It’s only right an proper that our IFTTT Series moves on from the IFTTT app itself to look at WeMo lights created by American company Belkin. Founded in 1983, today Belkin is a market leader in home automation technology through it’s WeMo division.
WeMo have been involved in IFTTT from the very start, being the first piece of hardware to have its own channel. The vast majority of WeMo products proudly display the IFTTT logo on their packaging, showing how central the application is to Belkin’s range. Whether it is because of the visual impact or the practical uses, the most popular WeMo device is the LED Lighting Sets. From your smart phone, you can control your home lighting, anywhere in the world.
On a recent trip to Germany, I tested it out for myself. I also have a WeMo NetCam in place, so I was able to see the lights in my apartment turn on and off within a second of sending a command from my phone. Admittedly, one will feel like quite the nerd showing this off, but you can’t help but take a step back for a moment and think about how insane that is. A tap of a screen flicks on a light bulb that is thousands of kilometres away. This is space age technology that the average smart phone owner can enjoy in the home for a very small price.
WeMo lights specs
There are some grass routes facts and figures you’ll need to know if you are shopping for light bulbs, whether they are smart or not. Regarding efficiency, you can be rest assured that the bulbs are great, earning an environmentally and pocket friendly A+ rating. Considering these lights are more expensive to the standard, owing to the technology involved, they will typically last for quite some time. Belkin claim their WeMo light bulbs will last for up to 23 years (but that’s only with use of 3 hours per day). The real value of course here comes with greater control over your lightening which should reduce usage in the long run.
In terms of brightness, WeMo lights are plenty bright, weighing in with a 60W equivalent rating. The cool feature which came as a neat surprise to myself is the fact that you can dim the lights too. Brilliant for the romantics out there.
Best IFTTT recipes for WeMo lights
Bedtime lights off
This is genius. You know that feeling when the bedroom is cold, you’re warm under the duvet and you realise you didn’t get the lights. Not a problem, you could reach for your smart phone, load the WeMo app and switch them off, or you could do what every single person does before bed every night. This recipe will turn off your bedroom WeMo lighting when you plug your Android phone in. Isn’t that neat? Also great if your other half falls asleep with the lamp on and they give out when you elbow them to turn it off.
Sunset lights on
This is a personal favourite due to the convenience. There is a strange part of me that is extremely lazy. Wait, I meant to say large part of me that is extremely lazy. So as the room slowly gets darker to the point of me thinking I need to turn on a light, I am struck with the inner turmoil that the couch is really comfy. Fear not my lazy amigo, This recipe automatically turns on your WeMo lights when the the sun sets. You are living in the future people.
This is for the people who think home automation is nothing but a gimmick. If you have a connected device at home for safety, such as Nest Protect or Smart Roost, you can have an alert from this device turn on a group of lights towards your home’s exits. Systems such as these will save lives in low light situations. I can also vouch for these bulbs and say they are bloody bright on full whack.
Turn lights on when you get home
Two different approaches here, making evident just how flexible the IFTTT system is in letting you create what works for you. The Android version will pop you lights on as soon as your smartphone connects to a particular WiFi connection (home for example). The iOS version works on location, so when you enter the home you can expect your lights to be on already. Little bit of genius that.
This is one of the IFTTT team’s latest improvements. So far, everything we’ve discussed has been an automated reaction, but what if something happens outside the recipes you’ve created? DO Button is a great feature that provides you with a virtual button to trigger actions similar to an IFTTT recipe. Better still, if you have an Android Wear device, you have your light switch on your wrist at all times. Here is my Huawei Watch in action with the DO button.
WeMo Light Adaptor
One pro tip. You will more than likely only be able to pick up the EU screw style fitting, while most homes in Ireland use the bayonet fitting. Luckily, you will find the perfect adaptor in most hardware stores, or on the cheap in IKEA. Here you can pick up 2 for €1.50.
WeMo Lights: The verdict
Sure, WeMo lights are likely to set you back a little more than your standard lights, but they are available on Amazon from around €70. Remember you can avail of any free UK delivery offers you see to Ireland using Parcel Motel. WeMo lights are also money well spent from the point of view that this is simple to setup home automation that will impress visitors and give them a visual of how tech savvy you have become. A great way to dip your toe into the waters of home automation.