Customer Reviews: Belkin Wemo Home Automation Switch & Motion Sensor (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on September 18, 2012
This product is not ready. The lag is unbearable. Constantly searching for devices. Tries to upgrade firmware 1540 all the time (or firmware upgrade never finishes). Motion sensor blue led indicates detections reliably, but the app has either a huge delay or unreliable detections showing. This causes the rule not to trigger most of the time. Just a simple rule to turn on switch for 1 minute when detecting motion fails 9 times out of 10.
I drop my expectation to just turning on/off the switch repeatedly. Guess what? It stops switching (long app delay) after 3 clicks. The control sometimes comes back after several (tens of) seconds, but not always. I repeat this on/off switching test and find the longest continual switching I can get it to work is 8. Granted that most folks don't do this but it shows the usability of the communication protocol (or lack of).
A normal use case would be starting the app and turn the switch to on/off. Again, the lag is unbearable. It doesn't show incorrect switch state. It just doesn't respond.
Taking picture to use as icon doesn't work either. It just shows white background.

Maybe all my issues are relating to old firmware. But firmware upgrade doesn't work. Any idea what to do except to return it?
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on January 4, 2013
still can't get the motion sensor to connect .... And stay connected.doing everything right, restore,reset,reconnect. Found it once, to set up, but app never found the sensor.
Sorry guys not worth it :(
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Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Let me answer the first question - what exactly does this do?

It controls ONE light. One side plugs in between the light and the wall - this is called the switch. It can be operated via the iphone/ipad app on or off. The other thing is a sensor. It also plugs into the wall, but does not control a second light. Instead, the sensor monitors motion via the round can thing and reports that motion to the iphone/ipad app. The app allows you to set "rules" that turn on and off the switch based on movement or time of day. You can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor and the time the switch stays on after motion ceases. By having the switch and sensor separate, you can put the sensor at the bottom of a flight of stairs and the switch on a light at the top, so once you start up the stairs the light turns on.

You MUST have an iphone/ipad/itouch to use this. It is entirely dependent on the app.


The switch, once set up, actually works as intended.
The sensor seems to work well and has a decent range of motion.
It works even when traveling (you dont have to keep your iphone/ipad in the same wifi network).
It integrates with IFTTT, assuming you know what that is (google it - it is an "if this than that" service).


The set up can be problematic, not because of wifi issues, but because the app kept freezing on my ipad.
The sensor does not include a light sensor - allowing you to not turn on the light if it is already bright in the room.
The switch makes a loud click when it turns on or off.
There are much less expensive alternatives.
The switch does not allow dimming - it is on or off.
The sensor pod has a plug that plugs into the wall brick, but I cant seem to tell if the wall brick does anything on its own.
The iphone/ipad app is really just an iphone app. The ipad app works in "mini iphone" mode.
There were virtually no directions in my packaging - just some pictograms on the back of the cover (but this was a review unit, so maybe there are instructions in the normal packaging).
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on August 6, 2013
This is a great idea for those who have to walk across a room to turn on a lamp. The "turn on" feature is activated by your motion. Unfortunately, I haven't had the success I had hoped for. Make sure the motion sensor is above the level of your cat or dog, or the light will be constantly turning on. You do set the hours for the motion sensor to activate the light. Even so, the instructions for setting up this system are sketchy. Also, sometimes it just doesn't work - I've had the switch device get lost from my iPhone; and, I've had the motion sensor show "motion" permanently - when this happened I had trouble getting the light to come on. I've had to redo the setup once. I love the idea and when it works right it is great. Maybe an update of the app will solve the problems I'm having. Or maybe, my room setup is just not conducive to this product working well. I'm keeping the product and hanging in there, because when it works it's really great.
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on September 10, 2013
Yes...yet another 1 star review. I was stupid enough to buy TWO of these damn things. I have dealt with the "looking for devices' screen on my iPhone so many times without being able to configure things right.

At the beginning, it used to work OK. Now it just drops from my Wi-Fi, rules never work, and no matter how many times I reset it, it's always a pain to re-configure again without being able to get things to work out right.

I just plugged in the 2nd unit I bought thinking the first one was defective, but NO, same outcome from a unit that had never been used before.

The time you think you'll save by automating everything in the house will be nothing compared to the time you will lose re-configuring, reseting, and restoring everything time and time again. Stay away.
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on October 3, 2012
The kit worked well upon first install, and achieved all the advertised capabilities. But the firmware updates have been a bit finicky. I wouldn't recommend this system to a novice just yet. Also, it sometimes seems like the settings and updates don't apply. And the update message in the iOS app didn't have any useful details (it had the latin test phrase Lorem ipsum in!).

The hardware works as advertised. But, like with many things, the software lacks, and as a result, it loses points.
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on November 28, 2015
I thought WeMo was a great idea and jumped into it without researching first or reading what was said in the community. My mistake. I bought a set of light switches to replace electronic timers I had, an outlet switch to replace a mechanical timer, a motion to turn the garage lights on, and a maker to use as a sensor to tell me when the garage door was open.

The motion was really hard to setup, it couldnt find wifi. I reset it repeatedly and finally it connected. It would work well for a while, then, like all the other wemo devices, lose connection to the network.
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on November 12, 2014
This was quite possibly the worst purchase I've ever made from Amazon. I could never get the firmware to successfully update. The official Android app just didn't work. The beta version was barely better at discovering and setting-up the devices. The switch and the sensors would intermittently lose connection with the wifi router. When I had the Wemo system on the network, my other wifi devices would frequently drop connections to the wifi router. I thought the router had become defective and replaced the router, but the new router had the same issue. It turned out the Wemo system was causing the problem. I immediately threw devices in an e-waste bin.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon August 14, 2012
Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Conceptually, this is an outstanding product and Belkin has taken phenomenally complex home automation products and made some good strides to a more mainstream level. Sadly, Belkin didn't take this product to full bright.

This is an expensive product that essentially turns on or off one outlet based on motion detection or remote control from an iDevice. The design of the product sucks up two full outlets, and in some cases can rob four. The device feels cheaply made. The installation is not as dirt dumb simple as the in box drawings led me to believe. All these things wouldn't be a big problem if the device did something useful and responded quickly. I've set this up to turn on a light in my finished basement. Instead of turning the light on the instant the motion detector sees me move, it takes a good few seconds to turn on the light. It also requires a fair amount of movement to activate - if I'm working on my computer in the room, every 15 minutes the light turns off.

I can see, however, somebody that is in love with home automation, and maybe invested in X10 technology, would absolutely adore this device. I'm pretty sure the price of admission for X10 is higher than this simple kit. I'm trying so hard to find a good use for this device, and frankly I'm coming up completely stumped in my house.

Installation requires some pretty twisted steps to work. First step is to download and install the WeMo app from the iTunes app store. There is no iPad version of the app - so this beautiful app is relegated to the 2X pixilated view on an iPad, a really big miss in my opinion.

Plug in the outlet side of the equation (the part that has a three prong outlet on it. Way easier said than done, plug it in. The body of the device is about the size of a full single two outlet box. On an outlet strip it takes up the space for three plugs. As pictured here, a two plug outlet on a bare wall, this works pretty well. I had to get very creative on where I plugged in the outlet.

Then pair the device with the wireless network. The first step is completely counterintuitive - go to the settings menu and choose the WeMo device in the wireless menu. Next go to the WeMo app and let the WeMo app find the device. This takes an amazingly long time - painfully slow. Once the device is found, it is possible to rename the device, and connect the device to the wireless network. At the bottom of the screen, available wireless networks are displayed (if SSID isn't broadcast, a network name can be typed in). Select the correct network and enter the WiFi password. At some point there is an option to save the WiFi settings. Then the app works for what seems like an eternity to connect everything together. If everything was done exactly right, a brand new row in the Devices tab of the app appears where the outlet can be turned off or on.

Belkin did a nice job making the app look clean and well finished. But looks are one thing. Here's what is completely beyond me, my phone is already connected to my network - it already knows the password. Why in the world am I going to settings to find that WeMo device? The first step should be run the WeMo app, find the device there (just like it does for the wireless network), attach there, and then bind to the wireless network - of which I am already connected. There is no need for network passwords.

Oh and then to rub salt in the wound, these devices are brand spanking new and Belkin is improving their functionality, a firmware update was required. Now this wouldn't be so bad if the update took place and the device worked right away. Nope, the device required an update and then had to sit for five minutes before it was useful again. Thankfully, I didn't have to go through the pairing nonsense again.

Now that the device to be controlled is connected, it is time to attach the controller - or motion detector portion. Another design choice that I don't care for, the wall outlet side looks exactly like the plug, except there is a solid piece of plastic over the outlets (why that bump out was still necessary is beyond me). The device only requires a two plug outlet, no ground required for this. The motion detector piece is a six foot wire that uses a roughly 3mm jack to attach to the main device. In theory, the motion detector could be swapped for some other future detector device Belkin might sell. The practical use for unplugging is to allow routing of the wire.

Adding the sensor device was as complex as adding the original outlet, except there is no need to enter the WiFi password (the app remembers what was entered earlier). I was surprised that the sensor was found pretty quickly and wasn't too hard to add to the system.

Now here's where things get either incredibly brilliant or incredibly stupid depending on perspective. In order to use the sensor, a "rule" has to be built. There are a bunch of different choices for the "rule" types. Through a series of options, the sensor can be made to turn on the outlet and keep it on as long as motion is detected. Timer rules can be set up that don't use the sensor. And rules can be combined. And another completely crazy website with logic rules can be added to the whole mix - oh in this case these are recipes (there is a whole community of early adopter people making WeMo's do crazy things).

What is completely illogical to me is the option settings for the motion detector. My first time out I couldn't get the motion detector to stop detecting motion, even after I left the room. There is another completely different menu to set the options for the sensor - sensitivity being one of them.

The bright spot, I have a lot of iDevices, and getting this to work on an iPad after setting everything up on an iPhone was a major piece of cake. Essentially, install the app and run it. The app found my switch and sensor.

OK, so it took me a very long time to set this up. I had to rework where I placed the motion sensor, and rework a bunch of extension cords, in addition to all this app monkey business. Once all that work was done now I could enjoy automatic light turn on and remote control. Well yes and no. Yes it works, the light does turn on, and it stays on for 15 minutes (the amount of time is adjustable) after I leave the room. No it doesn't work smoothly. It takes the sensor a long time to tell the lamp to turn on. The sensor doesn't see me moving around in the room so it turns the light off (if I were watching television, the same thing would happen). And that darn app just plain old stinks. If I want to turn on the lamp before I get to the room, I have to run the app, and then the stupid thing sits and spins looking at me for an eternity trying to find the WeMo's. It can take up to 15 seconds before they are found. And sometimes the WeMo's aren't detected. Once I get to the switch, I can press the cool power button, but then I'm greeted with a pop up that tells me some mumbo jumbo about a rule in place and do I want to override the rule. So I tap that silly button (hey app, of course I want to override the rule, I just touched the power button didn't I), and then I press the lamp power button again. The light is finally turned on.

It's all this wasted time and not ready for prime time apps that I'm having all kinds of trouble with. I have a WiFi connected thermostat, a Nest that uses an app to allow me to control the temperature and look at a bunch of usage statistics and the current cooling or heating program. The instant I run that app (it is super quick) and touch the thermostat icon, I can adjust the temperature of my house. I wait maybe 2 seconds total to do that work. With the WeMo app, I sit and watch the stupid searching for devices, and then cross my fingers they are found, then I have to go through an "are you sure" question, and then I can turn the light on. I don't understand how this device can be so stupid compared to the thermostat.

Yes I can complain about the lack of instructions, thank you very much Apple for that horrible trend. In this case I think Belkin did a major disservice by not including a real live manual with this product. There are way too many complicated things this thing can do and nothing is intuitive. I had to enter the Belkin WeMo website to find out what the flashing lights meant. The documentation there was decent, and I was almost able to do everything on my own from those instructions.

There is a really bad design feature of this device that I really hate; the reset button is on the top back side of the device. In order to factory reset the device, unplug the device, hold down that button, then plug the device back in, and release the button after 10 seconds. I had to do this 5 times before I was finally successful. The button could be easily put on the side, or use the same design for routers - a small paper clip hole.

There is a bright spot with this device, tech support is amazing. I did something really stupid with this device, I tried to install it in a hotel (yeah, it's complicated). Back at home after trying everything imaginable to get it to work, I called tech support. They were able to walk me down off the ledge and get the device working. The fuller story, the device won't work with a network that requires a browser based log in. Hey, how could I know that? I then tried to install the device in my home. Unfortunately, it kept trying to connect to the old hotel network, even though I selected my home network on the device screen. There is a secret menu under More that remembers the network it was last connected to. Even though I told the app to forget about that old network, it refused to delete it. I had to remove the app and reinstall it. After that nonsense, the pairing went much better. But I was at my eighth time entering my WPA password.

There is a good chance Belkin will expand the ecosystem of the WeMo. It seems to have potential for the home automation lover. If Belkin could improve the app, the process for pairing, the design of the case, responsiveness of the sensor, and lower the price - they would have a grand slam. As it stands right now, this is a serious early adopter product, not really ready for prime time.
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Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
I came into this device thinking: what do I want to be able to remotely control on/off. After setting it up and using it, I realized that the device could easily replace places in the house where I have timers that turn lights on/off on a regular system. In short, I was able to take some lights that normally turn on around dusk, and off around midnight, and make them do that, PLUS function as motion sensor lights from midnight to 6 a.m. If I get up and walk in the kitchen, the lights in the loft turn on for 15 minutes, and then turn back off from midnight to 6 a.m. An added bonus!

The program flexibility is pretty well thought out. It's a good balance between dummy-proof and customize-able. It took a couple minutes of experimentation on how the software worked, but once I did a program and tested it, functionality and usefulness was clear. I'm a bit of a home automation nerd-wannabe (I love my Nest Learning Thermostat T100577!!) but haven't really wanted to dig deeply into wiring myself, coding or otherwise wasting a bunch of time on things that are somewhat fun but can be time consuming. By the way, I also love my Dropcam HD Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera. Together, these three devices really give me insight into what's going on at home, and gives me ability to affect what's going on at home.

There was only one point of confusion and one point of uncertainty with the kit. When I ordered it, I didn't look closely and I thought this kit was for two separate controllers, one of them happening to also have a motion sensor. Actually, the motion sensor is its own device, without a plug through spot for a second device. The sensor can be configured to affect other plugs. Ok, misunderstanding corrected.

The second issue I had relates to the initial setup: The devices use a method many do these days: It makes it's own ad-hoc wifi AP that you connect to with the phone during initial setup. Once you tell it which access point/wifi is yours, it stops that Ad Hoc, and just joins your network. The unit with the plug worked seamlessly. From the instructions to "do this with each device," I attempted to do this with the motion sensor and faced some issues. An unplug, replug and app cycle later, it started working. I'm honestly not sure what I did wrong. The app prompted me for a firmware update which I did with no issues, and I continued on my way testing the on/off function and setting some rules for how I wanted it to act.

Now that the device is plugged in and working, it did work seamlessly for me from outside home and on regular 3G. The app does provide feedback when the plug has been turned on and turned off. I don't really need a second plug for my use, but I am really interested to learn if the motion sensor can activate two plugs, or if they're married and another motion sensor would be necessary.

I ended up with a couple other questions I haven't been able to answer yet, and haven't researched: Can multiple users utilize the units if I install the app on another phone? And-- is there an account or something? If the power goes off or I have to reset one of the units, will they remember how I've used them or will it be setting things up from scratch again?

Overall, this kit adds some simple convenience to home automation that really hasn't been there yet. It's not just for geeks, and while it may not be "dummy proof" if you're willing to be persistent and you really have a use for this kind of functionality, I think this kit is worth the time & money.
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