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Smart plugs let you automate your home from your iPhone

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Control your home with an app using these wireless smart plugs.
Just plug in your favorite lamp or appliance, and you're off to the home-automation races.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you want to set up a smart home, you may not have to pay as much as you think. Sure, you could buy lights that turn on when you get home or a fridge that knows when you’re out of milk. Alternatively, you could just get a Wireless Wall Tap Smart Plug and turn anything you connect into a smart device.

For a limited time, this simple way to turn your dumb house into a smart home is on sale for $39.99 (regularly $49).

New Wi-Fi smart plug for HomeKit keeps tabs on energy use

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A four-pack for $50 is a good deal for something that won't block other outlets, works with HomeKit and monitors energy.
A four-pack for $50 is a good deal for something that won't block other outlets, works with HomeKit and monitors energy.
Photo: TP-Link

A smart plug that takes up just a little space on your electrical outlet is great. But it’s even better when it lets you monitor your energy use. Such is the case with TP-Link’s new HomeKit-enabled Kasa Smart Wifi Plug Slim.

And at about $12.50 per plug in a four-pack, it’s a good deal on Amazon, too. It’s the only smart plug priced that low that works with HomeKit and monitors energy usage.

Wemo’s latest HomeKit smart plug uses Thread for fast, reliable connections

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Wemo’s latest HomeKit smart plug uses Thread for fast, reliable connections
The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread offers simple and inexpensive home automation.
Photo: Wemo/Belkin

The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread simplifies controlling lamps, fans, and other appliances with an iPhone or Siri. Anything that plugs into a standard wall outlet can be turned on or off.

Rather than Wi-Fi, the HomeKit accessory communicates with other accessories over Thread, a mesh networking standard.

TP-Link’s extensive new Tapo lineup of smart plugs, lights and sensors support Apple HomeKit

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TP-Link’s extensive new Tapo lineup of smart plugs, lights and sensors support Apple HomeKit
The Tapo S500D Smart Dimmer Switch and Tapo L535 Multicolor Smart WiFi Light Bulb are two of the HomeKit-compatible accessories TP-Link just unveiled.
Photo: TP-Link

TP-Link unveiled a collection of HomeKit-compatible smart home accessories at CES 2022. It includes smart plugs, switches smart lighting and more.

With nine new products coming out this year, it’s a big push into supporting Apple’s HomeKit home automation system.

Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug lets you extend HomeKit to your yard

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Lutron Caseta Outdoor Plug takes HomeKit outside.
Think of all the ways HomeKit can enhance your outdoor living space.
Photo: Lutron

CES 2021 bug Lutron is taking its top-notch HomeKit smart plug outside. The upcoming Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug is a beefy-looking, iP-65-rated AC outlet that’s built to take all the abuse Mother Nature can dish out.

Designed to give you control over things like outdoor lighting and pumps, it’s smart enough that it can adjust your timers when daylight saving time arrives.

“It’s essentially weatherproof, dirtproof and sunproof,” said Matt Swatsky, Lutron’s vice president of residential mid-market business, in a press release Monday. “A homeowner can now enjoy all the benefits of a Caséta system for their outside spaces.”

Meross dual-plug smart outlet offers easy and affordable HomeKit automation [Review]

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug review: Easily affordable HomeKit automation
The Meross Smart WiFi Plug is unobtrusive but very functional. Just what your want.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug lets you control two lights, fans or other appliances from your iPhone or iPad. And because it’s a simple plugin unit, it brings the convenience of Apple’s HomeKit home automation with minimal hassle.

After extensive testing, here’s how this accessory stood up to regular use.

Meross smart plug makes HomeKit home automation easy and cheap [Review]

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini review
Insert the Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini into a wall socket and you can control it from anywhere in the world.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini is an inexpensive and easy-to-install way to get started in home automation. This smart plug lets you control a lamp, fan or other appliance without needing to touch it. Support for Apple’s HomeKit and Amazon Alexa means voice commands, or automated schedules, are all that’s necessary.

I tested a pair of these accessories for a week, and can report on how they perform in daily use.

Satechi dual HomeKit plug makes your outlets smarter [Review]

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Satechi Dual Smart Outlet review
This smart plug could be the start of your home automation makeover.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Satechi’s dual-socket smart outlet lets you easily dip your toe into home automation. There’s nothing to install — you just plug it in — but the Dual Smart Outlet still allows you to control two different appliances from your iPhone, iPad, etc. It uses Apple’s HomeKit so it’s compatible with plenty of other accessories.

Find out how you can take a first step into controlling your home with Siri voice commands in our hands-on review.