Smart Plugs are very useful items. It’s easy to install. And most of them don’t require a hub. Instead, they use your home Wi-Fi network. If you have recent iOS devices, some smart plugs can be integrated into Apple HomeKit so you can switch on/off with the Home app or Siri voice command. Here are some popular Smart Plugs compatible with Apple HomeKit. If you have Android devices and Amazon Alexa, please read “How to choose the best Smart Plug for you.”
iDevices Switches use your home Wi-Fi network. You can set up in a free app called iDevices Connected. The app is available at Google Play Store and Apple Appstore. It offers to switch on/off, make a schedule, and an energy monitoring. There is no feature of a countdown timer. As long as your mobile device is connected to the internet, you can turn on/off the Switch with the app from anywhere.
The Switch has a sleek design. A socket is located on one side. The opposite side has a physical button to turn on/off the device. A bar of LED on its face act as a night light, and you can change colors and brightness of the LED in the app. If you use a conventional electric plug, it looks neat on a wall outlet. But if you connect a vertical shape plug or bulky adapter, overall appearance might be ugly.
It works with Apple Homekit. You can turn on/off the Switch by saying, “Hey Siri, turn on/off [name of device].” If you have an Apple TV (3rd gen or later), you can use Apple Home app or Siri voice commands even when you are away from home. The Switch works with Amazon Alexa, too.
It’s an outdoor-friendly Wi-Fi smart plug by iDevices. It’s controlled by the same app, iDevices Connected. And, it also has the same features like scheduling, energy monitoring, configuring a nightlight, physical button to turn on/off manually and Siri, Alexa compatible.
The Outdoor Switch consists of a cord and the main unit. The cord is about 8-inch long and attached to one side of the main unit. The main unit has two outlets on the other side. You will need to mount the main unit with screws or hooks on a wall for a maximum rain-tight condition. Though the Outdoor Switch has two outlets, they switch on/off together. You can’t control them individually. According to iDevices, a working temperature range is between -4°F to 122°F/ -20° to 50°C.
iHome iSP5 use your home Wi-Fi network. You can set up and control with a mobile app called iHome Control available at Google Play Store and Apple Appstore. The app offers scheduling feature but no timer. And iSP5 doesn’t have an energy monitoring feature. What the most impressive about iHome smart plugs is that you can integrate them into various smart home hubs or apps. iHome iSP5 and other two newer models work with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Nest, Wink, and Samsung SmartThings. And, not directly, but it’s compatible with IFTTT through Wink or SmartThings.
The plug is very slim. Multiple plugs fit on the same outlet or power strip. At the corner of the plug, there is a small button to turn it on/off manually.
iSP6 is a newer version of iSP5. It’s similar, slim but wider than iSP5. What the differences are that a physical on/off button and LED indicators are located on one side of the plug. All features are the same as iSP5’s, except that it’s compatible with iSPR4 Remote Control (sold separately.)
iSP8 is the latest version iHome smart plug. It comes with an RF remote which works from up to 35 feet away, no line-of-sight required. The remote can be programmed to control a single or multiple smart plugs simultaneously. A design of iSP8 is the same as iSP6. One thing different from iSP6 is that iSP8 has an energy monitoring feature.
iSPR4 is an RF remote for iSP6 and iSP8 smart plugs. While the remote included in an iSP8 package has only one on/off button, iSPR4 has four. Each button can be programmed to control a single or multiple smart plugs simultaneously. It uses CR2032 battery (included.)
Elgato Eve Energy is a smart plug using Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi. You can set up in Eve app available at Apple Appstore. It offers scheduling and energy monitoring features, but no timer. It works with Apple HomeKit and Siri. The Eve Energy has a physical button to turn on/off manually. A 2.6″ square is too big to put multiple plugs in the same outlet. In general, a range of Bluetooth is narrower than Wi-Fi. But, The Eve Energy uses the latest version of Bluetooth, and range-related issues are not reported. However, when you are away from home, you can’t control it even with Eve app unless you have Apple TV 4th or iPad with iOS10 that’s always home and enabled as your home hub.
Elgato Eve products work exclusively on iOS devices. There is no app for Android devices, and it’s not compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Koogeek Smart Plug uses Wi-Fi. Its size is almost the same as Elgato Eve Energy. And, because of the size, most likely, you can’t use multiple plugs in the same outlet. A physical on/off button is located on the top of the plug. You can set up and control the plug in Koogeek Home app. The app offers scheduling, energy monitoring, and most importantly, timer. Though timer is a very useful feature, none of the other smart plugs here don’t have this feature. Koogeek Smart Plug works with Apple Homekit and Siri.
Koogeek Smart Home products work exclusively on iOS devices. There is no app for Android devices, and it’s not compatible with Amazon Alexa.
iHome Smart plugs are the most versatile of all. The app is available on both Android and iOS devices. And, They work with Alexa, Siri, Nest, Wink, SmartThings, and indirectly IFTTT. There are three choices. iSP5 is the smallest without an energy monitoring feature. iSP6 and iSP8 is a little wider than iSP5. In addition to a voice command from Alexa and Siri, or using compatible apps, you can control them by a physical RF remote, but the only iSP8 includes a remote. And only iSP8 has the feature of energy monitoring. Elgato Eve Energy and Koogeek are compatible with iOS devices only. Elgato uses Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi. Koogeek is the only smart plugs here which can set a timer. For outdoor use, iDevices Outdoor Switch is the one to consider.