Daily Archive: September 22, 2013

Clever, Fun, Useful

Add to that the ability to trigger that device with a motion sensing control. I have a nice stand up lamp in my home office and every morning I walk in and turn it on and at night I always forget to turn it off. So I placed a motion trigger inside the door and told it to activate the lamp’s wemo’s. Then, if I forget to turn the lamp off, I can have to turn off at a preset time or just turn it off from my phone.

Life saving? No… but very cool. I’d see this as being very useful for outdoor lighting, etc. but I don’t have anything like that (yet).

I thought I would try this one out as Belkin usually makes pretty good products. So far I have been pleased with the product. I am giving it 4 stars only due to the lack of more documentation and instructions included with the package. I was able to figure it out with little issue, due to IT background, but for every day users they might be confused on some setup aspects of the product.

To start off with the good, the unit does what it says it will do. After I had it setup I did a first test which was setting up of a standard timer to turn a light on at a specified time and turn it off at a specified time. This worked very well with no issues. The second test was to disable the first standard timer setup and try out the motion sensor. The motion sensor is a separate unit that plugs into an outlet and has an attached motion detector. I setup the rule to turn on the light based on motion and the unit performed as expected. One note, the motion rule will turn on the equipment when motion is detected and then turn it back off in 15 minutes. The instructions do not state this and I only found it on the actual rule itself. The nice part is that you can setup two rules, one to turn the equipment on/off at a specified time and another to turn equipment on based on motion either all day or only during specified times. So for basic turn off/on equipment using both the timer and the motion detector the product passed without issue.

The product did setup fairly easily but additional documentation should be included. Many companies are trying to be like Apple and not provide information based on the product is designed so well that you do not need it but in this case I think additional information would be beneficial for every day users.

I enabled to remote capabilities on the product and that works very well over Wi-Fi and over cellular. There were no firewall issues and the system setup did it all on its own without my intervention. You can turn this feature off but it is nice to be able to remote back to your house, check to see if the equipment is on and turn it off if needed.

Now for the bad side of the product. As stated before, documentation is lacking and some users might be confused on some of the setup. There is some delay in establishing the wireless connections and doing any firmware updates. The product does show various blinking lights while it is updated but there is no documentation included that explains the light status.

Another negative is that the unit has no battery backup for the timer. This would be a nice added feature. Granted old style timers with the spin wheel do not have this as well but based on the cost of this product I think it should be added.

Outside of these two negatives I think this is a good product for what it is intended to do. I’m not sure I would go with the motion detector again as the receiver and the motion detector kind of get in the way of most applications. So far I am not sure where to put the motion detector to really use it so before buying it consider if you really need it. You can add additional control switches for other equipment but those are not cheap so keep that in mind as well. This product in this package only includes 1 equipment controller, along with the motion detector for the controller.

One last thing, the application is for Apple iOS. I did not see anything on the package that stated it was supported by other mobile devices. The product does not come with any software for PC/MAC support so you will need an Apple Itouch, Ipad, or Iphone (version 5.0 or higher) to use this. You cannot setup or use the product with this application that is a free download from the App store.