In this post we cover the best remote control outlets and how you can get the most out of remote control outlets in your smart home.
What is a Remote Control Outlet?
Remote control outlets connect to your wifi network allow you to remotely control devices you have plugged into them using your phone. When connected to a compatible voice assistant like Alexa or Google Home you can control the smart remote control outlets with your voice. You don’t need a voice assistant for a remote control outlet to work, but they do increase the functionality of the smart remote control outlets.
When you combine smart remote control outlets with Alexa it will allow you to control your smart outlets and the devices connected to them using your voice. You can then use voice commands like “Alexa, turn on night stand.” to turn on bedside lamps using your voice. This requires a compatible smart assistant like the Alexa Echo Dot, Echo Show 5 or other Alexa device.
Adding a remote control outlet that works with Alexa or voice assistant adds both smart home control and voice automation of your smart home with one simple upgrade.
Below we cover the best remote control outlets for your home and how they work. You can control almost any device that plugs into a regular outlet using remote control outlet including lamps, fans, and even coffeemakers. With some remote control outlets you can even dim them and change the brightness settings when connected to a compatible lamp or light bulb that allows dimming.
It should be noted that there are several names that are commonly used for remote control outlets but they all are describing the same devices. You might see remote control outlets called “Smart Plugs”, “Smart Outlets”, Wifi Plugs, Wifi Outlets or Smart Wifi Plugs or Smart Wifi Outlets. These terms are all describing the same devices which are remote controlled outlets which can be controlled with using a smart phone or with your voice when connected to a compatible voice assistant.
Plug In vs Hardwired Remote Control Outlets
There are two main types of remote control outlets. There are plug in remote control outlets which don’t require any wiring and plug into your existing wall outlets that then allow you to control whatever you plug into the remote control outlet and are controlled with your phone or even your voice when connected to a compatible voice assistant like Alexa.
We typically recommend using plug in remote control outlets because they are a lower cost, easy to install and preform all of the same functions as a hardwired remote control outlet.
Hardwired remote control outlets are smart outlets which replace your existing in wall hardwired outlets. To install hardwired remote outlets you need to remove your existing wall outlet, disconnect the wires and then install the new hardwired remote control outlets.
How To Remote Control an Electrical Outlet
Remotely controlling an electrical outlet is easy and doesn’t require any tools or electrical skills. You can follow the simple steps below and begin remotely controlling an electrical outlet in no time.
Step 1: Review our list below and select one of the remote control outlets for your home.
Step 2: Plug in the remote control outlet and download and install the corresponding app for the smart remote control outlet on your phone.
Step 3: Create a username and password for the app and follow the in app instructions for installation. Connect the remote control outlet to wifi and you can begin controlling the remote control outlet from your phone.
Best Remote Control Outlets
They allow full remote phone control of the smart outlets both inside your home or even if you are away from your your home and are paired with a great app interface for control from your phone.
But what sets these remote control outlets apart is that the outlets are placed on each end of the smart plug so that you can easily plug in multiple devices without interfering with others. It turns each in wall outlet into two separate plugs that can each be controlled individually.
The TP link remote control outlets also have a slim profile that allows you to plug in two smart remote control outlets next to each other one on top of the other, so you can turn your 2 in wall outlets into 4 smart outlets with these smart plugs.
Installation of the TP link remote control outlets is simple, just plug in, follow the instructions on the app and connect to your wifi network. Once connected you’ll have remote control of your electrical outlet.
These Teckin remote control smart outlets are unique in that they provide they have both standard smart plugs and a USB charging port. The addition of a USB charging port is a great feature in my opinion because it gives you even more locations to charge your phone and you don’t need to carry around your charger, just the cable.
They will allow you to remotely control your electrical outlet from your phone if both inside and outside your home and work with both Alexa and Google Home voice assistants for remote voice control of your electrical outlets.
In our testing the Teckin smart plugs worked great with both Google Home Alexa voice commands and quickly charge phones when connected.
You can stack two of these remote control outlets directly on top of each other in a standard wall outlet and still have enough space to plug in to devices you want controlled with the smart plugs and to plug in your phone charging cable. The remote control outlet also has built in over charging protection so you don’t need to worry about the charger over charging your phone battery.
Teckin is a newer player in the smart home space but they do provide quality customer centric products and they are listening to customer feedback by adding a phone charging USB port on the side of the smart plug.
To install the remote control outlets you plug them in, follow the app instructions and then you are ready to control them from your smart phone or connect them to a voice assistant for remote outlet voice control.
This is our brand of smart remote control outlets, and we offer simple, reliable smart home setup with these dual outlet smart plugs. They can be controlled from your phone inside or outside your home and work with both Google Home and Alexa and allow you to turn two wall outlets into four independently controlled smart home plugs.
These remote controlled outlets allow you to set schedules, turn on and off your lights remotely with your phone or using your voice with compatible voice assistants.
The installation is easy, just download the smartlife app, follow the instructions to setup the plugs on the app and connect them to wifi.
Our remote control outlets are designed around providing the best connection to Google Home and Alexa so you can use your voice assistants to control them throughout your house. These are the remote outlets that I have installed throughout my house and they’ve worked flawlessly without issue for years. We worked hard to deliver these smart home remote control outlets to you and you can support us by purchasing these smart home remote control outlets.
The only difference our remote control outlets have from the #1 and #2 ranking is that we don’t have a USB outlet and our outlets are front facing rather than side facing. This can be an advantage in some cases where you need to plug in larger plugs because you will have more wall clearance than the side mounted plugs.
Wemo has been a reliable smart home brand for years and was one of the first adopters of wifi smart home technology. They have come along way since their original Wemo remote control outlet, that was one of the first wifi remote control outlets ever available to the US market. The Wemo remote control outlets can be remotely controlled from your phone or with a compatible voice assistant like Alexa or Google Home.
To install the Wemo smart plugs I plugged them in, setup them up on the Wemo app and they responded to the touch commands on my phone through the Wemo app.
Setting these remote control outlets up with Alexa was a breeze. Once fully installed on the I had no problems controlling these using either my phone or Alexa voice commands. One important thing to note that is if they don’t come with the firmware update you will need to let both the app and the smart plugs install the update so that they will function properly with Alexa or Google home.
You should also follow the instructions and set these up first on the Wemo App manually and then add them to the smart assistant of your choice.
What I like about these smart plugs is that they have a slim profile that allows you too plug in two smart plugs right next to each other on the wall outlet and don’t block the other outlet when plugged into the wall. Not all smart plugs have the slim profile that the Wemo switches offer, and the thinner profile looks better on the wall than some of the larger smart plugs.
Wemo is manufactured by Belkin which is a well known wifi router brand, so you know that they are designed to reliably work with wifi routers and systems. Even though they are made by Belkin they are compatible with most newer wifi routers.
The Wemo smart plug interface is easy to navigate and is easy to learn, and will allow you to turn on and off the lights remotely, set schedules, use away mode to turn on the lights at random times when you are on vacation.
These smart plugs offer the similar slim profile as the Wemo smart plugs and they also work on your phone for remote control in your house or remotely. These remote control outlets work with Google Home, Alexa and HomeKit. They offer an exceptional value for a 2 or 4 pack of smart plugs that work with Google Home and Alexa.
The Vocolinc plugs offer easy plug in setup and installation through the manufacturer app and the setup with voice assistants was just as simple.
Vocolinc is a smaller brand than Wemo but they seem to have great build quality, connect reliably and offer the majority of the same features as the Wemo remote control outlets. The remote control outlets connect directly to your wifi network and allow both control in your home or remotely when you are away from your home.
What I like about these switches is the less is more approach with the Vocolinc manufacturer app. If you are getting these smart plugs it is most likely because you want to control them with Alexa and Google Assistant commands. So it seems like the manufacturer focused on making the connection to Alexa and Google Home simple, reliable and robust rather than building out a ton of extra features in it’s app.
I think they made the right choice focusing on making a strong connection to Google Home and Alexa voice services because most users will end up using voice to remotely control the smart plugs more often than not.
These smart plugs from iDevices work with Google Home and offer a unique slim profile for plugging into your existing outlets. Most other smart remote control outlets have the plugs centered inline on the front face of the smart plug. This can sometimes lead to overcrowding the outlets if you have a large plug or transformer that needs to be placed in the plug.
The iDevices have the outlet placed on the end of the device which frees up space for plugs below and can make it easier to run cords without interfering with other devices.
The iDevices smart plugs offer easy setup. Plug them in, follow the instructions on the manufacturer app and then connect the smart plug to Google Home or Alexa. These smart plugs offer scheduling, energy monitoring and can be controlled within the home or remotely.
The iDevices smart plugs support Alexa or Google Home integration and work with Google Home voice commands like “Ok Google, turn of the lights.” They have a good form factor, and the end mounted outlet does offer a unique solution to outlet and cord overcrowding.
Summary: Best Remote Control Outlets
Each one of the remote control outlets we have listed will work with your phone for remote control within your house or remotely. In deciding which remote control outlet is right for you it really comes down to which form factor you like and how you will be using the remote control outlets. In general the slimmer profile smart plugs will make it easier to install multiple remote control outlets in one location or connect other devices that require permanent power.
All of the remote control outlets we have listed above will work with both Google Home and Alexa which also gives you flexibility if you decide to switch voice assistants controlling your home in the future. You can’t go wrong choosing any of the smart remote control outlets listed above, they all should give you years of reliable service and quickly respond to your phone, or smart voice assistant commands.
Overall adding smart remote control outlets to your home helps integrate non smart devices into your smart home ecosystem. Adding smart plugs to bedside lamps is a game changer and I can almost guarantee you will be satisfied when you’re laying in bed and turn off your bedside lamp for the first time using your voice.
I never realized how much I use the voice commands to control my smart home lighting until I found myself in a hotel at the end of a long day of travel and realized I couldn’t use my voice to turn off the hotel lights. Needless I dragged myself out of bed only too trip on my shoes I had kicked off on the way in. In that moment it was cemented in my mind just how great smart remote control outlets are like the ones we’ve listed above.
Will remote control outlet switches work when plugged into power strip?
Yes, you can install a remote control outlet switch on a power strip and they will work. We recommend using a smart remote control outlet that has the plugs on the end so you have enough space to connect everything on the power strip.
Will Remote Control Outlets Work If My Wifi Is Down?
No, just like other wifi devices remote control smart outlets smart plugs need your wifi network to be up and working in order to have remote control. However all of the smart remote control outlets we have listed above have manual buttons on the side that can be pushed to turn on and off the devices connected to them if the wifi goes out.
Can I manually turn off a Google Home Smart Plug?
Yes, most Google Home smart plugs have a button on the side that will allow you to turn on and off the smart plug by pressing the button on the side if you want to manually turn off the smart plug.
Will Smart Plugs Work With The Nest Hub or Google Home Hub?
Yes, Google Home compatible smart plugs will work with the full lineup of Google Home devices including the Nest Hub, or Google Home Hub.
What is the difference between a Google Home smart plug and Google Home smart outlet?
A lot of people use these terms interchangeably and they can be used to describe the same thing. When most people thing of a Google Home smart plug or Google Home smart outlet they think of devices that plug into your existing wall outlet to allow you to turn on and off devices plugged into the Google Home Smart plug or Google Home outlet. These devices don’t require any wiring and just plug into existing sockets and are easy for anyone to install.
However there are smart outlets which replace your existing hardwired outlets and will work with Google Home. These smart outlets require you to remove your existing wall outlets, and wire in a new smart outlet. We typically recommend that people use the “plug in style” smart plugs vs hardwired smart outlets because they are much easier to install, have a lower price point and are easier to install and manage if you need to troubleshoot the device.