This is a product I’ve been waiting for my whole adult life.
Much better than a single light timer you plug into an outlet, the WeMo LED Lighting System allows you to control your lights from an app on your phone. House sitters may still be required for your plants and pets, but now you can change the lights around in your house all on your own. Turn them on or off, dim them, or set them to automatically go on when the sun goes down, these lights, brought to us by the folks at Belkin, are an extremely functional addition to your house, whether you want a well-connected house or not.
The first thing I noticed about the light bulbs is that they feel really sturdy. Not only are they heavier than your usual light bulb, but they feel quite a bit less fragile. That instilled confidence right away. I put the two bulbs that were included in the starter set in two lamps that we usually have on all evening, though I didn’t have many from which to choose. Our house has mostly flood lights.
Next, setup of the lighting system was simple, straightforward, and trouble free. I plugged in the WeMo hub (it will blink between green and amber while you get it set up), connected my cell phone to the WeMo Link wi-fi, launched the WeMo app (which I already had installed from when I tested the WeMo Crock-Pot), and completed setup from there. It then gets everything connected and updates the firmware if required, with your permission. And if you have any problems setting up the system, Belkin’s website support is pretty helpful.
The default names of the light bulbs are Light 1 and Light 2, but you can rename them to something more useful, such as Bedroom or Office.
How does the quality of the light compare to the favored incandescent to someone like me who is sensitive to different kinds of light?
Even though the bulbs are marked “warm,” they are still whiter/less warm than my incandescent or halogen bulbs. I’m not sure why the world hasn’t yet made non-incandescent bulbs that produce incandescent-like light, but perhaps they’ve tried.
What can you do with these bulbs? Why are they more useful than conventional bulbs?
As far as I’m concerned, connected light bulbs are one of the best reasons to have a connected home. You can set them to turn off or on from anywhere you have internet access. You can dim them to any level. You can turn them on or off from the comfort of your own bed. You can set them to turn on automatically when the sun goes down. You can put them on a schedule for when you’re out of town. You can put them on a sleep timer so the lights go off after a certain period of time.
If you have additional WeMo hardware, you can also set up the bulbs to turn on when there is motion nearby. And from what I can tell in the app, you can also set it to notify you when motion or power turns on the light. You can also set your lights to turn off when you plug your phone in to charge overnight. The possibilities here seem to be endless.
Generally, I think that these types of bulbs are best used in lights that you turn on and leave on for a while, rather than lights you’re always wanting to turn on and off. It’s more trouble to change the light through the app than just by flipping a switch, but the added functionality for certain house lights is invaluable.
The WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set comes with a control hub and two bulbs and retails for $99.99. Additional bulbs cost $29.99, but since they are LED, they will last a long time and run efficiently (and not make me feel ill like CFL bulbs do). In the end, I am extremely happy with the WeMo Lighting System functionality for time when I’m out of town or don’t want to mess with turning lights off and on. The light is also a vast improvement over CFL bulbs.
Note: I received a starter kit for the purpose of this review.