Outdoor smart plugs are a great way to schedule your light displays or other outdoor landscaping features.
This list reviews five different outdoor smart plugs, based on factors like smart home integration, WiFi connection, and weatherproofing. After reviewing the options, I believe the best choice more most people will be the Meross outdoor smart plug.
Best Outdoor Smart Plug – meross Outdoor Smart Plug
|meross Outdoor Smart Plug||$25.99 $23.39||Shop on Amazon|
The Meross outdoor smart plug is a great solution for controlling your outdoor lights, especially if you’re a HomeKit user. It’s equipped with two individual outlets which can be controlled independently. It has long range, reliable WiFi connection. In addition to Apple HomeKit it’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and SmartThings. It uses the Meross app which features scheduling, timers, and sunrise and sunset timers.
What I like
- The Meross is FCC/ETL certified so you know it meets some kind of industry standard for outlets. I know there are plenty of listings for products like this on Amazon that are not certified. And given the choice between the two, I prefer the certified product.
- It’s also equipped with overload protection which is often a necessary feature for outdoor outlets.
- It is compatible with all the major smart home platforms, including HomeKit. Often times, Homekit users get left out in the cold, especially when it comes to bargain smart products like this one. Many manufacturers use the Smart Life app which makes HomeKit integration difficult. However, Meross has gone through the effort to develop their own app which facilitates the HomeKit integration as well as SmartThings, Alexa, and Google, and whatever else they may have added.
What I don’t like
- There’s not much bad to say about this product. Some people have issues with connecting to WiFi initially. I suspect most people were struggling with dual-band routers, since this needs to be connected to 2.4GHz only.
The Meross outdoor smart plug checks all the boxes. It is widely compatible with smart homes, features two independently controlled outlets, and has industry standard safety features (not always a given when shopping the bargain rack).
Best For Multiple Switches – POWRUI Smart Power Strip
|POWRUI Smart Power Strip with 4-Outlet Extender||$29.97||Shop on Amazon|
The main reason this smart plug is at the top of my list is because it is essentially four smart plugs in one. The POWRUI comes with four independently controllable outlets, surge protection, and it’s weatherproof and rated for temperatures from -104 °F to 104 °F. Light scheduling and other features are controlled through the Smart Life app. Once connected to the app, you can easily connect to voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. For even more automation possibilities, you can also connect it to IFTTT.
What I like
- Each one of the POWRUI’s four outlets can be controlled and scheduled individually, which means this one smart plug is essentially four smart plugs. This makes it a great value if you consider the “price-per-usable-smart-plug”. However, it is still limited to a maximum of 15A across all four plugs.
- POWRUI connects to WiFi so it doesn’t require a separate smart hub. This keeps setup simple and the total cost down. It will only connect to the 2.4GHz band so if you have a dual band router, you may have to temporarily disable the 5GHz band to avoid connection problems. This is very common for smart home devices.
What I don’t like
- It uses the Smart Life app, which is the Chinese mega-smart-home-app. Many people have a healthy distrust of anything coming from China, and the many phone permissions required to use the Smart Life doesn’t help. To be fair, I regularly use the Smart Life app and it’s actually very fast and reliable.
- It has a weatherproofing rating of IP 44, the lowest grade of the five devices listed here. The smart plug is designed to plug into your outdoor outlet and hang suspended above the ground. You need to make sure that the smart plug is not lying on the ground where it could be subjected to puddles of water. Even then, if it spends all its time outside, it will inevitably start to accumulate dust and moisture inside, especially in harsh climates.
The POWRUI smart power strip is a decent deal. It doesn’t need a smart hub and is compatible with a wide variety of smart home systems. The four separately switched smart outlets are the feature that makes it stand out. The POWRUI is the best outdoor smart plug overall because of its affordable price and simple smart home compatibility.
Highest Quality – Lutron Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug
|Lutron Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug | PD-15OUT-BL||$79.95||Shop on Amazon|
No surprise here. Lutron has been making high quality switches for many years and this one is no different. Of course, the high quality comes with a high price tag. But, you get great range and reliability with Lutron’s Clear Connect, and suberb protection against the elements (IP65 rated).
Lutron’s Caséta has a few different options for controlling the smart plug. You can control it using your phone or computer with the Lutron app, use voice control on the smart plug directly, or use a wireless remote (which is not included with the regular base model). You can also integrate the Caséta with your smart home systems using a Caséta smart hub. Once connected to the hub, the Lutron Caséta smart plug can pair with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Ring.
What I like
- This smart plug uses Lutron’s Clear Connect system which is extremely reliable. It also has an enhanced antenna that gives it a range of up to 1000 feet.
I have been using Lutron’s Caséta products (smart dimmers) for several years and I believe they are THE most reliable smart switches available.
- This smart outlet is made to last for years rather than months.The polycarbonate body give the Lutron plug sturdiness and the IP 65 weatherproof rating protects it against the elements.
What I don’t like
- Integrating the Lutron Caséta with your smart home system requires a Lutron smart hub (purchased separately). Given the already high price of this Lutron outdoor smart plug and the added cost of a Lutron bridge, it doesn’t make much sense to use the Lutron smart plug unless you either already have the Lutron hub or plan on buying more Lutron switches or shades.
- The wireless Pico remote feels like it should be a standard feature, but unfortunately Lutron requires you to pay more money to include it with your purchase.
This outdoor smart plug from Lutron comes with several extra capabilities, although it is also much pricier than the other options. The Lutron Caséta works with a range of smart home systems and uses Lutron’s unique low frequency network. However, extra costs like needing a separate smart bridge and not including a wireless remote make the Lutron smart plug’s price hard to justify unless you already have Lutron products.
Best Z-Wave outdoor smart plug – Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Smart Outdoor Switch
|Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Smart Outdoor Switch||$42.50||Shop on Amazon|
The Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus is a moderately priced outdoor smart plug. Using the Z-Wave hub, the Enbrighten outdoor plug works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and a few lesser known smart home apps like SmartThings.
What I like
- The Enbrighten smart plug has sturdy mounting brackets that let you screw it into an exterior wall. This is a great feature since outdoor plugs are often exposed to harsh winter weather.
What I don’t like
- You need to have a Z-Wave hub to access the full smart functionality of the Enbrighten. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then this plug is not for you.
- The Enbrighten Z-Wave has a weatherproofing rating of IP 54.
The Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus outdoor smart plug is a solid option for a moderate price. It is sturdy and weatherproof. However, it only has one outlet, and needs a separate smart hub in order to connect to smart home systems. This outdoor smart plug is a good addition if you already have a Z-Wave smart hub and other Z-Wave products to use it with.
Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug
|Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug||$16.99||Shop on Amazon|
The Kasa outdoor smart plug is the cheapest option on this list. This simple outdoor smart plug is controlled by Kasa’s proprietary app, which gives you control over standard lighting features like timers and creating preset schedules. The Kasa smart plug is only compatible with the two most popular smart home systems, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Kasa also has a remote mode, so you can use the app to set a new schedule or turn lights on or off when you’re not at home.
What I like
- The outdoor smart plug is controlled directly by the Kasa app and doesn’t need an additional hub to integrate into your smart home system.
- This smart plug has an IP rating of 64, which is just slightly less than the Minoston and Lutron Caséta.
- The Kasa is listed as having wi-fi reception up to 300 feet.
What I don’t like
- The Kasa system only works with the Kasa app and isn’t compatible with other common smart home apps like Smart Life.
The Kasa outdoor smart plug is the most affordable choice on this list. This outdoor smart plug is reliable and has a high weatherproofing rating. It connects to Google Assistant and Alexa without a hub and is operated using the Kasa app.The Kasa is a perfect option if you’re looking for smart plugs on a tight budget.
Weatherproofing (IP rating)
All five of these smart plugs are rated for outdoor use in very cold and hot conditions, and are protected against water damage from snow, ice and rain. Weatherproof devices like these outdoor smart plugs are graded using the Ingress Protection or IP system. The higher the number, the better a device is at keeping out liquids and solid particles like dust and dirt.
The Minoston and Lutron Caséta have the highest weatherproof rating at IP 65. The second highest is the Kasa smart plug, with an IP of 64. The Z-Wave Enbrighten is rated IP 54, and the POWRUI is IP 44, the lowest weatherproofing grade of the five.
Number of outlets
Another factor in your decision is how many outlets the smart plug has. The Lutron Caséta, Z-Wave Enbrighten and Kasa have only one outlet. The Minoston has two outlets, and the POWRUI has the most, with four outlets. Both the Minoston and the POWRUI allow users to control and schedule each outlet individually.
It’s valuable to know if you need a related smart hub to connect your outdoor plug with the rest of your smart home network. The Lutron Caséta requires a Caséta smart hub in order to connect to smart home systems. Likewise, the Z-Wave Enbrighten requires a Z-Wave hub. In contrast to this, the POWRUI, Minoston and Kasa outdoor plugs do not need a smart hub and let you connect to smart home systems through their related phone apps.
All five of the outdoor smart plugs utilize a lower frequency 2.4 GHz WiFi connection. This is because the lower range 2.4 GHz WiFi signals travel farther, making it easier for you to reach devices located outdoors. The only smart plugs with listed connectivity ranges are the Kasa and the Lutron Caséta. The Kasa has a range of 300 feet, and the Lutron Caséta has an impressive reach of 1000 feet when using the Clear Connect system instead of WiFi.
Smart home integration
One of the most important features for any smart device is its ability to integrate with a larger smart home system. The Lutron Caséta smart plug works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Ring and Apple’s HomeKit. The POWRUI is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant and IFTTT. The other three outdoor smart plugs in this review work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
After spending way too much time reading through mind-numbing product descriptions of these relatively simple products, I’ve come to the conclusion that most people will be satisfied with the Meross outdoor smart plug. It has two independent smart outlets, is ETL certified, has surge protection, and is compatible with nearly every major smart home platform. It has a long range, reliable WiFi chip and connects using the Meross app instead of the nosy Smart Life app.
The only reasons to look elsewhere are:
- If you need supreme reliability and range (and you’re a bit boujee) then go for Lutron .
- If you want MORE outlets in one handy package, then go for the four independently controlled outlets of POWRUI.
- If you have a need for Z-Wave, then look towards the Z-Wave Plus 500 series Enbrighten plug.