When you think of smart homes, you might think of bulbs for your living room, speakers that you talk to, and thermostats to keep you comfy. But thatâ€™s inside stuff, what about taking your smart home outside? For that, you can turn to outdoor plugs. Lutronâ€™s new CasÃ©ta Outdoor Smart Plug promises to stand up to nearly anything you throw at it. But it had better for $79.95.
A quick glance at Lutronâ€™s Outdoor Smart Plug, and youâ€™ll see plenty of differences from the average outdoor smart plug. Most are little more than a giant box hanging off a short plug dongle. You plug it into an outdoor outlet, and let it hang freely while you connect your other devices.
Lutronâ€™s CasÃ©ta Outdoor Smart Plug is significantly longer than other plugs in its category. The box, which is also narrower, also features mounting holes you can use to attach it to a surface, like the nearest wall. Thatâ€™s the first hint at what makes Lutronâ€™s smart plug differentâ€”the company is betting itâ€™ll survive permanent installation through all the seasons.
Most outdoor smart plugs manage an IP64, which means the device will survive dust, debris, and a light spray (think a sprinkler). Testing for IP64 involves spraying the gadget for 10 minutes with an oscillating spray, and some ingress is permitted as long as it survives.
The Lutron CasÃ©ta Outdoor Smart Plug, on the other hand, packs an IP65 rating. That steps the plug up to dust, debris, and low-pressure jet sprays. Itâ€™s the equivalent of directly spraying the plug with a garden hose for 10 minutes. Itâ€™s a much bigger deal.
To get there, Lutron packed the internals of the smart switch box with potting material. Youâ€™ll find potting material in commercial lighting fixtures to cut down heat and in outdoor equipment to provide proper seals. Thanks to all that work, Lutron says its CasÃ©ta Outdoor Smart Plug can survive anything from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. That should be good enough for extra cold winters and superhot summer.
You canâ€™t call it a smart plug without an app, and thatâ€™s where the CasÃ©ta portion comes into play. The app lets you control it, add scheduling, and add complex rules if you pair it up with the Lutron Smart Bridge. You can even use a remote control button to turn it on and off when youâ€™re inside.
At $79.95, the CasÃ©ta Outdoor Smart Plug far outstrips the price of other competitors, doubly so if you consider that it only has one outlet. But other smart outdoor outlets donâ€™t have the same level of protection from the weather, and may not last as long. Lutronâ€™s betting the plug will justify its high cost by lasting years longer than other options. We just need to wait a few years to find out if thatâ€™s true.
TheÂ CasÃ©ta Outdoor Outdoor Smart Plug will go on sale at Lutron, Amazon, and other major retailers in late March.
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