Can Smart Plugs Be Used Outside?

We’ve already talked about smart plugs before. Smart plugs work to cut off power to appliances that would typically have high energy consumption. They also provide you a  method to control the plug with an Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistant. But does that convenience extend to your patio? Can smart plugs be used outside?

Thankfully, companies like WeMo, TP-Link, and Wyze make outdoor smart plugs. If you use standard smart plugs for outdoor use, you run the risk of them shorting out. Standard plugs are not weather-resistant, making them susceptible to damage.

In the rest of this article, we will go through what you need to look for in an excellent outdoor smart plug. We will also mention a few options that meet those requirements.

Finding a Good Outdoor Smart Plug

 The key to finding good outdoor plugs comes from three areas:

  • Durability
  • WiFi distance and connection quality
  • Ease of use

Durability in Outdoor Plugs

  There are two areas you need to look at when determining plug durability:

  • Claims
  • Warranty

The claims a company makes about its product are on advertising. That advertising information will typically make claims of the following:

  • Fire-proof: The producing company will mention some fire-retardant housing that prevents overheating.
  • Water-proof: They have a solid design that does not allow any water in.
  • Weather-proof: They have taken a beating with wind damage and heavy rain. 

The owner’s manual will contain details on what exactly these “proofs” mean. However, the bold claims typically mean that a company will be willing to stand behind its product. 

Many of these outdoor plugs have multiple outlets and include circuit protection. Surge protection makes them just as valuable as the multi-port surge protectors from inside of your home. 

WiFi Distance

When it comes to having WiFi connected, your network will need to have enough reach to handle your devices. This issue includes your router and your smart plug, as both need to have matching quality. 

In your case, the router and plug need to be strong enough to stretch your property. Some of the best smart plugs offer distances up to 300 feet. That is ample for handling almost any outdoor lighting scenario. 

Make sure you have a good general idea of how far your router reaches before making a purchase. If needed, you may need to seek a more robust wireless router. 

Ease of Use

How easy smart home devices affect how much time you are going to spend fretting over them. The more time you waste with setup and handling is lost to time you could spend enjoying your timed light show with outdoor plugs. 

Many smart plugs require you to download a separate app to remote control the plug. This feature applies to both indoor and outdoor plug solutions. 

They also sync well with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa. The allowance of being able to give your lights a voice command to shut off is essential.

One way you can handle this “ease of use feature” is to download the app beforehand. Search the company you plan on looking up and check out to see if their mobile applications are simple to understand.  

Mini-Review Time: Three Outdoor Smart Plugs You Should Consider

In the rest of this article, we will be going through three different smart plugs that meet all of our above requirements. We won’t go into intense detail on each section, but we will detail why we consider them some of the most durable and simple products on the market.

Meross Outdoor Smart Plug

Meross makes some of the most durable smart plugs available on the market. IP44 weatherproof housing is evidence of this.

The rating makes it suitable for water spray from all directions, tools, and small wires greater than 1 millimeter. It is also certified by the FCC for fire resistance and overload protection. It has a one-year warranty.

Downloading the Meross app will allow you great control. This smart plug is also compatible with three of the most famous available hubs:

  • Google Assistant
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Samsung SmartThings

It does not support Apple HomeKit.

The WiFi distance claims to be suitable for most standard households. The length is somewhat iffy, and they are not specific, but their claims to the backyard or garden are practical. 

ProsCons
DurableDo not use it for fountain and pump
WeatherproofDo not support Apple Homekit
Only supports Meross app
Smart Plugs Be Used Outside Reviews

Kasa Smart KP400

Kasa Smart KP400 tackles the distance issue head-on with a claim of three-hundred feet. For example, the average ranch-style home typically runs about 25 to 50. That means unless you have a much larger home, you shouldn’t exhaust the distance requirements. 

It is also IP64 rated, which is known to prevent dust from entering, and water spray. Kasa also has indoor plugs, so this model works great if you already own their indoor models. 

They allow for voice-controlled features with Google and Alexa. Like other Kasa products, they also have an away mode that makes it appear that you are at home to deter thieves. 

ProsCons
DurableThis outlet is designed to work at 120VAC
Weather resistant and IP64 ratedDoesn't have the ability to adjust voltage
Control from anywhere with your smartphone
Smart Plugs Be Used Outside Reviews

BN-Link Smart WiFi Heavy Duty Outdoor Outlet

BN link has a sleek three-prong design, which is suitable for larger plugs. The three outlets may not be independent, but they are all compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, meaning you can turn them off with your voice. 

The Smart Life app allows for scheduling of the plug to turn off any appliances automatically. That means if you have outdoor smart lighting, you can schedule their on periods overnight. 

Much like option one, you have an  IP44 weatherproofing with 125V and 15 amps. All of it is in a sturdy and cost-effective combination. 

ProsCons
DurableOur product is rated: 15 A, 125 V, 1875 W
The app itself is easy to installYou need to go to the app to turn off
The 3 outlets do not work independently of one another
Smart Plugs Be Used Outside Reviews

Final Thoughts

Outdoor smart plugs are a thing if you want greater control of energy monitoring outside. Thankfully, that thing is also good at controlling holiday lights, outdoor porch lights, and other outdoor features. If you are struggling with using smart plugs, check out our article on the best ideas on how you can use them. Thanks for reading!

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