Been busy so I haven’t had a chance to blog, but I just came back from CES a few weeks ago (which I may write an article on if I find the time). Anyways, I was sick of turning on the exterior lights when it gets dark out and found these Belkin Wemo smart switches on sale for about $110 for 4 (including tax + shipping) which was a steal of a deal. At CES, smart homes were a big deal especially with Alexa moving into mainstream use. I have had experience with the Wemo smart plugs which were buggy when first released about 4-5 years ago, I bought these hoping they have resolved the bugs which plagued the first generation products/smart app (such as random power on/off on their own and disconnects from wifi) and since the install have not had much problems with them (knock on wood).
The install was straight forward, turn off the breaker for the power and wire up the 3 required wires, one wire is optional (read the manuals for more detail as I am not an electrician). I ran into a problem though with 3 way switches such as stair case or hallway lights which have a switch at each end. Looking online, Wemo does not support these “3 way” switches which is a shame as I had a 3 way switch for my garage light for whatever reason that I would of loved to control with WiFi.
I installed these 4 switches in various places; in the dining room, master bedroom, exterior lawn lights, and living room. Setup was easy, you connect to the Wemo switch wifi, turn on the smart app on your phone and go through the steps to set it up. After that it works like magic and you can turn it off and on from anywhere with internet access (and your phone).
But that is not all, Wemo is also integrated with IFTTT which is a service which allows you to add customization to turn on/off your devices. For example, when I get close to my house with the IFTTT app running, the gps signal triggers IFTTT to call my Wemo switch to turn on all my lights. This way I never come home to a dark home. Another rule I created is if I hold the Wemo switch down, it calls my phone, this way if I ever lose my phone in my bedroom, I can just hold the Wemo switch down and it will call my cell phone. Lastly, of course there is the original purpose of purchasing these which is to turn on the light when it gets dark out, Wemo is connected to the weather service which knows exactly when sunsets and sunrises, so the timing is exact, or you can set an offset to 45 minutes before or after sunrise (which is what I did).
This was something I always wanted but didn’t seem cost-effective until the recent Belkin Wemo sale, retail is about 50 dollars a switch, but at 25 dollars a switch, it is a no brainer to buy these to automate the house. While doing the Wemo switches, I also decided to switch my whole house to LED bulbs which is “smart”. Also the WeMo switches can integrate with Alexa with IFTTT, I have not done this yet as I do not have an Amazon Alexa device (maybe a future purchase?)
You can buy Wemo switch fom Amazon from this link
WeMo Light Switch, Wi-Fi enabled, Works with Amazon Alexa