65 OCTOBER 2015 www.macworld.com.au
Once we plugged the Link and bulbs in, we set them up using the WeMo app on our iPhone 6 running iOS 8.4.1. Turning the lights on and off and controlling their brightness was easy. We also set up timer rules so the light in our lounge turned on automatically at sunrise each day and powered down just after midnight. This rule worked alongside the IFTTT recipes we had in place. The app allowed us to dim the lights and quickly set a power-off timer. This was useful as a signal for when we ought to get to bed – setting the lounge room light to power off after a couple of hours was a good prompt to get to bed. The bottom line. The WeMo Light Starter Kit is a good ﬁrst foray into the world of automation.
The challenge in most homes is that those power outlets aren’t always easy to access or we lack the motivation to squeeze into limited spaces to turn the power off manually. The WeMo Switch makes that task easy. Once the WeMo Switch was added to the WeMo app – again, this took a couple of goes to work, but we got there in the end – we could press a button or set a rule to turn the power on to that outlet. There’s button on the Switch, so it can also be powered off. Given we only watch the TV in bed at night, we set a rule that turned the power on at bedtime and powered off after an hour – so that we didn’t stay awake until the wee hours channel surﬁng through infomercials. The bottom line. The WeMo Switch can deliver some power savings through automation, making it easy to turn off hard-to-reach power outlets.
WEMO SWITCH Price: $69.95 The WeMo Switch plugs straight into a power point and then allows you to connect other devices through it. It connects to your network over Wi-Fi and doesn’t need a WeMo Link to be used. Not every device has been designed to have its power turned on and off remotely. We connected the WeMo Switch to the power point in our bedroom and then piggybacked a power board that delivered power to a TV, speaker unit and Google Chromecast.
a few kilowatts of power every day. We track power consumption pretty closely so we’re acutely aware of day-to-day power use. For example, on the weekends when the kids all have their laptops connected to the network, pulling down lots of content, leaving lights on all day (because they haven’t yet understood how switches work – or is that just our place?) and watching TV or playing console games – there’s a noticeable increase in the amount of power used. With the WeMo Insight Switch, we’ve been able to stem that slow bleed by turning the power off when we’re not watching the TV or using the other gear. In addition, we can see how much power the entertainment rig is using and even allocate costs to it. If you check your power bill, you can determine the cost per kilowatt per hour and set it in the app.
WEMO INSIGHT SWITCH Price: $99.95 The WeMo Insight Switch is similar to the WeMo Switch, but adds some power monitoring smarts to the mix. We connected the WeMo Insight Switch to the power outlet running our home entertainment setup with an Xbox, Smart TV, Blu-ray player, Apple TV and a few other bits and pieces. All of those are connected to a single power board that is then plugged into the power outlet via the WeMo Insight Switch. Typically, all those devices would be sitting on standby, slowly leaching
Bottom line. The WeMo Insight Switch makes it easy to control devices and track costs. C
– ANTHONY CARUANA WEMO www.wemo.com PROS Easy to set up; potential power savings CONS Occasionally can't ﬁnd devices; performance lags VARIOUS PRICES