iClever BoostSmart Outdoor Outlet REVIEW Control Your Outlet from Your Phone
As our homes became ever smarter, it was only a matter of time before the intelligent tech bled through to the area surrounding our homes. Since I was a child, we have had timers for watering systems and Christmas lights, but there was no internet connection for them. You had to manually turn a switch on/off or push a complicated series of buttons to get your device working as intended. Thanks to tech like the iClever Smart Outdoor Outlet, we can embrace the lazy life.
The iClever smart outdoor outlet, model IC-BS06, arrived in a plain 6 inches long by 4 5/8 inches wide by 1 7/8 inches thick brown box. I have grown to enjoy iClever products, yet I wish that they would focus on enhancing their packaging. The cover displayed an ink drawing of the iClever outlet and the company name, logo, device name and model number toward your upper left. The right and lower panels were devoid of any writing/images, the upper panel had a QR code linking to the iClever website, and the left panel had two SKU stickers. The back of the packaging proved to be the most useful, listing the product specifications. The outdoor outlet was listed as IP44 waterproof (RESISTANT), capable of 100–240V 50/60Hz input, 1875W/15A/125V max power, has a functional operating temperature of -4 to 140 degrees F (-20 to 60C), and is controllable with the Smart Life App. To download the app, scan the QR code located along your upper right.
Below the product specifications, the company listed three bulleted cautionary statements. First, the product was designed for indoor/outdoor use and damp locations but not meant for water immersion or direct water exposure. After seeing that the product was listed as IP44, I was pleased to see this caution. The second warning recommended installing the unit above ground and at least 1.4meters above the ground, with the receptacle facing downward. Lastly, the product should not be tampered with or disassembled. Within the packaging, you will find the black iClever outdoor charger, a white/blue warranty card, six-panel instruction manual and a 48-panel app manual. The “U” shaped charger has two outlets along the bottom face and measured 3 1/8 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 1 3/8 inches thick and weighed 8.07 ounces. The power outlet receives its power from the 5 1/8 inches cable that sticks out of the top of the charger. The type B wall outlet (grounded) was designed to plug into the lower outlet of a standard B type outlet, assuming it was not installed upside down. Just behind the power cable, you will find a mounting hook, that will allow you to reduce the downward strain on the outlet. The front of the charger has a 1/2 inch diameter on/off button along the middle, an LED along the upper 1/3 and “iClever” listed along the bottom.
With the outdoor outlet plugged securely into a wall port, I navigated to the App Store to download the app. If you use the QR code, it will take you to a link for the iOS or Google Play App. Tapping the icon, I was directed to the Smart life — Smart Living iOS app. Once downloaded, the app will ask for you to allow/disallow notifications and then you can choose Login or Register. As it was the first time that I had used the app, I had to register. You will need to enter your phone number, the sent verification code and then allow/disallow location. Select add a device on the app and then press the button on the outlet once and then hold it for 5 seconds. The blue LED will change to a flashing green LED. You can then enter your WiFi password and allow the app to take about 60 seconds to update. The app successfully added the IC-BS06.
Within the app, you will have the option to turn on/off each outlet and to set a timer for each outlet. Along the bottom, you can conveniently turn “All-ON” or “All-OFF.” If you tap the three circles along your top right, you can modify the device name, check the network, add third-party Echo and Google Home control, check for firmware updates, remove the device, create a group and select device sharing. If you open the Alexa app (or webpage), navigate to add skill and add Smart Life app. You can then ask Alexa to discover devices, and she will find the outlet. This will allow you to control the outlet by voice. I named my device plug for convenience, and I was able to ask Alexa to “Turn on Plug” and to turn off the plug. At this point, you could theoretically be done with the device. You can turn on/off the device by pressing the main power button on the front of the outlet, you can turn on/off the plugs through the app, or you can ask Alexa to do it for you. However, if you are even more technologically inclined, you can download the IFTTT App from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. You can search and add the Smart Life App to the IFTTT App, which will allow you to create Applets and other conditional commands. For example, turn on/off the plug when you enter an area or at a given time. You can have the system send you an email when you arrive home, and the device turns on/off. The beauty of the IFTTT system is that you can adjust the commands to your needs.
The product may seem rather elementary at first glance, but the power of the device becomes evident in the software. This device proved to be much more than a simple outlet. With so many ways to turn on/off the device, your imagination is essentially your limiting factor. I did not have a Google Home device to test this, but I did test it using my Alexa. The ability to ask Alexa to turn off the device was rather convenient. I cannot wait until the day after Thanksgiving to set up my Christmas decorations. I believe that I will use this device for my indoor Christmas tree to be able to turn on/off the device. With the IFTTT commands, I can tell the apps to turn the tree on when I get home and to turn off the outlet when it is bedtime. If needed, I would be able to solely turn off the device with my phone. All in all, the options for this device are broad. The 48-panel instruction manual was well laid out and provided numerous instructions for app control of the device.
Originally published at macsources.com on June 13, 2018.