First, to take full advantage of the Zuli plugs, you need to have at least three of them. At that point, you can set up their “Presence” feature and have lights or electronics turn on when you and your iPhone are in the same room with them. The feature also work with Phillips Hue lights, so you can add new rooms without even adding more Zuli plugs.
“Presence" is a feature that you setup after you plug in the three smart plugs. Once they are plugged in, you set up each room by “calibrating” the space. It requires you stand where you want the lights (or other electronic device) to turn on and then turn four times to set up that space and then walk around the room so it knows where the room starts and ends. In theory, once you have everything calibrated, the lights/plug will turn on when you enter the room and turn off at a designated time after you leave the room.
As with most smart plugs, you can also setup a schedule for the plug to turn on and off at specific times on certain days of the week or all days of the week. The app also let you name the devices and rooms, so it is easy to distinguish one device from another. You can even choose an icon to make it easier to recognize the device.
There are a couple more downsides compared to other smart devices. These plugs can’t be controlled with the Apple Watch because they lack an app, they don’t work with Siri like iDevices, they don’t work with Amazon Echo like the Wemo plugs. For comparison, the Hue bulb work with all three. The Zuli plugs require you to get out your phone and launch the app or push a button on the plug if you want to control them manually.
All that being said, the Zuli Plugs are almost magical. There is nothing like walking into a dark house and having lights turn on as you pass through rooms. I have one Zuli setup in our sunroom that automatically come on when I pass through the room when I take the pups out at night. In a lot of ways, it feels like I am living in a world from Science Fiction novels I read about as a kid.
Sure, there are still a few minor kinks that need to be worked out, but it refreshing to get a huge app update in the few weeks I have had the plugs. I contacted the company during the first week I owned the plugs and they answered me the next day, so it is obvious that they care. I don’t blame them, this is a product that is worth caring about!