This new switch looks identical to Wemo’s older single-pole switch, so it will blend right in if you have that device installed elsewhere in your home. The only difference is on the backside of the unit, where the additional wiring required for a three-way installation snakes out. This extra wiring is the only issue I had with the switch. Because the Wemo uses pigtails (versus backstabs) to connect to your in-wall wiring, you’ll need five wire nuts (included with the kit) to connect everything together. That’s a lot of hardware to jam into the typical junction box, although I was lucky to be installing my review unit to one side of a two-gang box, so I had a little extra room to work with.
Can’t train the kides to turn off the lights when they’re not needed? The Wemo app can do it for you.
Wemo’s instruction manual is clearly designed for novices with zero electrical experience. It’s thorough; easy to follow, wire by wire; and it includes full-color diagrams. My unit installed without complaint and, unlike many smart switches, was even easy to mount flush against the wall when it came time to put everything back together.
Wemo’s smart switch is very attractive, consisting of a simple rectangle with an illuminated circle at its base that you’ll press use to toggle the power on and off (this is not a dimmer). The circle changes color based on conditions: red for errors, green when a timer is running, and so on.
On the software side, setup continues via Wemo’s app and a HomeKit code (if you’re using the iOS app; there’s an Android version of the app if you’re not). Again, I had no hiccups whatsoever in tying the switch into my Wi-Fi network (note that the switch supports only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks). The software side of the setup was completed in less than a minute.
Within the Wemo app, there’s admittedly not a whole lot to do. You can turn the lights on or off, rename them, or assign a custom icon or photograph to each switch. Wemo’s scheduling system is also quite refined and capable, and you’ll even find helpful extras such as an auto-off timer that will shut off the lights after a time you specify, should the kids forget.
The good news is that since Wemo ties into so many third-party systems, including Alexa, IFTTT, and Google Assistant, you can incorporate it easily into other rules and automations outside of the Wemo app (it’s worth noting, however, that the switch cannot be integrated into a Ring smart home system).
At $50, the Wemo WiFi Smart Light Switch 3-Way costs $10 more than the $40 standard Wemo 2-Way switch. That’s significantly higher than the typical, generic 3-way smart switch, but in line with name brand options. Considering the Wemo’s attractive design and no-hassle setup, it’s definitely worth our recommendation.
Wemo adds three-way capabilities to its Wemo WiFi smart switch, providing homeowners extra flexibility and saving them some cash by eliminating the need for a companion switch.
Christopher Null is a veteran technology and business journalist. He contributes regularly to TechHive, PCWorld, and Wired, and operates the websites Drinkhacker and Film Racket.
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