Belkin’s smart home brand WeMo has established itself as one of, if not the leading name in the world of smart plugs and switches for home automation and control.
Stepping in to fill the gap between traditional lighting and electronic devices, smart sockets and switches offer an affordable alternative to upgrading your bulbs to smart lighting equivalents in every room while effectively letting you keep and retrofit your existing devices while making them smarter in the process.
It’s in this field that WeMo has carved a place as one of the best in the business and the range of devices that the brand offers to get this job done are both highly effective and highly affordable.
Meet WeMo – What You Need to Know
The WeMo range of smart devices is relatively well established (at least in the relatively young world of smart home tech) and while the brand used to include a pretty decent range of other devices such as smart bulbs, the focus now is definitely more in the arena of smart plugs and switch devices.
As mentioned, the focal point of the WeMo offering is now the smart switch market with devices in the range looking to bridge the gap between smart functionality (think app and voice control, scheduling, and automation functionality) and your non-smart legacy devices and systems (think existing lighting setups, lamps, kitchen appliances, and other socket-based devices).
In terms of compatibility with smart control systems, WeMo devices all work out of the box with both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home meaning simple connectivity with these smart speaker systems and the subsequent ability to control your smart plugs and/or switches with your voice.
But how about Apple?
Well if you’re a HomeKit person, the great news is that WeMo functionality on the platform is increasingly expanding with the WeMo Mini smart plug including HomeKit support from July 2018 with the Smart Dimmer light switch soon following suit later in the year.
WeMo Devices – Meet the Family
The range of WeMo smart devices is actually relatively narrow and ultimately, this is one of the brand’s strengths – after all, how many ways do you actually need a smart switch or smart plug to differ from alternatives.
This small but well qualified family has however done about as good a job as possible perfecting the devices in the range with simplicity and high functionality forming the core of a device lineup which offers an ever-expanding remit of compatibility and support across brands.
All of this makes for a selection of smart plugs and smart switch solutions that are perfectly suited if you’re looking for a no-nonsense option for bringing your conventional and existing appliances and systems inline with your smart home ecosystem.
Quite simply one of the best smart plugs on the market, the WeMo Mini does exactly what it says on the tin and offers the full smart connectivity and functionality you’d expect from a smart power socket adapter while maintaining an almost unbelievably small form factor.
The major advantage of the Mini’s minor footprint is that it keeps other power outlets free, meaning you can either plug additional smart plugs into adjacent sockets (the Mini is also available in multi-packs) or simply keep an outlet empty for ad-hoc tasks like phone or laptop charging.
Of course, one of the major selling points of all of the WeMo devices equally applies to the WeMo Mini and that’s the excellent compatibility of the adapter across platforms.
Working with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit means this smart plug is literally plug and play when it comes to hooking up with the major voice assistant systems and support for Nest is also a huge advantage that the WeMo Mini delivers.
The trade-off for the compact size of the WeMo Mini is that it lacks some of the wider functionality from larger smart plug solutions, however the ability to deliver smart control, scheduling, and vacation mode (random activation and deactivation of your devices such as lamps if you’re away) make it pretty much unbeatable if you’re after a low impact smart plug for your home.Learn More About the WeMo Mini Smart Plug Here
The WiFi compatible light switch from WeMo is one of two in the range (the other offering dimmer functionality) and effectively allows you to retrofit your existing home light setup by replacing the switch in the room rather than swapping out your bulbs for smart alternatives.
Compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant means that when you’ve made the switch (no pun intended), you’re going to be able to control your conventional lights in that room using your voice through your Amazon Echo or Google Home device.
Nest compatibility also means that you can use any connected Nest devices to let the Light Switch know when you’re away, allowing you for example to have the lights turn on when the system knows your home.
As with smart plugs, smart switches allow you to carry out both scheduling and automation and the WeMo Light Switch is no different, providing functionality such as the ability to randomize the activation of your lights when you’re away from home.
If you want to embrace the brilliance of smart lighting without upgrading every bulb in the house, then the WeMo Light Switch is one of the best ways to get the job done with the kit you’ve already got.Learn More About the WeMo Light Switch Here
As you’ve probably guessed, one of the major advantages of the WeMo Dimmer over the brand’s other smart light switch offering is the ability to pair up with an existing bulb setup for full-range dimming functionality without some of the flickering associated with lesser smart dimmer switches out there.
Because of this, the WeMo Dimmer automatically calibrates to work with whatever type of bulb you’ve currently got installed whether it’s LED, CFL, or a good old fashioned incandescent bulb.
The WeMo Dimmer utilizes WiFi for connectivity and as such works without the need for a hub – a significant benefit if you’re only looking to upgrade the lights around your home without investing in a wider smart home setup.
Like the plain vanilla WeMo Light Switch, the Dimmer is fully compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, however it also benefits from the added advantage of offering support for HomeKit which is a definite bonus if your smart home ecosystem is built around Apple’s smart home standard.
While these voice assistant connections are going to allow voice control with minimal steps, the WeMo Dimmer also allows all of the standard functionality you’d expect from a smart light switch such as scheduling and app based control.
One of the particularly useful features of the WeMo Dimmer is the inclusion of a ‘Night Mode’ setting which turns the ambient light level down to a lower setting during specific times of the day.Learn More About the WeMo Dimmer WiFi Light Switch Here