This is a We Own it review!
WeMo is created by established manufacturer Belkin international. It was first launched in 2009.
The WeMo range includes quite a few different home automation gadgets, in this review we will specifically looking at the WeMo Switch.
What does it do?
This little gadget plugs into your existing wall plugs, allowing devices to be plugged into it to make them controllable via wifi or mobile.
This means everything from Christmas tree lights to fans can now be controlled remotely!
The plug also has a manual switch on the top for when you don’t have your phone to hand, or just feel like pushing a button rather than an app!
How does it work and What is the tech?
The plugs need wifi and obviously power! There is no installation and you can plug and unplug them whenever you like. It’s as easy as unplugging anything from a wall plug with no skills required or change required to your existing wall plug.
Once setup the app then lets you control the plugs as well as setting rules, for example on at 3pm of at 8pm.
The tech is pretty simple.
The plug simply turns the power on or off to the device plugged into it. It does not give any functionality control for example you can’t control the speed of a fan or change mode on fairy lights plugged into it.
How easy is it to set up?
The devices are plug and play and should be pretty simple to install.
However that said we did have issues with the devices going offline and not being able to control them or see them in the app.
After much research we discovered this was caused by the Virgin Media Superhub once settings were tweaked the plugs work perfectly.
( If you are reading this to try and find a solution to your WeMo switch going offline when using Virgin Media Super hub 2, here is a link to a detailed guide. )
What’s the connectivity?
WeMo first came out before AppleHome as such it doesn’t meet their strict requirements (see here) so will never work with Apple Home.
They also only work on a 2.4 GHz wifi network.
That said they do work with an impressive list of integrations:
- Amazon Echo (Alexa, Dot, Tap)
They did use to have an SDK to allow anyone to develop an app that integrates with WeMo. Sadlyfor reasons we cannot understand this was discontinued (See their post here).
How much does it cost?
The plugs are very reasonable at £39.99!
What’s it like living with it?
Handy – where these are good are for hard to reach plugs, for example under the Christmas tree – allowing you to create a timer and easily control a plug that’s not within easy reach. Also they are great for use on the Iron plug – no more ‘did I leave the Iron on’ as you can quickly check or set a rule via IFTTT that if your not in then ensure it is off.
What are our final thoughts?
These are a simple yet effective way to automate a lot of your plugged in tech. However the big limitation is that they only control power so on or off.