Belkin this week has announced a much-anticipated addition to its WeMo home control line—a hard wired wall switch. Belkin first introduced WeMo last year at CES with a limited set of plug-in home control modules and an iPhone app. Consumers can buy starter kits and modules in Apple Stores and big box retailers.
The WeMo Light Switch will allow consumers to control built-in lights like ceiling lights and overhead floods, turning them on and off. It will not support dimming like most other hard wired automation switches do. Like most automation switches, the WeMo Light Switch is a three-wire switch, which requires a neutral wire in your switch box.
The WeMo switch looks like a typical decora wall switch, but the tactile behavior is a bit different from how U.S. homeowners would expect a wall switch to behave. To toggle the light or fan on or off, you press the bottom of the button. Pressing the top of the button doesn’t do anything. In fact, the pivot point for the switch is at the top, so the top of the switch doesn’t move at all when you press it. Belkin’s new switch is first generation hardware, though, so there’s plenty of opportunity for improvement, but we’re happy to see the first hard wired product in the WeMo line.
Belkin also announced pending support for Android. Currently, WeMo requires an iPhone or iPod touch or IFTTT to control devices. Android support will greatly expand their mobile device support.
Both the WeMo Light Switch and Android support are planned to ship Summer 2013 with an expected list price on the Light Switch under $50.
Read the Belkin press release.