The TP-Link Smart Plug Mini

How to control TP-Link Smart Plugs with Alexa

A TP-Link Smart Plug turns a regular AC outlet into something you can control from anywhere using mobile device, or by using your voice (if you also have an Amazon Echo). It’s more than just fun to say “Alexa, turn on the living room lights.” This is a useful utility that you won’t want to give up. Clearly written instructions for how to get it running are provided below.

If you don’t have your TP-Link Smart Plug running yet, follow the instructions below. If your Smart Plug is working and you just want to control it with Alexa, skip ahead to those instructions by clicking here.

How to set up a TP-Link Smart Plug

1) Get the app

The first thing you need to do is to download the TP-Link Kasa app (it’s available on either Apple’s iOS or Android). After you install and open the app, you’re going to need to create an account. You simply type in an email address and password, and verify your email address shortly after you submit it.

2) Add your device

After you verify your email, the Kasa app will ask you to “Add a device.” This company also makes smart lightbulbs and smart light switches, but the one we’re after here is the Smart Plug.

TP-Link currently makes two versions of the Smart Plug. There’s the normal sized one, and the Mini. I own two Smart Plug Minis. I chose them because the smaller size enables you to more easily use the other outlet, or stack two of these in a single outlet. The setup procedure is the same on both units, so just select the one you have.

An iPhone running the TP-Link Kasa app

3) Plug your thing in

At this point you can plug in your Smart Plug. The app will find it, and connect it to your Wi-Fi router (which I’m assuming you have). Your Smart Plug will flash its lights amber and green, the app will connect it to your network. It happens pretty quickly.

4) Give your Smart Plug a name

The app will ask you to give your Smart Plug a name. I use mine to control two lamps in my living room. One lamp is short, the other is tall. So, I named one of my Smart Plugs “Living room short lamp.” Use your imagination to figure out what I named the other plug.

After you give your Smart Plug a name in the Kasa app, you just need to verify your email address. Open your email, and look for an email from TP-Link (mine had the following subject line: TP-Link ID: Activation Required). The email I received had a yellow button in it labeled “Click to Finish Registration.”

Once you do this, you should be ready to control your Smart Plug remotely using the Kasa app on your mobile device. This is done by opening the app, and pressing the power button to the right of the name of your Smart Plug.

The TP-Link Smart Plug Mini in its box

How to control a TP-Link Smart Plug with Alexa

1) Make sure you’re logged into the Kasa mobile app

Open the TP-Link Kasa app on your mobile device and make sure you’re logged in. You check to see if you’re logged in by tapping the “hamburger menu” in the top left corner of the app (the hamburger menu is represented by three short horizontal lines, a top bun, bottom bun, and patty in the middle).

You can determine if you’re logged if you tap the hamburger menu and then see the email address you used to create the account under the Kasa icon in the top left corner of the screen.

2) Enable your Smart Plug to be controlled remotely

You need to tell the Kasa app that it’s okay for an outside device (the Amazon Echo) to control them. This is done by opening the Kasa app, and instead of tapping on the power button to the right of you Smart Plug’s name, tap on the name itself.

Doing so brings you to a screen where you can do things like turning on “Away” mode (which mimics activity in you’re home when you’re away). You need to tap on the gear icon in the top right corner of this screen:

The TP-Link Kasa app running on an iPhone with the gear icon highlighted

This brings you to the “Device Controls” screen. You can enable remote control by turning this switch on in this screen (it was the first option at the top of the list when I did it). You can tap the < arrow in the top left of this screen when you’re done. If you have multiple Smart Plugs that you want to control with Alexa, you need to repeat this procedure for each of them.

3) Get the TP-Link skill for Alexa

Open the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device. This is what the app icon will look like:

The Amazon Alexa app icon as it appears on Apple devices

Tap the hamburger icon in the top left corner of the Alexa app, then tap on the Smart Home option that appears in the list.

Find the Smart Home Skills section of the screen and tap on it. On an iPhone, you next need to tap on the Enable Skills button (I’m not sure what the equivalent is on Android, but it shouldn’t very different).

On the next screen, type the word Kasa into the search field at the top. You will easily find this skill with this search. Tap on the TP-LINK Kasa search result. On the next screen, tap the Enable button.

At this point, you will be asked to authorize your Amazon Echo to control your TP-Link Smart Plug. Type in the email address and password you used to create your Kasa account, then tap the Authorize button. Exit the screen that follows by tapping on the word Done or tapping on the X in the upper right corner.


4) Have your Amazon Echo “discover” your Smart Plug

After you complete that authorization process, the Amazon Alexa app will ask if you want to “Discover Devices.” This means that your Echo is going to scan of compatible devices, and if it finds them, it will connect to them. Tap the Discover Devices button.

The next screen will show you the progress as Alexa searches for devices to connect with. After that, you’ll see a screen with a list of devices that your Echo has connected with. Tap the < arrow in the top left of this screen to exit.

5) Tell Alexa to turn on your Smart Plug!

This is it! The big moment! Utter the words: “Alexa, turn on (whatever you named your Smart Plug in the Kasa app).” She should say “Okay,” and your TP-Link Smart Plug should turn on whatever is plugged into it.

Additional Tips: 

Another neat-o aspect of this is that you can control your Smart Plug not only with Echo smart speakers, but also from other Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Dash Wand, or even using the remote from the Amazon Fire Stick.

If this post was helpful, you can help me out by clicking on the links below before you make a purchase at Amazon. If you do, I get a tiny commission when you buy something, such as a questionable Bluetooth-enabled smart fork.

Purchase links:

TP-Link Smart Plug - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
TP-Link Smart Plug Mini - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk
Amazon Echo - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de
Amazon Echo Dot - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de
Amazon Fire Stick - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de

Published by

Sam

Writer, musician, photo taker and video maker. When not writing somewhat longish articles for this blog, I write incredibly short things on Twitter: @SamMallery

3 thoughts on “How to control TP-Link Smart Plugs with Alexa”

  1. Hi Robert!

    Yes. In the Kasa smartphone app for the TP-Link smart plugs you can easily create schedules and timers for each plug you have.

  2. Hi Sam – followed the link to Amazon UK for the smart plug mini and found that it is actually 120v ie USA. They don’t seem to have a UK version

    Alan

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