A smart plug is a very useful tool for the home. For example, when you are comfortable in bed, but that light switch is just too far away, or for when you want your coffee to start brewing as soon as you wake up in the morning, a smart plug has got you covered. However, if we want the advantages of a smart plug outside, what should we buy?
What are the best smart plugs for outdoor use? The best smart plugs for outdoor use include:
- BN-LINK Smart Wi-Fi Heavy Duty Outdoor Outlet
- Meross Outdoor Smart Plug
- Etekcity Outdoor Wi-Fi Outlet
- Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug
- Acenx Outdoor Smart Plug
- Foxnovo Outdoor Smart Outlet
- Minoston Outdoor Smart Plug
- POWRUI Smart Power Strip
- TONBUX Outdoor Smart Outlet Plug
- VAVOFO Outdoor Smart Plug
The criteria by which these specific smart plugs were chosen were based on five factors: durability, simplicity, special features, cost, and energy usage. In the remainder of this article, each of these criteria will be explained along with how each individual plug performs in each criterion.
What to Look for in an Outdoor Smart Plug
There are many smart outdoor plugs out in the market. Many will look similar to one another, and most will offer the same features. However, it is important to be able to measure these features and to tell which outdoor plug excels at providing them.
Durability refers to the life expectancy and survivability of each item. No matter how expensive or efficient your outdoor plug may be or how well it fulfills the other criteria, it will be useless if it breaks after a few uses.
For an electronic device to survive the outdoors, it needs to be able to withstand harsh weather, including humidity and heat. Failing to include these features in a device could result in damage to property or even injuries, as the device could short circuit and start a fire, for example.
Simplicity refers to how easy to use a device is. You don’t want to purchase a device to remotely turn the lights on and off that will take more effort and stress to use than standing up and turning the light on or off yourself; this also includes how complicated to set up the system is.
Most smart plugs come with instruction manuals and a free app to set up the plug in a few simple steps. They all need a Wi-Fi connection and an additional device to pair them with for voice control and a smartphone for usage and configuration.
Special features include but are not limited to any function or service the device offers that make it unique or that facilitate its use or any of the other previously mentioned criteria (e.g., IFTTT support, failsafe measures, etc.).
Cost is one of the most important criteria. The cost will deal with the price of the item and how it relates to how good of a service you would get from the item. For example, you wouldn’t want to pay $50 for a plug that only has two sockets, unless it was to offer a specific feature or service that could justify that price. The prices mentioned here are from Amazon.
Keep in mind that when purchasing a smart plug expecting to operate it through voice control, you will need to own or purchase an Amazon Alexa or a Google Assistant. Alternatively, all of these plugs can be fully operated through your smartphone.
Last but certainly not least is energy usage; this is an important criterion for many reasons, including how environmentally friendly you want to be, what the toll of using it would be on your electricity bill, or if you live in an off-grid electric system. Overall, you have to be careful with how much energy you use.
This will be measured in the form of amperage capacity, voltage, and wattage, as it is listed in each smart plug’s Amazon description.
10 Best Smart Plugs for Outdoor Use
The following is a list of the ten best smart plugs for outdoor use:
1. BN-LINK Smart Wi-Fi Heavy Duty Outdoor Outlet
First, we have the BN-Link Smart Outdoor Outlet in its all-black color at an incredibly cheap for $19.99, given its multiple features. It offers three weatherproof sockets. It has a schedule function so that it turns the devices connected to it on and off at any designated time.
It is fairly simple to set up and operate since it is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, meaning that it can be operated with voice control. Alternatively, it can be used with the Tuya Smart or SmartLife app; if your Wi-Fi doesn’t support a 2.4GHz network, it can be set up by following a few simple steps.
It has an amperage capacity of 15A, a voltage of 125V, and wattage of 1875W. However, its timer function allows for it to be automatically turned on and off when not in use to save electricity, making it very efficient.
2. Meross Outdoor Smart Plug
The Meross Outdoor Plug is also fairly cheap for $21.99 (except for its Apple HomeKit variant, which costs $29.99). However, it only offers two electricity sockets. It is capable of surviving both indoors and outdoors due to its waterproof design, and it possesses a fire-retardant housing and overload protection circuit, making it very safe and reliable.
It can be paired with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and each individual socket can be operated by voice and can also be operated through the SmartThings app, making it simple to set up and use
It has an amperage capacity of 10A, a voltage of 125V, and wattage of 1800W. It also possesses a schedule function allowing it to turn its devices on and off at any designated time.
3. Etekcity Outdoor Wi-Fi Outlet
The Etekcity Outdoor Wi-Fi Outlet comes in for $24.99 for two energy sockets. It can operate indoors and outdoors since it is waterproof and comes with protective measures for surges, overloads, overcurrent, and overheating, making it safe and reliable. It also has a lid to cover both energy sockets when not in use.
It can be paired Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for easy to use voice control. It has a schedule and timer functions to activate devices connected to it at any designated time. It has an amperage capacity of 15 A, a voltage of 120V, and a wattage of 1800W. Each socket can be controlled, and its energy usage adjusted independently.
What makes the plug stand out from the other plugs is that the Etekcity plug comes with an energy monitoring system to calculate how much each of your outdoor appliances affects your electricity bill.
4. Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug
The Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug has a price of $34.99 for two electricity sockets. It works both indoors and outdoors thanks to its weather-resistant design.
It can be voice-controlled through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and can also be controlled through the free Kasa Smart app for a smartphone. It can be easily set up through the Kasa Smart app, and each individual socket can be operated individually. It also possesses a schedule and timer feature. It has an amperage capacity of 15A and a voltage of 120V.
What makes it unique is its 300ft Wi-Fi range, making it ideal for houses with rather large outdoor spaces. Also, it has a very compact size, meaning that it can be placed almost anywhere. However, it also doesn’t have a very long cable, so there is a tradeoff.
5. Acenx Outdoor Smart Plug
The Acenx Outdoor Smart Plug comes in at a relatively low price of $24.99 for two electricity sockets. It is capable of operating both indoors and outdoors thanks to its waterproof design and fireproof material. It also has a removable lid that can cover both sockets when not in use. Each outlet has its own individual lid to protect it when not in use.
It can be operated through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant through voice commands. It can also be easily set up and controlled through the SmartLife app. Each outlet can be controlled individually.
It has an amperage capacity of 10A, a voltage of 125V, and wattage of 1875. However, it possesses schedule and timer functions, which can be used for power savings.
6. Foxnovo Outdoor Smart Outlet
The Foxnovo Outdoor Smart Outlet comes in at a hefty price of $40.99 with three electricity sockets. It can work both indoors and outdoors as it has a weatherproof design that can survive and detect moisture, power surges, overheating, and dust, making it incredibly safe and reliable.
It can be operated through voice control by pairing it with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. Each individual outlet can also be operated and adjusted through the SmartLife app. It has a schedule and a timer function.
It has an amperage capacity of 15A and a wattage of 1875W.
7. Minoston Outdoor Smart Plug
The Minoston Outdoor Smart Plug comes in at $19.99 for a single electricity socket. This plug is ideal for people that are thinking of using only one device outdoors and are looking for a device that performs just as great as other multi-socket smart plugs. It can be used indoors and outdoors, thanks to its weatherproof design.
It can be paired with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control, or it can also be operated and configured through the SmartLife app.
It has an amperage capacity of 15A, a voltage of 120V, and wattage of 1800W. It has a schedule and timer function to save electricity when not in use, ideal for outdoor lights, sprinklers, and coffee machines when indoors.
The main reason you would want to purchase a Minoston Smart Plug is if you only plan on connecting a single device in one area or different areas. For example, having a multi-outlet smart plug for only one device would not be very efficient unless you want an extension cord mess around your backyard or your house.
8. POWRUI Smart Power Strip
When it comes to flexibility, quality, and quantity, the POWRUI Smart Power Strip has got you covered. It has a price of $29.97 for an amazing four electricity sockets. It offers a weatherproof design with fireproof material and a splash-proof design as well as a surge protection circuit, making it incredibly reliable and safe for both indoors and outdoors use.
It can be paired with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo, and Google Assistant for voice control, and it can also be operated through the SmartLife app on your phone.
It has an amperage capacity of 15A, a voltage of 100-240V, and wattage of 1875W. It includes schedule and timer features to save electricity by turning devices on and off at any designated time.
What makes this plug unique is the fact that it has four electricity sockets, each with its own flexible cord, that can be independently configured and operated, especially for such a low price.
9. TONBUX Outdoor Smart Outlet Plug
The TONBUX Outdoor Smart Outlet Plug comes in for $27.99 for three electricity sockets. It is great for indoor and outdoor use thanks to its waterproof design. Each socket has its own lid to protect it while not In use.
It is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice control and can be set up and used through the SmartLife app. It also has schedule and timing features to designate when devices connected to it should turn on or off to save power.
It has an amperage capacity of 15A, a voltage of 125A, and wattage of 1875W.
10. VAVOFO Outdoor Smart Plug
The VAVOFO Outdoor Smart Plug has a price of $39.99 for two power sockets. It is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use due to its fireproof material and its splash and dust-proof design. It also has built-in overheating and surge protection, making it incredibly safe and reliable. It also has a removable lid to protect both sockets while not in use.
It can be used through voice control by pairing it with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. It can also be controlled through the SmartLife app on your phone.
It has an amperage capacity of 15A, a voltage of 125V, and wattage of 1875W. To save power when not in use, the VAVOFO Smart Plug has a schedule and timer function to turn its devices on and off at designated times.
All of the aforementioned smart plugs have many things in common. They all have weatherproof/waterproof designs, they all have voice control either through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and they all have a schedule and timer function. They all are fully capable of activating and operating the same appliances, such as outdoor lights, garage doors, cameras, etc.
Essentially, what these plugs have in common is that they are for outdoors and that they are ‘smart.’ There really isn’t much room for them to include any other special features as they all excel at fulfilling their job, being a device to survive the outdoors, and activate/deactivate devices through non-manual means from the user.
They all have just about the same power usage statistics and use their schedule and timer features to curb their electricity usage. However, where the real differences are is in how they go about providing waterproof/weatherproof measures, their price, and the number of electricity sockets they possess.
It is also important to note that all of these smart plugs use a 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi connection. The BN-LINK Smart WiFi Heavy Duty Outdoor Outlet is the only one that offers an alternative through the SmartLife app.
Some plugs may have a lower cost, but a more efficient way of judging the price of a plug is by looking at how many electricity sockets they offer for their price. All of them offer Alexa and Google Assistant support, but what if you want to use IFTTT for voice control?
So now, the question remains: How to know which out of all these smart plugs fits best for your needs, and for that, we need to compare the differences mentioned above.
Choosing a Smart Plug for Outdoor Use
Now that we have outlined 10 of the best outdoor smart plugs in the market, it is time to compare and determine which plug excels at certain criteria.
When it comes to choosing the right plug for your home, you first have to consider your needs and limitations, such as cost, energy usage, and amount of electricity sockets.
If what you are looking for is a cheap plug that gets the job done and nothing more, then the Minoston Outdoor Smart Plug is definitely the right one for you. It has the lowest price out of all the sockets that were mentioned and includes all the weatherproof features and ‘smart’ capabilities that the other plugs offer.
If you are looking for the most plugs for a low price, then the POWRUI is the right choice for you. The POWRUI has four individually operated and adjusted electricity sockets for a price of $29.97, which translates to a cost of roughly $7.49 per electricity socket, making it the plug with the cheapest electricity sockets while still offering all the features as the other plugs.
If you are worried about electricity usage and power saving and you hate having to do manual calculations to know the toll that your outdoor plug will have on your electricity bill, then the Etekcity Outdoor Smart Plug with its built-in power usage calculator will have you covered. It can measure the energy usage of each of its two electricity sockets.
If you own a rather big property with a large backyard and are worried that you might not be able to properly operate your smart plug from such a distance, then the Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug will provide you with 300ft of effective range to use.
Another good strategy for choosing your outdoor smart plug is to simply look at the reviews. Additionally, some of these plugs offer a return policy, so you can test them out yourself to see if you like them.
Getting the Best Out of Your Smart Plug
You may feel satisfied after going through all the smart plugs and choosing the one that is right for you. However, to really get your money’s worth, you have to make sure to take advantage of all of the plug’s features, capabilities, and, most importantly, to make it last.
Voice control is a new and amazing feature that very few other devices provide. Imagine having your hands busy, or not knowing where your phone is while you are comfortably lying in bed so you can’t really go turn the light on or off. Voice control can solve all of these issues, so buying an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker for your smart plug and other devices is definitely worth it.
Purchasing your smart plug is not it’s only cost; it also uses electricity, which can have quite an impact on your electricity bill. All of the smart plugs mentioned above include schedule features for the device to turn on at designated times to not use energy all the time. They also include timer features that turn off the device after it has been on for a while.
When it comes to durability, all of the outdoor smart plugs have weatherproof measures; some are better than others. However, all of these weatherproof devices have a limit. Most of them include a warning not to submerge in water. A lot of them have a set temperature limit in which they can operate properly, so try looking out for them during heatwaves.
These devices are definitely strong enough to be let alone to operate outside of your home, be it during rain, hot summers, or even dust storms. However, it is important not to push them too far. Some of these plugs also include protective measures such as lids to cover the electricity sockets that are not in use, so make sure you take advantage of them to protect your device.
Another way of using your outdoor smart plug to its fullest is to buy one that matches the number of devices that you want to connect in a certain area. A POWRUI with its four outlets will not be as efficient to use when all you plan on doing is to connect a single camera on the front porch.
But if you do own a multi-outlet plug, try to find ways to use all of the outlets. You can connect and remotely control cameras, lights, sprinklers, garage doors, etc. with your smart plug. You can also use extension cords if your multi-outlet plug is supporting a device at a certain place, and you want to connect another device somewhere that is far from the plug.
Are There Any Alternatives to a Smart Plug for Outdoors?
The function of a smart plug for outdoors is to be able to control electronic devices outside of your home, such as lights, garage doors, sprinklers, etc. from a distance, preferably from inside your house.
One reason why you wouldn’t want to buy a smart plug is the fact that most, if not all, smart plugs require an additional device such as an Amazon Alexa, a Google Home, or a smartphone to be operated. Another reason would be that, although simple, smart plugs are more complicated than the alternatives mentioned below.
One alternative is non-smart plugs such as the DEWENWILS Remote Outlet Power Switch. It has three electricity sockets for a cost of $13.99, has a 100ft range, is just as waterproof/weather resistant as most of the aforementioned smart outdoor plugs, and is very simple to use.
Where the DENWILS differs from the smart plugs is in the fact that it is operated by a remote with two buttons (one for on and another one for off); this means that it doesn’t have features such as voice control, schedule, and timer, or the ability to be controlled from the phone.
Another alternative to buying a smart plug for outdoors is buying a device that already has its own remote control or programming feature. Some sprinklers and garage doors have remote controls that let the user activate them from a distance. There are also outdoor lights that can detect when it is getting dark outside so that they can turn on.
There are plenty of outdoor smart plugs out there since the smart home era is just beginning. Some offer more than others, and some offer the exact same services for a different price, so it is important to know what you need. Hopefully, this article has helped you decide whether or not you need a smart outdoor plug, and if you do, which one would be the right choice for you.