Belkin WeMo Light Switch, Control Your Lights From Anywhere with the Home Automation App for Smartphones and Tablets, Wi-Fi Enabled

3 comments for “Belkin WeMo Light Switch, Control Your Lights From Anywhere with the Home Automation App for Smartphones and Tablets, Wi-Fi Enabled

  1. user9748
    January 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    104 of 113 people found the following review helpful

    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Worked well for ~2 months, November 1, 2013

    By Erick

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This review is from: Belkin WeMo Light Switch, Control Your Lights From Anywhere with the Home Automation App for Smartphones and Tablets, Wi-Fi Enabled (Electronics)

    I bought 4 of these light switches about a month after they were released. I had been adding motion detector lights, dusk-to-dawn lights, etc., to both improve energy efficiency and safety in my house. My purchase was designed to move further toward both of these issues, along with a new Kwikset lock and some security cameras.

    Installation was relatively simple, even for someone who is not an electrician. As long as you have the proper wires and follow instructions, as other reviewers have mentioned, installation should not be too difficult (check before ordering though). Connecting to the WiFi was also not difficult for me. I have a Linksys router in the basement with a Linksys range extender upstairs and WeMo did not have any problems connecting when I followed instructions. The initial firmware update took quite a long time and the initial iPhone app version that I downloaded was *very* slow to detect the switches each time I loaded the app, but they seem to have fixed the latter issue.

    Once it was all setup, I LOVED it. I used IFTTT to automatically make sure lights were turned off at night and on in the morning, among other things. I really like the look of them and changed out many of my fan switches and other switches to the decorator-style to make it look even nicer. Really, really like the look of them, although I could see it not fitting as well in certain instances (I am definitely not an interior decorator). I do wish that these would work with 3-way lights (where you have two light switches that control the same light) or as dimmers, but unfortunately they don’t.

    Here’s the problem: two days ago, the power to the router went out for about 30 seconds, then turned back on. The internet and WiFi loaded fine and all of my devices worked fine – except two of the 4 light switches could no longer connect to WiFi! They would both just blink orange non-stop. I tried all of their support instructions on their website, which was minimal, and included resetting and restarting the device. Of course, now one of the switches started blinking green and I could no longer even turn the lights on manually. So I caved and called their support number (difficult to find, but calling the corporate headquarters 800-number routed me to support).

    Here is where it got really frustrating because, among other things, the person on the line spoke very poor English. It took about 35 minutes to get through the initial questions around model number, what lights were blinking, when I purchased the product, etc. In between each question, she would tell me to “hold on a second” and mute her line, before often (at least 10 times, no exaggeration) returning and asking me a question I had already answered. Multiple times, she forgot to mute her line and I heard her joking with her friends. But, OK, I only hold Belkin partially accountable for that. After over an hour, and having me try everything I already tried, she finally said she would send me a new one. For now, I have two switches that cannot connect to WiFi and one that cannot even turn the lights on.

    It is simply not worth all of this hassle just to be able to remotely turn some lights on and off. To make it worse: they only provide (poor) customer service for free for 90 days! After that, you have to pay to talk to someone. Luckily (unluckily?), mine broke after 60 days so I could get someone on the phone.

    I really wanted to like the product, and I would have if there was some quality control or better customer support, but unfortunately for me it didn’t work out.

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  2. user2784
    January 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    240 of 258 people found the following review helpful

    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Firmware and App needs a lot of work., August 3, 2013

    By Gaucho (San Francisco, CA) –

    This review is from: Belkin WeMo Light Switch, Control Your Lights From Anywhere with the Home Automation App for Smartphones and Tablets, Wi-Fi Enabled (Electronics)

    Installed the Wemo Light Switch easily enough. As other reviewers have stated, a neutral wire is required. Also, the size of the front of the switch is the same as your regular Leviton switches, so if you are replacing one of those your face plates (including a double face plate for 2 different switches which is what I have), it will fit. The rear of the switch, is definitely bigger than the rear of a normal light switch so it does make a tight fit inside the wall box. Overall, I think it is a decent device but Belkin has some updating to do, per the rest of my review.

    Pluses:
    * Design looks good
    * When light switch is on, there is small power light to show it is “on”
    * Once it is connected to your network, the remote access via the App is a nice feature

    Cons:
    * When connecting to your wi-fi router, you cannot have any special characters (like: !?*&) or any spaces, in your typically already set up router password; Example: your password cannot be “john doe” and instead has to be “johndoe” without a space. If you have these, it will not connect to your router!!! Belkin needs a firmware / App update to fix this ASAP.
    * When you are loading a rule to your Wemo Switch, let the App completely finish before doing anything. This means waiting…don’t try and rush anything because you can bork your device. My first Wemo light switch died because of this (after just 1 day of use!), as I tried to change its name from “Wemo Light Switch” to something like “Porch Light” and it did not load right, and killed the switch where I could not access it at all from the App (after 4 + hours of troubleshooting, resetting, restarting, re-installing the App, etc.); ultimately I had to just replace it with a new Wemo light switch that is working for now.
    * Timer based rules do not always work; Example – I tried to create a rule where the switch turns on at 8:30 p.m. and turns off at 2:30 a.m. Saved the rule and the rule loaded to the device. After saving, etc., the rule mistakenly says to turn off at 2:30 p.m. = it got the a.m. and p.m. reversed for the turn off setting. Tried this several times and it would not save correctly, no matter what. Instead I am just using the “sunset” to “sunrise” settings which did save correctly. Again, a future firmware update should fix this.
    * On Android, the WeMo App is slow, very slow (even if on a strong wi-fi or on a strong LTE signal which I have). The Android WeMo “Beta” App has the same exact functionality, but it is a little bit faster. So if you are on Android, use the “Beta” App.
    * Belkin needs to allow a computer browser interface, not just by an IOS or Android App. I am comparing this to my Nest thermostat, which does have a computer browser interface plus an App, and is generally a much more polished device.

    Conclusion – for now it’s just a decent device. Even though it is not the first in the Wemo line, I would consider it a first generation device. I would rate it 2.5 stars for now, and if my second switch does not fail then maybe 3.5 stars. If Belkin improves firmware and the App, then it has the potential to be a 4+ star device but it is not there yet.

    See, https://getsatisfaction.com/belkinwemo/topics for a Wemo community forum where you can see a wide variety of issues for troubleshooting this and other Wemo devices.

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  3. user313
    January 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    93 of 101 people found the following review helpful

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A great starter pack- a demo of how it’s useful for me., September 9, 2013

    By THATCH “RST” (OHIO) –
    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This review is from: Belkin WeMo Switch and Motion Sensor, Control Your Electronics From Anywhere with the Home Automation App for Smartphones and Tablets, Wi-Fi Enabled (Electronics)

    I am a little bit obsessed with the WeMo world. I have a ton of them in my house, on most lights, and a few of the motion sensors. I could go through the technical specs of the device, but others have done that. I’d rather give you an example of why it is useful to me, and how I use it. I have my kit and other WeMo switches set to:

    Turn one living room light on from “dusk” (definable in the iPhone/Android app) until 10:30 p.m.
    From 10:30 to 11, a different light stays on
    From 11 through “sunrise” if I walk out of the bedroom door, and the motion sensor senses me, it turns on two lights in the living room
    If motion is detected from 10:30 p.m. through Sunrise at my front door, it turns on “ALL OF THE LIGHTS!”

    I also use one of these in the winter to turn on my Christmas lights (they plug in indoors), my Christmas tree at night, and other Christmas lights on by motion if I’m around.

    The kit is incredibly flexible, and once you get one set up and on your wifi, it can be controlled while you are AWAY FROM HOME! The best part.

    You can drive up to your house and turn the lights on before you go inside!

    That all being said, I did have a couple of them be a little difficult to get on the wifi the first time. As soon as you connect them, they want to update their firmware/software. Once that’s done, they work great. Be patient if you have a little difficulty on the first go, it will work and then be 100% reliable after that.

    I hope this has helped you understand how and why to use the device and how it might help you.

    UPDATE:

    There is now a newer or different model of the wemo outlet control that can also track energy consumption. It is smaller overall, and has a touch sensor for the wifi. If you think you might be interested in that, you can find it here: Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, Control Your Electronics and Monitor Energy Usage From Anywhere with the Home Automation App for Smartphones and Tablets, Wi-Fi Enabled

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