This is part two of our series on the best Apple HomeKit devices. You can view all the articles in the series by viewing the homekit-series tag. For this article we’re going to outline some of the best Apple HomeKit Outlets.
Remember, Apple certifies all products to ensure they work correctly, just look out for the “Works with Apple HomeKit” logo displayed on the packaging. Many products will have custom apps compatible with iOS, but only those with the HomeKit logo will be able to integrate with the Home app.
In the same breath, remember that some of the functionality these products advertise won’t be directly attainable via the Home app. For example, many of today’s products include power monitoring, but you will have to use their own apps to view that information. This shouldn’t stop you from buying them though, as switching functionality and scene setting will still work in Home, even if also using the manufacturer’s app.
The Elgato Eve Energy differs mostly from its counterparts in that it makes use of Bluetooth LE for communication instead of Wi-Fi. What this means is that when at home your phone will connect directly to the switch, but when away, you will have to have a connected Apple TV to allow remote control. The others use Wi-Fi, and thus allow for remote control regardless of Apple TV presence.
Elgato released this product as a new, updated product in October 2016, although it looks identical to the previous model, and in practical terms works the same way, so we assume this is just a firmware and component update. Elgato really try to push the benefit that their plugs offer in the form of power usage tracking, but only one of the products we reviewed today don’t have that functionality.
That being said there’s nothing wrong with this product. When plugged in it gives enough space to use your second wall socket, and connects and operates fine. It is marginally the most expensive product in today’s review, but not by much. Customer’s have few complaints about the product and it seems to do the job just fine, with a maximum power draw allowed of 1,800W.
Koogeek’s Smart Plug would be our winner today, if it wasn’t for the fact that as nice as it looks, the plug is centered, and thus when attaching to a double outlet, completely blocks the second outlet. It is an otherwise sleek and effective outlet. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, and thus can be controlled remotely regardless of location.
It gets the standard array of features, Siri control, etc., and also includes power consumption monitoring. Rated for appliances up to 1,800W, it should be sufficient for almost all your requirements. Koogeek offer a quite a bonus for those wanting to purcahse these in bulk, with the option to buy a set of 4, or 6, both at discounted rates.
While we’re mostly happy with the product, some users, especially recently, have run into some reliability issues with the Koogeek. We hope to see a follow up product soon.
The iSP6 is the follow up to iHome’s relatively successful Smart Plug. It was one of the first products to be released with the Apple HomeKit certification, and the iSP6 is their, fairly similar looking update. Although oddly shaped, the iHome at least allows for two devices to be plugged into a standard US double outlet.
Neat, with notification lights and a manual button, the switch can handle up to 1,800W loads. iHome have put a lot of effort into this product to make it not only compatible with HomeKit, but also able to connect with Nest, SmartThings, Wink and Alexa. Worth keeping in mind if you ever decide to stray from Apple.
Although some customers have experienced issues trying to set up an initial connection, problems are usually resolved and they’re outweighed by the numerous 5-star ratings. Falling in the middle of the price range, this product does not feature power monitoring. If that doesn’t put you off, definitely a product to consider.
The iDevices switch has a similar long design to the iHome, but places it’s outlet on the side. Unusual, but not bad as it makes plugging in devices behind desks and cabinets more practical, where space is limited. Also thin enough to allow plugging in of devices into a second wall outlet.
The plug connects via Wi-Fi and can support up to a 1,800W load. It comes with all the standard features of a smart plug, and has incorporated energy management as well. We’re also happy to see that iDevices have chosen to make their device compatible with Android and Alexa devices.
Slightly cheaper than the iHome device, this smart plug has garnered some negative reviews from customers who had trouble connecting the device. Feedback is very similar to that of the iHome iSP6. Regardless of this, we think the few issues can be overlooked. A 3 pack of iDevices switches can also be picked up at a lower price.
Automation Haus Verdict
If you’re happy to sacrifice one of your plugs, the Koogeek would be our top choice, especially at the lower price. However, that’s a big deal for most, which would make it a toss-up between the iHome and iDevices products. Think about what works better in your situation from a physical perspective. The iHome‘s lack of power monitoring may concern some, but we don’t think many people actually use this feature. It’s lower price would probably help it edge out the iDevices if we had to make the decision.