Image via thegadgetflow
If you are wanting to save energy and enjoy the convenience of a smart home, start with smart plugs. They are affordable and easy to install. They are also very easy to operate. If you can use an app, you can operate a smart plug from almost anywhere. Most smart plugs are also compatible with digital assistants like Google Home and Alexa, so they can be controlled by simply speaking. We have reviewed a nice selection of smart plugs here to help you decide which ones will suit you the best!
How We Reviewed These Smart Plugs
Smart technology can add layers of convenience and safety to your life while reducing your carbon footprint. Of course inferior gadgets will have the opposite effect. We want you to get the right smart plugs the first time, so we weeded through them all and selected only the best for our reviews.
Some of the problems we found in the plugs we excluded include:
All of the plugs we review here are manufactured by reputable companies and have been thoroughly vetted by us.
The Best Smart Outlets Compared And Reviewed
This is a smart plug that works with Alexa, Google Home and IFTTT over a 2.4 GHz network.
You can turn appliances that are plugged into the device on and off from anywhere in the world. With these plugs, you can also set a customized schedule to control whatever is plugged into it without even having to think about it.
This plug tracks the power consumption of its electronics and appliances. This can be a useful function if you are trying to save energy.
The plugs are so small and inconspicuous that no one will even notice them.
With this pack of five smart plugs, you can likely have one remote controlled plug in every room in your home. The price breaks down to just over Out of stock per plug, so it's a really good deal too!
The app for these plugs work with iOS8 and higher and Android 4.1 and higher. Multiple device connectivity is possible, so your whole family will can download the app and control the power to their devices from school or work. At home, just tell Alexa or Google Home to turn them on or off.
These plugs have an interesting safety feature not found in many others. The integrated thermal sensor can detect an overheating appliance and cut the power to it to prevent fire. Now that's smart!
These smart plugs work a little differently than the others on our list. Instead of being controlled by an app or a digital assistant, they are controlled by a simple remote control like the kind your TV came with. You may want to look into these plugs for your kids. Even toddlers can operate remotes. And in today's world, it's never too early to begin introducing children to smart technology.
You can easily set up an endlessly expandable system. The remotes are programmable, so you can add plugs and remotes whenever you want to.
While there are some advantages to this type of smart plug, there is no app or digital assistant connectivity at all.
USB charging ports should be everywhere. We envision a time when even trees offer multi-port USB charging. You may have to wait a while for that, so check out these Zentec smart plugs in the meantime.
They feature a single 2.1A USB charging port on the side of the plug, so you charging cable won't stick out when you are using it.
We like the power button on the plug. You will probably use it more than you think. Sometimes it is just easier to push a button as you walk past it than it is to pull an app up on your phone. Of course Alexa and Google Home will likely be quicker, but you will always have that option.
Teckin's WiFi Smart Plugs are similar to the Zentec plugs above, but they don't have a USB charging port. One thing that these have that the Zentecs don't is a timer function on its app.
The timer function is very useful. Even with all of today's smart technology right at our fingertips, we still forget things sometimes. But automatic timers never forget. You can set a timer to turn Christmas lights on and off, turn your TV off at night or even turn on your crockpot a few hours before you get home from work.
These plugs work with IFTTT (If This Then That), which is something we don't see in many others. Like other IFTTT-capable plugs, these Teckins also work with Alexa and Google Home.
We didn't find many good double-outlet smart plugs, but here is one. We like that each outlet in each plug can be controlled individually or together as a unit. Each outlet can also be manually turned on or off with its own power button. You use Alexa, Google Home or IFTTT for voice operation.
If you get the twin-pack, which is a great deal, you can turn one regular wall outlet into four independently controlled smart plugs.
You would think there would be more smart plugs with built-in nightlights, but we were not able to find many that met our standards.
This one is controlled by an easy-to-use app. Google Home and Alexa are also supported.
The plugs are very small are hardly noticeable when the nightlight is off.
The light is adjustable for brightness and color via its app. Kids love this smart plug.
We like that a timer function is included. This plug would be great to control a television in a child's room. It can be programmed to allow the TV, computer or game system to work only during designated times. This way you can limit screen time to some degree.
This smart power strip features four outlets that can be controlled individually and four USB charging ports that are controlled as one.
The five-foot power cord allows flexibility in positioning. This would be a great strip for a computer desk because of its design and the integrated overload and surge protection. The black color of this unit does not stand out like the old white power strips of the past.
This smart power strip also has four individually controlled outlets and four USB charging ports. The one thing this model has that is lacking in the other power strip on our list is a timer function.
Some people will not like the color. White really does stand out when it is glanced peeking out from behind a computer desk, but I guess there is no accounting for taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have To Have A Hub To Use Smart Plugs?
No. Some plugs can be connected to a home hub, but every plug on our list can be operated without one.
Can Smart Plugs Be Operated Directly From My Smart Device, Or Do I Need To Download An App?
Some can be operated directly from a phone via your WiFi router, but you usually have access to more useful features like timers and energy consumption meters when you use the plug's app.
If I Have My Smart Plug On And There Is A Power Outage, Will The Plug Automatically Come Back On When Power Is Restored?
Some do and some don't. The Dilidens 2-in-1 smart plug that we reviewed here is an example of one that does. If you are going to use a smart plug on a refrigerator or water heater, be sure to use one that will automatically resume supplying power to the appliance when power is restored after an outage.
The Final Verdict
There is a smart plug for just about any purpose.
Take a look at some of the simpler plugs that we reviewed here, like the Etekcity Voltson, if you just need a basic smart plug.
Double-outlet smart plugs, like Dilisen's 2-in-1 model, are great for remotely controlling kitchen appliances and entertainment electronics remotely. Since the two outlets are usually individually controlled, as in the model we scrutinized in this list, double-outlet plugs give you more versatility for your money.
Smart power strips are useful for entertainment centers and offices. The two we looked at here offer individually controlled outlets and even have USB ports for charging your devices.
Don't forget about the kids! It's time to introduce them to smart technology. They will love the plug with the colorful integrated nightlight. The plugs that are operated with remote control units rather that an app or digital assistant are easy for kids to use.
All-in-all, choosing the smart plug that will work best for you and your home can be a fun experience! And you will good about the money you are likely to save on your energy costs, not to mention all the good you will be doing for the environment by cutting your energy consumption.