These can be very handy for a patio or shed
Smart plugs add unprecedented levels of convenience to day-to-day life. You can control even old appliances from your phone through Wi-Fi. Some smart plugs can even be put on timers and left to work automatically.
Others can be set to deactivate if no motion is detected in a room. These are small, inexpensive devices that change the way we approach routine tasks, but most of them aren’t weather-resistant in any way.
When it comes to finding the right outdoor smart plug, options are more limited. An outdoor smart plug is useful for holiday decorations or even just day-to-day use, like powering a security spotlight on your home, but it might not feel like it if you can’t find a decent one. To help, we’ve rounded up what we think are the best smart plugs to use outdoors.
iDevices Outdoor Switch (Amazon)
The iDevices outdoor switch gives you levels of control over your holiday light displays you never even knew you wanted. The smart plug works with both Siri and Alexa, provides two separate outlets to plug things into, and is tested for outdoor use with an IP44 weather-resistant rating. This means it’s safe to leave out in the rain but it won’t survive total immersion.
There are a few downsides, foremost of which is that you do not get individual control of each outlet. Turning the power off to a single outlet turns off the power to both. That said, at $43 it’s an inexpensive option to provide smarter control of your Christmas lights.
Maxcio Outdoor Wi-Fi Outlet (Amazon)
The Maxcio Outdoor Wi-Fi Outlet is one of the best smart plugs for outdoors, as it checks off quite a few boxes from the outset. It’s compatible with voice control through both Amazon Alexa and Google Home and gives you individual control over each outlet.
You can set schedules and timers for each outlet, too—although creating an artificial flicker in your Christmas lights might not be the best idea. Setup and configuration takes only a few minutes, which makes the Maxcio Outdoor Wi-Fi Outlet basically plug-and-play.
Like the iDevices switch, the Maxcio outlet has an IP44 weather-resistant rating. While it doesn’t require a central hub to operate, the Maxio only works on the 2.4 GHz band, not the 5 GHz. The smart plug also measures voltage and energy leakage.
While you won’t get detailed reports about how much energy each port uses, any devices plugged into it will be protected. The Maxcio is budget-friendly, coming in at just $25 on Amazon.
Kasa TP-Link Smart Outdoor Plug (Amazon)
If you’re looking for brand recognition, it’s hard to find a company better known than Kasa. The Kasa TP-Link Outdoor Smart Plug gives you individual control over both of its outlets as well as the ability to set up schedules and timers.
Where the Kasa outdoor plug truly shines, however, is its weather-resistant rating. Coming in at IP64, this outdoor smart plug has a much higher rating than the others on this list. It’s designed to handle just about anything the weather can throw at it short of total immersion.
The Kasa TP-Link Smart Outdoor Plug can be controlled through Google Home and Alexa. It’s great for controlling something like a pool pump or an electric appliance. It also has Wi-Fi range up to 300 feet, which means you can use and control it far from the home. The design and casing is bulky, but provides plenty of space to plug cords into each outlet.
Geeni Outdoor Smart Plug (Amazon)
Most of the best smart plugs on this list have two ports, but not everyone is looking for that. Sometimes you need a single port in a relatively narrow frame for work within enclosed areas, and you need it on a budget.
If this is the case, the Geeni Outdoor Smart Plug is the best choice. Coming in at $19.99 on Amazon, this smart plug has Wi-Fi built into its design—no hub required. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Microsoft Cortana. You can also set up scheduling and timers so that it only provides power during set periods.
Though no IP rating is given, the descriptions of the product make it seem like an IP44 rating is the most likely bet. It may lack the bells and whistles of some of the other smart plugs, but provides plenty of utility for its low price point.
Tonbux Outdoor Smart Plug (Amazon)
Tonbux may be a relatively unknown company, but their outdoor smart plug sets them apart from the competition for one very clear reason: it has three separate ports, each of which can be controlled independently from the others.
The Tonbux is IP44 weather-resistant and can be controlled from Google Home and Amazon Alexa. According to the specs, each socket can support 15 amps and 1875 watts on its own, which means you’ll have plenty of power for any devices you might want to control.
This smart plug is ideal for use under a carport or outside a tool shed where you might need to plug in multiple devices at one time.