iDevices’ Outdoor Switch expands upon the company’s earlier Switch product, providing dual HomeKit-controllable power outlets in a rugged casing designed for outdoor applications. HomeKit-compatible outlets are becoming almost commoditized by this point, but Outdoor Switch is notable as the first outdoor HomeKit outlet we’ve seen, making it suitable for controlling a variety of backyard devices, such as patio lights, garden lights, fans, and more.
Outdoor Switch is built from a rugged plastic, rainproof design, and includes two three-prong AC outlets on one end of a rectangular casing, with a flush power button on one side for controlling the outlets manually. A 6” power cord terminates in a three-prong plug that can be connected directly to an outdoor outlet or to the end of an extension cord. A mounting bracket on the casing and included screw allows Outdoor Switch to be mounted onto a wall, fence, or other surface, if desired.
Setting up Outdoor Switch follows the same procedure we’ve now come to expect from all HomeKit accessories. Using iDevices’ own iDevices Connected app — or another HomeKit app of your choice — Outdoor Switch should be automatically discovered. After that, you’ll be taken through the short process of automatically pairing it to your Wi-Fi network and then scanning the HomeKit code, and then you’re ready to go. iDevices helpfully includes the HomeKit code both on the back of Outdoor Switch as well as in the accompanying manual — useful in case you happen to mount the device before going through the HomeKit pairing process.
Once you’ve gone through the standard pairing process, Outdoor Switch will appear in the iDevices Connected app or any other HomeKit app as a single controllable outlet, providing an on-and-off toggle, and other standard HomeKit options such as assigning to rooms, service groups, and providing a name for Siri voice control. As with iDevices Switch, the iDevices Connected app also provides the ability to get power consumption data from Outdoor Switch, allowing you to check how much power your connected device is using, along with stats for average daily use, average time used, and average estimated cost.
Unfortunately, we were disappointed to discover that, unlike Grid Connect’s ConnectSense dual smart outlet, the individual plugs on Outdoor Switch can’t be controlled separately — the single side button and single in-app HomeKit toggle turns both outlets on or off at the same time, so you’ll only be able to use Outdoor Switch in situations where you’re controlling combined sets of lights, rather than separate devices. Further, while Outdoor Switch includes an LED indicator on top of the casing, unlike iDevices’ indoor Switch, there’s no way to control the LED separately — the LED is used only for displaying pairing status, and remains off once Outdoor Switch is up and running.
Despite these limitations, Outdoor Switch performs as expected, providing a single HomeKit control point for any type of outdoor lighting or appliance that you choose to connect to it. As HomeKit accessories go, it’s a capable if somewhat basic solution. We can see its value as an outdoor, weatherproof outlet that can be remotely controlled via HomeKit, but the price and restricted functionality limit our recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: Outdoor Switch
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, iPod touch models running iOS 8.1 or later.