We test two new products compatible with HomeKit of the Vocolinc brand that offer us all the advantages of HomeKit with a very competitive price. Vocolic Smart Outlet, a single smart plug, and Vocolinc Power Strip, a strip with four individually controllable smart plugs. Two excellent options to start in the world of home automation or to continue with the automation of your home.
One plug or four plugs, have to choose
Smart plugs are one of the most used accessories for those who want to start in home automation, because of its versatility and because they allow a product that is not “smart” to become “smart.” Connect a coffee maker, a water heater or a conventional lamp to a smart plug and you can control them from your iPhone or via Siri and your Apple Watch or HomePod, that easy.
In individual outlet Smart Outlet has the usual form in these products, although more compact than the ones I’ve been able to try so far. This is an advantage if you want to place it behind a piece of furniture, or if you don’t want the other wall plug to cover you, something quite common when you place it in double plugs. A front LED that tells you if it is on or off, and a button located at the top for its manual on and off are the only elements that can be highlighted in this plug.
The power strip is the same type of accessory, but with four plugs. Each of them can be controlled independently, and they also have a physical button for manual control. There is also a general on and off button, something that seems to me a very good idea but I had not seen so far. Discrete white LEDs tell you if the plugs are on or off, and a green light also indicates the general state of the power strip. Important about discrete LEDs, especially if you are going to place it in a bedroom.
The power strip has safety protection against overloads, and both plugs use the WiFi connection to connect to our central accessories, essential to be able to control them from outside the home and make automations. WiFi connectivity allows you to place them anywhere in the house, an advantage over Bluetooth, regardless of the distance to the central. Of course, as often happens with all accessories of this type, they are only compatible with the 2.4GHz band.
We could spend hours discussing what is the best home automation platform, but what is indisputable is that the only one that offers you 100% compatibility since leaving the box is HomeKit. There are no skills here, no languages or functions not available. If an accessory is compatible with HomeKit it is here and in Peru, and that is a great peace of mind for its users. You take the plug out of the box, plug it into a socket and scan the HomerKit code With the camera of your iPhone, a couple of configuration steps and that’s it, you have it working.
Now it is the turn to include it in environments and / or automations already created, or create new ones: You can control it from your iPhone, Apple Watch, HomePod, iPad, Mac …, through applications or through your voice through Siri… all options are valid, and all of them 100% compatible with these Vocolinc plugs. There is only one function that you cannot perform from the Home app: energy consumption control.
To do this you will have to use the Linkwise Vocolinc application (link) which also allows you to control the plugs, such as the Casa app. The application does not convince me too much, although its operation is completely correct, but it has a design that does not enter my eyes, although that is something very subjective. The good thing, as always in HomeKit, is that you can choose, so we will not complain about having different options available.
The compatibility with HomeKit means being able to enjoy each and every one of the functions offered by Apple’s home automation platform, without half measures. Automations, environments, remote access, control via Siri … everything is available on this terminal and in the smart Vocolinc plug, which also add Alexa and Google Assistant to their compatible platforms, so you don’t have to give up anything. To this we add that the Vocolinc Smart Outlet is priced at € 24.99 on Amazon (link) and the strip Vocolinc Power Strip costs 59.50 at Amazon (link). Hard to find something similar for this price.
- Compatibility with the main home automation platforms
- Very attractive price
- Ease of configuration, automations, environments …
- Physical buttons for on and off
- Small size
- The strip does not have USB charging