Getting your foot in the home automation door can be rather intimidating — there are hundreds of smart products across dozens of categories with thousands of use cases. That said, when someone asks me for advice on getting started with smart home tech, I almost always recommend a smart plug as their first smart accessory. It's simple to set up, it can be used with almost anything in your home that plugs into the wall, and it's easier to integrate into an otherwise un-smart home setup. Here are some to get you started.

Our favorite

iDevices Switch

The unique design of this plug, which shifts the receptacle to the side of the device, keeps it from unappealingly jutting out of the wall and the multicolor LED light strip serves as an excellent night light. The iDevices Switch also features a physical button for controlling whatever you choose to plug in.

$28 at Amazon

Inexpensive

iHome Connect Smart Plug iSP6

A Wi-Fi connected smart plug at this price is hard to beat. I've had an iSP6 in my office for over a year with very few connectivity issues. Thanks to its thin footprint, you can easily stack two iSP6 plugs in one standard wall receptacle.

$28 at Amazon

USB charging

PureGear PureSwitch

This is a Wi-Fi enabled smart plug that features a USB charging port. While you're using the device to remotely control your lighting, fans, etc., you can also use it to charge your USB-powered devices!

$40 at Amazon

Outdoor use

iDevices Outdoor Switch

Featuring a rugged, rain-tight design, you can be sure it'll work in the winter just as well as in the summer, spring, and fall. Perfect for outdoor lighting during the holidays, you can turn off ol' Frosty the Snowman at the end of the night without ever having to set foot outside. Did we mention it has two receptacles?

$48 at Amazon

Bluetooth connectivity

Elgato Eve Energy

With in-depth energy monitoring stats, the Elgato Eve Energy can help you keep a lid on your utility bills. Thanks to the device's Bluetooth LE connection, you won't need to struggle with a Wi-Fi setup process or crowd your network with another device — the Eve Energy communicates directly with your phone or through an Apple TV or iPad via Apple HomeKit.

$50 at Amazon

Replace your outlet

iDevices Wall Outlet

Instead of having to augment your current setup with external plugs and switches, you get two independently controlled outlets that actually look like they belong. It's worth noting, too, that each outlet features a physical button for turning on and off whatever you've decided to plug in.

$83 at Amazon

Smart power strip

Koogeek Smart Outlet

Use it to power and control up to three electronic devices and charge up to three USB-powered devices. The USB charging ports are smart, meaning they can push more power to larger devices and less power to smaller devices. It's also got a 5-foot cord and a built-in circuit breaker.

$53 at Amazon

Low profile

Koogeek Smart Plug P1

A simple, unassuming Wi-Fi connected smart plug. The device features one standard plug, a physical on/off button above the outlet, and it can be controlled using Siri, the free Koogeek app, and the Home app for iOS.

$30 at Amazon

Regardless of your specific needs, you should be able to find a smart plug on this list that works for you. Start small and work your way up — an in-wall outlet may not be the best jumping off point for your new HomeKit-enabled home. If you're having trouble choosing amongst the options, I'll tell you this: You can't go wrong with the iDevices Smart Switch. Its design, reliability, and extra features make it my favorite HomeKit-enabled switch.

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