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Kasa Smart – The Missing Manual

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TP-Link’s Kasa Smart range of smart products has become one of the most popular ranges when it comes to home automation products. You may also have gone along with this trend and bought yourself products from the range, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an expert when it comes to installing and setting up the devices, or carrying out any troubleshooting activities. If you think that you can identify with this and are really struggling to locate that missing Kasa Smart manual, you have found yourself at the right place. During the course of this guide, we will be walking you through the installation and setting up process of the Kasa Smart smart plugs, outlets, switches and bulbs, so that you don’t have to consult another manual again. In addition to this, we will also tackle some of the major ways in which you can troubleshoot some of the most common problems that users complain of facing with their Kasa Smart products.

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Before Getting Started

There are a couple of steps that are common to the installation and setting up of any Kasa Smart product that you have purchased. First and foremost, you will be required to download the Kasa Smart app on your smartphone — available for both Android and iOS devices — as this is the place where all your devices will initially be controlled from. You can also set up your TP-Link Cloud account before getting to the actual installation process. While this account is not essential if your smartphone and the smart device are connected to the same network, you will need this TP-Link Cloud account to control your device remotely or link it to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. These steps are common for all the Kasa Smart products — the smart bulbs, smart switches, smart plugs and smart outlets — so you can go through these before moving on to the installation process.

Smart Switches

The Kasa Smart range of switches includes three different options. The first is the regular smart light switch, followed by the dimmer switch and the 3-way smart switch set. The installation process of each of these switches is fairly simple. Once installed, you can set it up with the Kasa Smart app and start using it remotely. If there are any issues that come up while you are using the products, there are a couple of tricks that you can turn to. Keep reading to find out all you need to know!

Installation

The first step of the process is getting your tools ready. You may need a screwdriver, wire stripper and a volt meter. Turn off the power to the light switch by turning off the circuit breaker. You can confirm whether the power is off by turning the switch on and off. Follow this up by removing the faceplate by unscrewing the screws that hold it in place. At this point, you will have to detach the switch from the wall. To ensure that no power is going to the switch, use a non-contact voltage detector. You will have to find the neutral wire in the switch at this point. Keep in mind that you cannot install the switches with a neutral wire. While this wire is usually white, it can also be of another color. You will have to expose a neutral wire and the white wire that come with the switch, group them together and ensure that they are secure in a wire nut. Identify the live wires — usually black or red — and group them individually with the black wires from the switch. Secure each with a wire nut. After checking that all wires are securely in place, push the entire switch back into the wall and screw it in place. Attach the faceplate and turn the power on from your circuit breaker.

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Setup

If you have already downloaded the Kasa Smart app, you will see an “Add Device” option, from where you can pick the device that you are setting up. It will ask you whether or not you have wired your switch at this time. You will have to check the Wi-Fi strength that the switch is getting by reading the small indicator that is built into it. Once the switch is completely installed, check the lights once again and open your Kasa app to start controlling its functions. If you want to integrate it with your Amazon Alexa device, you will need to turn your remote control on from the app, visit the Amazon Alexa app and click on “Smart Home”. Scroll down to “Your Smart Home Skill” and click on “Get More Smart Home Skills” and click on “TP-Link Kasa”. Log in using your TP-Link account and you are ready to get started.

Troubleshooting

Technology makes your day-to-day life so much easier but it doesn’t come without its own share of issues. Many users complain about Wi-Fi-related issues or trouble setting up their Kasa Smart products with the app and other platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. In the previous section, we already discussed the setting up process. However, most Kasa Smart users tend to face connection issues at times that seem random but aren’t really so. If you are facing such issues, it is important to visit the app — both Kasa Smart and the other system that you are looking to integrate, for example, Amazon Alexa — and look for any pending updates. The app makers release regular updates to deal with any bugs or issues that may be preventing a smooth run.

Smart Bulbs

After the smart switches, let’s turn to another range of products by Kasa Smart — the Smart Bulbs. While Kasa Smart isn’t a name that is synonymous with smart lighting, the company produces a wide range of lighting options like colored bulbs, tunable bulbs and light strips. If you are wondering how these bulbs are installed, set up and dealt with in terms of troubleshooting. 

Installation

Smart bulbs are very similar to regular bulbs when it comes to installation. You have to choose a bulb to begin with. There are a large number of options in the Kasa Smart range that you can choose from, for example, the light strip, the tunable white bulbs, colored bulbs and dimmable bulbs. The installation is simple. You need to fix the smart bulbs like the normal bulbs that you have in your home. This is done by attaching it to the electrical fixtures that you have in your ceiling or wall. The basic technique is inserting it into the fixture and turning it slightly to secure it in place. The bulb should flash three times once installed.

Setup

The first step of the process is getting the Kasa Smart app and attaching your phone to the home Wi-Fi network. If you have the TP-Link Cloud account, you will have to add the smart bulb to your cloud by clicking on the “Add a Device” option. The smart bulb attaches automatically to the app if you are an Android user, but you will need to connect the bulb to Wi-Fi manually if you have an iOS device. Here, you will have to click on “Settings” and then Wi-Fi to choose the bulb’s Wi-Fi network. Go back to the Kasa Smart app and connect the bulb to your home network. At this point, you will be able to name the bulb and choose an icon for it, finishing the entire setup process. Keep in mind that you have an “always on” power supply for these bulbs.

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Troubleshooting

There are a bunch of issues that you may come across when you are setting up the smart bulbs, or after the bulb has been set up and ready to use. First and foremost, if the bulb did not flash during the setting up process, tap on the “My Smart Bulb Didn’t Blink” option and follow the instructions that come on your screen. After this, most issues are usually either Wi-Fi related or related to some app issues. If you are having trouble controlling your smart lights, check whether the device is linked to your home Wi-Fi network and so is the device that you are using to control it. Pending updates of the apps can lead to some issues in functionality but can be dealt with easily.

Smart Outlets and Plugs

The last bunch of Kasa Smart products on this guide are the smart outlets and plugs. While a lot of smart plugs are being manufactured by different companies, the best seller that Kasa Smart is producing is the smart power outlet. This is a beautifully designed product that gives you the freedom of controlling different devices without having a huge plug protruding from your existing dumb sockets.

Installation

First, let’s talk about the different plugs that are manufactured by Kasa Smart. This range includes an outdoor plug, a power strip, a mini plug, plugs with energy monitoring and more. There is no installation process involved here, as they just need to be attached to an existing power socket. It’s simple — plug it in and you can control any other device that you plug into the smart device through your smartphone or other platforms. 

When it comes to the power outlet, the installation process is a little more complicated — similar to the process for switches — and should bring in an electrician if you don’t have prior experience in the field. You will need a screwdriver, wire stripper and a non-contact voltage detector to go through with the installation. Turn off the power to the outlet by turning off the circuit breaker. Plug in a lamp or similar device into the outlet to ensure that the power is off. Remove the screws from the faceplate and take it off. Follow this up by checking for power with your non-contact voltage detector. Detach the main outlet and pull it out slightly. Open the app to check which wires are attached to the outlet. You will need a neutral wire for installation. Put the ground wire from the socket with the outlet’s ground wire and secure using a wire nut. Put the neutral wires with the neutral wire from the outlet and secure with the wire nut. Disconnect the line wire from the old outlet and attach to the line wire on the smart outlet. Push all the wires and the outlet back into the wall and screw it in place. Attach the faceplate and turn on the power from the circuit breaker. 

Setup

The setup process is similar for both plugs and the outlet. You will have to open the Kasa Smart app that you already have downloaded on your phone. Click on the option that allows you to “Add a Device” and choose the device that you are looking to set up. Once you have added the device, it will be ready to use with the app. Follow the Amazon instructions mentioned above to integrate with other platforms.

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Troubleshooting

If you are facing any trouble with your smart plugs or outlets, turning to the company’s customer support doesn’t have to be your first option. Check your Wi-Fi connection to ensure that the device you are using is on the same network as your smartphone. If there is a temporary loss of connectivity with the app, check for any possible updates that may be hindering it. The company releases new updates regularly to help with troubleshooting.

As you may have noticed, there are some common themes when it comes to installing, setting up or troubleshooting any problems that arise when you are using Kasa Smart products. For example, a lot of the issues that come up — most of which are resolved very easily — are because of updates to the Kasa Smart app or the other platforms that your products are linked to, for example, the Amazon Alexa and so on. Overall, Kasa Smart products are fairly easy to set up and use. Even in slightly more complicated cases where you have to attach the device to a neutral wire, the nifty app gives you all the instructions you need for a smooth experience.

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