Sometimes I get something land on my desk and think to myself, I can take this home and use it here. One of those devices that are practical in your day to day lives, to make it that little easier. I’m talking about the TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip (extension lead for us Brits). At £34.99, you’re probably thinking that’s expensive for an extension lead, but this isn’t any old lead. Let’s take a look.
I usually start with an unboxing but there really isn’t much to it. The extension lead comes boxed with some instructions. The unit is white, with a 0.5m long power cord and it’s very well constructed. It’s not like the traditional cheap extension lead you buy, this is thicker, more robust, with curved edges and it does have that premium feel to it.
It includes 3No. 230v outlets which can be controlled and 2No. USB ports which are ‘always on’. There is also surge protection included, which for those unaware, help protect your appliances from sudden power surges that can occur. When it senses a difference in power, it will turn that outlet off, protecting whatever is plugged in.
Set up was an absolute breeze but that may be partly because I already have the Kasa app, which I use for some smart lamps. Once in the app and with the lead plugged into the wall and one, I went to add a new product and selected the KP303 extension lead. I then had to connect to the KP303’s WiFi signal, so it could connect to my wireless network. It was very quick and I really didn’t need to do anything. I then found a lamp, a kettle and a speaker to plug in.
Within the app and under devices, you will see Plug 1, Plug 2 and Plug 3, with an on/off button next to it. You can use this button to turn that outlet on and off. If you then click on a plug, you can dive deeper into the options. You can set a schedule, a timer, an away mode and also monitor runtime. This allows you to set certain appliances plugged in to turn on at specific times, such as a lamp. You can set it to come on in the morning when you wake up, go off when you leave for work and have it come back on when your return. As for the runtime option, this shows your current runtime and total runtime per day, 7 days or 30 days.
I am really impressed with the responsiveness of the switch with the app. It was near on instantaneous from me turning an outlet off, to the appliance turning off. It did this several times, on and off, and the lead dealt with it perfectly. I left the lead turned on at the mains, with a lamp plugged in, set a schedule and it worked perfectly. There was no drop in WiFi signal that I noticed, no crashes or similar. The lead was about 7/8 meters away from my router.
As expected, the KP303 will work with your Alexa or Google Assistant. There is a TP-Link Kasa skill for Alexa, so I enabled that and then was able to control the lead with a voice command. I’m not sold on voice commands, I have it, I forget to use them but I can see why they’ve added it and I’m glad they did. “Alexa, turn off plug 1”.
Now, you may know that within your appliance plug, is a small fuse, this fuse stops too much current passing through the appliance and causing damage. Most appliances are rated at 13A or 3kW. The total rating for the lead is 13A or 3kW which is very much like the standard version but it’s worth bearing in mind. As for the USB ports, type A, 5volts with 2.4A each total.
Overall, I think the TP-Link KP303 extension lead works very well and is very practical. Its main limitation is the length of the cord, which may be an issue for some but I think the 3 outlets and 2 USB’s should cover most situations. Don’t forget, as long as both you and your home are connected to the internet, you can control this lead from anywhere via the app. For me, I can see this coming in very handy at Christmas time when there are many many lights inside and outside the home.
For more info, head over to the official TP-Link website.