Etekcity Zap 3LX Review: Quirky But Convenient

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The Etekcity Zap is my first experience with remote plug-in devices. I’ve never given them much thought as I’ve always gotten up to turn on a light. However, there were times when my laziness got the best of me — that or a dog firmly planted in my lap — and it was difficult to get up and turn on the light. I was given a chance to take a few of these Zap units (three to be exact) for a spin. Was my experiences with them enough to consider getting more? Let’s take a look.

When I first set it up, I connected the three adapters to three different lights. The setup wasn’t too complicated. Basically plug it in, press and hold the button on the side until the red light starts blinking and then press any number from one to four on the remote to associate the plug with that respective numbered button.

The plug-in has a little red light that lets you know it's received a signal with a flash. The red light will stay on when the appliance is on.
The plug-in has a little red light that lets you know it’s received a signal with a flash. The red light will stay on when the appliance is on.

It took all of two minutes to set up my lamps. Because I like to tinker with such things once they’re set up, I spent about 10 minutes or so turning the lights on and off via remote. I was very much amused by the convenience these remotes have afforded me. Typically, turning on the light involves me contorting myself in a weird way to get at the lightswitch, with one of the two remotes it’s just a push of a button.

Once the button is pressed you hear a simple click on the plug-in and the light comes on. The nice thing about the remotes is that they don’t have to be within a line-of-sight. Much like my Roku, I just have to hit the button and the plug-in recognizes the input. That’s thanks to a strong RF signal that works within 100 feet of the plug-in, even through walls and doors, all without messing up signals for other electronics.

The Zap plug-ins are said to reduce energy use, save money on electric bills and extend product life by up to 15 percent. It’s too soon to tell though. The devices turn off in the event of a power outage, which is handy. It limits electrical current to plugged in devices and that’s handy.

In my use though I noticed a weird quirk with the plug-ins and the remote. Typically, when you associate one plug-in with one number, you’d think it’d only turn on that specific plug. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Whenever I pushed the two button, yes the second plug-in turned on, but so did number one. Whenever I pressed one, all three plug-ins turned on or off. Luckily, in talking with Etekcity, I found out that the Zap units come pre-programmed to work out of the box and a simple reset did fix that issue and the Zap units work as intended.

To reset the Zap plug in and reprogram the units all you have to do is follow these simple instructions:

Resetting a socket and cancel all pairings

To cancel all pairings so that no remote control will control it:
– Remove the socket from the power socket.
– Press and hold the programming button.
– Plug the socket back into the power socket while continuing to hold the programming button.
– Hold the programming button for approximately 5 seconds until the LED indicator begins to flash.
– When the LED flashes rapidly several times and stops, the socket have been reset.

To program a remote control transmitter and socket switch receiver:
– Plug the socket switch into a power socket and turn it on.
– Press and hold the programming button on the right side of the socket until the LED indicator begins to flash.
– Release the programming button and then press the desired On or Off button on the remote.
– Pairing is successful when the LED indicator stops flashing.

Speaking of figuring how to operate the remotes and plug-ins, the instructions aren’t the greatest. Luckily, Etekcity has a handy YouTube video on how to use the plug-ins (see below).

Wrap Up

My laziness aside, these devices are perfect for those who are mobility impaired, especially for those hard to reach appliance or lights. Setup is easy despite the instructions that come with. If you are looking for a quick and convenient way to turn on those hard-to-reach appliances, the Zap is a good option.

The Etekcity Zap comes in multiple sizes from one unit all the way up to five. You can get one for $12.99 on Amazon, and the three pack I used retails for $24.99. If you buy some it’s worth the savings to get multiple, and let’s be honest, why stop at only being able to turn on one appliance?

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*We were sent the Etekcity Zap 3-pack for the purposes of this review.

Last Updated on November 27, 2018.


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