Are WeMo Lights Worth Buying in 2017?

WeMo Lights 2017

With multiple competitors and a hefty price tag, are WeMo lights worth the cash?

WeMo Smart LED Bulbs are a LED WiFi connected light bulb that are controlled from your compatible smart device. They come at a $75 price tag on amazon and have been discontinued by WeMo.  WeMo has not made it clear why the Light Bulbs are discontinued and could be making room for new stock.

 

Hardware

Link

The WeMo Starter kit includes a WeMo Link and two LED Smart Bulbs. The Link “links” the Smart Bulbs to your home WiFi network. The Link is not huge nor hideous and just sits nicely allowing you to use the other power points with no trouble. My only issue with the WeMo Link is that the plug doesn’t sit flush with the power point. In no way is this a deal breaker but more of just an annoyance.

 

Smart Bulbs

The Bulbs come in two options, bayonet and screw. The Bulbs use 9.5 watts and have a similar output to traditional 60 watt incandescent bulbs. At first I was worried that it wouldn’t be bright enough but it easily lights up my whole room. The Bulbs are dimmable to less than 5% of their total brightness.

 

Software: WeMo app

Setup

The WeMo app is available for iOS and Android. On start up, the WeMo app prompts you to plug in your link and connect to its WiFi network. I had to wait about 15 minutes before the link WiFi network appeared in my settings but after that it was a seamless experience. The app found my lights and connected to my home WiFi easily. The whole set up (including the time it took to find the WiFi network) was about 20 minutes.

 

Use

WeMo’s app is easy to use. The skin/design of the app looks old and could do with a redesign.

 

wemo light bulbs mobile appwemo light bulbs mobile app

 

A quick tap on the power symbol turns on the light to the current brightness. Pressing on the green arrow reveals the brightness slider and the “sleep timer”. The features include rules and sleep timer. The “sleep timer” fades the lights out over a period of time set by you.

Rules let you fade lights on/off according to the sunrise/sunset and turn them on at set times. WeMo also offers If-This-Then-That integration which I find is much more useful than the in-app rules. IFTTT integrates with many services including Philips Hue Bulbs, other WeMo products, Nest Thermostat and many other services and products. It lets you make simple If-This-Then-Do-That statements.  I’m glad that WeMo included the in-app rules and kept IFTTT integration because it gives people a simpler option for timing lights. WeMo chose not to offer Google Home or Amazon Alexa integration which makes these a hard product to recommend in 2017.

 

Final Thoughts

The WeMo link is convenient to use and install. Setting up the bulbs wasn’t hard and they give off a nice brightness. The app could definitely do with some improvement and adding Alexa and Home integration would make these easier to recommend to people wanting to get into home automation. The in-app rules are a nice touch for people not wanting to have to use separate apps. Overall I would recommend a newer smart bulb over the WeMo Smart Bulbs.

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