In recent years, smart home technology has become increasingly popular, offering convenience and control at the touch of a button. One popular device in the smart home ecosystem is the smart plug, which allows you to control the power supply to your devices remotely.
However, as you start building your smart home, you may wonder if it’s possible to plug a smart plug into a power strip. Is it safe? Will it affect the performance of your smart plug or power strip?
In this article, we explore the possibilities and limitations of using a smart plug with a power strip and offer guidance on how to do it safely.
Can You Plug A Smart Plug Into A Power Strip?
Is it safe to plug smart plugs into a power strip?
The answer is yes, as long you don’t exceed the maximum wattage of the power strip.
Just add up the wattage of all the appliances that will be connected to the power strip. Then, ensure that the total wattage does not exceed the power strip’s maximum wattage. You can find the maximum wattage of your power strip on the packaging, on the underside of the power strip itself, or the manufacturer’s website.
In the US, most power strips are 15 amps, and on a 120-volt circuit, they can handle up to 1800 Watts. In the UK, power strips have a maximum wattage of 3250 watts.
What about the other way around: can you safely plug a power strip into a smart plug?
So why would you want to plug a power strip into a smart plug?
Well, one reason is that you may not want to buy a smart plug for every appliance in your house. After all, smart plugs are a bit more expensive than standard plugs.
It’s quite safe to plug a power strip into a smart plug, but you must keep an eye on wattage. The total wattage of the appliances running off your power strip must not exceed the maximum wattage of your smart plug.
As with a power strip, you can find the maximum wattage of your smart plug on the packaging or on the manufacturer’s website.
You need to ensure that the total wattage of the appliances plugged into the power strip does not exceed the maximum wattage of the smart plug.
Plugging a power strip into a smart plug makes sense if you want a group of appliances to all turn on or off at the same time. It may be convenient to turn off a group of appliances with a single voice command.
And by controlling those appliances from a single smart plug, you’ll have less ‘vampire load’ than if each appliance was on its own smart plug.
Using Smart Power Strips
But there’s a better solution to the problem of smart plugs and power strips: smart power strips.
Smart power strips combine smart plug technology with a power strip. And they have the advantage that each outlet on a smart power strip functions as a separate smart plug. That means you’ll be able to separately control each appliance connected to the smart power strip.
As you might imagine, smart power strips are more expensive than normal power strips. A smart power strip will usually cost the same as 3 to 5 smart plugs.
Surge Protectors and Smart Plugs
We’ve talked about smart plugs and power strips. But what about smart plugs and surge protectors?
Is it safe to use surge protectors with smart plugs?
The answer is yes: you can safely attach a smart plug to a surge protector.
Many surge protectors are basically power trips with built-in surge protection. So the advice for power strips also applies here: make sure that the wattage of the appliances connected to your surge protector does not exceed the maximum wattage of the surge protector. As with power trips, the maximum wattage of your surge protector will be on the packaging or on the manufacturer’s website.
Can You Plug a Smart Plug Into An Extension Cord?
This is another question that is often asked: can you plug a smart plug into an extension cord?
Absolutely! Just ensure that the appliances attached to your smart plug do not exceed the wattage of either the smart plug or the extension cord.
So what about the way around: plugging an extension cord into a smart plug? That’s fine as well, as long as you make sure that the total wattage of the connected appliances doesn’t exceed the maximum wattage of either the smart plug or the extension cord.
Smart Plugs and Maximum Wattage
Here are the wattage capacities for some of the main brands of smart plugs (at 120 Volts U.S.)
- Wemo WiFi Smart Plug – 1800 Watts
- TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Mini Plug EP10 – 1800 Watts
- Wyze Smart Plug – 1800 Watts
- Amazon Smart Plug – 1800 Watts
- Hive Active Plug – 1560 Watts
- TCP Smart WiFi Plug – 1560 Watts
- Innr Smart Plug – 1560 Watts
- D-Link DSP-W118 Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug – 1200 Watts
- Eve Energy Wireless Power Sensor & Switch – 1800 Watts
Power Strips and Maximum Wattage
Here are the wattage capacities of some popular brands of power strips:
- Surge Protector Power Strip , Nuetsa – 1560 Watts
- Power Strip, Alestor Surge Protector with 12 Outlets – 1800 Watts
- Surge Protector Power Strip, HANYCONY – 2400 Watts
- Power Strip, Auvo Surge Protector with 8 AC Outlets – – 2400 Watts
- SANSAI Power Board Strip Extension 8 Outlet Surge – 2400 Watts
- Useelink Smart Power Strip, WiFi Surge Protector, 4 AC Outlets – 2000 Watts
- Tower Power Strip USB Surge Protector Socket 12 AC Outlets with 6 USB Ports – 2400 Watts
You can safely plug a smart plug into a power strip, so long as the devices connected to the power strip do not exceed the maximum wattage of the power strip.
You can also safely plug a power strip into a smart plug. But this time, you have to make sure that the total wattage of the appliances connected to the power strip do not exceed the maximum wattage of your smart plug.
Can smart plugs be plugged into a surge protector?
Yes, you can plug a smart plug into a surge protector, as long as the total wattage f the devices plugged into the surge protector doesn’t exceed the maximum wattage of the surge protector.
Can I plug a smart plug into an extension cord?
Yes, you can certainly plug a smart plug into an extension cord. However, it might make more sense to plug the extension cord into the smart plug. This is because smart plugs can be quite bulky and it is better to have them plugged into a wall socket than into an extension cord.
What should you not plug into a power strip?
High-capacity appliances should not be plugged into power strips. This is because they will very likely exceed the maximum wattage of the power strip. Examples of high-capacity appliances are refrigerators, space heaters, washing machines, dryers, portable air conditioners, toasters, microwave ovens, blenders, rice cookers, and hair dryers.
Can a Kasa smart plug be plugged into a power strip?
Yes, any TP-Link Kasa smart plug can be plugged into a power strip. Just make sure that the total wattage of the devices connected to the power strip does not exceed the total allowable wattage for the power strip. You can usually find the wattage of the powerstrip on the product label n the base of the powerstrip. Just add up the wattage of each device connected to the power strip and that is your total wattage.
What is a smart plug extension cord?
A smart plug extension cord, also known as a smart plug power strip, is a device that functions as a smart plug but allows you to connect more than one device.
An example is GHome Smart’s Smart Plug Power Strip. When used with the manufacturer’s app, the smart power strip allows you to set a schedule for each outlet on the power strip.
How much power can a smart plug handle?
Every smart plug has a maximum amount of electricity it can handle. Here is the maximum wattage for some popular brands of smart plugs:
- WeMo Smart Plug – 1800 watts at 120 volts
- Kasa Smart Plug – 1500 watts at 120 volts
- BN-Link Smart Plug – 1875 watts at 120 volts
- Switch Bot – 1875 watts at 120 volts
- Amazon smart plug – 1,800 watts at 120 volts
- HBN smart plug – 1875 watts at 120 volts
- KMC Smart Plug – 1875 watts at 120 volts
- Alexa smart plug – 1800 watts at 120 volts
- Tapo P100 smart plug – 2990 watts at 120 volts
- Wiser smart plug – 1800 watts at 120 volts