The best outdoor smart plugs - 100.7 San Diego - True Variety -

The best outdoor smart plugs

By Tyler Lacoma

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Smart plugs are handy devices that can connect to home Wi-Fi networks and allow you to control and program devices from afar with a mobile app or even your voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This is particularly handy during the holiday months, when you may want to string up outdoor lights and decorations but don’t want to go outside every time you need to turn them on or off.

The problem, though, is that not all smart plugs are weather resistant: Many will short out when exposed to rain or moisture. To help out, we’ve located the five best outdoor smart plugs that offer weatherproofing capabilities so you can use them with outdoor decorations, more permanent dcor, and more. You’ll be saying, “Alexa, turn on the Christmas lights,” in no time.

Maxcio Outdoor Smart Plug ($29)

Maxcio Outdoor Smart Plug

This durable smart plug is designed for heavy-duty outdoor work, with IP44 weatherproofing and ABS fireproofing to make sure it’s safe no matter where you use it. It requires only 2.4GHz wireless, with no additional hub necessary. Scheduling and timers are managed via the Maxcio 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 allow you to control the smart plug on a whim with the right voice commands.

The only major downside (besides the size, which may be clunky in some situations) is that this model can only hold two plugs, which may be a bit limiting if you have ambitious decoration plans. It’s better suited for smaller outdoor lighting projects.

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iDevices Outdoor Switch ($45)

iDevices Outdoor Switch

Operating via the the iDevices app, this smart plug offers two outlets that can easily survive in rainy conditions, annoying sleet, or snow. No hub is required, and we especially like the compact nature of this model, which makes it easier to use in tight situations (we’re looking at you, Maxcio). The plug is also compatible with Siri and Alexa for easy voice controls, although you can always set more complicated schedules if you wish. The price, however, is a little high for what this model provides, holding it back from the top spot.

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Wasserstein Smart Indoor/Outdoor Plug ($45)

Wasserstein Smart Indoor:Outdoor Plug

The two-model Wasserstein smart plug provides you a good degree of customization, allowing you to give to give the plugs unique names in the app so you don’t get them confused—along with allowing you to create weekday and time schedules (Wasserstein suggests setting these schedules up for auto-watering plants while you are away, a unique possibility that may work well if you don’t have a sprinkler timer). The IP44 splashproof rating will also keep the plug safe even when it’s rainy or near water, and the UV protection adds protection in the summer. The plug works with Alexa, but no other voice assistants.

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iHome iSP100 W-Fi Outdoor Smart Plug ($38)

iHome iSP100 W-Fi Outdoor Smart Plug

This little iHome unit offers a single plug for smaller projects, but makes up for it with excellent support for everything from Alexa and Google Assistant to SmartThings, Nest, IFTTT, and other smart home platforms. The iHome app provides you with the ability to arrange 247/7 schedules and even notifications if that will help you manage your outdoor devices.

Note that there are a number of other iHome smart plugs that you can choose from the Amazon link. However, this is the version that’s rated best for water resistance, and we don’t suggest using the others outdoors. Also, the model is designed to handle devices up to 1800W, which is probably more than enough for any project you have in mind.

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Bolun Wireless Smart Plug ($33)

Bolun Wireless Smart Plug

Looking for a plug that has more outlets included? This Bolun model includes three outlets, each with a waterproof cover that you can snap into place for more protection when they aren’t in use (this is especially handy when avoiding the dirt and grit that may be dangerous factors outdoors). In addition to IP44 waterproof protection, the unit offers compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant.

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