Is there any reason not to plug the Glowforge into a smart plug?

I know that it’s not advised to plug a Glowforge into a surge-protected power strip or outlet because the machine has that functionality built in already and it might clash. But is there any reason I shouldn’t plug my Glowforge into a smart outlet like a Wyze or Amazon smart plug so I can turn it on and off with voice control? Obviously, it’s not a need, just something I’d like to do for efficiency. Or laziness, maybe. LOL I’m not inclined to do it until I’m sure it’s okay.

It was my understanding that the needs of the Laser could interfere or be interfered with the mechanisms that control even a surge protector. A “smart” outlet would be that on steroids.

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Plugging mine into an UPS has been the best decision as far as being reliable with power.


Technically no, but you need to make certain that the outlet will handle the load of the Glowforge in operation. Using a smart outlet of the proper power rating and capacity will be no different than reaching over and hitting the switch on the back.
I would question though why, as the switch on the back is two feet from the Go button, a smart outlet is needed?

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Because my smart plug turns on both glowforges and both external fans in one go. Works fine for me.

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Now that this is an entirely unofficial forum, I don’t mind stating my opinion that it should be fine (assuming you’re using an appliance/relay type and not a dimmer!)

The only reason Glowforge tells people not to plug their machines into anything other than the wall outlet is that they don’t want to deal with troubleshooting or damage caused by something they don’t control. It’s the same reason your phone says only to use the charger that comes with it, even though everybody knows it’s just USB. If you buy a $2 power strip from scamazon and it shorts out and destroys your Glowforge or burns your house down, you have to understand whose fault it is.

Is a “smart outlet” likely to cause any problems? No. Is it possible that anything could introduce a problem? Of course.



Plus, there is virtually no situation where a UPS or “surge protector” could harm the Glowforge. It’s just a computer.

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We had a lot of debate on this early on and I think the conclusion was that a cheap UPS could possibly produce an approximated sine wave instead of a true sine wave and as a result the power supply could be affected over time or could have trouble getting enough power for the laser. Surge protectors are safe, provided they are properly rated.
I could be mis-remembering though.


Cascading surge protectors is generally considered to be a bad thing to do in the Electrician world. Worst case it can cause overloads and fires. Best case, it will degrade the performance of the suppressors potentially leading to exactly the kind of damage the suppressor is intended to prevent.

So if the GF has its own built-in protection, plugging in to another external suppressor can be an issue.

Most UPSs convert the incoming AC to DC, and then use a sine-wave inverter to convert that DC back in to AC. This inherently provides surge protection (more accurately, it provides “isolation”. There is no direct connection between AC in and AC out). Since the UPS suppression is achieved in a very different way, it should not cause problems…

Note, though, that the GF operation is “cloud based”. Putting a UPS on the GF doesn’t do much if any good (in terms of tolerating power loss without losing the running job) unless your WiFi network and LAN access are also on UPS.

Most UPSes do not do that. What you’re referring to is a double conversion online UPS, the most expensive type. A basic standby UPS passes the input straight through until the power fails, then it switches on its inverter.

Less expensive UPSes also don’t produce a sine wave. The voltage jumps from positive, to zero, to negative, to zero, to positive. You have to specifically buy a “pure sine wave” model to get something smoother.


Please point out why they are dangerous, with backing data.

I would especially be interested in why the performance degrades. I wasn’t able to get an explanation other than hearsay and general notes about daisy-chaining any power extension device on the last discussion.

The specific case here, where you are using one surge protector, or one UPS, or one smart outlet, that is properly attached and rated, is different than stringing two or three cheap power strips together. I have had my GF on a surge protector for its entire life with no ill effects.

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Re: Chris1 - yeah, you’re right. I should have said “a good UPS”.

Re: Ben1 - just do a Google search for “cascade surge suppressors” and start reading. Sorry, but I don’t have the bandwidth to do that research for you. But I would add “it depends on how the surge suppressor is designed”. Suppressors with MOV devices in series can be cascaded to your heart’s content. The problem is, when you go buy one at the store, you don’t know how it’s designed. Which is why I said “it’s generally considered to be a bad thing” and not “it is universally recognized as a bad thing”.

I have my GF on a UPS, mostly because it does power line conditioning and not because I expect it to save a print from being lost during a power outage.

I have done the research in the manner you suggest, as this has come up multiple times, and I have not found anything definitive. If you want to share, please do.

It’s not definitive. It depends on the specific devices under consideration.

I have a Sonoff plug. Now four months of use.

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