I just feel better knowing that there is a light on a timer when I am out of the house for a couple of days. This is, in fact, a typical recommendation and not just a flavour of my own personal paranoia. Having lights on timers has evolved from the time switch variety, which has been around at least 30 years, to the insanely tedious programmable timers. I had two wall switches installed with a Leviton programmable timer switch, with the one in the kitchen removed after it drove the whole family insane by operating on the same schedule every day. Maybe a poor choice for location. I abandoned the electronically programmable timers because it was not just tedious, but often lost its programming upon a power failure.
With the advent of WiFi-enabled everything, we now have home automation solutions which are a lot more advanced. The Belkin WeMo Insight Timer caught my attention.
The setup and installation was very easy. I would say it was much easier than the Nest. One convenient aspect was not having to setup any account information with Belkin – it seems as though the iOS app and the unit connect in the Belkin back-office servers somewhere with the “trust” established at the time you set it up. As with most devices of this type, the device turns itself into a mini-access point for provisioning, the application detects and initializes your WeMo, and you configure your WiFi network settings. You need an Android or iPhone to use this device, and there is no web access (which suites me just fine, as I mentioned, I like the idea on not having to create another account). The on-off rules are setup via the app, and it is very flexible and it can detect sunrise and sunset, as well.
The notion of remotely controlling on-or-off is very handy for those cases where you weren’t expecting to be out, and just wanted to turn a light on. I happen to use a DropCam in the house as well sometimes, so it’s neat to actually “see” that the light went on.
The bottom line: Very easy to setup and use home automation light switch, and it seems to be the best of breed out there for remote control of socket lighting or other electrical appliances, this was a good purchase.