While they may not be as exciting as robot vacuums or smart speakers, smart plugs are a great addition to any smart home. These nifty devices allow you to remotely control anything connected to them, like the lights around your home or your trusty coffee maker. And if you’re thinking about using smart plugs to control your holiday lights or other exterior decorations, you’ll be glad to know that some smart plugs can be used outside.
However, not all smart plugs are up to the task, and using the wrong ones outdoors could pose serious safety risks. Before you run out on your porch and start installing smart plugs, here’s what you need to know about using smart plugs outside.
There are tons of smart plugs on the market, but not all of them are suitable for the great outdoors. In fact, many of the best smart plugs (such as Amazon Smart Plugs and Wyze Smart Plugs) aren’t designed to be used anywhere but inside your home. A quick look at the description for the Amazon Smart Plug says it is intended for “indoor use only.”
When looking for an outdoor smart plug, it’s important to seek out products that were built to handle inclement weather, including rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. Smart plugs that can be used outside typically carry an IP64 weather rating or better — meaning you can put them outside without encountering any serious safety issues.
The Wyze Plug Outdoor, for example, works much like the standard Wyze Smart Plug, but is larger and offers an IP64 rating. It includes rubberized covers, an ambient light sensor, and a thick frame that’s much more durable than the plastic one found on the Wyze Smart Plug.
To figure out if a smart plug can be used outside, simply look at the product’s description if you’re shopping online. These usually let you know if the item is weatherproof and rated out for exterior use. Much of the same information can be found directly on its packaging if you’re shopping at a brick-and-mortar store.
You can also check its name. Most outdoor smart plugs put “outdoor” or “outside” right in their name, making it easy to figure out where they can be placed.
If you need some help picking the right one, be sure to check out our roundup of the best outdoor smart plugs. This includes products from Kasa, Wemo, and Geeni, all of which are designed to work outdoors without any hiccups. Many of them are also frequently on sale, giving you an easy way to stock up on outdoor smart plugs without breaking your budget.
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