While it's convenient to be able to turn devices on and off remotely with your SmartSwitch, and useful to know how much energy is being consumed by whatever is plugged into it, you really begin to enjoy the benefits when you're able to set customized limits on energy consumption. Here's how to do it:
Find the SmartSwtich you want to control on your Vera Dashboard. Then select its settings by clicking the wrench icon at the top of its tab. You'll see a pop up box, and the second menu selection is "Settings." Click this option and you'll see a screen that looks like the one below:
While you don't have to change any of these settings, there are two here that are quite useful to your energy saving goals. The first is the "Poll this node" option. This lets Vera take a look at your SmartSwitch every X number of seconds (you fill in the number) and get a status report. So if you filled in 60 seconds, your Vera system will look at the SmartSwitch every minute to check its energy consumption. You can change the number of seconds to whatever you like; so you can "poll" your electrical usage every hour, every two hours -- whatever makes sense for you and the device you've plugged into the SmartSwitch.
Another extremely useful tool in this Settings menu is the "Energy Used" field. In this field, you can view the number of total watts that the SmartSwitch will allow from whatever's plugged into it.
So, for example, if you plugged in a lamp with a 100 watt bulb, and entered "100" into this field, the SmartSwitch would allow the lamp to light up at full illumination. But if you wanted to allow only partial illumination, you could put a lower value and the light would only illuminate for what you choose -- 80 watts, 60 watts, etc. You save electricity and money.
The other settings on this screen are for advanced users and most people will not need to touch them. But there's an even more advanced way of monitoring and controlling your energy. There are dedicated apps and plug-ins that you add to your Vera system that can help you monitor energy more Let's take a look at some of these apps now...