Once your home is automated, you need the best brand of smart outlet to go with it. A smart remote control outlet will allow you to control anything you plug in right from your smartphone.
If you aren't sure where to look, you're in luck. I have considered the most popular smartphone and remote control outlets throughout major electronics sites and compared them to narrow down the top five. The best smart outlets are listed below based on compatibility, price, customer reviews, and features.
The Best Smart Outlet - In This Guide
Smart Outlets - What to Consider
According to the NY Energy Research and Development Authority, keeping outlets turned off when they're not in use can help you save money on your electric bill each month. Before you dive in and buy a smart outlet, though, here are some things to consider.
1. Which wireless communication standard do you need?
Smart homes run on various different wireless protocols including WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave and more. Read through the best smart home hubs for a full description of how these protocols work. Ultimately, you should make sure all smart devices have compatible brands and are supported by the same protocols so they can communicate.
2. How much does it cost?
Remote control outlets for smart homes vary in price based on features, compatibility and the number of outlets it comes with. They can be somewhat expensive, ranging from about $20-$80 an outlet.
3. How do you install it?
Consider the installation process. Does the remote control outlet require permanent installation or is it as easy as plugging it in? Most smart plug outlets are extremely easy to set up these days; just plug them in, connect to your home's WiFi and download an application.
"...smart outlets allow you to schedule electronics to turn on only when you need them."
The Best Smart Outlets
Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug
- Voice control with Amazon's Alexa
- Simple setup
- Great features and compatibility
- Control from anywhere via smartphone
- No energy tracking
- Not compatible with Apple Homekit
The Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug costs $34.99 on Amazon and can communicate with your Amazon Alexa for voice control. It has an easy setup and leaves plenty of room to plug in another smart outlet or electronic.
The WeMo Mini wireless remote outlet can communicate with various compatible devices, including the Google Home and Nest thermostat, appliances, light switches, and fan switches. Control them from anywhere via an application on your smartphone with both Android and iOS. The WeMo Mini does not, however, work with the Apple Homekit like many other smart plug outlets. It also does not have any energy tracking capabilities.
iHome iSP8 Smart Plug
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Siri for voice control
- Control with smartphone or separate remote
- Simple setup and sleek design
- Energy monitoring
- Connection issues have been reported
- Limited Android app.
The iHome iSP8 Smart Plug is a wireless remote control outlet that costs $49.95 on Amazon. It tracks energy usage and can connect to smart products across a wide range of platforms including Siri, Nest, Wink, Alexa and SmartThings.
Control devices from anywhere you have WiFi with the iHome iSP8's iOS app., but you need a Hub or Apple TV at home. Connect to and control lamps, A.C.s, space heaters and more. The smart outlet also has a slender design, leaving plenty of room for another smart plug or electronic.
Unfortunately, there have been connection issues reported by iHome iSP8 Smart Plug outlet users in the past. Additionally, the iHome Smart Plug's Android app. does not let you create scenes to control devices like the iOS app does.
- Siri voice control
- USB charging port
- Two outlets in one
- Control outlets individually with one app.
- Simple Setup
- Need Apple TV to control while away
- iOS only
- Doesn't track energy usage
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet has two outlets in one device, unlike most smart outlets. Just plug it in and follow the app's instructions to connect. It has Siri Voice control but does not connect to Amazon's Alexa. In fact, ConnectSense is supported strictly by iOS, so it doesn't have an Android app. either. You'll need an Apple TV to control devices while you're away. The ConnectSense remote outlet costs $60 on Amazon.
One useful characteristic of the ConnectSense smart outlet is its built-in USB charging port. It'll allow you to charge your phone even when the outlets are taken; though you cannot control the USB port from your smartphone. The remote outlet also does not have energy tracking. You can, however, control both regular outlets individually from your app.
iDevices Switch Review
- No hub or Apple TV needed
- Voice command with Siri or Alexa
- Works wth iOS and Android
- Energy tracking and reporting
- Side outlet design
- Connection issues
- Somewhat expensive for one outlet
- Must connect to 2.4 GHz band WiFi
The iDevices Switch Smart Outlet has a unique side outlet design. You can control the smart plug outlet from wherever you want via your Android or iOS app. on your smartphone; no hub or other device is necessary. It is also capable of voice command if you connect to Siri or Amazon's Alexa.
iDevices Switch Smart Outlet is $41 on Amazon, which is a little expensive for one outlet. Luckily, it comes equipped with an energy tracking and reporting feature to help you save money on your electric bill each month. Some iDevices users have reported having connection issues with their iDevices products, which may have to do with WiFi. The smart outlet requires you connect to a 2.4 GHz band WiFi, not 5 GHz. Consider this before purchasing.
TP-Link Mini Smartplug
- Leaves room for another plugin
- Work with iOS and Android
- Control with smartphone from anywhere
- No hub required
- Works with Amazon Alexa
- No energy monitoring
- Be careful plugging in high voltage appliances
Use the Kapa app. on Android or iOS smartphones with the TP-Link Mini Smartplug to control your devices remotely. The mini design leaves plenty of room for you to plug in something else. It also doesn't require a hub. Simply plug it in, connect to Wi-fi and install the app. to control electronics from your smartphone.
The TP-Link Mini Smart Outlet is compatible with Amazon's Alexa. The remote outlet costs $34.99 on Amazon right now. The only downside it that the TP-link doesn't have energy monitoring, so you can't track energy usage from your smartphone. You also have to be careful plugging in higher voltage electronics like ACs.
Benefits of The Best Smart Outlets
Smart outlets can make life easier, safer, and even cheaper. Here are some benefits of buying a smart outlet if you're still not sure.
Plug load is the total amount of energy that plugged in electronics use up on average. According to Finance and Commerce, plug load now takes up an average of 20-25 percent of energy consumption in homes and offices, compared to just 1-2 percent in the 1970s.
When we use electricity, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses are emitted. According to Seattle PI, such gasses also emit radiation into the atmosphere, which scientists say have negative effects on climate change, animal populations, and their habitats. The more electricity we use, the more greenhouse gas and radiation we send out into the environment.
Luckily, remote control power outlets allow you to schedule electronics to turn on only when you need them. This lessens the greenhouse gasses emitted while saving you money on the electric bill. You may also be interested in some other ways to save money on utilities.
Security is another huge reason to buy a smart outlet. According to a report from UNC Charlotte, most burglars are deterred from entering homes with signs of heightened security. Additionally, here are ten surprising home burglary statistics.
Remote control outlets have unique security features such as the "Away" feature, in which you can set your lights to flicker as if someone's home at any sign of an intruder. You can even plug an alarm into the smart outlet and integrate it with a security camera. This way, motion sensors will detect and alert you in the case of an unexpected intruder.
Have you ever dreamt of walking in from work to a home set to the perfect temperature, lights that turn on to greet you, and a stereo that plays your favorite song upon arrival? With a smart plug outlet, anything is possible. Check out the best smart lights and the best smart thermostats for added features.
How I Found The Best Smart Outlets
After meticulously analyzing and comparing every relevant smart outlet on the market, I have selected the iHome iSP8 Smartplug as the best smart outlet available right now. Established in 2005, they have been coming out with products ever since and seem enthusiastic to perfect them.
iHome started out selling iPod speakers and became the number one seller their first year in business. Since then, they've produced headphones, clock radios, and home audio systems as well as smartphone, computer and tablet accessories.
Other remote control outlet contenders I examined in the process include the Zuli Smart Plug, the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch smart outlet, the Etekcity Outlet Switch, Insteon On/Off Outlet, and more.
The Best Smart Outlets Recap
Ultimately, smart outlets are an essential piece to the smart home puzzle. The best smart outlet will allow you to control your electronics straight from your smartphone with little hassle. They will also provide security, help the environment, and offer solid compatibility with other smart devices in your home.