The smart plugs to the Alexians, we know well, very well even: singles, doubles, multiplugs, those with consumption monitoring, those with light… But the outdoor smart plugs are new! The advantage of this type of product is to be able to control your electrical appliances without having to go out in your garden: automatic watering, an above-ground pool filter, streetlights, a garland… So they must be able to resist dust, rain and water.
For this first, we present you the ALBOHES PS-1606 waterproof outdoor smart plug, CE and RoHS standards. It is a product sold for a little more than 20 dollars which has the advantage of having 2 independent outlets and an IP 43.
So for your information, the IP (protection index) is composed of 2 digits, the first one going from 0 to 6 (representing protection against solids) and the second one from 0 to 8 (representing protection against liquids). An IP 64 means protection against dust intrusion and splashes (8 corresponds to total immersion). An IP 43 concerns protection against foreign bodies larger than 1 mm and against rainwater. So the minimum minimorum for outdoor use.
ALBOHES PS-1606 waterproof outdoor smart plug with 2 outlets
Our plug is packed in a fairly simple brown cardboard box: illustration of the plug and characteristics at the bottom of the cardboard medium thick but strong enough… No unpacking surprises. Apart from the notion of Wi-Fi on the visual, the fact that it works with Smart-Life and therefore Alexa does not appear anywhere. There is also no notion of the IP of the catch (nor in the technical documentation). This value is simply provided on the Amazon website in the product description and is therefore to be taken at face value…
There we find the plug and a user manual. This manual is in 5 languages including French (more or less). On the other hand, a nice shell slips in: you are asked to download eWelink while the QR-Code is the one of Smart Life, just like the illustrations. In principle, we prefer to see the recurring problems with the first application. This dumpling exists everywhere except in the English language version. The guide is in fact only an explanation of how to match via Smart Life.
The catch as such is really pretty. It has a tapered shape, very smooth and without roughness, with no visible junction or prominent button. This is the prerequisite for outdoor use. Both sockets are protected by silicone caps that close completely satisfactorily. The plastic is shiny, very thick and strong. The power cord is available in 2 lengths: 20 or 50 cm. Each socket is independent and can be activated via a touch button. This prevents water and dust from entering the building outdoors but also has a disadvantage that you will see later. You can see that we are on Schuko type sockets, so adapted to French devices without any problem. The same applies to the male plug with a plot for the ground.
In terms of technical characteristics: it operates on 90-240V and supports a maximum amperage of 16 A or more than 3500 W. Be careful though to check that the device you want to control is not too powerful, and this is even more true if you connect two of them. Wi-Fi connection in 2.4 GHz only. It is also protected against fire and overvoltage (4000 V max), but here again, we believe what is on the site, because nothing appears in the documentation. Concerning the dimensions, we are on a rather imposing grip: 13 cm long without the cable, 12 cm wide and 4.4 cm thick for a weight of almost 400 grams.
ALBOHES PS-1606 outdoor socket: installation via Smart Life
Contrary to what is noted in the French guide, it is with the Smart Life application, the Swiss Army knife for connected device applications, that our ALBOHES will work. From there, if you are used to this application, the installation will be very easy. Don’t forget to activate the Skill Alexa to be able to use it with your Echos.
Once connected, press one of the two power buttons for a few seconds. A green LED will flash between the two voltage lights on each socket. This means you have entered pairing mode.
In the application, press the little plus on the top right to add a device and select “plug”, select your Wi-Fi (and GPS if necessary) and let it search. Once you have found the socket, you can rename it. That will be its generic name.
By selecting the socket in Smart Life, you will see that you can control the two sub-sockets individually and rename them as you wish. By going to the “Schedule” function you will open an option allowing you to program a power on or off of the plug whenever you want. The functions are therefore the classic ones of Smart Life sockets.
Alexa will automatically discover the global catch but it is possible that the undertakes are not. In this case, start a search for new devices via Alexa and they will go up. From there, do some tests to make sure everything is working properly and we can then go outside to play (we advise you to set up the plug inside and then move it around to make it easier).
ALBOHES Outdoor Smart Plug 2 Sockets: a good socket?
We tested this plug under quite “extreme” conditions to ensure that it would work properly in a normal garden. First of all, it is possible to fix this plug on a wall but we did not choose this to put it in the worst case scenario.
It was also placed directly on a sandy ground in the heat. We took advantage of the heat wave and two consecutive days at 40 and 41°C to test it. It happens that with heat, the contactors expand and plugs go out on their own. Hence the test. And good surprise, it held up without failing. Very good point and a good test for its level 4 protection against solids.
But if the plug is designed for outdoor use as mentioned on the packaging, although IP 43 does not appear anywhere, it will necessarily get wet at some point. IP 43 protects it from rain, but not a proper watering. That’s pretty borderline for a catch like that. But we decided to give him a little shower when the flowers were watered and the water slipped. And there, poof! It is shutting down… However, it did not go off because of a water infiltration but for a design concern.
Do you remember the touch buttons? They are pretty but the problem is that if a big drop falls on them, they activate or deactivate, as if they were pressed. And that’s a pretty bad idea… the solution would be to put it on the ground with the buttons on the bottom but again, be careful not to make it move too much. Putting it on a wall does indeed seem more suitable (that’s how it is presented), but it limits the possibilities a little if you’re a little short on cable or Wi-Fi range…
In conclusion, this waterproof outdoor smart outlet is a good product if used under optimal conditions, i. e. hung on a wall and in any case with the sockets facing down, because it offers the minimum minimorum in terms of external protection. The values announced are also unverifiable on technical documents. On the other hand, the management of the two individual takes is very appreciable, as is the aspect of this take. It is also easy to pair, of good quality and works well.