TP-Link’s new smart plug adds HomeKit and energy monitoring
TP-Link has finally added HomeKit to one of its products, and it’s a serious bargain. The new version of its very good mini smart plug has Apple HomeKit support and energy monitoring all for just $12.50 per plug. The Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini with Energy Monitoring and Apple HomeKit, EP25 is available on Amazon for $49.99 for a four-pack (a two-pack at $29.99 is coming in Q4).
There are a lot of smart plugs out there but very few with energy monitoring and HomeKit compatibility, and none as cheap as $12.50 that offer both. TP-Link’s Kasa line also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, but this is the first device with HomeKit. The company had originally promised the mini plug would get HomeKit in January 2019 but then changed its mind a few months later.
TP-Link has an existing mini energy monitoring plug without HomeKit, but it’s $23 for one. Other HomeKit-compatible energy-monitoring smart plugs are a lot more expensive, Eve Energy costs $40 (but it supports Thread, whereas the TP-Link is Wi-Fi). There’s also the $60 dual outlet from Satechi, which works over Wi-Fi, and the $33 Aqara Smart Plug, which requires a separate Zigbee hub.
Like other Kasa smart plugs, the Mini with Energy Monitoring can control any compatible plug-in device up to a 15 amp max load. Add in real-time energy monitoring and you have a very useful addition to your smart home. The Kasa app is also much better than many budget smart plugs’ software companions. It lets you set schedules based on time and sunrise or sunset as well as group devices together. It allows for timers to have something run for a set length of time or turn it on in a set amount of time and there’s also an “Away” mode and a runtime report, alongside energy monitoring.
One of my favorite features of the Kasa Mini is that its fits over one outlet without blocking the second. It’s also UL certified, which is something to always look for when buying any smart electrical products.
While this is the first of TP-Link’s smart home devices to get HomeKit compatibility, a new Tapo line announced at CES earlier this year, is slated to support the Apple smart home platform. The company said in January that the Tapo line would include a HomeKit compatible Mini Plug, Power Strip, Dimmer Switch, and Light Strip, and should launch in 2022. There’s no word on Matter compatibility for any of TP-Link’s devices, although the company is a member of the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which is working on the new smart home standard.