Today we begin the first of what we believe will be a growing number of security related product reviews here on Lane County Mugshots. Our audience has been growing steadily with mugshots and other crime related news. Over the six years that we’ve been doing this, we’ve developed a strong desire to connect more with our readers and listeners to help become part of the solution to the the crime that we see plaguing our streets. While we work to solve these issues, we need to secure and protect ourselves as best as is practicable with the tools that are available to us.
For this installment, we review the “Spot Glo Smart Wi-Fi Plug” from Geeni.
The Wi-Fi Smart Plug is, in essence, one of the coolest little timers that you can buy for controlling outlet-pluggable devices in your home. The way that I first discovered this device was around the holiday season when I needed a new timer to control some light strands. The old timer was the manual type with the dial and pins that had to be pushed or pulled to set the desired on/off status. Those who keep their fingernails short like myself found those pins challenging to pull. Quality pin timers had spot on accuracy 24/7 and were pretty dependable for keeping time. Cheaper timers didn’t keep good time but also provided an unintended “random” feature thus promoting the illusion that somebody is home. Digital timers have been on the market for awhile now. Though expensive, they provided some reprieve from the old manual pin based timers.
Enter the Geeni Spot Glo Wi-Fi smart technology plug. No longer do you need to mess with the stupid pins (or the timer itself for that matter.) You can control this bad boy using an app on your phone. This technology has been around for awhile, but now it has become more viable for the average consumer as the prices have dropped to reasonable levels that most can afford.
Let’s start with the out of box experience. Unpackaging the device you’ll find short and easy-to-understand instructions. Take the Geeni device and plug it into an outlet and wait for the little button/light on the side of the device to flash. If the light doesn’t flash, press the button and it’ll start blinking indicating that the device should be discoverable by the Geeni app. Next, you install and fire up the Geeni app that you download for free from your favorite app store. With your device connected to your home Wi-Fi network, the app will scan for the new Geeni device and then pair it to your home router. I found this to be a very simple and easy experience to navigate.
Lastly, I plugged in the strand of lights to the Geeni device outlet and viola! My holiday lights are now controllable from my phone. If you elect to register your home router on the Geeni network, you’ll be able to control your Geeni even when you aren’t home on your Wi-Fi network.) I bought one just for our coffee maker because I could never remember whether I turned the coffee pot off or not. Now, I can be anywhere and can turn the outlet off if I’m not sure. Now THAT’s pretty sweet!
The Pro Glo device also comes with a separately controlled nightlight built into it. This means that I can set a program for the nightlight that’s different from the outlet itself. As a matter of fact, the app allows you to set multiple programs for the outlet and/or the nightlight. From my observation, it appears there are no limits to the number of programs you can set. If you want different programs for different days of the week, Geeni has you covered.
You’d think that this magical form of technical sorcery would be spendy. But get ready for this: the Wi-Fi outlet only costs $7.99 at Bi-Mart (they go for $12.74 on Amazon, so yay Bi-Mart.) That’s super inexpensive considering what you get. Best part of all, this programmable outlet has now become a tool in my box for neighborhood watch related measures that I can take to help prevent crime. In my roll as a neighborhood watch coordinator in Creswell, I’m always interested in ideas for curbing crime. Lights on timers are nothing new for making the bad guys think that someone is home when they may not be. But even if I’m home, I still use a combination of several of these little Geeni outlets to turn lights off and on throughout the night. Now it looks like I’m up and down at all odd hours (which isn’t too far from the truth anyway.)
Pros: Simple to use. It takes mere moments to get the Geeni plug running. For more advanced features, you can even connect Geeni to Google Assistant, Alexa, or even Cortana.
Cons? Barely any, but there is one little nuance that I discovered in earlier versions of this device. Part of the circuitry for the Geeni outlet (perhaps a capacitor) tended to emit a high pitch noise that is barely discernible unless you were right near it. This made it impossible to use on an outlet next to the bed where I sleep. Current versions of the Geeni don’t seem to exhibit this behavior, thankfully.
For the Geeni Spot Glo plugs, I give this product a solid 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend that everyone consider adding a few of these to their home. If you’re like me, you won’t stop with one or two of these. I now have seven Geeni outlets around the house, all controlled through my smartphone.
We hope you enjoyed our first installment of our Lane County Mugshots product reviews.