Koogeek 01US-1 Smart Power Strip (review)
Koogeek have been churning out quite a few products over the last couple of years, and if you follow their progress, you’ll see there’s plenty more to come, with a smart padlock, camera, a new white bulb and an air quality monitor, so do start saving! As for the current batch of products they have already available, this is one product I find really useful – in fact I’ve got two of them – and they’re really handy when you’ve got a set of regular lamps that need that automated touch. In my case they’re used for a corner tall lamp, and two floor lights on either side of our sofa.
Starting off with first impressions of the box itself; now ordinarily you wouldn’t need to concern yourself with the box that the device comes in, but considering a lot of people buy online these days, which in turn means these are shipped – in many cases, long distances – it makes sense to know that the box that your device comes in has at least a modicum of protection. This box doesn’t really provide a lot of said protection to be honest, and although both of mine arrived without any damage, you could see the bashing that a delivered item can sustain, even when surrounded in bubble wrap, so not great in terms of protective packaging. The design itself is very ‘Apple’ though, so that’s something if you’re into the aesthetic side of things. Importantly You have the ‘Works with HomeKit’ branding on the front, with a few bullet points on the back, listing some of the features of the Power Strip, like Independent Control, USB Charging, Energy Monitoring and more, which we’ll touch on later.
One you’ve opened the box, it’s clear there really isn’t a lot of protection provided, being that the Strip itself comes in a simple latex bag with elastic bands to keep everything in place. Despite this, once unwrapped, the Strip feels really ‘tough’; I’ve owned a lot of power strips over the years, and this definitely feels a lot more substantial than any of those. The power cord feels very thick and durable too, so this soon leaves you feeling a lot more confident.
Setting up the device is super easy, if you’re used to installing devices via HomeKit; All you need is to plug the device into the mains, and have your HomeKit code at the ready. This is provided inside the accompanying booklet (not pictured) and on the device itself, but seeing as you might be placing this in a more difficult to reach place, the code inside the booklet suddenly becomes very handy. As is standard with a HomeKit device installation, it’s a breeze, with the now familiar ‘Add accessory, Scan Code’ scenario. Once you’ve gone through this simple process, you’ll have to name each of these outlets, starting with the 1st outlet, being the one nearest to the ‘Koogeek logo (or the one furthest from the USB ports). As all three outlets are on one device, you can only choose one room for all three outlets to be in, obviously. Once the outlets are named, they are ready to use.
The Power strip allows for three individually controlled outlets, along with three physical buttons with corresponding LEDs to control the power and indicate the power state. All fairly straightforward. Along with these outlets you get three USB ports, two of which are labelled ‘iPhone/iPod’ along with a third, more powerful port labelled ‘iPad’. The ports themselves provide 1 amp of power for the first two ports, and 2.1 amps for the iPad port.
These US ports cannot be individually or collectively controlled, so they’re as dumb as it gets in terms of ‘Smarts’, however they do free up sockets that otherwise might be used solely for a USB charger, so in that respect they’re very welcome. The iPad port is powerful enough for me to power my basic 3m LED light strip, so this also saves me finding a USB plug and the use of an outlet to plug it into.
On the back of the device at the bottom, you have the details of what the device is capable of and what kind of power it’s designed to handle. At the other end, the HomeKit code along with serial number and MAC code are also provided. At the side of the device there’s a circuit breaker, useful in the event that the device is overloaded, it would cut the power, allowing you to use this button to reset the device to receive power again, which you tend to find on most power strips these days. On the subject of power, the Power Strip does protect against power surges. The rated current is 15 amps, with a total rated power of 1800 watts. Finally, it should be stressed that this is designed for indoor use only.
Overall, this is a really great piece of kit, which not only provides three outlets for just a little more than the price of one smart plug, in some cases, but as the power plug itself is standard, it doesn’t take up two wall outlets. This being the US version, its input is rated for 120v AC and 60Hz, but Koogeek have since released a version suitable for the EU, with a UK version in the works, allegedly.