Smart power strips are becoming more common as people take more of an interest in monitoring and controlling their electricity usage. Smart plugs are a simple way to turn any device into a smart device. They do this by embedding a small computer inside the plug that is capable of communicating with your smart home hub. The plug is then connected to either an electrical outlet or a USB port and the device that you want to control is plugged into it. This way, the plug becomes a middleman between the device and the wall, like remote control over the device with a smartphone or other smart device.
Smart plugs work with a variety of smart home systems, from big names like Amazon Alexa to lesser-known names like Wink, covering everything from lights and kitchen appliances to smart fans. The benefits of a smart power strip are numerous. They allow for smart control of devices from anywhere, schedule devices to turn on and off at certain times, and enable you to monitor your home energy usage. Plus, with the latest models, you can integrate your smart power strip with other smart home devices, such as a thermostat and a light switch.
This can save you money if you have a device that isn’t being used at that time, such as an iron or a curling iron that you use once a week for a special occasion. Smart plugs are also great for holiday lights. Instead of spending hours untangling lights and finding a place to put them all, you can set them to turn on or off automatically with a smart plug.
We’ve compiled a list with the best smart power strip that worths the price they are asking in order to help you with your research:
Last update on 2021-03-04 at 10:22 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our Recommended Smart Power Strip:
Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip by TP-Link
The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Lite power strip, also known as Kasa Smart HS300, is among the most popular options on the market today, and thanks to its relatively low price it is also quite affordable. It’s designed so as to provide you with six independently controlled outlets and three USB ports (type-A) that can charge your devices, while it is important to highlight that these USB ports provide 5V at 2.4A but unfortunately they can not be controlled. This power strip can control devices with load up to 15A per outlet and its intended for use with 100-125V.
I really liked the fact that it features a physical switch for each outlet, something that I personally find quite handy and we see very few power strips with this implemented. It features LED indicators for Wi-fi and status and thanks to the wifi connectivity you don’t need to use a hub.
It has many amazing features that you can make your home automation easy to set up and monitor, like scheduling, energy monitoring, surge protection, and more. For example, scheduling will allow you to control anything in your home that is connected to the power strip, either individually or all power outlets altogether.
Moreover, it will allow you to track the energy consumption of the connected devices (individually monitoring each outlet) and help you conserve energy by turning devices on and off remotely. The ETL certified surge protection is a great feature that will protect sensitive electronic equipment from sudden power surges, making the power strip a great investment and among the best for home theaters, pc or gaming setups, home or office.
The Kasa Smart Plug Power Strip is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana, allowing you to remotely control with your voice any device that is connected to the smart plugs, plus it’s also compatible with IFTTT and Nest allowing for advanced smart home automation setups.
I love the fact that this is not a large power strip yet allowing you individual outlet control for six outlets, while most models in the market are 4 outlet power strips. To be honest I would love 8,10 or even 12 outlets per power strip but at that point, the power strip would be too long and cumbersome to use, that I would have been better investing in two or three of these 6 outlets power strips.
It also has an application for your mobile device (Android and iOS) that allows you to easily control your connected devices remotely so you can power on/off your devices at home or office while away or on holidays, right from the app using your smartphone. In fact, the TP-Link Kasa Smart Power Strip is very straightforward to set up. It is small enough to be easily installed even if you have a power outlet behind furniture, thanks to its flat plug. This way the low-profile power strip can help you save space and keep other outlets accessible if needed since you can remotely control devices that otherwise would be inaccessible.
Once you plug it into the wall outlet it turns one outlet into a wireless multi-socket smart plug. Since it is wifi enabled, you can turn almost any device that you previously had to manually turn on or off into a smart one. Now you can monitor how much power you’re using for each outlet of the strip, reduce energy consumption by turning off devices that you previously forgot to unplug when not needed (reducing standby power waste) and eventually lower your operating costs.
Since the power strip is compatible with IFTTT recipes, you can add any appliances you want to your home automation system. You can find many IFTTT recipes to get you started online, but you can also create custom ones for your specific needs. On the other hand, you can also remotely control the strip from the dedicated app regardless of your geographic location, you have the option of voice commands if you have a home assistant like Alexa or Google Home while the USB ports can provide quick device charging. The app also features a timer function that is easy to customize to your daily needs, for example, turn on and off lights at sunrise and sunset, or set up as “away mode” for turning the lamp on/off like you’re home.
Overall, I think the Kasa power strip is a great, affordable option, our favorite smart strip, offering the best value for its price and allowing you to control and connected electrical device via your wi-fi network. It works with home assistants so you can control with your voice your home automation setup, in fact, this is for me the best smart plug for Alexa and Google Home based on the build quality and smart features.
It is reliable, highly customizable, and totally worths a closer look at its price. The only occasion I would hesitate to suggest a Kasa power strip would be if you are looking for a power strip for outdoor use. Since in this case, you are looking for a weatherproof smart plug, you should be looking for other options on the market. Otherwise, I can highly recommend this one.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Smart Plugs Work?
Traditional power strips are commonly used to expand the electrical outlets of your home and workspace, but since you have no way to wireless control them, you eventually leave the electronic devices plugged in all the time. Well, even though it might seem convenient at first, you have to take into account that all those devices that are connected to the plug are drawing electricity when in standby mode, so even though you might use them sparingly, they drain power and cost you money.
Here is where the smart power strips can be quite handy. They function as a typical traditional outlet but they can be easily accessible and programmed through wifi. Using your Android device, IOS, or a home assistant like Google Home and Alexa, you can operate the smart plugs and the devices you have connected on them remotely. Not only you can fight the power drain when on stand-by mode, but if you go the route of home automation, you can program the devices to work whenever you need them, based on various sensors and commands.
Do smart outlets really help you save money?
Smart power strips are an easy way to make your home smarter. They offer a simple way to manage and monitor your electronics’ power usage, and can even help you reduce your energy bill and be more energy efficient. But are these devices really worth the price? The answer is yes they do.
One of the simplest ways to reduce your bill is to turn your electronics off when you’re not using them, which is the theory behind smart power strips. Most of us use our computers, laptops, and tablets all day long, and the artificial lights generally use a lot of energy even when we aren’t looking at them. So, most of today’s smart power strips allow you to set up preset timers to turn off the power to your peripherals when you’re not using them.
Smart power strips can be used as standalone plugins, without setting up home automation, in fact, most smart power strips are relying on their circuitry to monitor the devices you have plugged in, and effectively cutting the power to devices that are put in standby mode.
That feature alone is enough to conserve energy and lower your electricity cost. Imagine connecting all the devices in your home or office into multiple smart power strips, it is a little investment that can help you reduce your energy bills in the long run and protect your devices at the same time. Think of home automation as a nice bonus that you can explore and an eco-friendly method to at least light your home and office.
Things to consider when research for the best smart power strip for your needs:
The number of smart outlets
Like with traditional power strips, you have to have sure you pick one that has enough outlets for your needs. The most common power strips on the market would have four to six outlets but you can find models with ten outlets if you feel you need more. It would be wise to invest in power strips that can accommodate your future needs, so think about devices that you might add in the near future that would be nice to be controlled remotely.
Most smart power strips also feature USB ports that you can use to power or charge USB devices. Make sure you pick one that can provide enough USB ports for charging for your mobile devices. Look for models that feature a LED indicator for each outlet for easier monitoring as it’s a feature that can be handy. Most of the models come with an always hotplug where you can plug-in devices that you need to have constant powers like a computer or TV.
It is wise to pick a power strip that is made from flame-retardant materials to be on the safe side. Surge protection is also handy as it can protect your devices from sudden power surges that can otherwise damage your devices during for example a weather storm.
Most of us plug a lot of different devices into surge protectors, but it can be hard to keep track of which device is getting which electrical charge. A new kind of smart power strip aims to solve that issue, by offering a companion app that tracks how much energy each device uses and which one is getting the most power. The app can also alert you when a device is drawing more electricity than it should—a good way to catch a refrigerator or air conditioner that’s not working properly.
As you might have guessed, the length of the power cord is vital in order to set up your power strips, as you need to place it strategically so it can power your devices. This is something that shouldn’t be overlooked as there are make cases where the wall outlets can be quite far from your devices in the room. If you have a large room, then you will need a much longer extension cord than if you have a small room. One of the main reasons for this is safety. Extension cords simply cannot be too long and must be kept out of high traffic areas. It is wise to get the one with the longer cord you can afford.
A smart power strip allows you to control the power feeding your electronic devices using your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. This means you can turn off all the non smart devices using your smart power strip from one place. This can be done with just the touch of a button. All you need to do is to download the app that is provided by the manufacturer of your smart power strip. It must be noted that a smart power strip only allows you to switch off your devices. This means they are not smart surge protectors. You can use smart surge protectors for your entertainment, data, and gaming systems as well as your refrigerator and other kitchen appliances.
The best smart power strip can support devices like iPhones, apple tv, Alexa or google assistant so it is advisable to pick a power strip that has the ability to interact with the device you have in order to support voice control. If you decide to set up home automation, the connectivity of those power strips is something that needs to investigate a little more.
To be honest, most of the smart power strips are able to connect with Alexa and Google Home. The only problem is if you decide to use other devices where not all power strips are able to connect. For example, Apple Homekit and Apple Siri are pickier on which devices they connect to and control. The same applies to Microsoft’s Cortana which can’t control power strips on the market at ease. Long story short, If you go with Alexa or Google Home it would be a lot easier to find compatible plugs and power strips as we speak.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) keeps expanding, more and more devices are connecting to the web. This can offer benefits—like controlling your lights from your phone and letting your appliances share their data with the manufacturer. But it also raises concerns about security and privacy.
If your devices are connected to the web, they might be vulnerable to hackers (and even relatively small attacks can be very harmful). Plus, if you store data from your devices in the cloud (such as with a smart thermostat or smart outlet), that data could get exposed to hackers. For example, imagine that a hacker is able to remotely take control of your smart outlets and turn off all your lights and appliances at the same time. That would be pretty scary if you were in the house alone with your kids or pets.
The good news is that there are ways to make your smart outlets more secure. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a physical security key so that only your home devices can connect to your router. The key will make your smart outlets even more secure than the WPA2 encryption built into your router and the password you use to log in.