Over the Christmas Holiday I tested the Hive Active Plug from Hive, designed to work in conjunction with British Gas’ Hive Hub, the Hive Plug (£39.99) is handy for those times when you need to check whether you left the iron on, or just fancy boiling the kettle for a cup of tea while you’re still lying in bed upstairs, for me I used them to turn the Christmas lights on and off.

Here is how to connect the Hive Active Plug via your Hive Hub

1. Head to your online account at hivehome.com or your mobile app for iOS/Android and log in if required using your username and password
2. Once logged in, open the menu and select “Install devices”
3. Follow the on-screen instructions. When prompted plug your Hive Active Plug in and switch the mains power socket on. It will flash amber while it searches for your hub
4. Once your Hive Active Plug appears on the screen you can save it and the LED light on the plug will stop flashing

Naturally the Hive Active Plug is controlled using the free accompanying Hive iOS / Android app and includes a scheduler that lets you switch connected devices on or off up to six times a day; and to create actions that work in conjunction with each other: switching on the kettle, radio and a connected lamp when a door or motion sensor is triggered, for example.

The only real catch is that Hive Hub requirement: the Hive Active Plug won’t work without one.