Smart plugs are excellent because they can turn your standard electrical appliances into smart ones.
Although it’s most common to use smart plugs indoors, you may want to use one outdoors.
If that’s the case, you might wonder if they still work in cold weather.
Smart plugs still work in cold weather, particularly outdoor ones. There are outdoor smart plugs on the market that can function at temperatures as low as -4 °F (-20 °C). Indoor smart plugs are generally not as weather-proof as outdoor ones, so you should stick with outdoor plugs in cold weather.
If you live in a cold region and want to use a smart plug outdoors, it’s essential to learn more about the temperatures and weather conditions it can withstand.
This article will discuss this topic in more detail, so keep reading to learn more!
Choose an Outdoor Smart Plug for Cold Weather
When it comes to smart plugs, there are two main types: outdoor and indoor.
If you live in a place that experiences harsh winters, indoor smart plugs likely won’t work very well because they’re not as weather-resistant as outdoor smart plugs.
Although some indoor smart plugs can handle temperatures below freezing, it doesn’t mean they can handle other elements, such as:
- Heavy winds.
So when choosing a smart plug, you should make sure that it’s labeled as weather-resistant.
On top of that, you should make sure to check the plug’s operating temperature range.
You can generally find this information on the packaging or in the information leaflet that comes with the device.
Standard indoor smart plugs can’t handle weather conditions and can easily become damaged due to water or snow.
They’re usually lighter, less durable, and their power outlets are more exposed.
What Makes a Smart Plug Weather-Resistant?
Indoor and outdoor smart plugs are designed differently.
It’s easy to see the difference when you look at pictures of indoor plugs and pictures of outdoor ones.
When you compare them, outdoor smart plugs are generally bulkier and come with covers, whereas indoor smart plugs look like any other normal plug that you’d use in your home (with minimal coverage).
Below are some of the other things that make a smart plug weather-resistant:
#1: Weather-resistant materials
It’s good to look at the materials the plug is made of if you plan on using it in cold weather.
Outdoor smart plugs tend to be made of durable plastics that are fire and weather-resistant.
Some materials that outdoor smart plugs are made of may include:
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). This is a highly durable plastic that can withstand different weather conditions.
- Polycarbonate (PC). Polycarbonate is waterproof and can handle tough weather conditions.
An example of an outdoor smart plug made of PC is this AmazonBasics Smart Outdoor Plug, available on Amazon.
Due to the durable materials and IP65 rating, this outdoor smart plug is weather-resistant and can undoubtedly be used in cold weather.
#2: The IP rating
If you want to use a smart plug outside in cold weather, you should pay attention to the Ingress Protection (IP) rating. This is a rating given to electronic devices that shows how weather-resistant they are.
For example, a smart plug with an IP rating of IP65 means it is protected from total dust ingress and low-pressure water jets from any direction.
On the other hand, a smart plug with an IP rating of IP60 would be protected from dust particles but not from any liquids, including rain.
The higher the number in the IP rating, the more weather-resistant the smart plug is.
#3: Protective design
Most indoor smart plugs go directly into the wall, with the power outlet facing outward.
However, this isn’t ideal if you want to use your smart plug outdoors in cold weather because it’s easy for water to get in and cause damage.
Most outdoor plugs are designed differently.
Instead of facing outward like standard indoor smart plugs, the power outlet faces downward.
That way, things like water and snow can’t fall into the outlet, which could be damaging.
Best Smart Plugs for Cold Weather
The temperature a smart plug can handle depends on the specific device.
Generally, this information should be displayed somewhere on the device’s packaging.
Since different smart plugs have different temperature ranges, it’s good to research a few different devices before buying anything.
Below are examples of the best weather-resistant smart plugs for cold weather, all available on Amazon.
This Kasa smart plug is one of the most popular choices when it comes to outdoor smart plugs.
It’s made of polycarbonate (PC) and has an IP64 rating, so it’s fully weather-resistant. It also comes with a cover that you can use to protect it. The temperature range is from 32 to 104 °F (0 to 40 °C).
Continue reading: 6 Reasons Why Your Kasa Smart Plug Is Clicking On And Off
The operating temperature range of this plug is -4 to 122 °F (-20 to 50 °C).
It has an IP rating of IP64, and the power outlets are located at the bottom of the device, ensuring that rain and other outdoor materials can’t get into the plug and cause damage.
The WeMo WiFi Smart Outdoor Plug can operate between 32 and 104 °F (0 and 40 °C).
It’s made of durable material, and the power outlets face downward to protect it from rain damage. On top of that, the plug comes with an outlet cover for when it’s not in use.
Smart plugs work in cold weather, but the precise temperature they can handle will depend on the specific device.
Outdoor smart plugs can generally handle colder temperatures than indoor smart plugs.
Plus, they’re more weather-resistant. They generally have high IP ratings and hang with their power outlets facing downward, making them less susceptible to water damage.
If you live in a cold region, choose an outdoor smart plug rather than an indoor one.