Testimonial: Are Belkin’s latest Wemo lights worth the financial investment prior to HomeKit support?


Belkin’s three newest products in its Wemo line of Wi-Fi linked, smartphone-controlled items for the house consist of a white bulb starter kit, a flexible strip light, and garden lights for outdoor usage. The last 2 are both tunable to countless colors and all three link to Belkin’s Wemo environment and companion app for push-button control from your iPhone. All three of the items are through a partnership with OSRAM SYLVANIA, who supplied the lightning items that Belkin has integrated into its Wemo platform. We took the 3 new starter kits for a test drive to get a review at the growing Wemo platform and see if they are worth the investment prior to assistance for Apple’s HomeKit …


The setup for all three products in terms of getting linked is the very same as the majority of Belkin’s Wemo items and developed to be fast and easy. Because all 3 are what Belkin calls “starter sets”, the boxes include everything you require to get up and running: Belkin’s “Wemo Link” WiFi bridge, a little iPhone adapter-size device that connecteds into a power outlet, includes all sets. The Wemo Link lets your different Belkin Wemo items connect to your Wi-Fi network, and lets you pair several products using a single bridge. So if you wish to get some added bulbs, for example, you can pass up the starter set the 2nd time around and select up simply the bulbs considering that you currently have a Wemo Link (a single Link supports up to 50 bulbs).

As soon as your bridge and lights are setup and plugged in, you’re expected to be able to just download and open the Wemo app for iPhone. The app automatically scans for devices and lets you pair with a single tap to begin managing the light. In my experience, nevertheless, it took a few shots to get the lights linked. They ‘d be acknowledged in some cases but have problem pairing, while in other cases they would’t appear at all. During other instances the app would attempt to download a firmware update before crashing or offering an error and forcing me to begin over. I offered up after a handful of efforts the very first time, but I attempted once again the next day and got everything connected after a reboot or 2 of the bridge.

Now that I really have the lights linked and the firmware update installed, I haven’t experienced lots of concerns with connection when controlling the lights from the app. A small stepping-stone to get to the great stuff, however strategy to reserve a lot longer than a fast 5 or 10 minutes for setup.

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The features of the three items are fairly comparable, as they are controlled by means of Belkin’s Wemo app as soon as synced to you Wi-Fi network. All consist of the capability to change colors and or temperature, manage the lights individually or develop groups for a number of simultaneously, and all have brightness control and sleep faders. There’s likewise a Rules showcase within the app that lets you setup automated schedules for controlling the lights, like turning on or off particular lights or groups of lights by time and date. Have your lights switch on or off at sundown, for example, or automate lights with an Away Mode to turn on or off at particular times each day.

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And all of the lights work with IFTTT, the service that lets users automate jobs from numerous web services based on rules, permitting them to have their lights switch on or off based on their actions with other apps and web services. Belkin offers the example of using IFTTT to have the lights change to a “favorite group’s colors at video game time, or immediately switch on the lights inside when it starts drizzling outside.” I’m not much of an IFTTT user, but it behaves to know assistance is integrateded for those that might find it helpful.

Those functions are the same across items, however each of the 3 have very different usage cases. Right here’s a breakdown:

Flex RGBW Beginner Set (F5Z0597) ($ 119):


The Flex RGBW Beginner Set comes with three versatile, 2 foot long LED strips that you can stick practically anywhere there is adequate surface area. You can also include added length by buying another 3, 2-foot long strips sans the Wemo Link bridge for $ 64.99. Beneath cabinetry in a kitchen area or somewhere else looks like the apparent usage case, but I chose to include the lights underneath the mantel on a fireplace, as visualized above. The lights are completely dimmable (and tunable from 2,700– 6,500 Kelvin), and offer thousands of colors (as imagined in the app screenshots above).

It includes a power supply for the lights, meanings that you’ll need to consider having outlet close by when deciding where to put them. Apart from that, however, installation couldn’t be easier thanks to 3M adhesive already used to the back of the lights. You just pull off a covering to reveal the adhesive and stick to your surface area of option.

Belkin states to expect a 20,000 hour lifespan for the bulbs.

Gardenspot Mini RGB Starter Set (F5Z0598) ($ 129):


These outdoor lights could technically be utilized inside also, but they are clearly created for garden usage with a traditional garden light design with one 14 foot string of 9 Gardenspot Mini LED lights and consisted of installing picks for positioning firmly into the soil. Belkin likewise points out that you can additionally install to a wall making use of the included tape or choose for an expert installation to have the lights recessed into a deck or fencepost, for example. The lights are sturdy enough that we didn’t have much fear about them being exposed to the elements and Belkin says they have a “wet-rated develop quality” to stand up to rain and other extreme conditions. We used them in the ground in the garden around the outside of a residence, as visualized above and below.

Like the strip lights, the Gardenspot lights also offer countless colors and complete control over dimming and temperature level through the project app pictured above. Belkin states to expect a 25,000-hour bulb lifespan, and it offers the 14 foot string of 9 lights on their own for $ 80 without the Wemo Link Wi-Fi bridge included in the starter set.


Tunable White Starter Set (F5Z0596)($ 99):


This set is the most straight forward of the 3: 2 tunable, 60 watt equivalent LED bulbs get plugged in any place your standard light bulbs can go (lamps, spotlights, recessed lighting, etc). You get a temperature level variety of 2,700 to 6,500 Kelvin, which implies you’ll get those cold blue whites best to more warm yellowish tones, but you don’t get any control with these bulbs like the two other brand-new starter sets.

You can purchase extra bulbs for $ 29.99 a pop, a bit more costly that Belkin’s own Wemo branded Smart bulbs that can be found in a 2-pack starter kit for $ 45 or as singles for $ 20 each. Belkin says to anticipate a 20,000 hour lifespan for the bulbs.

No HomeKit? Should you buy it?

HomeKit products are still in the early phases with simply a handful on sale since a main launch a couple of months back. Apple’s framework for house automation devices includes a lot of potential to a connected home setup, however the highlight that you make sure to miss on products that don’t yet support the platform is Siri control. I recently reviewed among the very first HomeKit item boy the marketplace, iHome’s iSP5 SmartPlug, and was rather pleased with how much having the ability to manage items with Siri voice regulates included to the overall experience. Being able to rapidly turn on or off a light or other product utilizing your voice seems like a huge improvement over needing to browse within and switch in between numerous apps for items from various manufacturers simply to something on or off.

Not having it is not precisely an offer breaker at this point, as there are so few items on the market that really support it, but I ‘d be hesitant to invest a lot of cash into any one platform without a minimum of a guarantee of assistance in future products. Specifically as Apple prepare for improvements for HomeKit earlier instead of later. Thankfully, Belkin is one company that has actually verified strategies to support the platform in the near future, which likely indicates a bridge will be readily available for your existing items and brand-new items will certainly all include assistance out of the box.

With that in mind, Belkin does have among the most engaging and complete platforms of Wi-Fi linked, iPhone-controlled devices for the home, and its commitment to the platform, along with partnerships with reliable producers like Sylvania, is a good indication of things to come for those that do decide to invest in Wemo.

You can purchase all 3 on Amazon now: Flex RGBW Starter Set(F5Z0597)($ 119), Gardenspot Mini RGB Starter Set (F5Z0598) ($ 129), Tunable White Starter Set (F5Z0596) ($ 99).

And after you have a starter kit, get added bulbs and lights without the starter kits through Belkin’s website.

Submitted under: Testimonials Tagged: app, Belki, homekit, iOS, iPhone, Lighting, evaluation, WeMo

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