Smart plugs are one of those small, unsexy smart home gadgets that can make a real difference in your day-to-day living. Outdoor smart plugs are a great way to automate, monitor and control lights or decorations from afar (or from bed because you forgot to turn off the giant inflatable Charlie Brown pumpkin).
LikeWorks with Alexa and Google AssistantTwo individually controllable outletsAffordable priceGreat app
Don’t LikeNo HomeKit compatibilityNo energy monitoring
TP-Link’s Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug is nearly the best outdoor plug I’ve tested. I say nearly because it doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit and there are dual-outlet smart plugs on the market that work with all three voice assistants. Still, for a reasonable $30, you’ll get two plugs that work with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa as well as an app that is highly customizable, yet clean and simple. Setting up this plug takes just a few minutes. Overall, it’s a fuss-free experience.
Read more: The best smart plugs of 2020 for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Siri
Smart plugs aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing devices. Some indoor models are streamlined enough to blend into your wall outlet, but I can’t say the same for outdoor models. The TP-Link Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug is a chunky, black box design softened a bit but its curved edges.
Tp-Link’s Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug comes has two outlets.
Looks aside, this smart plug is well designed. It features two individually controllable three-prong outlets, a firm outer shell that protects it from the elements with an IP64 weather rating, a rubber cover for the outlets and a cord that isn’t too long or too short. If you’d like to secure your plug to your wall, a mounting screw, anchor and bracket is included.
A small rubber cover is included with the plug.
The only downside in design is that rubber cover; it’s not tethered or connected to the rest of the plug in any way. Once you pop it out of the socket, you’ll need to keep it close by or put it in a safe storage place.
Setting up the TP-Link Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug takes just a few minutes with the Kasa mobile app. One note: You’ll need an outdoor power outlet and a 2.4GHz network that delivers a reliable Wi-Fi signal to your outdoor space.
Once you’ve downloaded the Kasa Smart app for your iOS or Android device, you’ll be asked to create an account. With you account logged in, simply follow the easy onscreen instructions for adding a new device.
Three indicator lights show the status of Wi-Fi connection and power to each outlet.
LED power and Wi-Fi indicator lights on the top of the plug are your helpful guides through setup. With your plug connected to your Wi-Fi network, you can begin to customize your settings. Individual outlets can be named, given cute icons that animate with color when they are powered on and paired with your voice assistant of choice.
Standard smarts apply for Alex and Google Assistant integrations. You can power each outlet on or off with your voice as well as ask the current status, and incorporate them into scenes and routines with the rest of your home. Even without these voice assistant perks, the TP-Link Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug offers plenty of smarts on its own.
Each outlet is named and individually controllable within the Kasa Smart app.
Each outlet is individually controllable, so you can ask your voice assistant to turn on a specific outlet. You can set schedules for each outlet. Options range from specific times of day to a sunrise/sunset more or a timer function. There’s also an Away Mode that randomly powers devices on and off during a designated window.
You won’t get energy monitoring with this smart plug, but there is a page in the app to view daily, weekly and monthly run time in hours for each outlet.
From left to right: The Kasa Smart app, Alexa app and Google Home app showing the TP-Link Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug outlets.
Screenshot by Molly Price/CNET
If you need HomeKit compatibility, both iHome and iDevices offer outdoor smart plug options that work well. Both of those are more expensive than this $30 model. If HomeKit doesn’t matter to you and you want an affordable, reliable outdoor smart plug option, TP-Link’s Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug is the way to go.