The Best Outdoor Smart Plugs for 2020 | Digital Trends



Smart plugs make it easy to control the lighting in our homes, security cameras, small appliances, and a number of other electronic devices. With a compatible app, you can even power the plugs on and off remotely, set schedules, and monitor your energy efficiency. This is all well and good for the devices inside our homes, but what about our outdoor gear? Fortunately, there are now durable and weather-resistant outdoor smart plugs that are just as good as their indoor brethren. 

Just imagine controlling your yard lights or seasonal decorations even when on vacation. You can do that and more right from your phone with these weather-resistant outdoor smart plugs. Some don’t even require a hub, being fully functional on their own, and others work with your current system.

Refoss Waterproof Smart Wi-Fi Plug

This durable smart plug is designed for heavy-duty outdoor work, with IP44 weatherproofing to make sure it’s safe no matter where you use it. It supports only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks, with no additional hub necessary. Scheduling and timers are managed via the eHomeLife app, which makes everything very easy to set up. However, we suggest you don’t waste the plug’s compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant, which allows you to control the smart plug on a whim with the right voice commands.

Meross Smart Outdoor Plug

This waterproof Meross two-outlet plug is ready for anything, with a solid design and the latest smart features for your garden, bathroom, porch, garage, laundry room, or wherever else you’d like to put it. It works not only with Google Assistant and Alexa, but is also compatible with IFTTT if you’d prefer to set up more complex routines. You can also control the plug via an app if you don’t care for voice commands. Schedules and timers are available for each socket independently.

The Meross plug also gets good marks for a strong Wi-Fi connection, which is great — smart plugs don’t work very well if they’re always dropping connections, which can be a problem in an outside environment. The one downside to this plug is that the cable itself is pretty short (a common choice for durability and protection), so you’ll need to keep it right by the outlet, and it may not work very well for wall outlets that are too high.

Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug

TP-Link’s Kasa smart plug is simple, affordable, and well-designed. It offers features like independent outlet controls, sunrise and sunset scheduling, and compatibility with Alexa, Google Home, and Cortana. The stated Wi-Fi range is a respectable 300 feet (obstructions will lower this number), and the Kasa app can control it at any time from your phone. These are features that many of our favorite smart plugs offer, but it’s good to see an option from a major smart device brand like TP-Link, which is an encouraging sign about this model’s quality and performance.

GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Smart Outdoor Plug

First and foremost, you’ll need a Z-Wave hub to get this plug up and running. We recommend a SmartThings or Vivint controller, but there are numerous options available. After you’ve got your hub up and running, get ready to be wowed by this incredibly durable, weather-resistant GE plug. When installed, the outlet faces down, so there’s less risk of rain or other debris damaging the plug. Plus, mounting the plug is a breeze with GE’s keyhole bracket — just a couple of screws and you’re done.

You can control the plug manually, with Alexa and Google Assistant, or an array of compatible Z-Wave systems, including Ring Alarm Wink, ADT Pulse, Trane, and Honeywell. Power the outlet on or off and set schedules through your app of choice or with voice commands. The Enbrighten is a reliable and feature-rich outdoor plug. The only other thing we would have wished for is a second outlet, as this model only features one.

Tonbux Outdoor Smart Plug

If you want a plug that acts more like a power strip, the Tonbux plug is an excellent choice. This model comes with three outlets, each with a waterproof cover you can snap into place for more protection. The covers protect against water but also dusty or dirty conditions that could damage your equipment. In addition to IP44 waterproof protection, the unit offers compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Woods Outdoor/Indoor Wireless Remote Control Kit

The Woods kit is one of the cheapest ways to power your outdoor gear remotely. The single grounded outlet is weather and debris-resistant for ultimate protection outdoors. But you don’t have to head out into the elements since the wireless remote works up to 100 feet away. As far as perks, that’s about it: The Woods remote control kit doesn’t match other options’ features. We do like the price, quick setup, and dependable performance, though. If you’re looking to add basic functionality to outdoor areas, this might be the budget buy for your needs.

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