iDevices Outdoor Switch Review
Pros: Weatherproof, 2 outlets in 1, broad smart home support, energy usage monitoring
Cons: Somewhat confusing to connect to virtual assistants
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The iDevices Outdoor Switch is a no-frills outdoor smart socket that makes controlling outdoor light from your phone simple and easy.
Ease of Setup
We found getting the Outdoor Switch hooked up to our WiFi and corresponding app quite easy. Just download the corresponding app on your phone before pressing a button on the plug to get it into pairing mode and the app instantly recognizes it. From there you are guided, step by step, through a relatively easy installation process.
Where we ran into issues was in connecting the plug to voice assistant like Alexa and Google. Nothing that came with the plug actually detailed how to do this, so we first tried the normal process of enabling Alexa skills or asking for our smart hubs to discover devices, all to no avail. Then we relented and hopped on Google to discover that voice assistants must be enabled within the iDevices app. This is a bit of an anomaly when compared to other plugs (and other smart devices in general) so we felt not highlighting this somewhere is a bit of a misstep.
Smart Home and Voice Assistant Compatibility
The iDevices Outdoor Switch is compatible with all of the major smart home players, including Alexa, Google, Apple HomeKit, and If This Then That.
Reliability and Responsiveness
When punching commands into the iDevices app the lights hooked up to the Outdoor Switch sprang to life almost immediately. Like many of the plugs we tested, the Outdoor Switch wasn't confused by power or WiFi outages if it was turned on during the outage. However, if it was off during one of those outages there was a noticeable delay in it getting reconfigured and responding to commands again.
Despite being a fairly spartan device in general it does offer energy usage monitoring. However, you can't get individual energy usage statistics for each outlet, just how much both have consumed in total.
Considerations for an Outdoor Plug
All of our tests with this plug were done while it was well within the effective range of our WiFi router. However, since this plug is meant to be used outside, there's a fair chance your WiFi signal will be a bit weaker. Luckily, smart plugs are fairly simple devices that don't need much bandwidth. Chances are if you put your phone in airplane mode and then turn the WiFi, and you can still load a webpage in the same spot you'd like to use your smart plug, you'll be all set. If the signal is too weak to load a webpage there, you may want to find an outlet closer to your WiFi router, or consider moving the router to a more central location.
The weatherproofing required to make the iDevices Outdoor Switch able to stand the elements makes it a bit more expensive than the average smart plug. However, its price is comparable to those of other outdoor plugs on the market, so considering its level of performance we think it represents a good overall value.
The iDevices Outdoor Switch effectively fills the niche of outdoor smart plug, offering the perfect platform from which to control your outdoor lights.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell