Belkin Wemo Smart Light Switch and Dimmer Reviews

Compatible Voice Assistants: , ,
Protocols:
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Wemo Smart Light Switch and Wemo Smart WiFi Dimmer
Wemo Smart Light Switch on the left and the Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer on the right

Our Verdict

The Wemo Smart Switch and WiFi Smart Dimmer are great ways incorporate smart lighting into your home. These are worth considering if you don't want to add a hub to your system and if you already have a voice assistant. They offer simple remote control and scheduling, plus they have a built in vacation mode to make it look like someone is home.

Look at other options if you want to use geofencing to automatically turn your lights on when you arrive home or if you don't have neutral wires in your existing switch boxes. Keep in mind that these don't work as part of a three-way switch setup.

What We Like:

  • Works on wifi - no additional hub required
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Nest
  • Vacation Mode to randomize lights

Flaws:

  • Requires a neutral wire
  • Not 3-way compatible
  • No geofencing without IFTTT

Before You Buy:

  • Confirm that you have a neutral wire in your existing switch box.

Alternatives:

Description

The Belkin Wemo Smart Light Switch and Smart Dimmer allow you to control your lights in a number of ways, including via the app or voice control. Since they operate on 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, you don't need an additional hub to control them. The devices work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. In addition, they work with Nest products (for auto Home/Away Mode) and the Smart Light Switch works with Samsung SmartThings.

Unfortunately, both light controls require a neutral wire in the switch box so you should make sure your home has neutrals before you purchase. We'll get into more detail about that in the Features Comparison section below.

The devices are compatible with standard rocker-style cover plates, however they need to be plastic so the Wi-Fi signal can get to the internal components of the switches. Belkin provides screwless single-gang cover plates with each switch.

Belkin Wemo Smart Light Switch

The Wemo Smart Light Switch is a standard on-off switch that can be used to control lights or fans. While it looks like a standard rocker switch, it actually operates as a button that you press to turn your lights on or off — you can press anywhere.

Wemo Smart Light Switch Features
Wemo Smart Light Switch Features

The switch has a few small LED lights on the face that provide more info. First, a power icon lights up when the switch is turned on. A Wi-Fi indicator light above the power icon is used during setup to let you know when it is connected to your network. There is an LED light below the power icon that lights up when the switch is off so you can find it in the dark. There a two small buttons below the night light that are used to reset the switch — these are rarely used.

The device is 1.7" deep so you'll want to ensure that your switch box is at least 2" deep. The box includes a single-gang face plate, wire nuts, and an installation guide. Unfortunately, the switch is only available in white.

The light switch is compatible with virtually any type of light bulb, including incandescent, halogen, CFL, fluorescent, and LED bulbs. However, it is only compatible with single-pole switches so it cannot be used as part of a three-way setup where two switches control a single light. It is rated for 15-Amp circuits with a maximum load of 1800 watts. You can even use it to control a fan or switched outlet.

Belkin Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer

The Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer is a dimmer switch that looks a lot like a standard rocker switch, but the entire device is a button for turning the lights on or off. In addition, there is groove in the middle of the button that is touch-capable so you can slide your finger to dim or raise the lighting level.

Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer Features
Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer Features

There is an LED light bar directly below the button. This LED helps you find it in the dark. In addition, the LED can provide feedback on status. Belkin has an article that describes the LED behaviors and notification codes. The LED bar is also a button that is used to reset the switch when needed.

The dimmer is 1.7" deep so you need an electrical back box that is at least 2" deep. The device comes with a single-gang cover plate that snaps on, wire nuts, and an installation guide. As with the regular Wemo switch, the dimmer is only available in white.

Dimming is complex so most dimmers have limitations for what bulbs work. The Wemo dimmer is no different so you need to check Wemo's list of compatible bulbs. While other bulbs may work, the ones on the list have been tested and Belkin has deemed them compatible. There are a number of incandescent, CFL, and LED options that have been tested.

The dimmer is rated for 15-amp electrical circuits. Wattage is limited to 150 watts for CFL and LED bulbs and 250 watts for multiple incandescent bulbs. Unfortunately, the dimmer cannot be used in three-way configurations.

Features Comparison

The following table shows the features of the standard Smart Light Switch and the WiFi Smart Dimmer. We will discuss some of the features in more detail below.

Wemo Smart Light Switch
Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer
Neutral Wire
Required
Neutral Wire
Required
Dimming
No
Dimming
Yes
Three-Way
No, single pole only
Three-Way
No, single pole only
Communications
Wi-Fi - 2.4 GHz
Communications
Wi-Fi - 2.4 GHz
Compatible Bulbs
All types
Compatible Bulbs
Incandescent, CFL, LED
Vacation Mode
Yes
Vacation Mode
Yes
Color
White
Color
White
Price (Nov 2018)
$50
Price (Nov 2018)
$80
Buy Wemo Smart Light Switch at Amazon Buy Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer at Amazon

Neutral Wire Requirements

Both the Wemo dimmer and light switch require a neutral wire at the switch box. This wire supplies a constant flow of power to the switch so it can maintain the Wi-Fi connection. Unfortunately, some older homes do not have neutral wires at light switches so you should check before purchasing a device.

You can read more about identifying neutral wires in our article, Smart Switches – No Neutral Wire. If you are looking for a switch that doesn't require a neutral, we recommend the Lutron Caséta switches and dimmers.

Vacation Mode

Wemo has a feature called Away Mode, which will turn your lights on and off randomly to make it look like someone is home. You simply create a rule in the app that enables Away Mode, select the devices that should be controlled, then set the times and days that it should run. The app takes care of the rest.

Geofencing

Unfortunately, the Wemo app does not include built-in geofencing, which would allow you to turn lights on and off based on the location of your phone. We think this is a huge missing feature since you can't have your lights automatically turn on when you get close to home. Many other smart light switch manufacturers include this feature because arriving home with the lights on is safer for everyone.

You can make this work using IFTTT, which is described in this Wemo Community article. You can also try this official Wemo applet that turns your dimmer on when you arrive home. While IFTTT works, we think it is more of a work-around.

IFTTT - If This, Then That

IFTTT is a free web service that lets you link different products, apps, and devices together. We discussed one example above for turning your lights on when you are near home. There are many more IFTTT automation options, which can be found at the IFTTT pages for the Wemo Switch or the Wemo Dimmer.

Belkin has a tutorial about how to create your own IFTTT applets.

Installation

Belkin recommends having an electrician install your Wemo switch or dimmer to prevent personal injury or property damage. However, many people are comfortable enough working on their electrical system that this can be a DIY project. The Belkin website includes Smart Switch Setup and WiFi Dimmer Wiring Diagrams.

WARNING: the Wemo switch and dimmer require a neutral wire. Installing without a neutral wire or using "creative wiring" to avoid using a neutral wire is extremely dangerous.

CAUTION: if you choose to install the switch or dimmer yourself, make sure you turn the power off to the lighting circuit and test to make sure there is no power. Light switches use line-voltage power, which can cause serious injury or lead to property damage. Please practice good electrical safety when installing your switches.

Wemo App

Wemo devices, including the dimmer, switch, and other accessories, are setup and controlled with the Wemo app. You can download the app from the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. After you install the app, you can tap on Add a Wemo and the app guides you through the setup process for your new accessory.

Wemo App - Device Menu, Switch Control, Rules, Settings
Wemo App - Device Menu, Switch Control, Rules, Settings

There are three main sections in the app: devices, rules, and settings.

The Devices menu takes you to a list of installed accessories. Tap the power icon next to a device to quickly turn it on or off. You can also access the individual device settings by tapping on the device.

Use the Rules menu to set up automatic actions. This is where you program schedules, long-press rules, auto-off timers, and away mode. Enter the menu and then follow the prompts to set up each action. You can control multiple accessories (switches, dimmers, plugs) with a single rule.

Finally, the Settings menu is where you control remote access credentials, connect to other services (Alexa, Google, HomeKit, Nest, IFTTT), or find support tutorials.

Security And Privacy

Wemo devices have had widely reported security flaws. In 2014, an exploit was found in its firmware, but was quickly patched by Belkin. A new threat was identified in 2016, but Belkin considered it a minor threat since an attacker would have to be present (and collecting data) during device setup. In addition, most other smart Wi-Fi devices have similar vulnerabilities.

Belkin is a prominent company in the IOT realm and they have a robust security team that constantly tests their systems and collects reports for analysis. All communications to their servers are sent with SSL encryption. As with any device connected to the internet, you should make sure your network is properly secured to limit vulnerabilities.

Belkin's Privacy Policy applies to Wemo devices. You should read that document if you have any concerns about how your data is collected and used.

About The Manufacturer

Belkin was founded in 1983 by Chet Pipkin, who continues to run the company today. The company started by making computer cables, which they are still known for. They operate three major brands: Belkin, Linksys, and Wemo. The company is privately owned and was purchased in 2018 by a subsidiary of Foxconn, a Taiwanese company known for manufacturing iPhones.

The company has had its share of controversy. They were accused of paying to have people manipulate reviews of their products in 2009 through payments or by sending reviewers modified products that didn't match retail versions. Having said that, theIOTpad has never received any payments or review units from Belkin.