The TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Power strip is an ingenious little device that allows you to toggle and track power on six outlets.
I will note one was sent to me by the fine folks from the Sense Home Energy Monitor team, and then I purchased two more the next day, so you might gather I have some enthusiasm about these.
Update at 11 months: don’t update firmware while using the plugs – power will cycle. No other complaints.
So let’s skip the enthusiasm, go to the features, which are the ability to control six plugs individually and see how much power each of these plugs use. It works with Alexa and Google Home. Setup is a breeze and if you want to turn off some of your energy vampire devices when not in use, bam. This may be a solution for you. As it integrates with Sense automatically it enabled me to be a little smarter about work billing for electricity used at my house, but that’s an odd situation.
It has 3 x 2.4amp USB A ports for charging, however there exists no way to monitor the load on those ports which seems a bit of a shortcoming. That said, if you were pulling 2.4 amps solid all day constantly at 5 volts I’m thinking 12 watts a day or 4.38kW a year or about 52 cents a year so this may not be a concern for tracking. You’re also probably not going to be pulling full USB power constantly in any scenario other than connecting a USB powered fan.
It would be nice to have that info though.
I didn’t actually have a lot of use for turning things off and on remotely on the three Kasa Smart WiFi Power strips, but I do have a couple of energy vampires I caught and have turned off remotely (among these a series of Ryobi chargers that were pulling some Watts and producing heat just sitting there doing nothing.)
I’ve found my TV, sound bar, and possibly a game system sit pulling 29 watts in standby mode constantly, meaning from about 11pm-6pm every day I’m paying about 5 cents a day in Nashville to maintain standby mode, or about $18.25 a year. Or I did the math wrong. (under 10 cents a kW here.)
You can set up a schedule to automatically turn the plugs on and off in the Kasa app, or you can go the Google Home / Assistant / Whatever you want scheduling route and power things up and down as you see fit. A little bit of IFTTT or Tasker and you can turn cameras, electrified bear traps, and ozone generators on and off based on being home or not.
OK, here’s where I encounter some issues – this is a fairly expensive piece of equipment and I’d like to use all the plugs. This can’t be accomplished if you’ve got an extra wide brick plug, which universally I do. Other strips with the plug orientation 90 degrees to this allow you to plug in a huge brick at the end. The TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip doesn’t. I’m going to have to purchase a 3 inch extension cord to handle this if I want that half covered outlet back.
This could be remedied by one plug at the end being 90 degrees or including a small plug.
I’d also like something to cover the USB ports when not in use because I’m not going to be using them for the most part. These are dust magnets.
The Kasa app is not great when you’ve got multiple power strips. Did you set up a couple and forget to name the plugs? HAHA… have fun figuring out which Plug 3 you’re working on. I mean, there’s a way, but it’s not really evident and there’s no way I can find to select Strip 2 Plug 4 without tapping through.
Lack of monitoring on the USBs feels like an oversight. I’d love to be able to trigger something, turn the USB on and off. But no.
Do we have to have all these power indicator lights on all the time? Maybe an indicator light if the plug is turned off?
Turning off my TV on schedule from 11pm-6pm will save me about the price of one of these in 3 years. The power for my computer per work project I can now bill without guessing. For me these things will all add up to substantial savings. My work case, I think is unique, but the TV vampire power will pay for the device relatively quickly.
The TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip is available online at Amazon, and in select stores.