Belkin WeMo Home Automation Review

Belkin WeMoWe knew it was only a matter of time until our smartphones would be used for just about everything and now we can add home automation to that growing list. The Belkin WeMo Systems is a pretty cool thing to buy because it lets you turn lights and fans on and off, brew coffee, monitor security cameras and control other things around the home from anywhere, just by tapping on your phone’s screen. How cool is that? In our futuristic and lazy day dreams we want to be able to control everything in the house from the one object that is always close to our hands- the phone. Why bother with remotes, light switches, and having to move when you are comfy, when the thing glued to our hand 24-7 now serves yet another fantastic service- home automation?! If only someone could create app for toilet scrubbing…

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The WeMo currently consists of two hardware devices; a Wi-Fi equipped power switch/outlet, a Wi-Fi equipped motion sensor (sold separately), and a free WeMo iOS app. Although they are not the first company to release an iOS compatible home automation system, they are the first to do so with out needing the custom in-wall wiring, iPad docks, software, and other components. Plus the charge of  hundreds or thousands of dollars that can also require professional installation. Belkin’s WeMo is comparatively inexpensive and anyone with half a brain can install and use it. Because the system is running on WiFi it may lose connection here and there and will need to be reset. This is not a huge deal but but can be annoying for settings you have on a timer and are expecting to come on and off at a certain time if the connection is lost.

Three great points of The WeMo Switch and app are:

  1. Allows you to organize all of your switches with custom names and even custom images. For example a child’s photo can be used for a specific child’s bedroom lamp.
  2. You can set one or more timers to automate on/off status, including “turn on” or “turn off,” as well as “turn on then off,” each change separately timed, with each timer limited to specific days of the week.
  3. The app integrates with a web-based service called IFTTT (If This Then That) that lets you create more complex controls that are activated over the Internet.

The best part is that you can control the switches at home over your Wi-Fi network and when you’re away from home on a cellular or separate Wi-Fi connection.  The ability to access switches and motion sensor status from afar over a cellular or distant Wi-Fi connection will come in handy for sure.

 

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Pros:
Easy to set up, works just as it should, not dependent on persistently running apps.

Cons:
Drops wifi and needs re-setting every few days.

 

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