Have you experienced the thrill of connecting your favorite devices to a smart plug? Practically made for home essentials like lamps, security cameras, toasters, coffee makers, dehumidifiers, and more, these programmable outlets are amazing additions to any smart home. With a compatible app, you can even power the plugs on and off remotely and set schedules. 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. Many don’t even require a hub, being fully functional on their own, and others work with your current system.
Whether you’re powering pool lights, sprinklers, or other outdoor gear, the Geeni Indoor/Outdoor plug gets the job done every time. A hub-less setup, there’s no need to plug anything into the router for this guy. All you need to do is download the app and connect using Alexa, Google Assistant, or Cortana. Convenient and cheap, this is one of our favorites for pairing and sharing. Using a feature called Share Access, you can zone multiple Geenis through the app. This means you’re able to turn outlets on/off separately or all together.
We’re not the biggest fan of some of the app’s deeper menu functions, but the outlet itself works great, as do its voice command capabilities.
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.
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.
The WeMo Mini Outdoor Plug provides two weather-resistant outlets for your lights or other outdoor electronics. Plus, there are covers for when you’re not using one of the outlets, and mounting is a breeze with the easy keyhole mount on top.
You can operate the plug manually, using Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, or using the WeMo app. You can use voice commands or an app to turn the outlet on and off and set schedules. Turn on away mode, and your lights will turn on and off randomly to make it look as though your home.
The Tonbux functions more like a power strip with multiple outlets. It’s equipped with three outlets, each containing a waterproof cover that easily snaps on for extra protection. The covers protect not only against water but against dust, dirt, and other debris that could potentially harm your equipment. The Tonbux is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option to power your outdoor tools, the Woods kit is a great choice. It’s a single-grounded outlet that can stand up to weather and debris for comprehensive outdoor security. The wireless remote functions up to 100 feet away, so you can control the system from indoors. The Woods remote control kit is fairly simple and doesn’t have as many extra features as some of the other options in this list; however, it’s affordable, reliable, and easy to set up. If you need basic outdoor functionality on a budget, look no further.
Can all smart plugs be used outside?
No. Most smart plugs are designed for indoor use only. It’s features like weather-proofing, rugged design, and outlet coverings that determine whether a smart plug is meant for outdoor use. If your plug will ever be used outside at some point, purchase an outdoor plug.
Are smart plugs waterproof?
Only if labeled so. When selecting a smart plug, ask yourself if it’ll ever be in the elements. If the answer is yes, look for plugs marked with “IP” rankings in their product descriptions (all of our roundup selections feature an IP ranking). IP is an acronym for ingress protection, and its scale assesses the amount of fluids or debris the device can handle.
Can smart plugs work without internet access?
In general, smart plugs have to be connected to the internet to work, but some have wireless connection capabilities. In many cases, you’ll see smart plugs operating over Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and other short- and long-range frequencies.
Do smart plugs save energy?
Yes and no. Connecting a smart plug to an electrical outlet doesn’t make that specific outlet any more energy efficient. It does help you monitor and regulate the usage of the devices connected to the smart plug itself. Tracking your energy usage will help you zero in on what electronic gear you use the most in your home. Appliances like dehumidifiers are a big drain on your electric bill. When you plug a dehumidifier into a smart plug, you will get a glimpse of the frequency it fires up and the duration of each run. If you see it turning on in excess, you might want to increase the maximum humidity limit.
What devices can you plug into a smart outdoor plug?
Holiday lights and outdoor string lights are the most common devices, but you can use an outdoor smart plug just like a regular outdoor outlet.
How do you set up a smart plug?
Setting up a smart plug is usually a relatively simple process, but specific setup instructions will depend on the model. Typically, you download the companion app, plug in the smart plug, and connect the plug to Wi-Fi using the directions in the companion app.
What is the difference between indoor and outdoor plugs?
Indoor smart plugs can only be used indoors, as they cannot withstand rain, snow, severe humidity, or other weather conditions. Outdoor smart plugs have specially designed covers or enough weather resistance to withstand the outdoors.