Time switches, timers, time switches or whatever they are called, we have known about them for many years.
The really old models were electromechanical. A small motor took care of the rotation of the clock. This also gave a typical soft and humming sound. Setting the clock was quite a hassle because small pins had to be pushed in at the desired switching times. Another disadvantage was that when the power was cut, the timer stopped and thus disrupted the programme.
Later came the digital versions. Often equipped with a mini LCD display to see what the settings are. Most of the time, without a magnifying glass, it was impossible to see what was being set and frequent pressing of mini buttons was also inconvenient.
Fortunately, we now live in the IoT era. Thanks to affordable Wi-Fi modules and cloud technology, it is possible to create Smart Plugs. These usually work via the existing Wi-Fi network but alternative protocols such as Zigbee are also available.
One of the biggest advantages of Smart plugs is precisely avoiding the inconvenience of old-fashioned time switches, as described above. You operate and program a Smart Plug via an App on your Smartphone. You can also combine several Smart Plugs in a group so that you can program and operate everything at once. So get rid of those old timey clocks and make your life easy.
The better versions of smart plugs also make it possible to measure your energy consumption. Very instructive and helpful in saving on energy costs. An additional advantage is that you can create smart scenarios based on power consumption. For example, switching off the charger of your E-Bike. (See article with programming example).
And if you are not at home and still want to control or programme the lighting, you can. Super convenient!