[Update] My experiences: Koogeek WLAN socket with HomeKit support in the test

The Koogeek comes with nice packaging and instructions, which are actually unnecessary if you've already added a Homekit device to the Home app in your life.

A few months ago, the manufacturer Koogeek gave me their WLAN socket called "Koogeek Smart Plug" for a test. Since then I have used them in various rooms to switch floor lamps, air filters or other equipment on and off via Siri commands. Now I've gathered enough experience to be able to present you with a small review. So much in advance: The socket is absolutely worth the price. I am very satisfied, even if I have a small point of criticism that I will come to later in the article.

If you want to buy the Koogeek Smart Plug, you will unfortunately be disappointed. Yesterday the socket was still on Amazon, but suddenly it is no longer listed today. I will post the link here when it becomes available again. If you want to be notified, wear mine Newsletter a. I will then post an update on this article.

Update January 12.01.2018th, XNUMX: Available again on Amazon

I found it again. Although it cannot be ordered from me via Amazon Prime, it is at least back in the range:

The Koogeek comes with nice packaging and instructions, which are actually unnecessary if you've already added a Homekit device to the Home app in your life.

The Koogeek comes with nice packaging and instructions, which are actually unnecessary when you have one in your life Homekit device to the Home app (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

Scope of delivery and packaging

The socket is supplied in a small, printed cardboard box and is inserted into a foam inlay to protect it during transport. In addition to the socket itself, there are also small instructions in various languages ​​in the package and on the inside of the package as well as two stickers with the HomeKit number on the instructions, which you need for the set-up. And you don't really need more than that to get started with the Koogeek Wifi socket.

The button for manual switching can be seen on the top of the Koogeek WiFi socket. Like the two "e" in the Koogeek logo, the button is also illuminated when the socket is switched on.

The button for manual switching can be seen on the top of the Koogeek WiFi socket. Like the two "e" in the Koogeek logo, the button is also illuminated when the socket is switched on.

Setup in HomeKit

The smart home interface from Apple is known to be HomeKit. It was therefore important to me that the socket is homekit-compatible. At first I didn't care whether she speaks to Alexa, Susi, Doris or Cortana - but as far as I could find out, Koogeek only likes HomeKit and Siri.

Setting up the Koogeek Smart Plug is pretty easy and all you really need is an iPad or iPhone and the HomeKitApp. There is a Koogeek app for iOS devices, but you don't need that if you control all devices with Siri and the Home app anyway.

The steps for setting up:

  1. Plug the Koogeek Smart Plug into any socket
  2. stay close!
  3. Open the home app on the iPhone / iPad
  4. "Select add device"
  5. Scan the code with the iPhone / iPad camera or type it in by hand
  6. Assign device type and room
  7. Ready

Adding the Koogeek socket as a new device in the Home app is pretty easy. For me, the scanning only worked on the iPhone and on the iPad he simply did not want to recognize the code, although it was clearly visible (as you can see in the screenshot). I then quickly entered the number and then the Koogeek Smart Plug was also found as a new device.

You can then assign a room to the device and set it to be a "light" if you have connected a floor lamp to it. Otherwise, a name can also be assigned so that "coffee machine", "air filter", "Horst" or "flux compensator" can be used as a designation.

"Siri, turn on the flux compensator!" somehow looks a bit more like "Siri, turn on the coffee machine!". The imagination knows no limits. ;-)

Beautiful new world! So nowadays you can switch lights on and off using Siri in the future. If you are with several people in the household, you should consider whether it is the most practical solution. ;-)

Beautiful new world! So nowadays you can switch lights on and off using Siri in the future. If you are with several people in the household, you should consider whether it is the most practical solution. ;-)

Service

After successful setup, operation can be done via the Home app on the iPhone or iPad as well as via Siri - if you are using an iOS device or an Apple Watch. You can't control a HomeKit device with the Mac, which I find a bit incomprehensible, since Siri and HomeKit weren't just launched yesterday.

What I find particularly positive is the speed with which the Koogeek socket reacts to the button in the home app. The response time when a button is pressed is well under a second. If you issue a command with Siri, it takes a few seconds for Siri to implement it, but this is the case with all devices that you address with Siri.

Incidentally, the quick response time cannot be taken for granted. The smart socket from Elgato, like all of their HomeKit devices, works via Bluetooth LE, which on the one hand reduces the range, because I have WiFi available in significantly more corners than the Bluetooth on my iPhone, and on the other hand the response time is significantly longer. For me it varies between one and three seconds. But it tends towards the three seconds. This may not be a problem with a thermostat control, but with a light it is not very comfortable if you have to wait three seconds for it to get light.

But as I said: The Koogeek is doing everything right in this regard, as it works via the WLAN network. If for any reason it is necessary to switch the socket on or off at the push of a button, the Koogeek also has a button on the top for this purpose. Important, the current status of the socket is of course also correctly displayed in the home app if you switch it on or off at the push of a button.

Even a child safety device is built into the smart home socket - a detail that can only be seen in the right light, but which is not unimportant.

Even a child safety device is built into the smart home socket - a detail that can only be seen in the right light, but which is not unimportant.

A nice detail that is sure to be of interest to parents of small children is the child safety device that is built into the socket. This way, the little ones can't sink any knitting needles into the holes in the can and get an electric shock.

Size of the smart plug

In terms of dimensions, the Koogeek is a pleasant version of the WLAN socket. If you look at the WeMo from Belkin, for example, you will notice that it is relatively bulky and loosely covers the sockets next door to the extent that you do not have a Schuko plug gets more pure.

The Koogeek is a bit smaller there, but still not so small that you would not see it as a handicap in a socket strip. There it takes up less space than most other SmartHome sockets, but it should be even less.

LED display suitable for bedroom?

On the front, upper edge, the switchable WLAN socket from Koogeek has a small "Koogeek" lettering, the last "e" of which is illuminated from the inside. This is, so to speak, the status display of the device. If it is waiting for a connection during setup, the "e" will flash red and if the socket is on during operation, it will glow green. When the socket is switched off, nothing lights up.

The socket only lights up when it is switched on and is then still very discreet.

The socket only lights up when it is switched on and is then still very discreet.

If you use the switchable socket to switch a light on or off, then I would definitely classify it as suitable for the bedroom, because then nothing lights up when the light is off. Only when you have a device on it that stays on while lying in the dark can you see the small "e" glow. It is not particularly bright, but it is so bright that a sensitive person can be disturbed by it. In this case I would recommend painting over the "e" with a marker pen or sticking a small strip of paper over it with tape. Then you have complete peace.

Criticism: Koogeek only works over the 2,4 GHz frequency band

I still have one criticism of the Koogeek Smart Plug socket: It only works in the 2,4 GHz frequency band, which I find a bit antiquated. All Fritz! Box routers and also my Google Wifi use both 2,4 GHz and 5,8 GHz and my end devices such as the iPhone or iPad connect using one frequency band and sometimes the other.

Now it has happened to me that the message came up that the HomeKit device "Koogeek Smart Plug" is not responding. I then tried to switch the socket directly with the Koogeek app, but the message came back that the socket can only be reached via the 2,4 GHz frequency band. At the moment, my iPhone was apparently in the 5,8 GHz band and for this reason could not send a command to the "smart socket".

You can use the matchboxes to estimate the size of the Koogeek socket cuboid. It doesn't take up much space ...

You can use the matchboxes to estimate the size of the Koogeek socket cuboid. It doesn't take up much space ...

I'm not sure if this is only a problem if you turn off your 2,4 GHz band completely, or if it becomes problematic if you are using a mixed network. If, like some people, you work with two separate SSIDs (WLAN names) for the 2,4 GHz and 5,8 GHz network, you will definitely run into problems when you are in the 5,8 GHz network. There the socket cannot be seen as a WiFi device.

I would expect that this kind of problem will no longer occur in 2017. Most routers and mesh network devices such as Google Wifi and the Fritz! Box devices work with both frequency bands and, depending on the reception strength of the end device, convey which band is currently being used. Having to intervene here manually in order to reach a socket in a certain frequency band is somehow extremely cumbersome.

Koogeek app: expandable

I don't really use the Koogeek app because you can also control the socket with the Home app and Siri. I used the app as a test to get an impression for the test report. It also crashed once when I wanted to program an automatic timer to control the socket. Perhaps one advantage of the app is that you can also use it to determine the power consumption of the device that is plugged in. There is also a graph for the consumption of the last two months, but here too the app seems a bit immature: While the graph has a display for the entire current year, it says directly below that only the last two months are evaluated.

In the Koogeek app you can see the current power consumption and the consumption in the last few months. Unfortunately, you can't see any graphics on my small bedroom lamp with 8 W consumption - maybe because the consumption is too low.

In the Koogeek app you can see the current power consumption and the consumption in the last few months. Unfortunately, you can't see any graphics on my small bedroom lamp with 8 W consumption - maybe because the consumption is too low.

For some users, the timer could be interesting, with the help of which you can set several times per day at which the socket switches on and off again. There are no days of the week or the like. Just a start and end time and the option to set a daily repeating timer or a one-time timer. The function is therefore quite rudimentary.

However, you don't have to use the app. Even the setup can be done with the Home app from Apple, so that you can save the installation.

[appbox app store id1078204013]

Conclusion: very inexpensive HomeKit socket

Apart from the point of criticism with the lack of 5,8 GHz support, I am quite enthusiastic about this wireless socket. And the problem with the 5,8 GHz shouldn't matter to most users. This is actually only noticeable negatively if you consciously split your mixed network into two separate WLAN networks with a different SSID for the 2,4 GHz and 5,8 GHz network.

The Koogeek Smart Plug takes up little space. Only with connector strips you should need more than one slot.

The Koogeek Smart Plug takes up little space. Only with connector strips you should need more than one slot.

Otherwise, I find it very positive that the socket connection does not work via Bluetooth but via WLAN. This has some practical advantages in terms of range and speed of the shift. Another positive point of the wifi socket is its size. It also takes up too much space to plug a Schuko plug into a socket strip in the neighboring socket, but with a wall socket such a plug still fits next to the Koogeek without any problems.

Another plus point of the Koogeek variant is that you do not need a SmartHome bridge as with Osram or Bosch. Here you have to integrate a central box from Bosch into the WLAN, which then takes over the communication between the WLAN and the manufacturer's SmartHome devices.

If you are looking for a homekit-compatible radio-controlled socket, then I can give you the Koogeek Smart Plug as a recommendation. In terms of price and function, it is one of the best I could find.

Source of supply Amazon: Currently not available

As mentioned above, the Koogeek socket is currently not available.

Is she again:

Alternatives to the Koogeek Smart Plug

For this reason I have selected a few good alternatives for you that I would consider as usable homekit-compatible SmartHome sockets if I were to buy a model right now. However, a distinction must be made between the models that require a homekit-compatible bridge and these sockets that work with HomeKit without an additional device. If you plan to buy multiple devices from one manufacturer anyway, a solution with a bridge is not necessarily the worst choice. You can definitely mix different devices in your "SmartHome" and they can all be controlled via the Home app and Siri.

Stand-alone solution without a bridge

The offer here is currently quite sparse. In my opinion, there is only the Elgato Eve Energy, which is recommended here. However, which works with Bluetooth, but still has a considerable range. With me, I can control Elgato Eve thermostats over two floors, which I would not have expected with Bluetooth LE.

Elgato Eve Energy
Direct connection without a bridge; runs via bluetooth; shows the power consumption and switches up to 2500 W.

Solutions with bridge, hub or gateway

These are the devices that are available if you want to use several SmartHome products from the same manufacturer:

Osram Smart + Plug socket
Osram offers a switchable socket that works with the Lightify gateway, which you have to buy for around 35 EUR. The range is approx. 30 meters.
Bosch Smart Home adapter plug
Bosch also has a switchable socket in its range that can be controlled via HomeKit. Unfortunately, the Smart Home Controller from Bosch is not exactly cheap: the kit consisting of socket and controller is available for 179 EUR. The Bosch socket switches up to 3680 watts.

I hope I was able to present you with a passable alternative. If the Koogeek adapter comes in on Amazon again, I will note it in the newsletter.

 

 

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