
Now for the cool features. Yes you can set timers for when you want the light bulb to turn on or off but you can do a whole lot more. It features:
- Dimmable (Adjust with Ease) – Manage the lighting at your fingertips to create the perfect atmosphere in your home at any time.
- Dimmable (Preset for Convenience) – Found your favourite lighting for watching movies? Save it as a setting you can simply select for future movie nights.
- Schedule (Set Your Times) – Create a regular schedule to turn on/off with the brightness you set.
- Schedule (Sunrise and Sunset Modes) – Automatically activate your light according to your time zone.
- Voice Control – Mange the lights with your voice commands as Tapo works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Remote Control – Take your phone out for the pocket and open the Tapo app to control your light remotely.
- Away Mode – Automatically simulate someone being at home to frighten away unwanted visitors.
With this bulb you can schedule your lights to turn on/off at certain times, setting different times for each day should you wish. But my favourite feature has to be the Away Mode that will randomly turn on/off the light bulb to simulate someone being at home.
This is a fantastic, easy to use product and a great addition to any home security system and best of all is that is doesn’t need any extra hardware like a hub – all you need is a wi-fi internet connection and the app. An excellent way to make your home appear like someone is at home or even just to turn on the lights before your get home so that you are not walking into a dark house.
To compliment the light bulb, I also tried out the Tapo P100 Mini Smart Wi-Fi Socket (RRP: £12.99). Whilst the light bulb is good for night times the Wi-Fi socket is good for day and night as it turns on a connected device (plug in a radio and have it turn on/off during the day to create noise in the house, much better than just leaving the radio on all day).
Just like the lightbulb, the setup is just as simple and is controlled by the same app. It features:
- Remote Control – Instantly turn connected devices on/off wherever you are through the Tapo app.
- Schedule – Preset a schedule to automatically manage devices.
- Timer – Create countdown timer lists for connected electronics.
- Voice Control – Manage your smart plug with voice commands via Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant.
- Away Mode – Automatically turns devices on and off at different times to give the appearance that someone is home.
- Compact Design – Mini-sized to avoid blocking adjacent sockets.
- Easy Setup and Use – No hub required, set up quickly and manage easily through the free app.
I have been using the socket in another room and use it to control a lamp, so that a light is turning on in another part of the house but have also used it with a radio and it works extremely well. Simple to setup and again easy to use via the same app it gives excellent autonomy or using by smartphone as a remote control.
The Tapo app is very easy to use and if you add other Tape Smart Home products they can all be controlled from the same place. The app and the connected products are very responsive with only a second or two delay.
Both the light bulb and smart socket are excellent additions to any home security features and at a price that are budget friendly. The need for any technical know-how means that everybody can install and configure them within minutes.
I can highly recommend the TP-Link Tapo home security products. The prices are great, the quality is great and the ease of use is excellent!
RRP: £12.99 each