Belkin WeMo Switch

If you are the person who is constantly having to pop back inside after you’ve just locked up to double check you’ve switched off the iron then the WeMo Switch from Belkin is the gadget for you. The WeMo Switch enables you to control any gadget that is plugged into it via your phone.

No more panicking that the hair straighteners are going to burn your house down while you’re on holiday. Wherever you are it’s simply a matter of opening the WeMo app on your phone and making sure everything you want off, is off, and vice versa.

Our rating: 7.4/10

Amazon rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars

Verdict:

We were really won over by the WeMo Switch. You simply plug a regular lamp into the WeMo Switch and it is instantly transformed into a smart light, fully controllable via an app on your mobile. Having tested a range of far more pricey smart lighting systems, the usefulness and cheaper price tag of the WeMo Switch was extremely attractive.

Like the WeMo Lighting Kit we tested, we experienced a connectivity issue in one of our tests which is a concern and seems to occur for around 1 in 3 people, however our second Wifi Pad test delivered a flawless connection and really showed the WeMo Switch at it’s best.

This is not a smart lighting solution for people who want the most brag-worthy and connected house, but it is a simple, useful and affordable option for anyone wanting to remotely control one or two of their lamps or, in fact, any other plugged devices.

Pros

An affordable smart lighting option

Simple to control

Versatile – can be used for other devices too

Cons

Chunky wall plugs can obscure second sockets

Does not allow for smart mains operated lighting

Some people may find WeMo incompatible with their wifi

Review score summary:

Ease of set-up 10/10
Effectiveness 6/10
Simplicity of control 6/10
Did it make my life easier? 8/10
Value for money 10/10

Want the full nitty-gritty? Here’s our complete WeMo Switch review:

Very. Download the WeMo app, plug in the switch, add a device to the plug, locate your home wifi signal and you are done. No need to switch bulbs, no links or bridges to connect to your router and no extra cables needed.

Easy as pie. 10 out of 10.

Unfortunately we did experience some connectivity issues at our first Wifi Pad test venue. Periodically the switch lost its connection to the home wifi signal. Although the light stayed on/or off, it did mean we had a period where we were unable to control the device remotely and had to wait until the connection re-established, which it eventually did.

However, it’s worth noting that when tested in a second Wifi Pad the connection was seamless and we didn’t experience any of the issues of the previous test. Having looked at the wider reviews for this product it seems that this is representative of the product as a whole. Two-thirds of reviews are glowing, and one-third…not-so-much.

Assuming it’s the working version that you get, then this is an effective little gadget which you can use with any plugged lamp to create a smart light, or, pair with any other plugged device: a heater, hair dryer or iron for example, that you might appreciate being able to switch on and off remotely.

5 out of 10.

The WeMo switch extremely simple to control. As with the WeMo Lighting Kit, you can set rules and timers for the device to come on and switch off, as well as carrying out these functions remotely.

If you are looking for an exciting app, you aren’t going to find it here, but it basically does what it is meant to do, just without any jazz-hands which may be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective.

It’s worth noting that WeMo is compatible with IFTTT software and so you can use that to control your WeMo devices or set up various other rules such as your lights coming on when you are approaching your house.

7 out of 10.

Reasonably. The WeMo Switch provided an effective single smart light when I plugged a lamp into it – giving me the security benefits of a lit home without having to leave a light on 24/7.

I also plugged the iron in via a WeMo switch which, for the first time ever, meant that the obligatory “did I switch the iron off?” moment that usually occurs halfway to work/the airport/in the pub is simple to solve with a quick glance at the app – so much less stressful, so there’s a bonus point for that.

7 out of 10.

At about £40 per switch, this still isn’t completely bargain basement territory, but if you are looking for a single smart light option and the multi-bulb smart lighting sets are out of your price range, or, you want to experience life where you can switch the kettle on from your bed in the morning – and frankly who doesn’t? – then the WeMo Switch is a very handy little device.

7 out of 10.