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WeMo Light Switch, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your Lights from Anywhere, Compatible with Amazon Echo

[wpramazon asin="B00DGEGJ02" keyword="Smart Home"]

3 comments

  1. 303 of 323 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    A very poorly executed good idea, October 10, 2013
    By 
    P. Wheeler (Dallas, TX) -
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What's this?)
    This review is from: WeMo Light Switch, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your Lights from Anywhere, Compatible with Amazon Echo (Electronics)

    I needed a switch that would control my outdoor porch and landscaping lights which are operated by two separate switches inside the house. Specifically, I wanted the lights to come on at dusk, but only stay on for a set number of hours. In theory, this device will do that. It tracks the time of dawn/dusk in your area via it's internet connection and will adjust accordingly. Thus I bought two of these switches. Like many in this category (programmable switches) the switch itself is a bulky device and, while the installation was fairly straight forward in terms of wiring etc, it took a significant amount of time getting the two switches to fit into the box with all of the other wiring and the two other switches that were there (it's a "4 gang" box).

    Once installed, the two switches were found quickly by my Android phone and initial setup was straight forward, per the instructions. It took a few resets that were not expected, but overall setup was about 20 min. Both switches worked as expected the first day. The next day, the first time I opened the WEMO app on my phone, I was notified that a firmware update was needed for the switches (not any update to the app). I did not do it right off the bat, but soon realized that this firmware update screen was going to be there each and every time I opened the app until the update had been done. With electronic devices, a firmware update is not an unreasonable or unexpected eventuality, so I went ahead with it.

    Both devices failed after the "update." The lights would only flicker on then off if the switch was manually pressed and neither could not be actuated via the app (if the app could even see the switches, which, at this point, was intermittent). In addition, every three to five minutes, the lights the switches were connected to would spontaneously "flicker" on for a second then go off. I tried all of the restarting/resetting options on the Belkin website (none made any difference) and cycled the power at the breaker box. . .all to no avail.

    I was leaving town, so I switched the power off at the breaker for two days (to prevent the lights from intermittently flickering day and night while we were gone). When I turned the power back on upon our return, both switches reverted to normal function and would work by either manually pressing the switches or by using the Android app. Approximately two to three hours later though (and without any further intervention from me), I noticed that the lights were off when they should have been on), but flickering again. . .same problem as before. I repeated this cycle of cutting the power at the breaker box for two days and had the same results when powered back on.

    The support experience with Belkin was an abysmal and highly frustrating few hours of my life. Suffice it to say that the website where the "premium support" phone number is supposed to be listed was a broken link. I finally found a different number (through an obscure link on the site). I was able to reach a person but, after 10 minutes of them "verifying my phone number" etc, I was told they don't handle the WEMO devices (despite the fact that the page that had the number I was calling had pictures of all of the wemo devices on it). The person actually gave me a different number to call (instead of transferring me) and told me I'd have to call that number and queue up again. I called that number, using the options he told me and got only a loud tone (no answer, no recording, no human). I tried several times, all with the same result and even stayed on the line for several minutes to see if anything would happen (nothing did). I called the number back and tried different options, this resulted in me being hung up on by the surly woman who answered the phone. I finally called back one last time and actually got the first guy I had spoken to again. I told him what had happened since I had spoken to him last. At this point, he kind of switched gears and began trying to be helpful to me. However, the end of the story is that, as best they could tell, the firmware update had ruined my devices. The technician actually suggested that I only do firmware updates via a hardwire and not using wifi. . .though this is common sense, this is a ridiculous assertion with this particular product as it is a light switch with no traditional input/output options for connection to a computer or router such as USB, LAN, etc. They'd send me replacements, but I WOULD still have to call the WEMO people, go through all of this again, then receive new devices and physically reinstall them. And, for what? To have another firmware update ruin those devices? Not to mention the fact that the number to the WEMO folks results in a loud tone with no human answering. No thanks. I cut my losses and returned the devices.

    If and when these devices (or devices such as these) fully mature and they are able to function as advertised, they will be a...

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  2. 1,485 of 1,602 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Caught Fire, July 1, 2015
    By 

    Verified Purchase(What's this?)
    I purchased this item and attached it to a heater. It worked for a couple of nights until one evening it caught fire. Smoked up the entire room. Luckily I was home and able extinguish the fire but had to replace the outlet and fix the drywall. If I used it when I was away it could have been catastrophic.

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  3. 1,638 of 1,726 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Worked well for ~2 months, November 1, 2013
    By 

    Verified Purchase(What's this?)
    This review is from: WeMo Light Switch, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your Lights from Anywhere, Compatible with Amazon Echo (Electronics)
    I bought 4 of these light switches about a month after they were released. I had been adding motion detector lights, dusk-to-dawn lights, etc., to both improve energy efficiency and safety in my house. My purchase was designed to move further toward both of these issues, along with a new Kwikset lock and some security cameras.

    Installation was relatively simple, even for someone who is not an electrician. As long as you have the proper wires and follow instructions, as other reviewers have mentioned, installation should not be too difficult (check before ordering though). Connecting to the WiFi was also not difficult for me. I have a Linksys router in the basement with a Linksys range extender upstairs and WeMo did not have any problems connecting when I followed instructions. The initial firmware update took quite a long time and the initial iPhone app version that I downloaded was *very* slow to detect the switches each time I loaded the app, but they seem to have fixed the latter issue.

    Once it was all setup, I LOVED it. I used IFTTT to automatically make sure lights were turned off at night and on in the morning, among other things. I really like the look of them and changed out many of my fan switches and other switches to the decorator-style to make it look even nicer. Really, really like the look of them, although I could see it not fitting as well in certain instances (I am definitely not an interior decorator). I do wish that these would work with 3-way lights (where you have two light switches that control the same light) or as dimmers, but unfortunately they don't.

    Here's the problem: two days ago, the power to the router went out for about 30 seconds, then turned back on. The internet and WiFi loaded fine and all of my devices worked fine - except two of the 4 light switches could no longer connect to WiFi! They would both just blink orange non-stop. I tried all of their support instructions on their website, which was minimal, and included resetting and restarting the device. Of course, now one of the switches started blinking green and I could no longer even turn the lights on manually. So I caved and called their support number (difficult to find, but calling the corporate headquarters 800-number routed me to support).

    Here is where it got really frustrating because, among other things, the person on the line spoke very poor English. It took about 35 minutes to get through the initial questions around model number, what lights were blinking, when I purchased the product, etc. In between each question, she would tell me to "hold on a second" and mute her line, before often (at least 10 times, no exaggeration) returning and asking me a question I had already answered. Multiple times, she forgot to mute her line and I heard her joking with her friends. But, OK, I only hold Belkin partially accountable for that. After over an hour, and having me try everything I already tried, she finally said she would send me a new one. For now, I have two switches that cannot connect to WiFi and one that cannot even turn the lights on.

    It is simply not worth all of this hassle just to be able to remotely turn some lights on and off. To make it worse: they only provide (poor) customer service for free for 90 days! After that, you have to pay to talk to someone. Luckily (unluckily?), mine broke after 60 days so I could get someone on the phone.

    I really wanted to like the product, and I would have if there was some quality control or better customer support, but unfortunately for me it didn't work out.

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