How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

BERLIN–( BUSINESS WIRE )–In the release dated Sept. 5, 2013, the price of the WeMo Insight Switch should read: $59.99 (sted $49.99), and the availability should read: early November (sted October).

The corrected release reads:

BELKIN WEMO INSIGHT SWITCH ENHANCES CONTROL AND MONITORING OF SMART HOMES

New WeMo Switch Allows Homeowners to Monitor Power Consumption and Costs from Electronics

Belkin today introduced the WeMo Insight Switch, revolutionizing smart home innovation by allowing users to control and manage the energy usage and costs of home electronics from anywhere through their iOS or Android device. The newest addition to the simple, ingenious WeMo smart home platform, the Insight Switch is a Wi-Fi enabled compact plug that also allows users to put their devices on a schedule and receive notifications anytime a connected unit is turned on or off.

“With the WeMo Insight Switch, we continue to elevate today’s smart homes by offering consumers the most intuitive, customizable and affordable solution to better understand the energy usage of their electronic devices and make smart decisions on how to use them,” said Ohad Zeira, director of product management at Belkin. “The evolved switch allows users to truly control and monitor as much or as little of their home as they want, from observing whether a television has been on too long or being alerted to when a laundry cycle has finished, all through their smart device from anywhere and at anytime.”

The WeMo Insight Switch plugs directly into an electrical outlet, and then a user simply connects it to the home Wi-Fi network, downloads the free WeMo app and instantly is able to turn any device plugged into the unit on or off using his or her iOS or Android device.

WeMo Insight Switch will allow users to put electronics on a schedule, and even time them according to local sunrise and sunset, setup notifications for device usage as well as manage the time, energy consumption and costs of specific devices. The Insight Switch works with IFTTT, an online service that creates triggers using different Internet-based services such as email, weather and social media.

  • Turn electronics on or off—from anywhere via a smartphone or tablet
  • Works with any Wi-Fi® router, Apple® device with iOS v5 or higher, and Android™ device 4.0 or higher
  • Put your electronic devices on a schedule and monitor their costs and usage
  • Set up rules for your electronics to go on and off at sunset and sunrise
  • Operates over Wi-Fi and mobile Internet, at home and away
  • Works with the free WeMo app
  • No subscription fee or hub required

Availability

The WeMo Insight Switch will be available at belkin.com and major retailers in early November.

About Belkin International, Inc.

Belkin makes people-inspired products that harness the power of technology to enrich people’s lives. From wireless home networking and entertainment products, to mobile accessories for smartphones and tablets, home automation and energy management tools, as well as a broad USB and cable mix, Belkin products connect the dots between people and the things they love. A privately held company, Belkin was founded in 1983 and acquired Linksys in 2013, creating a powerful platform to deliver the next generation of home and wireless networking experiences. The new Belkin, including the Linksys brand and Belkin brand portfolios, has 1,500 employees and sales in more than 100 countries. Belkin’s global headquarters are in Playa Vista, California.

The Wemo® Insight Smart Plug, F7C029 is more than just a smart switch. The word Insight in the name indicates it gives you insight on how your appliances use power. With the Wemo Insight, you can monitor energy consumption right from your phone or tablet. This Smart Plug provides real-time reports on how much energy your devices are consuming while also providing an estimate on how much money it cost to run.

In this article, the different options available for monitoring power consumption using your Wemo Insight will be covered.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Wemo Insight power status indicators
On the top of the device tile are the power indicators for the Wemo Insight. The power button will light up green to indicate the Wemo Insight is turned ON, or will be gray to indicate it is turned OFF.

Connected device power status indicator
The Wemo Insight has a power status indicator beside the power button that indicates the status of your plugged device. The status of this light is based on how much power the device plugged into your Wemo Insight is using at that moment as well as the power sensing threshold you have set for this Wemo Insight. A device using more power than the sensing threshold is considered ON by the Wemo Insight whereas a device using less power than the sensing threshold is considered OFF. For more information on the power sensing threshold, click here .

Today
This shows how long the device connected to the Wemo Insight has been using power for the current day.

On Avg day

This shows how long the device connected to the Wemo Insight is using power on average over all the days that the Wemo Insight has been in use.

Cost Statistics
The Wemo Insight can show a cost estimate for the power being used by the device plugged into it. The currency and kWh cost can be customized to what your power company charges. For more information on changing this value, click here .

Estimated monthly
This will show a monthly estimated cost of the power used by the device plugged into this Wemo. This is just an estimate based on the power cost that you can manually set.

Today

This estimates the cost of the power used by the device plugged into the Wemo Insight for the current day is. The cost is based on the value that you manually entered.

Current Power Draw
The last section shows the current power draw of the device plugged into the Wemo Insight. This is presented in watts and shows only the current draw, not cumulative.

Avg. when on
This shows the average power draw of the device plugged into the Wemo Insight based on past usage.

N ow

This will show what the current power draw is by the device plugged into the Wemo .

Besides real-time monitoring, the Wemo Insight stores historical usage data internally on the device for the past 30 days. This data can be set to send to you via email at a duration of your choosing. It will come in a spreadsheet format for easier reading.

To set this up, you will need to tap on the Pencil icon in the upper right corner and then tap on the Wemo Insight you wish to have data sent for.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

The On/Standby Threshold option takes advantage of the power sensing features of the Wemo Insight. This option allows you to set a power threshold for your Wemo Insight to report that the device plugged into it is ON and using power or in standby mode and drawing little to no power.

The value you set here is the threshold at which the device you have plugged into the Wemo Insight will be considered ON or in standby mode. If the device plugged into your Wemo Insight exceeds the power value set as the threshold, the Wemo Insight will report itself in ON mode. If the device is using less power than the threshold, it will report as in Standby mode.

The threshold value is important for setting power monitoring and Auto-off Timer rules.

The Wemo Insight allows you to set the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to the cost outlined by your local electric company as well as the currency type for your area. A kilowatt-hour is equal to 1,000 watts of electricity consumed. This value tracks how much your electric company charges you per 1,000 watts of electricity used by the device you have plugged into your Wemo.

Some electric companies charge on a tiered scale; meaning you are charged at different rates depending upon where your household lands on the scale. An example of this would be:

The Wemo Insight can send out usage alerts to let you know when the Wemo Insight is On, Off (standby) or when the power has been On for a duration of your choice. Click here for more information.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

The Belkin WeMo Insight smart switch is an excellent option for those that want to monitor their energy usage . if you can deal with the outdated and frustrating app design.

Pluss

  • Reasonably well-designed
  • Energy monitoring is cool
  • Good smart home integration

Minus

  • Poorly designed app

TechRadar Verdict

The Belkin WeMo Insight smart switch is an excellent option for those that want to monitor their energy usage . if you can deal with the outdated and frustrating app design.

Energy monitoring is cool

Good smart home integration

Poorly designed app

The home is getting smarter, and while appliances, TVs, and more are all getting internet connectivity built right in, some things that are built into your home require adapters to gain a bit more intelligence. Like, for example, power outlets.

There are a ton of smart power outlets out there, but to date Belkin’s WeMo range has often been considered among the best. Now, the company is back with a new addition to the Belkin WeMo lineup – the revamped Belkin WeMo Insight.

But what makes the $45 (£49, AU$69) Insight different from Belkin’s other switches? Well, for starters, it’s aimed at offering much better power consumption tracking. But does that make it worth the cash? We put it to the test.

Design and setup

The first thing you’ll notice about the device is its design. For starters, it’s a little bigger than it looks in the pictures – and that may be an issue for some. We found that in a vertically-aligned dual power outlet it covered the top outlet if placed on the bottom, though it doesn’t cover the bottom if placed on the top. That could be issue, especially for those that want to add smarts to all the outlets in their home.

That doesn’t mean it’s a badly designed device – it looks quite good for what it is.

On the top, you’ll find a touch-sensitive power button, along with a small reset button, and a MicroUSB port. We have absolutely no idea what the MicroUSB port is for. The instructions don’t reference it, and searching online seems to suggest that Belkin put it there in hopes of finding a use for it later. Hopefully they’ll find a use for it before MicroUSB as a standard gets completely replaced with USB-C.

Apart from that and the WeMo logo on the front, it’s a pretty plain, and subtle device. We like that. While you might want to draw attention to devices like your smart TV, we doubt there are many people out there that plan on showing off their smart power outlet.

Setting up the switch is pretty easy, though the app itself isn’t great at helping you figure out how to do it. Using the instruction card in the box, you’ll figure out that you need to plug the switch in and connect to its own Wi-Fi network before even opening the app – after which the app will ask for your home network and password. We wish the app in general were a little better designed – but we’ll get into that later.

In general, the Belkin WeMo Insight switch is decently designed. We’re looking forward to the day that smart switches are smaller, and when it’s easier to wire them in to an outlet but, until then, the Insight isn’t a bad option.

App and everyday use

After setting up the device, you probably won’t need to use the device itself all that much. It’s from the app that you’ll do the majority of the work here. Unfortunately, the app needs a lot of work.

Sure, it’s good enough at allowing you to turn on or off devices from the home screen, and if that’s all you want to do then the badly designed app may not matter to you. It’s the deeper features that are lacking here.

For starters, it’s near impossible to remove a device from the app. We’ve reviewed a few WeMo switches in our time, and one of them we’re not currently using – but there’s simply no option to remove it from the app. Searching online, we found that it was apparently possible to have a device removed if you disable then re-enable remote access, but that didn’t work for us. That would be bad enough, but it’s impossible to set up automation, or rules, without the latest firmware updates on all devices. In other words, to set up rules with the Insight, we needed to find that old WeMo Mini, plug it in and update its firmware – when you don’t even want to use it.

Still, there are some redeeming features. For example, being able to track your energy usage through the app is a pretty cool feature, and the fact that it estimates how much you’ve spend in energy on that device is cool too.

Automation in the Belkin WeMo app isn’t bad, but it’s a little basic. You’ll be able to do things like schedule your switches to turn on or off, and that can work based on your Nest thermostats home or away modes, the time of day, and so on.

Perhaps the best thing about the app, is that it allows you to integrate with other services. Out of the box, you’ll be able to connect your WeMo Insight to IFTTT, Alexa, and Google Assistant. While the Insight doesn’t officially work with Samsung SmartThings, it still connected just fine. The only service missing here is Apple HomeKit, though it’ll connect to HomeKit if you buy the WeMo Bridge.

Safe to say, the WeMo app isn’t a total pleasure to use. If you’re planning on connecting your WeMo devices to other services, then you may never have to use the app except to set up the device . though, it doesn’t seem possible to see energy usage information without the app.

Verdict

The Belkin WeMo Insight is a neat little device. We like that it shows energy use, and the design isn’t all that bad either. On top of that, the device connects with a pretty substantial range of smart home services, which is crucial. Unfortunately, though, the app is the real missing link in the whole setup. We hope to see Belkin put some serious work into revamping its app.

Belkin does have some competition in the space. Namely, the Elgato Eve Energy switch, though it’s a little more expensive. We think the Belkin WeMo Insight is perhaps the best energy-monitoring switch out there for the price – especially considering the fact that it connects with so many smart home systems.

Turn your electronics on/off and monitor them from anywhere.

Create rules, schedules, and receive notifications.

Get insight into home energy usage.

Easy to use, easy to install.

WEMO is completely modular: The WEMO collection of products are designed to work together via the free WEMO APP.

Works with Android and Apple devices

TURN YOUR APPLIANCES & ELECTRONICS ON/OFF, MONITOR THEM FROM ANYWHERE

The Wi-Fi enabled Wemo Insight Switch connects your home appliances and electronic devices to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to turn devices on or off, program customized notifications and change device status – from anywhere. Wemo Insight Switch can monitor your electronics and will send information about the device?s energy usage directly to your smartphone or tablet. Perfect to pair with space heaters, wall A/C units, TVs, washers, dryers, fans, lights and more.

CREATE RULES, SCHEDULES AND RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS

Download the free Wemo App to as many smartphones and tablets as you like to create rules and custom schedules. The Wemo App can be as flexible as you need and allows you to create rules that are easy to set up and can easily be changed. You can even receive notifications that are personalized to meet your needs.

Get notified when your laundry cycle is finished so that you avoid wrinkled clothes, know when your child has exceeded their daily TV limit and turn it off, or find out if you left the space heater on accidentally.

GET INSIGHT INTO HOME ENERGY USAGE

The Wemo Insight Switch can help keep your home energy bills low by allowing you to set schedules, monitor energy usage on electronics, and find out which devices are used most often. Wemo can notify you instantly if home electronics have been left on and you can choose to either leave them on or turn them off from anywhere. Find out if you left the A/C window unit running and turn it off, find out if the kids are playing video games instead of doing homework, or schedule a space heater to turn on five minutes before you walk through the door.

With Wemo, you can set schedules, create rules for electronics to respond at specific times or to sunset/sunrise, and get notifications for any device connected to a Wemo Insight Switch.

EASY TO USE, EASY TO INSTALL

To install Wemo Insight Switch, simply plug the Switch into an outlet in your home and then plug an electronic device or appliance into the switch. Download the free Wemo App from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App store to any smart device. Wemo Insight Switch keeps you connected to your electronics anywhere you are–over Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G networks.

Wemo Family It’s a Mod, Mod World

One of the beauties of Wemo is its modularity. Control one lamp or all of them. Dip a toe into smart-home tech, or dive in headfirst. There’s a Wemo for every situation: Light Switches for your porchlight or those swanky recessed ceiling lights in the man-cave. Switches for your plug-in lamps and fans. Insight Switches for devices you want to monitor for energy savings. Control them all from your app, with no hub. Go forth and modulize.

WORKS WITH ANDROID AND APPLE DEVICES

Wemo Insight Switch is compatible with Apple (iOS 8 and higher) and Android (4.1 and higher devices) and your existing Wi-Fi router. It is backed by a one-year limited warranty.

Works with Amazon Alexa

Wemo Switch and Insight Switch work seamlessly with Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot and Amazon Tap to give you hands-free, vocal control over your stuff. Want to turn off the fan? Turn on the floor lamp? Shut off the TV in the kids’ room before their brains melt? When Wemo and Alexa work together, all you have to do is speak your mind. Literally.

Wemo works with Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest’s “home” and “away” modes can tell your Wemo switches what you’re up to. If you’re out, your desk fan turns off so the cat doesn’t lose another inch of its tail. When you return, that fake Tiffany lamp your Grandma left you is burning brightly to welcome you home. And you can adjust basic Thermostat settings without leaving the Wemo app, thus conserving valuable thumb-tapping time.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

The Belkin Insight is an external power outlet and switch. It has a suggested list price (in the US) of $49.99.

A less expensive but similar switch, without energy monitoring is available from Belkin for $10 less. We’ve also reviewed the WeMo Switch with Motion Sensor, elsewhere on this site.

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WeMo Insight Overview:

The WeMo Insight is very available – from Amazon and other online resellers to big box houses like Best Buy, even the Apple store. Or more simply stated: If you want one, they sure are easy to find! Prices seem to vary, but most places are right there at the $49.99 at this time.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

This award goes out to products that work well, are very functional. Consider this a 4 to 4.5 star award or an Editor’s Choice.

Plug it in, and it lets you power on and off any device plugged into it, but in addition, it let’s you monitor power consumption, estimate monthly costs of whatever device you have plugged into it. The Insight accepts standard 3 prong US AC power cords, and requires a three prong outlet to plug it into. It will measure power consumption and control the power of both 3 prong (grounded) devices, and two prong ones as well. You can control it “in-house” over your Wifi network, but it will also work remotely.

Monitoring energy consumption is pretty cool, (and very “in” these days), and allows us to understand our usage and make changes when desired, but for most people monitoring is just an extra fringe benefit. The idea behind the Insight and other smart switches is that they allow you to control some pretty dumb equipment. You can plug in a lamp, or a coffee maker, or any other appliance that you would like to control remotely, or have turn on/off at predetermined times or under certain circumstances.

I started out, several years ago (before SmarterHomeAutomation), owning the original Insight outlet (I think it was called that, back then). That version wasn’t smart – no internet. You plugged it into the wall, then you plugged a device into it, and it read out your power consumption on its attached small LCD display.

The current Insight 2, way smarter! I can access it over my wifi with the same Belkin App that I use for their light switches, motion sensors, etc. I can also access it from the internet, when I’m remote. Like other WeMo devices it can be controlled by IFTTT (discussed later). There is also a relationship between WeMo and Samsung’s SmartThings Hub, a Z-Wave controller. I happen to be reviewing one of those at the moment as well. The short version would be that you can control the Insight using the SmartThings app instead of the WeMo one.

Amazon’s Echo (another device I am currently reviewing) also works with WeMo, so I can control the off/on capabilities of the switch via voice command with the Echo.

What I’m hoping for, but hasn’t happened (yet?) is Apple HomeKit support. That would allow us Apple Siri users, to control WeMo switches, outlets, etc, by voice. But, back to the Insight:

With this Insight switch I can turn power on and off, from the App, which will, of course, power on or off whatever is plugged into it. And I can monitor energy consumption.

When monitoring energy consumption the Insight will tell you (in the app) how much power it is currently feeding to its outlet.

It will also keep tabs as to how much power is used on a monthly basis. You can also see how much that power is costing you per month, and today.

That can be informative, useful and for some, fun. For a while I had plugged into it a small refrigerator I use for cold drinks in my home theater. That’s where the average monthly consumption comes in. Obviously a “fridge” alternates between little/no power consumption, to full power when “running”. The results the WeMo Insight measured, as it turns out, didn’t differ significantly from the official cost of operation numbers provided by the manufacturer as required by law. You know, that yellow sticker found on all new refrigerators, many other appliances, that states something like: “This device uses $37 a year. Similar products use $26 – $59 a year”).

As I’m always reviewing new smart lighting, that’s where I find the Insight most useful. For example, I recently reviewed the Lightify GardenSpot Mini RGB lighting. I wanted to have some idea of how much “juice” that string of lights draws depending on the color and brightness selected.

The Insight proved very helpful with the GardenSpot lighting. I was able to determine that even when doing white light at maximum, power consumption did not exceed 10 watts. But then, color is what those lights are all about, so with further playing with different colors I’ve discovered that even at full brightness, colors are drawing only 3-6 watts, and considering I never need full brightness, the Insight is normally telling me that I’m drawing 3 watts or less.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch is a smart plug that gives you remote control over your plugged-in electronics, easy energy usage monitoring and scheduling via the app, and compatibility with home automation hubs such as Amazon Echo.

Basically, you can keep an eye on whatever is plugged into it from anywhere – and turn it off from anywhere, too!

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Easy to use app

The app is available for both Android (Google Play) and iOS (iTunes). The reviews are atrocious, but I’m not sure why – my friend is on Android, I’m on iOS, and neither of us had any trouble accessing the WeMo via our apps. Granted, we didn’t try to set up sophisticated schedules with multiple different kinds of WeMo family devices, but for controlling the smart outlet the app was just fine.

Here it is in action:

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

The app’s first screen contains a list of all of your WeMo devices. Tap a device to drill into its details: on/off status (tap the power icon to toggle it!), up time (how long the device plugged into it has been running), an estimated monthly cost for running this appliance, and average watt usage.

Tapping the power button to turn the plugged-in thing on/off really does work, but there’s a slight (maybe

6 second) delay while the request gets relayed through your home’s network.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Scheduling WeMo

If you’re used to putting lamps on pin timers, the WeMo is going to feel like a big step up. Each “rule” you add lets you add one “ON” and one “OFF” event and set the days the rule applies to. To make a sophisticated schedule, you’ll need to add several rules.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usageHow to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Energy Monitoring with WeMo

Energy monitoring was my favorite part of playing with the WeMo! It’s fun to plug various appliances into the WeMo and see how much energy they eat up. Use a recent energy bill to get your $ per kilowatt hour and plug it into the app for more accurate cost prediction.

Some random things I learned about my energy usage:

  • My refrigerator constitutes a whopping 1/4th of my power bill!
  • Convection cook mode on my toaster oven uses 2x more energy than normal bake
  • The box fan I run in my bedroom while sleeping costs me about $6 a month
  • My decorative LED Christmas lights cost almost nothing 😀

Note: WeMo takes a good 1-2 minutes to get itself up and running and on your WiFi network after you plug it in somewhere new. During that connection time, you can’t turn on whatever’s plugged into it. The connection time is just long enough that, at first, I thought the WeMo wasn’t connecting – it was, there’s just not any visual feedback to tell you it’s “connecting”. So, if it looks like it’s not doing anything, give it a few minutes and it should eventually get on the network.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

The WeMo Family

The WeMo Insight Switch belongs to a collection of smart home switches, plugs, and lightbulbs by Belkin. From the WeMo app itself, or via a home automation hub like the Amazon Echo (note: not all WeMo devices are compatible with Echo yet), you can set up sophisticated routines for your home’s appliances. Imagine coming home to a well-lit, cozy home after work, thanks to all your smart devices working together!

    – remote access and control over your home’s one-way lights (ie: set up your porch light to turn on at sunset) – smart LED lightbulbs can be scheduled and controlled from the WeMo app – turn ANY electronic device into a WeMo device! (electrical wiring knowledge required) – watch your home remotely, set up motion detection triggers (ie: lights turn on when you walk in the door)

The WeMo family makes it easy to automate many lighting and power-related routines in your smart home. Alas, only some WeMo devices are compatible with Amazon Echo and IFTTT, but as home automation’s popularity continues to grow, we think we’ll see increased compatibility soon.

In the box

  • WeMo Insight Switch
  • Quick install guide

The Bottom Line

The WeMo Insight Switch is a fun toy with a surprising amount of practical uses. Hook it up to that thing you’re always worried you forgot to turn off before leaving home, program it to turn your lamps on as the sun sets (even if you aren’t home yet), or plug it in behind your fridge and find out just how much keeping those leftovers cool is costing you every month.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Dec. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Sense, whose intelligent home energy monitor interprets the power usage and activity of devices in the home, today announced support for the Google Assistant and the Belkin Wemo Insight Plug and TP-Link Kasa HS110 smart plugs, bringing a new level of intelligence and control to the entire smart home. Now Google Assistant users can ask Sense about their home’s activity, and homeowners can both track and control any device connected to the Wemo and Kasa smart plugs in the intuitive Sense app.

Using the Google Assistant, Sense users have another convenient way to know what’s going on in their home. For instance, you can say, “Hey, Google, ask Sense if my oven is on,” or “Ask Sense if the dryer has turned off,” and get the answer. Sense tracks the entire home’s energy usage, so Google Assistant can ask Sense how much power the home is using or how much solar energy it is producing. Sense already supports IFTTT and integrates with Hue lighting and Amazon Alexa, and this new integration brings Sense home intelligence to Google Assistant users, as well.

Sense users can make their homes safer by tracking and controlling specific devices that are connected to the Belkin Wemo Insight Plug or TP-Link Kasa HS110 smart plug. For instance, homeowners can plug a coffee-maker, hair iron or space heater into a smart plug, identify it, create an alert if it stays on more than an hour, and turn off the device from wherever they are — all in the Sense app.

Sense users can bring smart plugs into their smart home energy management for the entire home or specific devices. Sense collects energy data and device status from these energy-aware smart plugs, then shows usage and costs both in real time and historically, over the course of a week, month or year.

Sense helps homeowners save money by identifying energy hogs. The smart plug integration adds more detailed energy information about home electronics. For example, with a smart plug connected to their smart TV, homeowners can track in the Sense app whether the TV is idling at its lowest level after it’s been turned off with the remote. In a recent analysis of more than 4000 homes, Sense discovered that 23% of home electricity is consumed by Always On devices such as home electronics and aquarium pumps, a hidden energy drain that costs the average home $308 annually.

Quote from Michael Phillips , CEO and co-founder, Sense:
“With these integrations, Sense continues to enhance our customers’ understanding of what’s happening in their homes and give homeowners more control at home. Sense brings to the smart home ecosystem a higher level of intelligence, revealing what’s hidden and making homes more efficient, safer and more reliable.”

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Thank you for reading our review of the WeMo Insight Smart Plug. Our reviews are compiled by our editors with the help of our proprietary ranking algorithm. We look at verified user reviews, expert reviews on other websites, social signals, search engine interest and many others to give you a real-time recommendation on the WeMo Insight Smart Plug. We analyzed 1124 verified reviews and removed suspicious looking feedback. The average rating out of 5 stars from the verified reviews is 3.8

Editor’s Review of the WeMo Insight Smart Plug

The WeMo Insight Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring works well for us. We have used it for several months and there haven’t been any issues. We like the auto-off feature that helps to save energy. We would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a smart plug. The only thing we would change is the price. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other smart plugs, but not by much. Overall, we are happy with our purchase. The Sun Joe MJ401E is an electric lawn mower which has a 40V battery. It comes with two 18-inch steel blades and a 4-amp motor. This model is small and compact so it is easy to store when not in use. The Sun Joe MJ401E features a 12-

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Belkin recently introduced a new product to enhance the control and monitoring of smart homes. The product is called the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch and it is designed specifically to give homeowners the ability to monitor power consumption and power costs of connected electronic devices within the home. This swhitch is designed to share information with Android or iOS devices using a app.

The Insight Switch is Wi-Fi enabled and allows any device plugged into the outlet to be set on a schedule and users can opt to get a notification when whatever the connected device is gets turned on or off. The Insight Switch plugs directly into an electrical outlet and then Wi-Fi network can be configured using the WeMo app.

A Wi-Fi network does have to be present within the home for the device to work. There are number of scheduling options including the ability to time connected devices to come on/off according to the local sunrise and sunset. Belkin design the switch to work with an online service called IFTTT allowing users to create triggers using different Internet-based services such as e-mail, weather, and social media.

The Insight Switch will be available in early November for $59.99. The device promises to work with any router, Android devices running version 4.0 or higher, and iOS version 5 or higher devices. There’s no subscription or home automation hub required with this device. This goes along with the WeMo Light Switch that Belkin debuted back in July.

Get control of your household and energy costs with the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch. You can schedule fans and lights to come on when you get home from work, shut off the TV when you think your kids have had enough, and even get a notification when your laundry is done, all from your smart device. You’ll see the difference in your energy bill.
More Information

Your jaw drops as your eyes rest on your utility bill. The final cost makes you want to run around the block from frustration as you think back on all the times you turned off the heater or unplugged kitchen appliances, just to make sure. It’s time, you say to yourself, to catch the power-hungry culprit. Enter the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch.

Why you need this:

Designed for the energy-conscious user: Plug any gadget into this smart power plug and get an insider view of your power consumption. You’ll appreciate real-time and average stats for power draw, usage time, and operating cost for whatever device is plugged in. Besides tracking energy usage, the switch also lets you program schedules for your device so it turns on or off whenever you want it to.

Turns a power outlet into a smart outlet: Choose a recipe for a specific behaviour or create your own “do” recipe. This way, you can control electronics usage (read: parents putting time limits on TV or game console use) or automatically regulate power-hungry devices, such as turning the space heater off after it hits a specified energy cost.

A time saver: Personalize the data you receive from your device. Get notified when your washing machine completes a cycle instead of having to interrupt what you’re doing to look in on the state of your wash. Know when it’s time to turn off the computer when your child exceeds their allotted time for video gaming.

Compatible with IFTTT: The WeMo Insight switch works with IFTTT (If This, Then That) to open up a world of awesome possibilities for your home automation setup. Using online apps on your mobile device, you can check up on devices plugged into the switch. Create rules and schedules to control electronic functions even when you’re far away, like scheduling the coffee maker to start brewing before you wake up or getting notifications on your phone when the appliance has been left on.

Convenient connectivity: With a simple download of the free WeMo app, you’ll have instant and complete control of home appliances and electronic devices (provided you’re connected to a WiFi network). How cool is that? Using your smartphone or tablet, you can remotely turn connected devices on or off, or keep track of how much energy your electronics are consuming on the handy WeMo app.

Works with Android and Apple devices: The Belkin WeMo Insight WiFi switch is compatible with your existing WiFi router and smartphone or tablet running Apple (iOS 7 and higher) or Android (4.1 and higher).

Features

• Designed for the energy-conscious user: Plug any gadget into this smart power plug and get an insider view of your power consumption. You’ll appreciate real-time and average stats for power draw, usage time, and operating cost for whatever device is plugged in. Besides tracking energy usage, the switch also lets you program schedules for your device so it turns on or off whenever you want it to.

• Turns a power outlet into a smart outlet: Choose a recipe for a specific behaviour or create your own “do” recipe. This way, you can control electronics usage (read: parents putting time limits on TV or game console use) or automatically regulate power-hungry devices, such as turning the space heater off after it hits a specified energy cost.

• A time saver: Personalize the data you receive from your device. Get notified when your washing machine completes a cycle instead of having to interrupt what you’re doing to look in on the state of your wash. Know when it’s time to turn off the computer when your child exceeds their allotted time for video gaming.

• Compatible with IFTTT: The WeMo Insight switch works with IFTTT (If This, Then That) to open up a world of awesome possibilities for your home automation setup. Using online apps on your mobile device, you can check up on devices plugged into the switch. Create rules and schedules to control electronic functions even when you’re far away, like scheduling the coffee maker to start brewing before you wake up or getting notifications on your phone when the appliance has been left on.

• Convenient connectivity: With a simple download of the free WeMo app, you’ll have instant and complete control of home appliances and electronic devices (provided you’re connected to a WiFi network). How cool is that? Using your smartphone or tablet, you can remotely turn connected devices on or off, or keep track of how much energy your electronics are consuming on the handy WeMo app.

• Works with Android and Apple devices: The Belkin WeMo Insight WiFi switch is compatible with your existing WiFi router and smartphone or tablet running Apple (iOS 7 and higher) or Android (4.1 and higher).

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

The Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug not only uses your home Wi-Fi network to turn devices on and off remotely, it also has scheduling and IFTTT recipe capability, and it can tell you how much power you are using.

  • Easy to set up.
  • Supports IFTTT.
  • Compact size.
  • Tracks power usage and costs.
  • No web browser support.
  • App is a bit erratic.

Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug Specs

Size 2.8 by 2.8 by 1.5 inches
Amazon Alexa Yes
Apple HomeKit No
Apple Siri No
Energy Reporting Yes
Google Assistant Yes
IFTTT Yes

As the latest addition to Belkin’s line of home automation products, the WeMo Insight Smart Plug ($49.99), is one smart power outlet. Like its predecessors, the WeMo Light Switch ($69.99 at Amazon) and the WeMo Switch + Motion($69.99 at Amazon), it connects to your Wi-Fi network so you can turn your devices on and off remotely using an iOS or Android device. It also allows you to create schedules for every day of the week, and it supports IFTTT (If This Then That) recipes. Belkin made the Insight even smarter than its siblings (and most other connected power outlets) by adding power monitoring capabilities that tell you how long the outlet has been on each day, how much power you’re using, and what it’s costing you—all of which earn it our Editors’ Choice for smart power outlets.

Design and Installation

Measuring just 2.8 by 2.8 by 1.5 inches (HWD), the WeMo Insight ($69.99 at Amazon) is the smallest smart outlet we’ve seen to date. In comparison, the outlet from the WeMo Switch + Motion bundle measures 4.5 by 2.9 by 2.2 inches. The Insight has a matte white housing with a single three-pronged outlet on the faceplate and a three-pronged plug on the back. A Wi-Fi indicator on top glows green for 30 seconds when the switch is connected to your network, and stays green when the switch is powered on. A solid amber light means you have a poor connection to the network, and a blinking amber light means you have lost the connection altogether. There’s also a reset button at the top of the switch, and behind that is a mini USB port reserved for future use, possibly with a motion detector add-on.

Installation is relatively easy. All you have to do is plug in the Insight switch, go to settings on your iOS or Android device, and connect to the Insight’s Wi-Fi radio. Next, launch the free WeMo app and tell the outlet to access your router, connect to your wireless router again, and then go back to the WeMo app where the Insight will be listed as a device. After that, you can name the switch and enter your email address for notifications.

App and Performance

The Insight uses the same iOS and Android app as the other WeMo devices, which lists each device in your network with an on/off button next to it for instantly toggling them. Tapping the down arrow on the Insight tab opens the power usage screen where you can see how long your device was on the last time it was used, and how long the Insight has been on standby (with the device turned off). You can also see how long your device has been on over the entire day, your daily average “on” time, your (estimated) monthly and daily power costs, and your average power usage in watts. By default, the estimated power costs are calculated using a $0.111 per kWh estimate, but you can change that to reflect your state’s average cost in the Edit screen. The Insight captures up to 45 days’ worth of energy usage data, which you can export in CSV format through email.

You can program the switch to turn on and off at sunrise or sunset or at specific times of the day, on either a daily basis or on individual days of the week under the Rules tab. The Insight’s Sensing Power feature lets you create additional rules to notify you when the device has been on or off for a specific period of time, or when power usage exceeds a predetermined threshold. This can come in very handy for parents who want to monitor TV or game console usage while they’re not home. The notifications are sent to your smartphone and are viewable in the WeMo app, but if you want email alerts you’ll have to use If This Then That (IFTTT).

Like earlier WeMo plugs, the Insight supports IFTTT recipes, which adds a slew of programming options to the mix. IFTTT recipes can interact with 80 different Internet services like ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Date & Time, Craigslist, Foursquare, or your own email account. This lets you create a trigger based on an event like a new email, a friend request, a sports score, or a tweet, which can turn the switch on or off. There are dozens of shared recipes on the IFTTT site, but you can create your own as well. One of my favorite recipes has the Insight turn on and off when ESPN posts a final score for the Knicks.

The Insight plug worked flawlessly during my testing, but the app would misbehave from time to time. Every so often it would indicate that the Insight plug was not detected when it was indeed fully operational according to the LED indicators. Fortunately, this only happened twice within a two-week period and was easily resolved by restarting my iPhone. Also, if you unplug the Insight for any reason, be prepared to wait several minutes for it to be recognized by the app. I waited close to five minutes to reconnect each time I removed the switch from a wall outlet.

I created several rules for the Insight; I plugged my floor lamp into the switch and had it turn on at sunset and off at 11:00pm, Monday through Friday. It followed this rule without issue, every day. Next, I plugged my coffee maker in and set up a rule that had the switch turn on at 6:30am weekdays. I also set up an IFTTT recipe that turned the switch off when it was on for more than 60 minutes. Like clockwork, the coffee started brewing at 6:30 am every week day and turned itself off at 7:30am, a nice feature if you don’t have a coffee maker that already does this. Finally, I set up a rule to be notified if the switch was powered on for more than four hours during the day, and received the notification around 20 seconds after the Insight hit the four-hour mark.

Conclusions

The Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug brings new meaning to the term “smart device.” Sure, it lets you turn your electronics on and off using a smartphone, and can be programmed to activate by sunrise, sunset, and time of day, but there are plenty of other products out there that offer these features. What sets the Insight apart from the pack is its ability to tell you how much power your device is using, how long it’s been on, and how much money it’s costing you to run that device, which is why it earns our Editors’ Choice for smart power outlets.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Get control of your household and energy costs with the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch. You can schedule fans and lights to come on when you get home from work, shut off the TV when you think your kids have had enough, and even get a notification when your laundry is done, all from your smart device. You’ll see the difference in your energy bill.

More Information

Your jaw drops as your eyes rest on your utility bill. The final cost makes you want to run around the block from frustration as you think back on all the times you turned off the heater or unplugged kitchen appliances, just to make sure. It’s time, you say to yourself, to catch the power-hungry culprit. Enter the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch.

Why you need this:

Designed for the energy-conscious user: Plug any gadget into this smart power plug and get an insider view of your power consumption. You’ll appreciate real-time and average stats for power draw, usage time, and operating cost for whatever device is plugged in. Besides tracking energy usage, the switch also lets you program schedules for your device so it turns on or off whenever you want it to.

Turns a power outlet into a smart outlet: Choose a recipe for a specific behaviour or create your own “do” recipe. This way, you can control electronics usage (read: parents putting time limits on TV or game console use) or automatically regulate power-hungry devices, such as turning the space heater off after it hits a specified energy cost.

A time saver: Personalize the data you receive from your device. Get notified when your washing machine completes a cycle instead of having to interrupt what you’re doing to look in on the state of your wash. Know when it’s time to turn off the computer when your child exceeds their allotted time for video gaming.

Compatible with IFTTT: The WeMo Insight switch works with IFTTT (If This, Then That) to open up a world of awesome possibilities for your home automation setup. Using online apps on your mobile device, you can check up on devices plugged into the switch. Create rules and schedules to control electronic functions even when you’re far away, like scheduling the coffee maker to start brewing before you wake up or getting notifications on your phone when the appliance has been left on.

Convenient connectivity: With a simple download of the free WeMo app, you’ll have instant and complete control of home appliances and electronic devices (provided you’re connected to a WiFi network). How cool is that? Using your smartphone or tablet, you can remotely turn connected devices on or off, or keep track of how much energy your electronics are consuming on the handy WeMo app.

Works with Android and Apple devices: The Belkin WeMo Insight WiFi switch is compatible with your existing WiFi router and smartphone or tablet running Apple (iOS 7 and higher) or Android (4.1 and higher).

Get control of your household and energy costs with the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch. You can schedule fans and lights to come on when you get home from work, shut off the TV when you think your kids have had enough, and even get a notification when your laundry is done, all from your smart device. You’ll see the difference in your energy bill.
More Information

Your jaw drops as your eyes rest on your utility bill. The final cost makes you want to run around the block from frustration as you think back on all the times you turned off the heater or unplugged kitchen appliances, just to make sure. It’s time, you say to yourself, to catch the power-hungry culprit. Enter the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch.

Why you need this:

Designed for the energy-conscious user: Plug any gadget into this smart power plug and get an insider view of your power consumption. You’ll appreciate real-time and average stats for power draw, usage time, and operating cost for whatever device is plugged in. Besides tracking energy usage, the switch also lets you program schedules for your device so it turns on or off whenever you want it to.

Turns a power outlet into a smart outlet: Choose a recipe for a specific behaviour or create your own “do” recipe. This way, you can control electronics usage (read: parents putting time limits on TV or game console use) or automatically regulate power-hungry devices, such as turning the space heater off after it hits a specified energy cost.

A time saver: Personalize the data you receive from your device. Get notified when your washing machine completes a cycle instead of having to interrupt what you’re doing to look in on the state of your wash. Know when it’s time to turn off the computer when your child exceeds their allotted time for video gaming.

Compatible with IFTTT: The WeMo Insight switch works with IFTTT (If This, Then That) to open up a world of awesome possibilities for your home automation setup. Using online apps on your mobile device, you can check up on devices plugged into the switch. Create rules and schedules to control electronic functions even when you’re far away, like scheduling the coffee maker to start brewing before you wake up or getting notifications on your phone when the appliance has been left on.

Convenient connectivity: With a simple download of the free WeMo app, you’ll have instant and complete control of home appliances and electronic devices (provided you’re connected to a WiFi network). How cool is that? Using your smartphone or tablet, you can remotely turn connected devices on or off, or keep track of how much energy your electronics are consuming on the handy WeMo app.

Works with Android and Apple devices: The Belkin WeMo Insight WiFi switch is compatible with your existing WiFi router and smartphone or tablet running Apple (iOS 7 and higher) or Android (4.1 and higher).

Features

• Designed for the energy-conscious user: Plug any gadget into this smart power plug and get an insider view of your power consumption. You’ll appreciate real-time and average stats for power draw, usage time, and operating cost for whatever device is plugged in. Besides tracking energy usage, the switch also lets you program schedules for your device so it turns on or off whenever you want it to.

• Turns a power outlet into a smart outlet: Choose a recipe for a specific behaviour or create your own “do” recipe. This way, you can control electronics usage (read: parents putting time limits on TV or game console use) or automatically regulate power-hungry devices, such as turning the space heater off after it hits a specified energy cost.

• A time saver: Personalize the data you receive from your device. Get notified when your washing machine completes a cycle instead of having to interrupt what you’re doing to look in on the state of your wash. Know when it’s time to turn off the computer when your child exceeds their allotted time for video gaming.

• Compatible with IFTTT: The WeMo Insight switch works with IFTTT (If This, Then That) to open up a world of awesome possibilities for your home automation setup. Using online apps on your mobile device, you can check up on devices plugged into the switch. Create rules and schedules to control electronic functions even when you’re far away, like scheduling the coffee maker to start brewing before you wake up or getting notifications on your phone when the appliance has been left on.

• Convenient connectivity: With a simple download of the free WeMo app, you’ll have instant and complete control of home appliances and electronic devices (provided you’re connected to a WiFi network). How cool is that? Using your smartphone or tablet, you can remotely turn connected devices on or off, or keep track of how much energy your electronics are consuming on the handy WeMo app.

• Works with Android and Apple devices: The Belkin WeMo Insight WiFi switch is compatible with your existing WiFi router and smartphone or tablet running Apple (iOS 7 and higher) or Android (4.1 and higher).

Examples and notes for controlling Belkin WeMo devices from an Arduino.

There are many different examples of how to contro a WeMo using a variety of programming tools — node.js, python, groovy, etc. OpenRemote has some useful notes as well. But I couldn’t find good examples for Arduino, so I wrote an example for the MKR1000 for Making Things Talk a few years ago. This repository expands on that, adding an example for how to read the WeMo Insight. It may expand to other WeMo devices in the future.

This repository will also include any notes I’ve picked up along the way, for future use.

When you first plug in the WeMo, it will set itself up as a WiFi access point (AP). You connect to the WeMo, then use the WeMo app for Android or Wemo app for iOS to do the initial setup for your WeMo. You’ll need to make sure your Android or iOS device is on the network to which you want to connect the WeMo, as the app will pass in the credentials.

Getting the WeMo Mac Address

If your network uses MAC address filtering as many academic and commercial networks do, you’ll need to register the MAC address of your WeMo device on your network before it will successfully connect. This can be tricky, as the WeMo Insight switches use two MAC addresses. The one printed on the device is the one they use to create the initial AP, but when they connect to another network, they change to a MAC address that’s one value higher. For example, my WeMo Insight’s printed MAC address ends in 95:e4 , but the address when it’s on my network ends in 95:e5 . If you can pre-register both addresses on your network, that can be helpful.

Not all WeMo devices exhibit this MAC address switching behavior. For example, the WeMo Switch Mini appears to stick with a single address.

Making an Alternate Setup Interface

. is not yet done.

WeMo devices communicate using the Universal Plug & Play (UPnP) protocol over HTTP on port 49153. uPnP supports device discovery and service advertisement and all sorts of other things, so it should be possible to configure a WeMo without the app. But so far, no one’s done it, and I haven’t bothered either. The most detail I’ve found is on this WeMo communications analysis. These folks sniffed the initial data exchange, but didn’t work out the password encryption. It looks like it’s encrypted using TKIP, but I haven’t looked into that yet. Assuming you could encrypt a password, you could make a custom application to set up WeMo devices.

WeMo Switch Control

To control a WeMo switch, send an HTTP POST request to port 49153. The on/off control request looks like this:

To make this request using curl, you’d do this:

By changing the value inside the tag, you can switch the WeMo from off to on. You can see this in action in the WemoHttpClient example.

From a WeMo Switch Mini, you’ll get a response like this:

And from a WeMo Insight, you’ll get a response like this:

Reading a WeMo Insight

The WeMo Insight can give you a reading of its energy usage. To get this, you make a request for the InsightParams property, and you get a response with values in pipe-delimited form. Here’s the POST request you’d make:

And here’s the curl command:

The response looks like this:

The pipe-delimited string inside the tag is the data you want. Though Belkin doesn’t publish what the parameters are anymore, they are listed on the Eclipse.org Smarthome site. They are as follows:

  • state – Whether the switch is on or off (1 or 0).
  • lastChangedAt – The date and time when the WeMo was last turned on or off (a Unix timestamp)
  • lastOnFor – How long the Insight was last on for (seconds).
  • onToday – How long the Insight has been on today (seconds)’
  • onTotal – How long the Insight has been on total (seconds).
  • timespan – Timespan over which onTotal is relevant (seconds). Typically 2 weeks except when first started up.
  • averagePower – Average power consumption (Watts).
  • currentPower – Current power consumption (milliwatts).
  • energyToday – Energy used today (Watt-hours, or Wh).
  • energyTotal – Energy used in total (Wh). This is the only parameter reported as a floating point value.
  • standbyLimit – Minimum energy usage to register the insight as switched on ( milliwats, default 8000mW, configurable via WeMo App).

You can see this in action in the WemoInsightHttpClient example.

WeMo Light Bulbs

. have been discontinued, but apparently Osram and Cree bulbs work with WeMo’s hub, see this announcement. Although they can still be found on eBay and Amazon and other sites.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Belkin’s release of the original WeMo Switch in mid-2012 was a tantalizing first step for the company into the dauntingly complicated home automation accessory market — a wall outlet-powered, Wi-Fi/iOS-compatible switch that could turn power on or off to a single connected device. For $50, we didn’t think the WeMo Switch was either cheap or universally appealing, but technologists assume that people will eventually expect remote-controlled lights and appliances all throughout their homes, and with the right combination of pricing and simplicity, we’d agree. To that end, Belkin has continued to experiment with WeMo accessories such as the Light Switch, and recently debuted the WeMo Insight Switch ($60), an enhanced sequel to its first product.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Even though the basic concept behind the Insight Switch is very similar to the original Switch, there are two noteworthy differences this time out. First, the Insight Switch has been physically redesigned, and all for the better. It’s a lot smaller than the original Switch, which may ease installation for some users — it still requires the top of two outlets, but leaves more space above, and enough for something to be connected underneath it. Additionally, the top power button has been replaced with a touch sensor that uses glowing light indicators. These changes aren’t earth-shattering, but Insight Switch looks and feels better than its predecessor. Once again, it doesn’t ship with anything else in the package, and you’ll need to download Belkin’s free and very straightforward WeMo app to use it.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage
How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Second and more critically, Insight Switch adds a power usage meter to the original on/off Switch, plus software to take advantage of the features. Thanks to a Wi-Fi connection and the WeMo app, you can use Insight Switch to turn the connected device on and off from anywhere. IFTTT integration within the app continues to enable WeMo users to create Internet-based “if this then that” rules for Insight Switch, including traditional time-based automatic on/off control of the device, as well as triggers should power be sensed on the switch. You could receive a notification on your iPhone whenever the power goes on, goes off, or if the power is on for a length of time; you can also prevent too many notifications from coming in, and limit the days of the week they’re sent. Family power-limiting and lightweight security come to mind as possible applications of these features.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Insight Switch’s power meter is capable of measuring the strength of power use, the duration of power use, and the duration of standby/idle time — handy features that arguably don’t go far enough on the hardware side. Insight Switch does provide you with the average amount of power (in watts) a connected device draws when on, as well as the current power drain, enabling you to understand the active and idle states of a big-screen TV, for example. It also knows when the device was last on and how long it was on, as well as how long it’s been off or in standby mode.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

The information is used to provide an estimate of the monthly cost of operating a connected device, notably varying quite dramatically by the minute when the device is first connected, and stabilizing somewhat weeks later. A TV set that was estimated to cost $15 per month to operate at first was later estimated at 41 cents per month, but it’s unclear how the WeMo app calculates the numbers — no previous day’s data or aggregate chart of usage can be viewed with the software. While this suggests that the hardware doesn’t really have the ability to track monthly data in a granular way, a feature hidden within the app’s Edit menu claims to export up to 45 days worth of data to an e-mail, a not particularly useful way to analyze the information.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

One of our issues with this is the modest value of the “Insight” that’s actually being gained from using Insight Switch. Although the WeMo app is otherwise nicely designed, there’s no obvious way to set the cost estimates to a specific power grid, no way to view or verify daily usage, and no visibility into how estimates are being generated. It was only when we discovered the aforementioned “Edit” menu—notably not the Settings screen—that we found a setting to adjust the Cost per kWh, which requires you to reference your electricity bill. The most useful information we retrieved from the WeMo app was just a broad sense of the average and idle power drain, numbers that aren’t particularly meaningful without further quantification. It’s unclear at this point whether Belkin will be able to add deeper tracking and automatic local price estimation into the WeMo app, but we’d hope to see Insight Switch do more in the future.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage
How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Our other issue is the conceptual value of adding a power meter — typically a standalone portable device that can be moved from outlet to outlet as needed for brief testing of different devices — into a switch that’s supposed to be left in one place to control one device. While there are certainly some software-reliant applications for the Insight Switch’s unique combination of switch and metering functionality, a user’s need to continuously monitor the same device’s power for weeks or months at a time is questionable. Insight Switch would be most handy if moved from device to device for testing, but that’s not generally how WeMo Switches are intended to be used.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Overall, the WeMo Insight Switch offers some nice if not strictly necessary improvements over the original WeMo Switch, but its added functionality and higher price combine to make it more of a niche offering than its predecessor. We commend Belkin on continuing to evolve the WeMo family, and like the way that the accessories work, but WeMo Switch in particular could benefit from additional software- and potentially hardware-level tracking of data and estimating capabilities. More aggressive pricing could also help to increase WeMo’s appeal.

Currently what I’m looking for is a smart plug that can not only monitor energy usage like the “HS110 Kasa Smart Plug”, but to also be able to create smart events based on the power usage. More specifically, to turn off another smart plug based on if the power usage drops below a certain level, and back on if it rises above it, which from what I can tell looking over the internet and in the apps, you currently can not do with the HS110 through either Kesa or IFTTT.

To put this into some more context, what I want to achieve is to have one plug monitor the power usage of my Desktop Computer and if that falls below or climbs above a certain level, to turn off / on another smart plug (possibly even multiple other smart plugs) which are powering all the peripherals connected to my PC, such as my monitors, speakers, lights and other things I only want turned on, when I’m actively using my PC and to turn off when I’m not, saving energy & time having to manually turn these things off at night so you don’t have the lights on them flashing in the dark telling you they are still on.

For years now I’ve achieved this through an “EON Powerdown Plug” (DSK105EON) which while it isn’t a smart plug, did this locally by basically being a multi-plug, monitoring the power levels of the primary port and then switching on/off power to the two other secondary ports. The problem I have with this plug now is that it has an “Auto Calibration” feature that “continuously measures the amount of electricity being consumed by your Desktop Computer in active and standby mode, by learning your computers’ unique energy pattern the EON will only power your peripherals on/off when appropriate. At the right time, every time”.

The problem I have now with this plug is that over the years as my PC has become more powerful and at the same time, more efficient when only doing basic tasks with new hardware upgrades such as new, much more powerful graphics cards that turn off their fans when they aren’t needed, has meant that it no longer turns on/off my peripherals “At the right time, every time” and will turn them off even when web browsing or even when working in Photoshop as it thinks that since I’m not drawing much power compared to what id does when it’s really working hard, I must not be using the computer and this as you can image, can very irritating to have all your screens turn off when you’re in the middle of sending an email etc.

As such I’m really looking at switching over to a smart plug where I can manually calibrate the power levels where it turns my peripherals on/off. So far I’ve only found one smart plug that will do this which is the “belkin WeMo Insight Switch” but this plug is pretty expensive and not easily available in the UK. I would ideally also like to have all my smart plugs be of the same make if possible and right now, all of them are by TP-Link.

I’ve also found others wanting to be able to create smart events based on power levels as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/ifttt/comments/63x9qp/smartplug_that_monitors_energy_usage_realtime/

TL:DR:

Is there any chance that IFTTT and/or Kesa can be updated to be able to create events based on the power consumption of an HS110 Kasa Smart Plug?

Monitoring your energy usage and turning devices off remotely, Belkin’s WeMo Insight aims to curb your power bill and put you in control.

Belkin’s family of smart home gear continues to grow. Initially we had the $69.95 WeMo Switch, an internet-enabled timer switch which you can control from your Apple/Android smartphone or tablet. Alongside the Switch there’s now a WeMo light switch, light bulb, motion sensor, webcam and Maker which lets you wire up devices like garage doors.

Belkin’s WeMo Insight lets you keep an eye on your devices and track how much power they use.

What does it do?

The new $99.99 WeMo Insight is based on the WeMo Switch, with an improved design that’s shorter and narrower but still likely to block an adjacent powerpoint. It offers all the same features as the Switch – you can manually kill the power to attached devices, set up a timer schedule or configure advanced tasks using If This Then That – a cloud-based service which helps smart home devices make smart decisions.

The Insight’s party trick is real-time monitoring of the power consumed by attached devices. Tell it how much you’re paying per kilowatt-hour – it’s written on the back of your electricity bill – and the Insight can tell you how much the attached devices cost to run each month. Unfortunately the Insight doesn’t let you specify a separate off-peak power rate.

Why do you need it?

Like the other WeMo gear, the Insight is a classic solution looking for a problem. You need to decide what you’d do with the Insight to determine whether or not it’s worth the extra expense over the standard $69.95 WeMo Switch.

Knowledge is power and, as the name suggests, the WeMo Insight offers interesting insight into your home energy usage. For example I now know that my television uses 240W when running and 27W in standby. Throw in the rest of my home entertainment gear and it’s 285W when watching a Blu-ray or 40W in standby.

Cracking down on standby power usage – also known as vampire power – is one way to curb your power consumption. The best solution is to turn devices off at the wall when you’re not using them, but that’s obviously not always practical.

With a standard WeMo Switch I could kill the power to my home entertainment gear late at night to save energy (exempting my Personal Video Recorder which needs power 24×7). With a more expensive WeMo Insight I could also calculate how much money I’m saving.

By my calculations, the standby power usage from my home entertainment system is about $20 for each 3-month bill. If you used the Insight switch to kill the power for 12 hours a day then you’re only saving $10 per bill – meaning the Insight would take 2.5 years to pay for itself.

You’re not actually saving any more money than if you’d bought the cheaper WeMo Switch, you’re simply paying more to know how much you’ve saved. You can even export your power usage as an Excel spreadsheet if that’s the kind of thing that floats your boat. If you’re just using a WeMo as a gloried timer switch then your money might be better spent on a cheap timer switch instead.

Keep in mind that killing the power for the half the day to your home entertainment system, or any other household device, runs the risk of leaving potential users in the lurch. The more people in your home, the narrower the window during which you can safely assume no-one will want to watch television. That 12-hour window might turn into a 6-hour window – now you’re only saving $5 per bill and you have to wonder if it was worth the hassle.

You might have a specific use case for your home or office that makes it more worthwhile, especially if you’re managing self-sufficient background devices like a swimming pool filter, electronic signage or a waiting room television.

Standing by

Thankfully the Insight has one more trick up its sleeve. By monitoring the power usage it can detect when a device is in standby mode – the threshold is set at 8W by default but you can vary this from 2 to 99W.

This allows you to check remotely whether or not a device is in use – perhaps handy if you want to know whether children are watching television rather than doing their homework. Using If This Then That you can tell the WeMo Insight to kill the power when your television has been on standby for x minutes – potentially eliminating a few more hours of standby power each day and saving you a few more cents.

Of course now you’ve increased the likelihood of inconveniencing someone who wants to watch television at an unusual time of day. They’ll need to manually turn the Insight on – either using a smartphone/tablet or by pressing the power button on the top of the switch, which may be hidden behind your home entertainment cabinet. Alternatively you might combine the Insight with a WeMo motion sensor to turn on the power when someone enters the room, so everything is in standby mode by the time you reach the couch.

So what’s the verdict?

The WeMo Insight is a handy addition to the WeMo range but you’ll need to think long and hard about whether it’s a worthwhile investment. It’s more likely to pay for itself in a business environment than at home.

If you simply need a one-off reading of how much your different devices cost to run then it’s cheaper to buy a $22 energy monitor, or you might even be able to borrow one from your local library for free. If you do invest in a WeMo Insight, you might decide it’s only worth owning one to move from room to room as your study your home power usage. Once you’ve taken your readings, a cheaper WeMo Switch can do the job.

Standby power threshold detection is the key to the Insight’s usefulness – if you’re not taking advantage of this feature then you’re only paying extra to satisfy your curiosity.

With a little insight you might discover that vampire power isn’t actually taking much of a toll on your power bill. If you want to save monet, one less takeaway coffee each month could be more practical.

If you want to curb your power usage to help the environment then your time and efforts might be better spent on switching to LED lightbulbs, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, refraining from using your clothes dryer and making behavioural changes such as turning down the heating/cooling a notch. Get these things under control before you evaluate whether there’s room for a WeMo Insight in your life.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usageThe WeMo Insight Switch from Belkin lets you remotely control a power outlet and tells you how much power the devices you plug into it use. More interested in the latter, I got one to see how well it works. Here are my first impressions with about a month of use and a week of data.

The Setup

Installation was straightforward as I followed the included instructions. You just plug the switch into any wall outlet and then treat it like a regular place to plug in your things.

Download the free app from Google Play or the Apple App Store, connect the device to your phone via the switch’s local WiFi, and it automatically connects to your network using information from your phone. After that, which took a couple of minutes, the switch appears in the app. It’s nice that you can do this without a separate hub like some alternatives.

One blip: As the switch connected to my network, there was a spinny progress circle, and I got stuck. But I closed and restarted the app on my phone, and the switch appeared in the app. I was good to go after that.

Usage

After connecting to the network, it’s easy to turn the switch on and off. You can press a power button in the app, and the response comes in maybe a half second or less, or use the touch button on the top of the switch to flip manually. There’s an audible click each time you turn on or off.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usageYou can define simple rules through the app if you like, namely flip the switch at specified times or get a notification that a plugged-in device turns on or off (like a dryer). Or, you can hook the switch in to IFTTT to connect your switch to other services.

I experimented with IFTTT a little bit. My original plan was to use my Arduino and a motion sensor to ping the WeMo switch and turn my desk lamp on and off accordingly. After some initial experiments though, the switch didn’t always respond and when it did, the delay wasn’t predictable. So I ditched that effort for now. For me, these smart switches have to outdo the manual switching in convenience. There’s no point otherwise, because the novelty wears off.

The Data

I mainly got this for the “Insights” part. The app itself is barebones in the data display department. The app just shows you how long the plugged-in device has been on today along with the average, estimated cost, and the average wattage when on.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Like I said, I originally plugged in my desk lamp for testing. The duration that the lamp was on always showed as zero, even though I purposely left the light on for a few hours. I thought the app or switch just needed time to calibrate, but then I realized there’s a threshold setting for the switch, which basically says not to count the minutes if watts are below a number you specify. This setting is available if you don’t want to count standby power usage, and it’s 8 watts by default. The LED bulb in my desk lamp didn’t use enough power to register.

So I plugged in the surge protector for my desk instead. This includes an iMac, a WiFi printer, a MacBook Pro power cord, and of course the desk lamp. This gave me much more interesting data, which you can have emailed to you daily, weekly, or monthly. The CSV file contains daily totals and 30-minute segments for kilowatt-hours used. According to Belkin, data stays stored for 30 days, but so far my CSV dates back a month plus a week.

It turns out the data is a pretty good proxy for when I work.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Working at my desk is basically like turning on a light with a 60-watt bulb.

Having a quick look at Belkin’s WeMo. I wonder if it would be possible to integrate the WeMo elements into emoncms either as switch control or energy usage monitoring.

I’ve long been interested in a plug-in device that could measure energy use and provide a switch functionality but I would rather it was via powerline rather than WiFi. This is the closest I have come across.

There is an opensource project to access and control WeMo. Just wondered if anyone had linked them to emoncms 🙂

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

I’ve been playing with an out-of-the-box system called GEO Solo II which is easy to set up and provides ability to monitor consumption from a single CT clamp AND switch on/off and monitor up to 6 individual 13A sockets. The web-based reporting is not bad, but could be vastly improved.

You might find it interesting to have a quick look at

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

I have looked for a well priced EoP based switch but have found nothing.

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

I have been doing a little experimenting with managing the WeMo via the ouimeaux system and I am make some progress.

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

I hope to get a wemo insight to play with. It would be interested in getting power consumption data into Emoncms.

It looks like ouimeaux should make this possible

It looks like it should be easy to control the plug and get the energy data via openHAB binding. Maybe openHAB could publish the energy data to MQTT

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

Looks like it’s already been done:

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

i have created a (windows) program in delphi that connects to the wemo insight and gets the usage data and posts it to emoncms. I have been using it with 3 wemo insights. It’s not really that hard to do it.

My program only has one flaw though, the wemo insight siwtches don’t work of a fixed port every once in a while they switch ports and i have to edit my program’s config for that plug to adopt to the new port. I have not gotten the time nor the willingness to update the app to try and connect to a diffrent port after some failed attempts. Mostly because i have set up the program in such a way that it quits whenever it gets an error in combination with a batch file that restarts it indefinatly.

The ouimeaux thing does not have that problem as far as i can remember as it does a upnp scan to find the device instead of working with ip + port in the config. if i remember correctly home assistant also uses that same library.

Further on i had also modified the button widget and so that it changes a feed value from 1 to 0 and from 0 to 1. that in combination with node red to read the feed value and based on the value enable / disable the wemo insight switch. works ok but has a few flaws (espicialy if you also use home assistant). The nodes in node red also tend to have problems sometimes connecting to emoncms at least the ones i’m using and when looking at node red log.

I can try to upload the delphi sources to github if you want so you can see how i did it.

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

The latest NodeRed Wemo node seems to handle the fact that the wemos sometimes change ports. Would that be an easier way to integrate a wemo into emoncms?

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

If the wemo node allows reading the current useage watt useage it might be possible to create a flow that:

1) read value every X seconds / minutes from wemo

2) does an http get to emoncms using the input api and the key, or see if one of the emoncms nodes can be used as an output. Can’t remember exactly if there was such one, but the http get / post does work from within node red

this way you only need node red, a wemo insight, and emoncms. It’s probably not so hard to create that flow.

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

I just checked and updated my node-red to see the new wemo nodes. Unfortunatly, there’s a problem. They use a notifications system instead of polling system. For one thing, the notification system does not seem to work for me. It does not react to wemo insight being switched on / off. Besides that, there’s another problem that makes it (currently) not possible to use node-red to read the wemo insight data and post it to an emoncms node. When I tested it, it’s not possible to check every x seconds for the power. When you do get a notification from wemo insight, the object does contain the power value, but there’s no way, or at least I could not find a way, to read it every X seconds and send it to emoncms. The emoncms nodes work just fine, you don’t need the input api, the node does it for you.

So as far as i can see, without modifcations to the wemo nodes source, it’s not possible to trigger / force read the power value on demand. It could be it’s just a simple modification, but I would contact the author of the wemo nodes and ask them if it’s possible to change it so a node can be triggered on demand and read the state of the wemo (insight) switch. Once that’s available, it’s possible to use node red to post wemo insight power values to emoncms. (might be a good idea the useage case like as in posting the data to emoncms (node))

Re: Belkin WeMo – integrate to emoncms

I emailed the author asking if it was somehow possible to get the state of the wemo insight by a trigger like a timer or a repeating message, explaining what we want to do.

TURN YOUR ELECTRONICS ON/OFF, MONITOR THEM FROM ANYWHERE

The Wi-Fi enabled WeMo Insight Switch connects your home appliances and electronic devices to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to turn devices on or off, program customized notifications, and change device status–from anywhere. WeMo Insight Switch can monitor your electronics and will send information about the device’s energy usage directly to your smartphone or tablet. Perfect to pair with space heaters, wall A/C units, TVs, washers, dryers, fans, lights and more.

CREATE RULES, SCHEDULES AND RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS

Download the free WeMo App to as many smartphones and tablets as you like to create rules and custom schedules. The WeMo App can be as flexible as you need and allows you to create rules that are easy to set up and can easily be changed. You can even receive notifications that are personalized to meet your needs.

Get notified when your laundry cycle is finished so that you avoid wrinkled clothes, know when your child has exceeded their daily TV limit and turn it off, or find out if you left the space heater on accidentally.

GET INSIGHT INTO HOME ENERGY USAGE

The WeMo Insight Switch can help keep your home energy bills low by allowing you to set schedules, monitor energy usage on electronics, and find out which devices are used most often. WeMo can notify you instantly if home electronics have been left on and you can choose to either leave them on or turn them off from anywhere. Find out if you left the A/C window unit running and turn it off, find out if the kids are playing video games instead of doing homework, or schedule a space heater to turn on five minutes before you walk through the door.

With WeMo, you can set schedules, create rules for electronics to respond at specific times or to sunset/sunrise, and get notifications for any device connected to a WeMo Insight Switch.

EASY TO USE, EASY TO INSTALL

To install WeMo Insight Switch, simply plug the Switch into an outlet in your home and then plug an electronic device or appliance into the switch. Download the free WeMo App from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App store to any smart device. WeMo Insight Switch keeps you connected to your electronics anywhere you are–over Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G networks.

WEMO IS COMPLETELY MODULAR

WeMo’s modular design allows you to monitor as much or as little of your home as you like. You can easily add additional WeMo Insight Switches anytime to any room to program multiple devices or appliances. Plus, WeMo Insight Switch has a slim design that won’t block your outlet.

WORKS WITH ANDROID AND APPLE DEVICES

WeMo Insight Switch is compatible with Apple (iOS 6 and higher) and Android (4.0 and higher devices) and your existing Wi-Fi router. It is backed by a one-year limited warranty.

THE WHOLE WEMO FAMILY WORKS TOGETHER IN HARMONY

WeMo is a family of simple, ingenious products that make life easier, simpler, better. WeMo uses your Wi-Fi® network and mobile internet to control your home electronics right from your smartphone. WeMo also works with IFTTT, connecting your home electronics to a whole world of online apps.

– Turn electronics on or off — from anywhere
– Monitor your electronics’ usage/cost and receive custom notifications • Put your electronic devices on a schedule or have them respond to Sunset and Sunrise
– Works on multiple smart devices simultaneously
– You’ve already got everything you need: WeMo works with your existing home Wi-Fi network and mobile Internet (3G/4G)
– Modular system. You can add additional WeMo Insight Switches easily, any time
– Intuitive, easy set up and easy to use
– Works with the entire family of Belkin WeMo products
– Works with IFTTT, connecting you to a whole world of Web apps
– Free WeMo App for Android and iOS operating systems

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

CREATE RULES, SCHEDULES AND RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS

Download the free Wemo App to as many smartphones and tablets as you like to create rules and custom schedules. The Wemo App can be as flexible as you need and allows you to create rules that are easy to set up and can easily be changed. You can even receive notifications that are personalized to meet your needs.

Get notified when your laundry cycle is finished so that you avoid wrinkled clothes, know when your child has exceeded their daily TV limit and turn it off, or find out if you left the space heater on accidentally.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

GET INSIGHT INTO HOME ENERGY USAGE

The Wemo Insight Switch can help keep your home energy bills low by allowing you to set schedules, monitor energy usage on electronics, and find out which devices are used most often. Wemo can notify you instantly if home electronics have been left on and you can choose to either leave them on or turn them off from anywhere. Find out if you left the A/C window unit running and turn it off, find out if the kids are playing video games instead of doing homework, or schedule a space heater to turn on five minutes before you walk through the door.

With Wemo, you can set schedules, create rules for electronics to respond at specific times or to sunset/sunrise, and get notifications for any device connected to a Wemo Insight Switch.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

EASY TO USE, EASY TO INSTALL

To install Wemo Insight Switch, simply plug the Switch into an outlet in your home and then plug an electronic device or appliance into the switch. Download the free Wemo App from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App store to any smart device. Wemo Insight Switch keeps you connected to your electronics anywhere you are–over Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G networks.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

It’s a Mod, Mod World

One of the beauties of Wemo is its modularity. Control one lamp or all of them. Dip a toe into smart-home tech, or dive in headfirst. There’s a Wemo for every situation: Light Switches for your porchlight or those swanky recessed ceiling lights in the man-cave. Switches for your plug-in lamps and fans. Insight Switches for devices you want to monitor for energy savings. Control them all from your app, with no hub. Go forth and modulize.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

WORKS WITH ANDROID AND APPLE DEVICES

Wemo Insight Switch is compatible with Apple (iOS 8 and higher) and Android (4.1 and higher devices) and your existing Wi-Fi router. It is backed by a one-year limited warranty.

Works with Amazon Alexa

Wemo Switch and Insight Switch work seamlessly with Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot and Amazon Tap to give you hands-free, vocal control over your stuff. Want to turn off the fan? Turn on the floor lamp? Shut off the TV in the kids’ room before their brains melt? When Wemo and Alexa work together, all you have to do is speak your mind. Literally.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

Wemo works with Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest’s “home” and “away” modes can tell your Wemo switches what you’re up to. If you’re out, your desk fan turns off so the cat doesn’t lose another inch of its tail. When you return, that fake Tiffany lamp your Grandma left you is burning brightly to welcome you home. And you can adjust basic Thermostat settings without leaving the Wemo app, thus conserving valuable thumb-tapping time.

How to use the belkin wemo insight switch to monitor power usage

WeMo Switch Allows Homeowners to Monitor Power Consumption and Costs from Electronics.

Belkin announces the availability of the WeMo Insight Switch, revolutionizing smart home innovation by allowing users to control and manage the energy usage and costs of home electronics from anywhere through their iOS or Android device.

The newest addition to the simple, ingenious WeMo smart home platform, the Insight Switch is a Wi-Fi enabled compact plug that also allows users to put their devices on a schedule and receive notifications anytime a connected unit is turned on or off.

“With the WeMo Insight Switch, we continue to elevate today’s smart homes by offering consumers the most intuitive, customizable and affordable solution to better understand the energy usage of their electronic devices and make smart decisions on how to use them,” said Ohad Zeira, director of product management at Belkin.

“The evolved switch allows users to truly control and monitor as much or as little of their home as they want, from observing whether a television has been on too long or being alerted to when a laundry cycle has finished, all through their smart device from anywhere and at anytime.”

The WeMo Insight Switch plugs directly into an electrical outlet, and then a user simply connects it to the home Wi-Fi network, downloads the free WeMo app and instantly is able to turn any device plugged into the unit on or off using his or her iOS or Android device.

WeMo Insight Switch will allow users to put electronics on a schedule, set them with local sunrise and sunset times, create notifications for device usage, as well as manage the time, energy consumption and costs of specific devices. The Insight Switch also works with IFTTT, an online service that creates triggers using different Internet-based services such as email, weather and social media.