A smart plug is a tiny investment you can make to turn ordinary lights and small appliances in your home into smart appliances. With smart plugs, you can control the devices that are plugged into them, such as a lamp or a flat iron, from your smartphone. And since many have built-in Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit integration, you can even control your regular appliances with your voice.
Controlling your lights and devices without having to manually walk over and touch them is really only a small piece of the pie. Many of the smart apps associated with each plug can set schedules for your lights. You can schedule them to turn on at specific times in the night when you are away to make it look as though someone is home for added security, or have them turn on right when you get home from work so you don’t have to wander into a dark house. Some even have advanced scheduling that turns lights on and off when the sun rises and sets locally.
Before you purchase a smart plug, you should first consider a few things:
- Home connectivity options – Which voice assistant does it work with?
- How advanced is the scheduling – Can you set timers and schedules?
- Design – Does it block other plugs and does it have an on/off switch?
Once you’re ready to give your lights and small appliances a little education, we have a handful of recommendations below for the best smart plugs available. It’s time for your home to get with the times and join the 21st century!
1. C by GE
Protect your home when you are away with the C by GE smart plug. You can turn your lights on and off through the app — no hub or bridge required. And when you’re in the home, you have the luxury and convenience of Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls. You can even turn the power off to devices like a curling iron that you or your partner may have accidentally left on.
2. Amazon Smart Plug
When you’re in the Amazon ecosystem, an Amazon Smart Plug is a great choice for your home automation needs. It has Alexa built-in so there’s no need to connect it to an Alexa smart speaker. The app allows you to schedule lighting as well as other home automation. Keep in mind, it’s only compatible with Alexa, so if you’re team Google over Amazon, you’ll want to look elsewhere for a smart plug.
3. Wyze Smart Plug
This plug is rather smart even though it looks fairly basic. With the app, not only can you make a schedule for your lights and power, but it also tracks the usage of whatever is plugged into it. You can’t schedule lights based on sunrise and sunsets like other more expensive options allow, but it does work with all Amazon, Google and Apple voice assistants.
4. Kasa Smart KP400
The Kasa Smart KP400 turns a single “dumb” plug into two smart ones that can be controlled individually. With IP64 weatherproofing and 300 ft WiFi range, it’s great for outdoor and indoor use. You can control the plug with your smartphone and connect it to either Google or Alexa Voice controls.
5. Wemo Mini Smart Plug
This covers the three major players — Google, Amazon and Apple HomeKit — in the smart home ecosystem game. With the app, you can schedule home lighting, create an away mode for when you aren’t home and control other devices that are connected to the plug. It’s a compact design that won’t block other plugs and is one of the more affordable options.
6. Kasa Smart Plug
This turns one of your plugs into a smart one without blocking the other. You get your choice with Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana voice assistants for hands-free operation. You can also use the app to schedule when lights turn off and on which is useful when you aren’t home or go out of town.
7. Meross Smart Outdoor Plug
This is a great plug for outdoor use thanks to its IP44 weatherproof housing. You can turn your electric grill or landscape lighting on and off with your voice. Plus, it works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings. Both plugs can also be controlled independently, which turns one plug into two smart plugs.
8. Mini Smart Plug Gosund WiFi Outlet
This smart plug is “mini” in the truest sense. It’s only two-inches across and one inch thick, so it isn’t bulky and doesn’t stick out too far from your plug. It provides app control over connected devices including schedules to turn on lights and the ability to toggle the power of appliances. Even though it works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, this smart plug is only $9.
9. Teckin Surge Protector
Why have one smart plug when you can have four (and four USB outlets as well)? This is a smart surge protector that not only protects your devices but also gives you control over them through your smartphone. You can create schedules based on time, but also sunrise, sunset and temperature. It doesn’t have a built-in voice assistant, but can be connected to a Google Assistant or Alexa-enabled device.
10. iHome ISP6X WiFi Smart Plug
With support from Amazon, Google and Siri, this is a great choice for those who have a variety of different devices in their home. The app is intuitive and provides a number of different scheduling options for your lights and devices. It’s a little on the bulky side, but the upsides of compatibility, convenience and price make it a desirable smart plug.