Last week I purchased the Belkin Wemo Switch which is a smart electrical switch that plugs into a normal outlet and connects to an app on your iOS or Android smartphone through your wifi connection.
I wanted one of these types of devices for a while now to use in conjunction with my Expobar Office Lever espresso machine. The espresso machine takes a while to warm up properly to get a good and consistent temperature throughout the machine and grouphead. I would usually allow it to warm up for a minimum of 30 minutes and most times up to an hour before I wanted to pull a shot. Since I typically have an espresso first thing in the morning, and before heading out to the gym, that means getting out of bed, walking to the kitchen and turning the machine on, then returning to bed for a while longer.
Of course that is a major inconvenience and one that no one should have to endure! hahaha.
With the Wemo Switch I have set up two sets of rules, 1 for weekdays and 1 for weekends. Programming the Wemo Switch to turn on the espresso machine about an hour before I plan on waking up has been great and allows me to stay in bed with uninterrupted sleep – for the most part, bathroom breaks notwithstanding.
After a week of using it and some initial difficulty getting it set up I give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars if I were to rate it that way. I would have given it a 5 star rating if it weren’t for the headache it gave me on day one.
The instructions for setup are extremely simple and straightforward as you would expect, but it didn’t go quite as planned.
First connecting it to the wifi worked just fine. Then getting it to connect to the iOS app through the wifi didn’t work so well. I had to start over twice before it connected fully. Then once that occurred an in-app notification popped up and advised there was a firmware update available and so I initiated it.
The firmware update took over two hours to complete! That to me is a crazy long time for such a simple device, but that’s what happened.
Once that finished the device and app did not work right and eventually lost connection altogether. Unplugging it and plugging it back it did nothing to reset it and the light on the device just blinked orange at me after that.
I ended up having to do a device restore to get it to work again.
- Unplug the Wemo.
- Hold down the restore button for about 45 seconds
- Plug the Wemo in while still holding the restore button
- Release the restore button a few seconds after it starts flashing amber.
- Once the Wemo is flashing amber and green the reset is complete.
After that then the device was ready to be setup as new again and I had to connect it to the wifi and the app again. But once that was finished I was able to setup the rules that I wanted and its been working fine ever since.
It also has an on/off button on the device itself for those times when you want to use it outside of your normal automatic rule set.
That’s why I don’t rate it as a 5 and only a 3.5 since it took several hours of messing around with it before I was able to get it working properly.