When you think of smart homes, you may think of lights for your living room, speakers you talk to, and thermostats to keep you comfortable. But that̵
A quick look at Lutron’s Outdoor Smart Plug and you will see many differences from the average outdoor smart plug. Most are little more than a giant box hanging from a short plug dongle. You plug it into an outdoor socket, and let it hang freely while you connect your other devices.
The Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug from Lutron is considerably longer than other plugs in its category. The box, which is also narrower, also has mounting holes that you can use to attach it to a surface, such as the nearest wall. That’s the first clue to what makes the Lutron smart plug different – the company is betting that it will survive the permanent installation through all seasons.
Most outdoor smart plugs manage an IP64, which means the device will survive dust, dirt, and a light spray (think sprinkler). Testing for IP64 means spraying the gadget with an oscillating spray for 10 minutes, and some penetration is allowed as long as it survives.
The Lutron Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug, on the other hand, has an IP65 rating. This brings the plug into contact with dust, dirt and low-pressure jet nozzles. It is equivalent to watering the plug directly with a garden hose for 10 minutes. It’s a much bigger deal.
To get there, Lutron filled the inside of the smart control box with potting material. You can find potting material in commercial lighting fixtures to reduce heat and in outdoor equipment to provide good seals. Thanks to all that work, Lutron says the Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug can survive anything from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. That should be good enough for extra cold winters and super hot summer.
You can’t call it a smart plug without an app, and that’s where the Caséta part comes in. The app allows you to control it, add scheduling and add complex rules when paired with the Lutron Smart Bridge. You can even use a button on the remote to turn it on and off when you’re indoors.
At $ 79.95, the Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug far exceeds the price of other competitors, double the price when you consider that it only has one outlet. But other smart outdoor outlets don’t provide the same level of weather protection and may not last as long. Lutron betting on the plug will justify the high cost by outlasting other options for years to come. We just have to wait a few years to find out if that’s true.
The Caséta Outdoor Outdoor Smart Plug will be available for purchase at Lutron, Amazon and other major retailers in late March.