Years ago we sat dreaming that one day we would be able to remotely control our home devices, and the reality is that now that is completely possible!
With so many smart devices available on the market now, we have the ability to control everything from our lights to our kettle from anywhere that has an internet connection, while this was hard for people to get their head around at first, it has now become perfectly normal for people to turn on their thermostat on the bus with no reaction, how times have changed!
Belkin have always been known for producing simple to use devices and in this review we are going to be looking at their remote switch.
Perhaps better named as a ‘remote outlet’, the Belkin Remote Switch is an incredibly simple and versatile bit of smart home tech. Plug the remote switch into your existing mains outlet, plug in a device of your choice, and (after a simple bit of setting up), you can now remotely control the mains switch from anywhere with an internet connection, the future is here.
To really appreciate just how flexible this bit of kit could be compared to other items, let’s do a little comparison. Let’s say we want to control a lamp remotely away from home, on one hand we could swap the bulb for a Philips Hue Bulb, or on the other hand we could place a Belkin Remote Switch on the end of the existing lamps plug. Now both of these options will work well, but what happens if we now change our minds and want to control a kettle instead? The hue bulb is really only designed for one thing whereas the remote switch can easily be moved to a new role and renamed, a bit of a strange example sure, but I just wanted to get across the versatility of this device and how it can be used to control anything with a mains plug, and not just from a specific range.
Setting up this device could not have been any easier, in fact it took me less than five minutes from getting it out of the box before I was remotely triggering my kettle!
Firstly you will want to plug the device into any mains socket in your home, it doesn’t have to be the one you intend to use as once it is set up you can move it to wherever you like. You will see the little LED at the top of the switch begin to flash, you will now want to install and load up the free Belkin WeMo mobile application where you will be prompted to change your mobile’s wifi network to a temporary one created by the Belkin device, the switch will then show within the application as paired and you are good to go!
The WeMo application allows you to easily see and change the on/off state of your Belkin Remote Switch devices, but more impressively it also allows you to set time schedules of when they turn on and off as well. This means if you are away but still want to give the impression you are home, you can schedule your lamp to turn on each evening, or even set a kettle to boil as your alarm goes off in the morning. As well as time values, you can also have the state of a switch change based on a sunset or sunrise.
Another schedule option I love on this device is the ability to have a switch turn off a set amount of time after it was turned on, for example you could plug in a device and have it automatically turn off after an hour, no more setting off in the car worrying whether you left the iron on.
It’s up to you how this will work best within your home, but the flexibility is certainly there.
Keeping With The Times
Belkin are always looking to improve their devices and are able to do so by offering firmware updates to their devices, and this remote switch is no different, whenever a software update is available you will see it appear within the WeMo application where you will prompted to perform the installation which takes just a couple of minutes depending on your internet speed.
A Great Addition
Smart devices are sometimes a considered purchase, particularly when they are only capable of one job, but the flexibility of the Belkin Remote Switch makes it almost an essential item within your smart home. You plug it in and it works, and if you ever want to change its purpose just unplug it and move it elsewhere, what isn’t there to like?