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TP-Link Kasa WiFi Lite Review

An effective and inexpensive way to track how often you use your appliances
TP-Link Kasa WiFi Lite
Credit: TP-Link
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $35 List | $23 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, compact design, runtime tracking
Cons:  Setup relatively involved, slower reboot after WiFi outage
Manufacturer:   TP-Link
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Sep 3, 2019
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 9
  • Ease of Setup - 40% 5
  • Reliability - 30% 7
  • Interface - 15% 8
  • Voice Assistants - 15% 8

Our Verdict

Largely due to its well-designed smart power strip, we think TP Link is a great choice for those looking to create a large network of smart plugs throughout their home, and the Kasa WiFi Lite is the best way to expand that network indoors. It provides basic functionality in a relatively slim package, and easily communicates with TP Link's power strips and outdoor plugs.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $35 List
$22.99 at Amazon
$60 List$35 List
$17.95 at Amazon
$35 List$45 List
$21.99 at Amazon
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Pros Inexpensive, compact design, runtime trackingQuick setup, intuitive app, reliable and responsive, energy monitoring, 2 independent portsQuick setup, broad smart home compatibility, inexpensiveSmall size doesn't block other outlets, fairly straightforward interface2 independent outlets, weatherproof, individual run time monitoring
Cons Setup relatively involved, slower reboot after WiFi outageNo Apple HomeKit or IFTTT support, can be a bit priceyHard to change networks, slower recovery when WiFi cuts outLacks any advanced featuresSetup relatively involved, slow to reboot after WiFi outage
Bottom Line TP Link's basic outlet makes their network easily (and cheaply) expandableOffers pretty much everything you could want from a connected outletThe perfect low-cost solution for connecting basic appliances to the internetSlim and trim, can often nestle where others won't fitTurns a single outdoor outlet into 2 independent controlled smart sockets
Rating Categories TP-Link Kasa WiFi... Currant WiFi Outlet WeMo Mini Leviton Smart... TP-Link Kasa Outdoor
Ease Of Setup (40%)
5
8
6
6
5
Reliability (30%)
7
9
9
7
7
Interface (15%)
8
8
7
6
8
Voice Assistants (15%)
8
4
9
8
8
Specs TP-Link Kasa WiFi... Currant WiFi Outlet WeMo Mini Leviton Smart... TP-Link Kasa Outdoor
Number of Outlets 1 2 1 1 2
Maximum Power 1.2kW 1.8kW 1.8 kW 1.5kW 1.875kW
Smart Home Compatability Alexa, Google Home IFTTT, Nest, Home and Away Alexa, Google Home Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT, Nest Alexa, Google Home IFTTT, Nest, August Alexa, Google Home IFTTT, Nest, Home and Away
Warranty 2 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 3 Year Limited 5 Year Limited 2 Year Limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison



The Kasa Lite is relatively small and slim, and can often be...
The Kasa Lite is relatively small and slim, and can often be purchased in a 2-pack for a fairly low price.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Setup


When it comes to TP Link plugs, the initial setup is the one thing we really wish was better. Though not incredibly laborious, the process could certainly be more streamlined. Once downloading the app you have to create a new account and confirm it via email. If you want to control the plug with a voice assistant, you'll generally have to go into a seperate app and add it into your voice assistant's network manually.

Smart Home and Voice Assistant Compatibility


TP Link link plays nice with the majority of major smart home systems (Alexa, Google Home, If This Then That) with the notable exception of Apple HomeKit. It even offers some functionality with Nest products, as well as the Ecobee Home and Away system.

A plug with the outlet on the front (like the TP-Link Kasa Lite...
A plug with the outlet on the front (like the TP-Link Kasa Lite pictured here) creates a larger profile that may not fit behind a couch or other furniture.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Reliability and Responsiveness


Like most of the smart plugs we tested, the Kasa WiFi Lite offers immediate responsiveness to commands entered into its smartphone app. Also like most of the other models we tested, it often remained confused for a few minutes after we simulated a WiFi outage before finally regaining its balance and responding to our smartphone again. This problem was much worse when the plug was off as we cut power to the WiFi router. If the plug was clicked on when the WiFi disappeared, it often sprung right back to life right after the WiFi rebooted.

This small plug barely impedes the second outlet.
This small plug barely impedes the second outlet.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Advanced Features


Runtime monitoring is the only feature beyond the basics offered by the Kasa WiFi Lite. While we don't like this feature as much as the actual energy usage monitoring available on some other plugs, it is still nice to have some sort of usage statistics for your favorite devices.

Value


It can be a bit hard to pin down the value of the TP Link Kasa WiFi Lite as its price tends to fluctuate a bit at many online retailers, and it is often sold in packs of two or three. That being said, we've never seen a per-plug cost that we've thought of as anything other than relatively cheap, so you can generally rest assured that you're getting a good deal when investing in this plug.

The TP-Link Kasa Lite is a great option for expanding your TP-Link...
The TP-Link Kasa Lite is a great option for expanding your TP-Link smart network.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The TP Link Kasa WiFi Lite is an inexpensive and effective smart plug that can easily slide right into to your existing TP Link smart plug network.

Max Mutter and Michelle Powell