I bought a Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug. With the Smart Plug and other Wemo devices, you can control your home’s lights and appliances using your existing Wi-Fi network. The Wemo Mini Smart Plug retails for $35, but you can current buy one on Amazon for about $25.
I wanted to use the Mini Smart Plug to control some of the lights in my home when we are away. The modern high tech equivalent of those programmable light timers that people used for years. With the Smart Plug and the Wemo App on your iPhone or Android phone you can turn your lights on and off from anywhere in the world you have an internet connection as well as set a schedule for automatically turning your lights off and on. Also, I thought it would be cool to try out some internet of things devices.
Naturally, I bought the Smart Plug and then left it sitting on my desk for months waiting to get around to setting it up as well as write an article and create a YouTube video about it. In May, we were going away for a few days and the night before I decided to try and set up the Smart Plug at the last minute.
I attempted to record an unboxing and setup video. I spend over an hour trying to set up the Smart Plug with the Wemo app on my iPhone. I had a lot of difficulty getting the app to recognize the plug and make it through the setup process. I tried at leave five times to get the plug setup, with the app and connected to the wireless network. Just when I was ready to give up, I decided to use my networking skills to log into my home router, and see if the Smart Plug was assigned and IP address and actually on my home network. I tried pinging the device from my Mac’s terminal. Once I did this I went back and checked the App and the Smart Plug was listed in the App. I was able to plug it into the wall and one of our lamps.
Since that time, the Wemo Mini Smart Plug turns that light on and off every evening for us. This is really convenient because this lamp as one of those switches on the cord and requires bending over to turn off and on. As it started staying lighter each evening I adjusted the light’s turn on time a little later.
Although I had problems with the initial setup, I really like the Wemo Mini Smart Plug and woluld recommend it. I plan to buy a few more. Having the lights turn on when we are away provides some extra home security. Having them automatically scheduled is even pretty nice when you are at home. Finally, being able to turn your lights off and on from the Wemo app feels like a super power.
We’ll see how the setup goes with additional Wemo controls.