Last fall, I reviewed some of Belkin’s WeMo products for Plug In. They were great, and I was asked to revisit how I was still using them some 8 months later.
I’m going to be quite honest in saying that while I enjoyed all three of the products, and I’m absolutely enamored with the new Insight Switch and looking forward to the upcoming WeMo Crock Pot, I only use one of the products in the household right now (but it plays a crucial part in my household) – The Light Switch. It’s by no means the fault of the devices either. I’ve just had to cull down the number of smart home devices in the house with a newborn in the house. Let me tell you how the Light Switch gets all the love before I move on to explain why I’m not using anything else.
Back in November, I had the Light Switch installed in what was our home library. I also had all of my clothes in there while we were slowly re-arranging the house. My wife was 4 months pregnant at the time, and we decided that would become the baby’s room. Fast forward a few months, and my friend the WeMo Light Switch became my navigator during late night diaper changes. I would flick the light on from my smartphone and take the baby from her bassinet over to her room for a diaper change and then on for feeding. If I was worried I’d trip over the sleeping cat in the hallway, it was too dark for me to see my way back or baby was fussy, I could just walk back to the bedroom and then turn it off from my phone when I got into bed. Now that we’re transitioning baby from the bassinet to the crib, it’s great for flicking her light on from the bedroom if it’s the morning and she’s woken up and looking for some attention. The light gives her the sense that somebody is coming (if one of us isn’t sleeping on the recliner in her room) and keeps her calm until we arrive seconds later.
Belkin has also made some major enhancements to the WeMo Smartphone app which allows you to do some great things with the switch. The WeMo switch also works with the IFTTT (If This Then That) logic building website where you can expand its functionality even more to act as you see fit. I haven’t had the need for it since there’s only so much fun you can have with a nursery light, but you can do plenty of things, like text alerts when the switch is used.
Despite all the nice things I’ve had to say about the light switch’s smartphone functionality, the manual pushbutton switch itself is also great. Since it’s a push button switch, it means I can safely hold baby with both hands and just shut the light off with my elbow. Since the switch is next to the change table, it also means I can bring baby into the room, put her down on the table and then flick the light on with my elbow while I’m changing her.
Back to those two other pieces I’m not using, however. The WiFi Switch and the WeMo Motion Detector and Switch were both great pieces of hardware. I used to time and power the living room lamp on using the WiFi Switch, and was experimenting the Motion Switch and Sensor all over the place (I didn’t have a set spot for it in the house, but was experimenting trying to start up a few gadgets when I would walk by and such.)
The only reason, quite honestly, that I disconnected the other two devices is quite simply that I had no use for their functions at the present time. With the baby in the house, it’s actually left us without the need for motion sensor functions and lights on timers. In fact, at this moment, we want to have anything but when we’re walking her through the dark house at night putting her to sleep. I will definitely have need for these in the future again once Charlotte’s a little bit older and she’s better at putting herself down. For now, however, I’ve given them to my mom and her husband. They both travel out of town a bit during the summer, so having this remote piece of mind for them to control is great for them. Not to mention, my mom’s husband is a serial early adopter, so he was more than enthused to get his hands on some smart home technology. He ate up the idea of the IFTTT functionality too, and he’s already been talking to me about getting more smarthome gadgets in his house.
I’ll be redirecting him to my Father’s Day Smarthome blog. Maybe it’ll give him a few ideas. I’m such a bad influence.
Check out the full range of Belkin WeMo products available now at Best Buy, and online at BestBuy.ca