Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Meross smart outdoor plug review

A HomeKit smart plug is one of the first investments people will make when venturing into a smart home territory. But normally smart plugs are indoor use only. However, Meross is here with the Outdoor Smart WiFi Plug that works with HomeKit at a fraction of the cost of other options on the market today. So continue reading this in-depth Meross smart outdoor plug review to find out if it’s worth buying.

To be 100% transparent, Meross provided the Meross Smart outdoor plug for this review. This will not affect my opinion wherever it is positive or critical of the device. You can read more on our review promise and ethics statement.

Meross smart outdoor plug features

  • Price £29.99 in the UK, $31.99 in the US, and €29.99 in the EU
  • 10amps max load
  • Supply voltage 220-240
  • Works without Hub via Wi-FI 2.4 GHz
  • Works with HomeKit
  • Device rating IP65, plug element IP44
  • Power Cord: 27cm

In the box

  • Meross smart plug
  • User manual

Meross smart outdoor plug design & features

The Meross smart outdoor smart plug is an all-black, plastic rectangular frame with two power sockets. Each socket is covered with a spring flap which gives them a IP44, which is enough for most outdoor applications, but I would not submerge them in water. In the middle of each socket is a single button that can turn both sockets on and off.meross outdoor button

The rear of the device features the HomeKit setup code along with one screw slot for mounting it to a wall. It also features a power cord which is 27 cm in length, with the UK standard 3 prong configuration, but EU and US versions will have the relevant prongs.

The Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi Plug can handle up to 10 amp, so this means you should be ok to use it with decorations or lights. But I would not recommend it be used with a power wash or motors, as this may cause the fuse to trip.Mersss smart outdoor plug rear

The plug connects to home networks via 2.4ghz Wi-Fi, without an additional hub required. Besides HomeKit, the outdoor smart plug works with Alexa, the Google Assistant. But because this is a HomeKit focused publication. We will concentrate on the Apple smart Home platform for the rest of the review.

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Meross smart outdoor plug setup

While Meross has an app available via the App store, I used the Home app to set everything up. Although it is worth mentioning to receive firmware updates, then you need to use the Meross app.Meross smart outdoor plug HomeKit setup

To get started I plugged in the Meross outdoor plug into a power socket. Then opened the Home app, tap “add accessory” and it will present you with the familiar HomeKit screen that lets you scan the HomeKit code. The HomeKit setup process will take you through adding to a room, naming the device and other setup steps.

Once setup, the Meross smart outdoor plug will be available in the Home App and available to set up HomeKit automations.

Using the Meross smart outdoor plug

Although the smart plug is designed for outdoors, during my 4 weeks of testing I used this in my studio connected to some LED lights for filming. I also used it outdoors to control some garden decoration lights and in my garage to control a flood light facing down my drive.meross outdoor light control

As previously mentioned the outdoor smart plug includes two power sockets which can be controlled via the single button that glows green when the sockets are on. While I welcome the ability with any smart plug that can turn on and off in the traditional way. It would have been nice for the device to individual buttons to control each socket.

So, for example, when I had it connected in my studio, having one button was not a problem as the LED lights which are frequently used as a pair. However, when I was using it in my garage with the floodlight. Having something else plug into the opposite socket meant I had to be mindful if I used the built-in switch. That this would also turn off the LED floodlight.

In terms of connectivity and placement around my home, the Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi Plug has performed well. Just for reference during the review. The device was placed 14 meters away in the garage with 2 external walls between it and the router.meross outdoor plug

Requests made to the outdoor smart plug via the Home app or Siri were actioned within seconds. Despite the distances between the plug and the router, I have yet to come across an instance of “no response” within the Home app.

HomeKit control

Speaking of HomeKit HomeKit support, which is controlled via the Home app found on your iOS device. Operating the smart plug at the basic level involves tapping the tile within the Home App to bring up both controls. But you can split the tiles out by going into settings and tapping “Show as Separate Tiles”. It will then present you with two separate sockets which can be controlled independently.

One benefit of using the Meross outdoor plug with HomeKit means you can include the smart plug in scenes, automation or triggers. So, for example, I had the outdoor plug connected to my studio lights for when I am filming. I then included the Meross plug in my studio scene to turn on my lights when activated.Meross smart outdoor plug HomeKit

I also used the device in an automation involving a plug powered floodlight and the motion sensor for the Netatmo Presence smart outdoor camera. This automation would be activated if the camera detected motion and it would trigger the floodlight to turn on. You can read all about how to set up a floodlight with HomeKit and motion detection here.

Finally, you can control the Meross outdoor plug with Siri. For instance, you can say “Hey Siri, turn on the floodlight” and it will turn it on within seconds.

Meross smart outdoor plug review conclusion

The Meross smart outdoor plug worked well during my review period. During my testing I have found it to be reliable, and the Wi-Fi range worked well. I also like that you can use it for indoor and outdoor applications.Meross outdoor plug review

HomeKit integration works well within the Home app and being able to use this in automations is a significant benefit. Using Siri on either my Apple Watch or iPhone to control the outdoor smart plug is very handy.

But as mentioned, I have some minor complaints with the smart plug. The first being that it only has a one dedicated button to control both plugs. I would have also liked a longer power cord to give it longer reach outdoors. One final niggle, it would have been nice if Meross had placed a rubber seal around the socket flaps for added peace of mind.

The bottom line, Meross has done a superb job with delivering a HomeKit enabled outdoor smart plug at such a competitive price. It is just the right size and just does what it says on the tin. Granted, you cannot use it for heavy-duty applications, but if you need HomeKit control over your outdoor lights. Then the Meross Outdoor Smart plug is an excellent choice to get the job done.

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Meross smart outdoor plug with HomeKit price and availability

The Meross smart outdoor plug is available for £29.99 in the UK, $31.99 in the US and €29.99 in the EU via Amazon. More countries will follow later in 2020. So that’s a wrap on the Meross smart outdoor plug review, Don’t forget to subscribe for more HomeKit and smart home reviews. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram.

Meross outdoor plug review
Meross smart outdoor plug review
Review Summary
The bottom line, Meross has done a superb job with delivering a HomeKit enabled outdoor smart plug at such a competitive price. It is just the right size and just does what it says on the tin. Granted, you cannot use it for heavy-duty applications, but if you need HomeKit control over your outdoor lights. Then the Meross Outdoor Smart plug is an excellent choice to get the job done.
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Author

Jon Ratcliffe
I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles. I write for active JR covering wearables and smart home My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.

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