Belkin’s WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set review – Feature edges out Philips hue

By Peter Chubb - Sep 28, 2016

Many of you would have already heard about WeMo, which is a family of products that allows you to control certain aspects of your home via an app, such as heaters and fans plugged into Belkin Switch products, which we will review later today, and also HD NetCam, and also lights. It’s the latter that we would now like to discuss, as Belkin was kind enough to send us their WeMO LED Lighting Starter Set to review.

As always, we will be unbiased because we are after all, a product reviews site with the aim of offering insight for our readers. While the Lighting Starter Kit is not new, it still offers you the chance to upgrade your home in order to access your lights remotely via an app, either Android or iOS.

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There’s not much to say about the packaging, as it’s pretty much the same as most other WeMo products. However, as for what’s in the box, you get the two Smart LED Bulbs, and the WeMo Link, which will connect to your existing wireless.

You will notice from the images that the bulbs have Edison Screw E27 connection, although a bayonet is available, and while it only consumes just 10W, it’s the equivalent of a 60W bulb. This equates to 800 lumens of illumination, and rather than being too bright offers a warm white, making it perfect for lamps. The other good thing is that they are said to last up to 23 years, although this is based on them being used for 3 hours per day.

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The Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set review – So what is this kit like, and is it worth your hard earned money? This is a question you are bound to ask yourself, and we aim to find this out for you because people are often confused about this seeing as though there are other alternatives out there, such as the Philips hue.

Just like other WeMo products, these bulbs link to your local network and Internet via the WeMo Link module. You also have to install the WeMo app so that you are able to control the lights, such as pre-programmed settings, setting the brightness of the lights and more. However, there is no physical remote as such, and these extra features can only be controlled via the app.

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Installing and configuring are simple tasks because each step is illustrated on the simple set-up card inside the box, although the app also makes things straight forward as well. All you have to do is screw the bulbs in the light that you wish to use, and then plug the WeMo Link module into the power outlet. Do not worry if they are not next to each other, as they only have to be able to link to your router.

You need to make certain that the power for the bulbs are on, because if not, then you will not be able to go through the configuration process. The Link in the power socket will blink green during the setup process, which will go off once things have been set up correctly.

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Once this process is done, you can then launch the app, which will then go through the process of linking to your WeMo Lighting Kit. Trust us, this process does not take too long, which we were pleased about because we were eager to try these lights out.

Using the bulbs is also simple because there is not really too much to do here, as you can toggle them on or off, or dim the lights. It’s worth pointing out that this app is not only for controlling your lights, as you can also connect other WeMo devices to is, such as the Switch and Insight Switch, meaning you are able to control some of your electrical items in the home, like a bedroom fan, a slow cooker, washing machine and so much more.

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Ok, so you can control these bulbs manually just by turning the power on and off to where they are plugged in to, but this isn’t what they are intended to be used for. These smart bulbs come into their own when used with the WeMo app, as they are perfect for those that are away from home a lot, and wish to program the lights to come on. They are also ideal if you wish to turn a lamp on upstairs in your bedroom, so that they are ready for you when you walk upstairs.

That’s not the only benefit, as you can also add the WeMo motion sensor, and so program the lights to come on the moment it detects movement, ideal if you have a child in the home that gets up in the night, as you know they will not fumble around in the dark, and so reduces the risk of them tripping.

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What we did notice when testing out these bulbs is the fact that they only offer the one colour, which could be an issue for some of you. However, you are not being forced to buy them, and so have the option of the Philips hue. However, it’s worth remembering that you do not have to connect your WeMo light bulbs directly to your router as you do with hue.

Something that did impress us in our test was the fact that the colour rendering is pretty good, and so makes the colours in your home that more vivid, ideal if you need to add some brightness to your room in the winter, which will help to lift your mood. It’s not all about brightness though, as there are those of you that only want a minuscule amount of light, and so being able to adjust the brightness right down to around 4 per cent of its total output will appeal to them.

There’s not much else we can really tell you about these lights, as they do not have too many functions, and so we will leave you with our closing thoughts,

The Good – Being the same shape as traditional bulbs means you are able to place them in your light fixtures. Installation is very easy and the app feels polished and very straight forward to use. We also like how you are able to group bulbs together and to make use of the WeMo motion detector.

The Bad – The price is still a bit of a concern for some people, which is £59.99, and having no physical remote is an issue for some of you. Some of you will also wish for more colour options, although with this being Belkin’s first Smart bulbs, this could be a feature that will come further down the line.

Our conclusion – While there is not really much you can say about these sort of bulbs, it’s nice that you are able to integrate them with your WeMo eco system, and are very solid in their construction. However, we do have to wonder what took Belkin so long to get in to the smart light bulb game, and so feels like they are just playing catch-up.

For more details on these WeMo bulbs please visit the Belkin website.

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Also See: Belkin WeMo Switch and Insight Switch review, easy home automation

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