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This $11 smart plug lets me control appliances right from my phone

"Alexa, turn the lights on!"
Amazon/ Getty Images

Like many people, the Amazon Echo Dot has become a part of my home in the past two years. While I had fun seeing what Alexa could do for the first week or so, I rarely actually used the smart assistant for anything other than asking, "Alexa, what's the weather?" every morning.

However, my laziness sparked a purchase that would make Alexa a permanent, necessary and life-changing part of my apartment — the Linganzh Smart Plug.

Linganzh Smart Plug

One night as I was falling asleep, I wished I could turn my bedroom light off without getting up — then I realized that Alexa could help make it happen. All I needed was the perfect complement: a smart plug. I searched Amazon for an affordable option and settled on this model by Linganzh. Not only is it reasonably affordable at $10.99, but you can also grab a two-pack for $15.99.

The plug works seamlessly with your smartphone for setup, and I was shocked by how quickly it was up and running. You simply use the eFamilyCloud app (available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store) to set the socket up through your smartphone. From there, you can use the app to turn whatever you plug into it on and off the tap of a finger!

Simply tap the power button to turn the light on and off!
Simply tap the power button to turn the light on and off!eFamilyCloud

Better yet, you can also set a timer, so your electronics and appliances turn on and off at certain times. For instance, I have my bedroom lamp scheduled to turn off every morning at 8 a.m., that way I know it's not wasting energy while I'm away at work. Everything was so seamless that I eventually purchased a second outlet for a lamp in my living room!

The best feature is definitely its ability to connect with smart assistants like Alexa and Google Home (which is all done fairly easily through the app.) To be able to walk in my apartment and say "Alexa, turn lights on" feels both futuristic and super convenient.

Amazon Echo Dot

It has also come in handy when I'm in a rush and don't have time to check that all my lights are off. I can simply open the app and make sure they're all powered down as I'm rushing out the door!

The only real downside is that the plug is fairly large and certainly couldn't be described as sleek, so it may be tough to fit more than one per outlet.

So whether you're looking to simply turn your lights on and off from the couch, or trying to set a schedule for your appliances, this plug is definitely a smart purchase — and would make a perfect stocking stuffer!

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