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Can You Plug a Smart Plug Into a Power Strip? And a Better Way

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Lack of outlets is a problem in most smart homes. Smart plugs compound the problem by blocking entire outlets. There’s an obvious solution, but only if it works safely. So can you plug a smart plug into a power strip?

Smart plugs can safely be connected to a power strip as long as the plug and attached devices don’t surpass the maximum wattage of the strip. Similarly, you can plug a power strip into a smart plug. However, smart power strips often provide a more convenient solution.

In the rest of this article, I’ll explain how to safely use power strips with smart plugs. I’ll also show you how much wattage typical power strips and smart plugs can handle and explain why you may want a smart power strip instead.

Can a Smart Plug Be Plugged Into a Power Strip?

It’s perfectly safe to connect your smart plug into a power strip as long as you don’t surpass the max wattage of the power strip.

A smart plug connected to a power strip instead of directly plugging it into a wall outlet

There are a few good reasons to plug your smart plug into a power strip rather than directly into the wall. Some smart plugs are bulky, so they can block an entire outlet. Depending on the shape of your power strip, your smart plug shouldn’t block more than one other outlet, leaving most of them free for other devices.

Power strip max wattage

Most power strips have a max wattage of between 1200 and 2500 watts. You can usually find the max wattage on the power strip’s packaging. If you don’t have that (and who keeps a power strip package?), you can check the company’s website or contact them directly.

You can also calculate the max wattage from the power strip’s max amps. The max wattage is the max amps times the outlet voltage. Outlets in the US are 120 volts, so a 15 amp power strip can handle up to 15*120 = 1800 watts.

Here are the max wattages for a few popular power strips that you can buy on Amazon:

02/22/2024 06:46 am GMT

Can You Connect a Power Strip to a Smart Plug?

You can also plug a power strip into a smart plug. This can be an easy way to remotely control multiple devices, either to cut back their power usage or to be able to trigger them as a group from your smart home dashboard.

Just be careful not to surpass the max power rating of the smart plug, which is easy to do if you have a large power strip with lots of devices plugged into it.

Smart plug max wattage

Smart plugs are typically made to support a max of between 1200 and 1800 watts. That might sound like a lot, but many household appliances use well over 100 watts each. Some coffee makers, for example, use up to 1200 watts.

Here are the max power ratings of a few of my favorite smart plugs:

02/22/2024 07:30 am GMT

A Better Option: Smart Power Strips

Whether you’re plugging your smart plug into a power strip or the other way around, you can replace the entire rig with a smart power strip.

Smart power strips are safer because you only need to track the maximum wattage of one device (the smart strip) instead of two devices (the smart plug and the power strip). There’s a lot less chance for a devastating “oops” moment there.

They are also a more robust solution. With a single smart plug, the entire thing is either on or off. Smart power strips often offer individual control over each plug, so it’s like having 4–8 smart plugs all in one.

The downside is that these smart strips tend to be more expensive than a single smart plug. My recommended smart strip, the Kasa HS300, costs as much as 3–5 smart plugs. Considering it has 6 outlets, 3 USB ports, surge protection, and energy monitoring, though, I consider it to be worth the price.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a smart plug be plugged into a surge protector?

Yes, smart plugs can be connected to surge protectors just like any other device. As with plugging a smart plug into a power strip, though, you need to be careful not to go beyond the max wattage of the surge protector.

Can you plug a smart plug into an extension cord?

Smart plugs can definitely be plugged into extension cords. In fact, this can be a great way to stop your bulky smart plug from blocking an entire outlet.

A short extension cord can also help if your outlet is wedged tightly behind a piece of furniture and your smart plug can’t fit in the space. Just use the cord to bring the outlet to you.

What’s Next?

Smart plugs are a severely underrated part of a smart home. That’s why I’ve compiled my ultimate list of smart plug ideas, all of which will work with smart power strips, too.

Most smart plugs can be used just with a smartphone app, but you’ll get more power out of them with a cheap Alexa setup. That way, you can use your smart plugs in routines with your Philips Hue or Wiz lights—or even with your Roomba’s Alexa voice commands. There’s a whole lot to discover, and it all starts with a simple smart plug.

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