We rely on power strips in our homes to grant us the ability to connect multiple devices to our power outlets. They’re commonplace in most homes and we use them without much thought.
However, it may have occurred to you whether you should use your power strip outdoors, and in this article, we’ll explore if that’s a good idea.
Here’s If Power Strips Can Be Used Outdoors:
Power strips are designed to be used indoors. They are not waterproof and can be damaged by moisture. Also, they may not be able to handle extreme temperatures that are common in outdoor environments. If you want to use power strips outdoors, select one that has been designed for outdoor.
Can Power Strips Be Used Outdoors?
Most power strips are intended for internal use only unless specifically stated by the manufacturer.
Using power strips outdoors exposes them to dangerous risks such as moisture which can have damaging consequences for your connected devices.
There are waterproof power strips available for purchase, but these are not intended to be used on a permanent basis.
When Would You Use A Power Strip Outdoors?
There are many scenarios in which power strips have found themselves outside of the house and ended up in the garden.
We’ll get into depth about if bringing your power strip outdoors is a good idea or not, but let’s first take stock of some of the most common reasons people want to use a power strip outdoors.
4 Common Reasons A Power Strip Is Used Outside Of The House
- Your Gardening Tools Need Power
- The classic gardener’s conundrum – too many tools and not enough power. When a team of gardeners (or even just you and your other half) decide some serious garden maintenance is in order, then out comes the power tools.
- Power tools such as hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, chainsaws, and leaf blowers, to name but a few, all require electricity to do their job.
- In this situation, it’s easy to just pop into the house, grab the power strip and get everything plugged in and ready to go.
- It’s Time For Some DIY
- So you’re working with wood. Funnily enough, nobody is keen for you to get sawdust all over the kitchen work surfaces, and instead, you’ve been relegated to the garden or the front lawn to sand something down.
- Similar to the point above, certain power tools need to be plugged in when in use.
- Many power tools do have cordless versions, however, more often than not, the corded versions have increased torque and power.
- When it comes to corded tools, the power strip is going to seem mighty convenient.
- Christmas Has Come Home
- The kids want the house to scream Christmas to the whole street. What’s the solution? Lots of lights!
- Stringing up endless fairy lights and that big old Rudolph with his garishly red flashing nose will all require power from an electrical outlet.
- Once again, the idea to reach for the power strip is as tempting as another mince pie.
- You Want Your Party To Feel Electric
- When you’re having that big garden party you want to impress and having electrical power running to the garden can do just that.
- You may want to plug in a speaker system, DJ decks, and different forms of lighting. Some of us even end up needing to bring a projector out into the garden.
- Before you know it, there are fairy lights running around the hot tub and the DJ is spinning his decks, but was using a power strip the right thing to do?
With external power outlets usually only offering two plug sockets at the very most it’s understandable that homeowners want to find a way to power more devices outside.
Using a power strip can make sense, but it may be more dangerous than you think.
Read our blog here about can power strips be plugged into extension cords?
Is It Dangerous To Use A Power Strip Outdoors?
To know whether or not it is dangerous to use a power strip outside it is important to understand that not all power strips are the same.
Most power strips are intended for indoor use because they are not resistant to environmental factors that will be found outdoors.
The 3 main issues that can affect a power strip whilst outside are:
- Dirt and debris
All of these factors can cause the power strip to fail, perhaps damaging the power strip or connected devices, and in some cases resulting in an electrical fire due to sparking.
Rain and snow are obviously big causes for concern as they create moisture and that moisture conducts electricity.
Moreover, it can be tempting to ‘daisy chain’ power strips when using them outside in order to get your electronic device to where you want it.
‘Daisy chaining’ is never a good idea as you can quickly end up overloading your power strip which again is dangerous and can have the potential to either damage your devices or even cause a fire.
Always Remember The Following When Considering Using A Power Strip Outdoors:
- Using a power strip outdoors will always pose a safety risk.
- Connected devices and the power strip itself can be damaged.
- If moisture or another environmental factor causes the power strip to fail it could result in a fire.
- Never ‘daisy chain’ power strips outside (or indoors) as it can lead to an overload.
So Is There A Power Strip That Can Be Used Outdoors?
Thankfully there are power strips that are designed specifically to be used outdoors because they feature a waterproof design.
These power strips are built to withstand the elements in order to keep you and your electronic devices safe from shorts and, by way of an in-built circuit breaker, can disconnect the power flow if an overload is detected.
It’s true that some indoor power strips will feature a power surge protector, but it is very unlikely that the power strip that you have at home is waterproof and that is the key to using it outdoors.
One of the best power strips on the market is the ESHLDTY Outdoor Power Strip.
It’s available for purchase on Amazon and features the ability to allow water to flow into its sockets without it becoming damaged.
However, the manufacturer does state that it should never become submerged in water and that it is only designed to withstand rain and splashes due to its IPX6 waterproof rating.
Despite the fact that there are waterproof power strips on the market it needs to be understood that, as BackyardScape.com notes, the concept of outdoor power strips can create confusion.
“Although your power strip might be labeled as waterproof and weather-resistant, no power strip is designed to remain outdoors and subjected to the elements for extended periods of time.”
If you purchase an outdoor power strip it is important to understand that this does not allow you to have devices plugged into it on a constant basis.
Having a waterproof power strip is fantastic, but it still won’t protect it from certain factors such as:
- Intense sun exposure and temperature changes
- Mud and dirt
- Falling objects
- Interference from animals or insects
Remember, your external power strip should never be left outside permanently as there are dangers that will increase over time. Therefore, it is always best to safely store your power strip once you have finished using it.
Is It Better To Use Power Strips Indoors?
As we’ve seen, there are power strips that can be used outdoors for a limited period of time, but most power strips are designed to be used for indoor use only.
It stands to reason then that your power strips should remain inside your home.
By keeping your power strips indoors you are following proper safety protocols and ensuring that you, your loved ones, and your electronic devices are not at risk.
What Should You Use Outdoors Instead Of A Power Strip?
So, if your indoor power strip is not up to the task of providing power outdoors what is?
The following outdoor plugs and specialized strips will allow you to safely connect your electronic devices outside of the home.
- DEWENWILS Smart Outdoor Power Strip
- Can permanently be used outdoors.
- Its six sockets are protected by a covering to defend themselves from dust, rain, and snow.
- Attachable to the side of the house by way of brackets or can be staked into the ground.
- An app-enabled smart device that can be controlled on the fly via mobile devices or smart hubs via a 2.4Ghz WiFi network.
- POWRUI Smart Outdoor Power Strip
- Each of the four Powrui power strip’s outlets has its own cable which allows devices to be kept apart from one another and means you don’t have to worry about large plugs fitting next to one another.
- Each outlet can be separately controlled by your mobile device by way of an app.
- Can withstand fire and water due to its specialized materials which have awarded it with an IP44 rating.
- Fitted with a surge protector for added peace of mind.
- Yellow Jacket Outdoor 15-Amp Power Adapter
- Has the ability to connect 5 different devices to power.
- The five outlets feature their own protective casing to stop any infiltration of water, dust, or dirt.
- A thick shell prevents damage from occurring if the device is knocked to the ground and suffers a high impact shock.
- TP-Link Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug
- Permenantly supply power to two outdoor electronic devices.
- The outlets are accessed and toggled via an app that can be controlled on a mobile device or a smart speaker.
- The TP-Link can handle water and splash damage due to its IP64 rating.
- Its compact size means it can stay well hidden.
However, despite there being some great solutions to your outdoor power needs, remember that using electronic devices outside is never completely safe due to the environmental reasons previously mentioned.
Always exercise caution and be aware of the risk factors whilst using outdoor plugs and connected devices.
Read this blog here about 3 reasons extension cords stop working.
- Penny Electric: Basic Safety Guidelines for Using Power Strips
- Backyard Scape: Best Outdoor Rated Power Strips
- Rolling Stone: The Best Outdoor Plugs to Keep Your Electronics Safe Outside