Nice addition to smart home devices.
Over the past few years, we have struggled somewhat with what we should include in our smart home devices. The first item we added was the Philips Hue bulbs. Since those items were a success, we have slowly been adding devices over time. Smart outlets have been a natural progression for our home. We tried several different brands of smart outlets including ConnectSense and now, we are excited to review the Smart Outlet 2 from ConnectSense.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 was redesigned to not only control devices plugged into it but also to monitor the power usage of those devices. It’s fully compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. Even though you can use it with any of these smart assistants, the Smart Outlet 2 does not need a hub to work with. In addition to monitoring energy, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 also allows you to schedule your devices to turn on and off automatically. The outlet consists of two WiFi connected sockets that can be controlled individually. It gives you the opportunity to turn everyday plug-in devices into smart appliances. You can control the outlet from anywhere with the ConnectSense app for either iOS or Android.
- To control this HomeKit-enabled accessory, iOS 10.3 or later is recommended.
- Power Input: 120 VAC, 60Hz
- Number of Controllable Power Outlets: 2
- 1440 W resistive
- 2.4 Amp USB charging port
- UL Listed
- Power: 15 A / 125 VAC / 1800 W
Since I’ve had experience with several types of smart outlets, I can say that this one from ConnectSense is the easiest one to set up. You simply plug in the outlet and then search for it as a device inside HomeKit (if you are setting up with Siri). In order to set up the other digital assistants and monitor the energy usage or schedule the outlets’ on/off settings, you will need to download the ConnectSense app. Within about 5 minutes I was able to start controlling the outlet using Siri. I also set it up to work with Amazon Alexa devices in our home. I do want to note here that you can only connect the outlet to one smart assistant at a time.
Since most of my lights utilize Philips Hue bulbs, I didn’t see a need to plug my lamps into the outlet. Since I had the opportunity to test out this outlet during the holiday season, I actually plugged my Christmas tree into it. I set up the tree as part of my living room scene so that when I asked Siri to turn on the living room, the Christmas tree would turn on with the rest of the lights. The outlet has never once faltered in the automated operation.
As far as the energy monitor goes, it was fascinating to see how much energy the tree used on a daily basis. On the weekend days, the tree would be turned on around 10:00 a.m. and stay on all day until we would go to bed. The app showed that the tree was using approximately 176.4 watts of energy after 37.4 minutes. Our tree had less than 1,000 lights on it, but two of the strands were controlled by a box that changed the colors and sequences. So, we figured those probably used more energy than the other strands did.
After the outlet was plugged in for about a week, it did disconnect from our WiFi network. This happened after some configurations were completed on our network. That involved resetting our cable modem and wireless router and so the outlet disconnected and didn’t reconnect until the outlet was completely unplugged from the wall outlet. When it was, the ConnectSense outlet reconnected to our WiFi network within a few seconds. I don’t fault the equipment for this disconnection issue since the network itself was affected.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 is a great upgrade from the original because it includes the other smart assistant integrations (Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant). Even though the original outlet seemed to work very well, this version seems to be more reliable and works much easier than its predecessor. I’ve not had any issues with connectivity with this outlet (unless our Internet goes down) and it’s tracked energy consumption quite well. I can recommend this outlet to anyone looking to add to their smart home devices.