Whether you have some ambiance lighting on your patio, or an entire holiday light showcase on your house, iDevices outdoor HomeKit switch allows you to control them with ease. The weatherproof box allows you to schedule, automate, gather energy insights, and use Siri from your phone to manage all of your outdoor lighting.
HomeKit growth has been impressive lately, though the overwhelming majority of products have been for inside your house. That doesn’t help when you have some string lights on your patio, or oodles of Christmas lights. Now, years after the Homekit launch, there are only two outdoor HomeKit switches available. The iDevices Outdoor Switch and iHome Outdoor SmartPlug.
Take a moment to check out my hands-on video that highlights all the features of the iDevices Outdoor Switch, then read on!
The switch itself is a large-ish black box. It has quite the rugged exterior as to withstand the elements. It conveniently has a short cord on the end of it, since many outdoor electrical sockets can be tight fits compared to those indoors.
If you are doing a more permanent installation, on top is a screw mount that you can affix to the wall, which helps keep it out of the dirt of your garden as well.
On the front of the unit is a horizontal status light that will reflect the different states of switch, especially during the setup and pairing process.
The left side is home to a simple matte black button that you can use to manually control the outlets, if you don’t control it from your phone.
Lastly, there is a pair of outlets on the bottom.
Having two outlets is particularly useful, especially if you are stringing up lights that don’t have the ability to connect to one another (i.e. Christmas lights). You don’t need a splitter, or any additional hardware because you’ve got a splitter built in.
The only downside to this is that it controls all or nothing. When it is on, both outlets are on. When it’s off, both are off. I would have liked to see more granular controls so that I could maybe turn them off individually, but the vast majority of the time, I will want to use them both together.
Smart home controls
iDevice’s outdoor outlets connect to Wi-Fi, which gives it much better range than a Bluetooth accessory, and requires no hub.
Adding to HomeKit went very smooth, and it showed up within the Home app, as well as the iDevices app. Normally, I try to stick just to the HomeKit app, but iDevices also gives you electrical reporting in theirs. You can see how much electricity you are using, as well as what the estimated costs are based on your location.
It works not only with HomeKit, but Amazon Alexa as well. That means there are two different virtual assistants you can use to control your electronics. As per usual, I focused on the HomeKit capabilities for my review.
The usefulness of a connected switch isn’t just the ability to turn your outdoor lights on and off without having to go outside, it is automating them.
There are quite a few useful scenarios for automating your lights. It just depends on what kind of lights they are. For instance, every year I do a few large-scale lighting displays for Christmas. Last year, I converted the whole displays from annoying cheap timers, to these iDevices HomeKit switches.
The usual setup involves the the lights turning on 30 minutes before sundown each day, turning off at 11PM on weekdays, and 1AM on weekends. Compared to traditional lights that use sensors (that get tricked by the brightness of the Christmas lights into thinking it is daytime), they never fail.
I also use them personally in my own home.
I have a pair of string lights around our back patio that are controlled by this HomeKit switch. They work in three different ways, all with their own purpose. First, they turn on when there is motion. I use the motion sensor in my Circle 2 HomeKit camera to detect the motion in our patio, then turn the lights on. Both as a deterrent from intruders, as well as a convenience factor when we come in through the patio.
Another way I control the patio lights is by my Eve Door and Window contact sensor. That way, whenever I go to take the dog out and open the door, the patio lights come on. Of course, this also only happens when the sun starts to set, and not during daytime.
Lastly, is with the iDevices HomeKit wall switch. It controls the outdoor light wall sconce. Through HomeKit, I am able to set a pair of rules that say whenever I turn on the wall switch, the other patio lights also turn on. Then the same thing in reverse.
Rounding it up
Compared to inside outlets, you’ve only got two solutions for outdoors. I like the rugged nature and two-outlet capabilities of the iDevices Outdoor Switch as well as the fact I can monitor the electricity. Especially during the holidays, I really like being able to see how much it is costing me.
If you’re tired of crappy timers, and having to manually plug your lights in all the time, I’d highly recommend checking out iDevices Outdoor Switch.
You can find it on Amazon for $69.89 just in time for the holidays.
Let me know your favorite HomeKit accessory down below in the comments.