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Whether you want to use your laptop on the patio without worrying about it running out of battery, or keep an outdoor security camera connected to power during a rainstorm, you’ll need a set of outdoor plugs.
Outdoor plugs look and work the same way power outlets in your home do. The difference is they’re coated in a thick shielding to prevent water from getting inside damaging them. You should always exercise caution when putting electronics near water, but outdoor plugs can reduce your risk of creating sparks or electrical shorts.
If you’d like to use gadgets on a deck or porch, we’ve collected the outdoor plugs you should consider.
What You Need to Know Before Buying an Outdoor Plug
There are many factors to think about when choosing the right outdoor plug for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Durability: An outdoor plug is designed to keep your tech safe from hazards like water, which means they need to be durable as possible. Water resistance for electronics is typically measured on the IP (Ingress Protection) scale, but some companies don’t rate their outdoor plugs that way.
In that case, we considered the materials used to make the outdoor plugs, and any additional protection (hinged doors to shield outlets, for instance) when creating this guide.
Smart Features: Many outdoor plugs released recently can connect to your WiFi network, and be controlled via your smartphone, or a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo.
These smart features allow you to set the gadget that’s connected into your outdoor plugs on a schedule, which can be useful if you’ve got outside lighting or a bug zapper that only need to be on at night. Automating a schedule means you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to turn them on or off again.
1. Yellow Jacket Outdoor 15-Amp Power Adapter
If you’ve got a lot of gadgets, and only need your outdoor plug when you’re actually outside, Yellow Jackets’ Outdoor Power Adapter is a great choice. It has a plug on one end that connects directly to an outlet (or extension cable, if you need more slack), and has five outlets pointed in different directions. That design choice allows you to easily plug in gadgets with bulk power connectors without blocking another outlet.
Each outlet on this outdoor plug can be twisted to reveal a physical cover that prevents dust, dirt, or water from entering when it’s not in use. A thick, high impact plastic housing helps insulate the outdoor plug from getting damaged if it falls.
Yellow Jacket’s Outdoor Power Adapter is a great outdoor plug, but doesn’t have any smart features, which means you can’t control the gadgets connected to it unless you physically plug and unplug them. This isn’t a big deal if you use it exclusively when you’re outdoors, but it may limit its appeal if you’re plugging in gadgets that stay outside all the time.
Pros: A thick outer shell, and safety cover on each outlet prevent the plug (and your tech) from getting damaged. Each outlet is spaced far enough apart that you won’t run the risk of blocking two of them with a single bulky power adapter.
Cons: It doesn’t have any smart features.
2. TP-Link Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug
If you have a pair of gadgets you’d like to keep permanently connected outside, TP-Link’s Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug is a great fit. The outdoor plug has a short power cable that terminates into a pair of outlets. Three buttons on top of the plug allow you to individually turn each outlet on or off, and connect it to your WiFi network.
A downside is that it’ll only work on a 2.4Ghz WiFi network — almost all routers have connections that work on that frequency (it’s the default), but it’s smart to check yours before you get this plug. If your network name doesn’t say “5.0Ghz” next to it, you should be good.
Once connected, you can control each of the outlets via an app on your smartphone (iOS and Android), or a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo. TP-Link’s app also allows you to set each outlet to turn on and off on a timer, so your gadgets are only powered up when they need to be.
TP-Link says its outdoor plug has earned an IP64 rating, which means it’s water-resistant enough to avoid damage from splashes of water. The entire outdoor plug is coated in thick plastic, and the housing actually hangs over both of the outlets to shield them from water. TP-Link provides a pair of thin plugs that can be connected to outlets to prevent water or dust from seeping inside when they’re not in use.
From a size, durability, and smart features standpoint TP-Link’s Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug is an excellent choice, but it does only have two outlets, which may not be enough if you have a lot of gadgets that need to be connected at once. If that’s the case, we have other recommendations in our guide to better suit your needs.
Pros: TP-Link’s Smart Outdoor Plug has a high water-resistance rating, small footprint, and allows you to control anything that’s connected to it via an app or smart-home speaker.
Cons: This outdoor plug only has two outlets — the least of any in our guide. Like all smart outdoor plugs, it can only connect to a 2.4Ghz WiFi network.
3. POWRUI Smart Outdoor Power Strip
POWRUI’s Smart Outdoor Power Strip has many of the same features that make TP-Link’s Smart Outdoor Plug great, but doubles the amount of outlets.
The power strip has a short power cable that terminates into four outlets — each outlet extends from the outdoor plug via its own short cable. The cable allows you to space each outlet far enough apart that you can connect four bulky power bricks (think laptop chargers) at the same time.
You can connect POWRUI’s Smart Power Strip to your WiFi network, and can control each of the four outlets via an app (iOS and Android), or a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo.
In terms of durability, POWRUI’s power strips is very impressive. The company says this accessory has earned an IP44 rating, which means it’s built to handle splashes of water and particles larger than .039 inches. Additionally, the power strip’s outer shell is made out of a fireproof material, which is a plus if it’s being used right next to a fire pit or grill.
Finally, POWRUI’s power strip is also a surge protector. It can handle up to 1080 joules of electricity without damaging your electronics. If you want to keep a lot of gadgets connected outdoors, this is an excellent choice.
Pros: This outdoor power strip was designed to handle water, dust, fire, and electricity. Its smart features allow you to control any of its four outlets from anywhere.
Cons: When you’re not using all four outlets, the ones that aren’t in use don’t have a lot of protection.
4. DEWENWILS Smart Outdoor Power Strip
Most of the outdoor plugs we recommend are compact, and easy to take inside if you don’t need to use them all the time. DEWENWILS’ Smart Outdoor Power Strip is different. The six-outlet power strip has a pair of brackets, so you can attach it to the outside of your home, and comes with a stake you can stick in the ground. This is an outdoor plug designed to remain outdoors.
The outdoor power strip has six outlets that are spaced pretty far apart. They’re not spread out enough for the power strip to be connected to eight bulky power adapters though, so keep that in mind. This is a smart power strip, which means you can control each of the outlets through an app (iOS or Android), or an Amazon Echo. Like POWRUI’s power strip, it can only connect to 2.4Ghz WiFi networks.
On the durability front DEWENWILS’ Smart Power Strip holds up well. The power strip itself is made out of an insulated, fire retardant material, and its six-foot power cable was designed to resist moisture. Each outlet on this power strip can be covered by a door that DEWENWILS says can prevent damage from rain, snow, and dust. The door cannot be closed when a gadget is plugged into the outlet. It’s not a surge protector, but the company says this power strip has a circuit breaker inside that can keep smaller electronics from short circuiting.
If you don’t mind the fact that this outdoor power strip needs to be kept outside, it’ll suit your needs very well. The shorter spacing between the outlets is the only real physical limitation, and you should look at the power plugs you want to connect to it before making a commitment.
Pros: This power strip has more outlets than any of the outdoor smart plugs we’ve recommended, has smart features, and was built to handle fire, rain, and snow.
Cons: The outlets are close enough that you can’t connect six bulky power adapters at the same time.