If you want a smart home without the steep price tag, remote control electrical outlets and smart plugs are a great start. Both are efficient ways to gain the benefits of home automation without the cost of transforming every item in your home into a smart device. Rather than purchase new smart appliances, transform the ones you already own into smart devices simply by plugging them into smart outlets. From there, you can create a schedule for your devices, remotely turn them on and off, and more.
We’ve rounded up seven smart outlets that each offer unique features, including integrations, user friendliness, and affordable price tags—they’re all $30–$50. See which remote control outlets SafeWise recommends.
The Insteon On/Off Outlet is a remote-controllable dual outlet that allows you to regulate and schedule your electronic devices from any location.
What We Like: The On/Off Outlet is unique because you can control the upper and lower outlets independently—there’s no need to purchase two Insteon outlets to control two electronic devices. And when using the smartphone app, you can create schedules, receive alerts, and more.
What We Don’t Like: Unlike some smart plugs, this device must be hardwired into the wall, so it doesn’t rank high on the user-friendly scale. If you aren’t knowledgeable in electrical work, you’ll want to hire a professional to install it.
Works With: The Insteon On/Off Outlet works with any Insteon device, including the Hub, Wall Switch, Wall Keypad, Mini Remote, and Sensors. When you connect the outlet with the Insteon Hub, you can control the On/Off Outlet through your smartphone or Apple Watch.
Recommended For: This outlet is sleek, slim, and has multiple color options, which makes it a great pick if you’re focused on aesthetics.
The D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug makes life easier by letting you control your home’s electric gadgets from any location.
What We Like: The D-Link app that connects with the smart plug has an extensive list of features, including the ability to monitor your home’s energy usage and see how much power each connected device consumes.
What We Don’t Like: Several reviewers note that the setup can be difficult, and the Wi-Fi connection can be unreliable at times. You might find it frustrating if you can’t always access your devices remotely.
Works With: Not only does the smart plug integrate with other D-Link devices—including the Wi-Fi Water Sensor, Wi-Fi Siren, Wi-Fi Motion Sensor and HD Wi-Fi Camera—but it also works with Amazon Echo and If This Then That (IFTTT).
Recommended For: The D-Link smart plug is one of the few that offers energy monitoring and works with multiple other smart devices, making it a good option for the eco-friendly and tech-savvy home.
The Quirky Outlink Smart Remote Outlet makes it easy for users to control their appliances while also monitoring energy consumption.
What We Like: Like the D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug, the Outlink offers energy monitoring through its connected app. However, the Outlink takes this a step further and lets you set a monthly energy usage budget. When you reach your limit, you can schedule Outlink to turn off connected electronics and conserve energy.
What We Don’t Like: Only the top outlet on the Outlink is a smart plug. The bottom outlet is a traditional plug. While this was designed for more versatile appliance control, it limits the number of devices you can connect.
Works With: The Outlink works with the Wink HUB, Wink Relay, and ZigBee-enabled Wink-certified hub.
Recommended For: With one smart plug and one traditional outlet, the Outlink is great for people new to smart technology who aren’t ready to turn every gadget into a smart device.
The Caséta Lutron is a wireless smart plug and lamp dimmer in one, letting you transform a room into the perfectly lit environment.
What We Like: It is one of the few smart plugs that includes a lamp dimmer. You can turn lights on or off and raise or lower them to adjust brightness manually on the plug or through the connected app.
What We Don’t Like: This plug doesn’t work with any electronic devices—just lamps. While you’ll have a lot of control over your lighting, you’ll have to use different smart plugs to control other appliances or devices.
Works With: The Caséta offers myriad integrations and connections. It works with Amazon Alexa, Apple Watch, Nest and Honeywell thermostats, Harmony Home Control and Pico remote controls, Smart Bridge hub, and Serena shades.
Recommended For: The Caséta may be best reserved for bedrooms where lighting is the main focus. The plug is also ideal for those new to home automation who want to start simple with controlling their lighting.
5. Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch
If you have limited mobility or need to access hard-to-reach devices, this remote control outlet is a great fit. Use the Etekcity Outlet Switch to turn electric-powered gadgets on and off at the push of a button.
What We Like: Etekcity’s Outlet Switch relies on a remote control to turn electronic devices on or off from as far away as 100 feet. We love how easy it is to expand, whether you want to activate multiple devices with one remote or control one device with multiple remotes.
What We Don’t Like: The Etekcity Outlet Switch is the least-sophisticated remote control outlet of the bunch, as it doesn’t connect with an app or allow you to remotely control your devices beyond turning them on and off.
Works With: Unfortunately, this electrical outlet switch can’t be remotely controlled with a smart device, nor does it work with any smart hubs or devices.
Recommended For: While the Etekcity Outlet Switch is limited in its capabilities, its lower price tag—it’s the cheapest of the bunch—makes it a great starter product for someone who isn’t ready to invest in pricier smart home technology.
The Belkin Wemo Switch is one of the most well-known smart plugs on the market, and it instantly transforms your standard electrical outlet into a remote-controllable one.
What We Like: The Wemo Switch is not only Wi-Fi enabled but also works anywhere you have an internet, 3G, or 4G connection. Even if your Wi-Fi is down, you can still control your plugged in appliances if you have an internet connection.
What We Don’t Like: The Wemo Switch is bulky considering it offers only a single plug. And because of the size, most outlets won’t fit two Wemo Switches. If you want to connect multiple devices, you’ll have to spread them throughout your rooms on different outlets.
Works With: The Wemo Switch works with the entire family of Belkin Wemo home automation products, as well as the Amazon Echo, Nest Thermostat, and IFTTT.
Recommended For: The Wemo Switch is easy to set up and use, which makes it a great option for anyone who wants to get up and running as quickly as possible.
Edimax’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug keeps you connected with your home at all times. The Edimax app allows you to turn appliances on and off, monitor the status of your electronics, and receive alerts.
What We Like: The Edimax Plug is packed with eco-friendly features. View your appliances’ energy usage in kilowatts or dollars so you know what each appliance uses—and how much it costs you. With this and other features, it’s one of the most advanced smart plugs on the market.
What We Don’t Like: Like the Belkin Wemo Switch, the Edimax is bulky and offers only a single outlet, limiting the number of devices you can connect.
Works With: The Edimax Plug doesn’t work with anything other than its proprietary app—which is available on both Apple and Android smartphones.
Recommended For: Offering the ability to access real-time power data and history with stats, budget control features, and power usage reports, the Edimax Plug is a great pick for the energy-conscious consumer.
SafeWise Recommends the Insteon On/Off Outlet
If we had to pick just one remote control outlet, it would be the Insteon On/Off Outlet. For one, it’s hardwired into your wall, so it doesn’t add any bulk to your outlets. It’s also one of the few that offers two outlets you can control independently. And you can’t beat the number of devices it works with.
There are dozens of smart plugs and remote control electrical outlets on the market—you can take a look at our Best Smart Outlets Buyers Guide to see some of them—but these seven offer something for everyone. Choose the right option for you and experience the simplicity of remotely controlling your electronic devices and appliances.
Have you purchased or used any of these remote control outlets? Do you use another brand we didn’t list? Let us know if we should add any other remote control outlets, and tell us about your experience using any of these devices.
Written by Melissa Darcey
Melissa Darcey is a freelance writer whose work has been featured in a number of technology, lifestyle, and business publications. Learn more