Smart lighting manufacturer Leviton has a new outdoor smart plug that’s the first to work with Matter. The Decora Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug-in Switch costs $54.99 and is available now at Amazon and The Home Depot. Part of Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi lighting and load control line, it’s the company’s fifth product to support Matter, following adding Matter support to two of its in-wall switches and smart plugs last month.
The outdoor smart plug works over 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, has on / off functionality (there’s no dimming), and a built-in light sensor for automating any lights you plug into it to turn on at night and off during the day. This is a neat feature you won’t find on a lot of smart plugs and means you don’t need to use any app or programming for it to be useful right out of the box.
The Decora Outdoor Plug-in can also pair with Leviton’s Anywhere Switch Companion, a wire-free remote control that can be wall mounted, making it easier to control the plug from inside the house, another feature you won’t find on the sub-$30 plugs in this category. It supports 120V, 60Hz, and 15A general-purpose loads, can control motor loads up to 3/4HP, and features a 10-inch line cord and six-inch load cord.
The Leviton plug works with Leviton’s app, Apple Home through Matter, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings. Image: Leviton
What is Matter?
Matter is a new smart home interoperability standard that provides a common language for connected devices to communicate locally in your home without relying on a cloud connection. Developed by Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung, Matter uses Wi-Fi and Thread wireless protocols and, in its first rollout, supports smart sensors, smart lighting, smart plugs and switches, smart thermostats, connected locks, and media devices including TVs.
All of this means that if a smart home gadget you buy has the Matter logo, you can set it up and use it with any Matter-compatible device and any Matter-compatible platform, along with a Matter controller. There are now a number of Matter devices available to buy, with more arriving this year.
Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home are some of the major platforms that support Matter, and they have all updated their compatible smart speakers, hubs, and some other devices to be Matter controllers.
With support for Matter straight out of the box, the plug can work with all Matter-enabled smart devices and Matter-certified smart home platforms, including Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings. To use the plug with Matter, you’ll need a Matter controller from the platform you want to pair it to — so an Echo smart speaker to pair to Alexa or a Nest Hub for Google Home, and so on. Leviton has a Matter guide on its site with more details.
Outside of Matter, the Decora is certified to work directly with Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, and Schlage. You can also use the My Leviton app for scene control, schedules, and an auto shut-off timer feature.
Outdoor smart plugs are useful for more than just lighting. Holiday decorations, pumps for water features, and outdoor fans are just a few use cases. I’ve been running a fan hooked up to a Lutron Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug all summer to keep my chickens cool in the scorching summer heat.
The new Leviton plug has a similar design to Lutron’s Caséta plug, both of which feature a sturdier build with more weatherproofing than most outdoor smart plugs I’ve tested. But at $80, the Lutron costs $25 more than the Leviton and requires a proprietary hub for most smart features. Both plugs only have one controlled outlet and are IP65 rated, meaning they’re durable enough to handle dirt, dust, rain, and snow. But Leviton’s operating temperature is negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, so it can handle colder temps than the Lutron (negative 4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit). The Lutron supports up to 1/2HP motor loads and can also pair with a wireless wall switch, without needing the hub.
Lutron has not announced support for Matter but is a member of the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which runs the new smart home standard. However, the company’s products already work with most platforms. Lutron’s Caséta does require the hub for many features, whereas the Leviton can work just over Wi-Fi. However, in my experience, using the hub with Lutron’s Clear Connect protocol means the Lutron plug gets impressive range. Wi-Fi smart plugs often struggle the further they are from your Wi-Fi router. I’ll be testing the new Leviton outdoor plug and will report back.