Belkin has an idea, adds WeMo to light bulbs

Belkin’s wireless home had some neat upgrades last year with wireless power switches and security cameras that could all talk to each other, but the company is doing one step better this year, with wireless lighting.

It’s not the first company to try it, but Belkin will be joining Philips and Lifx with a WiFi lightbulb in 2014, showcasing a new bulb at the Consumer Electronics Show that could be added to a WeMo network and controlled just like other WeMo connected devices.

That means if you have a light in your home you want to switch on at a certain time, you merely replace the bulb there now with one of the WeMo LED bulbs and connect it to the Maker, a part of the kit that makes it possible to connect multiple bulbs with your home network.

Once that’s done, the WeMo app for either iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) or Android (smartphones and tablets) can be used to switch the light on wirelessly, or even according to certain times based on your schedule. Thanks to some of the functionality provided by “If This Then That” or IFTTT, the lights can even switch on based on sunrise or sunset times.

The bulbs can be setup throughout the home, emit a warm white light which Belkin says is “similar to incandescent bulbs” but can be dimmed easily for anyone who doesn’t like that level of warmth. There’s also a “vacation mode” which can switch the lights on and off in the home to simulate people being there, which makes a lot of sense for anyone who’s ever left all the lights on to warn off would-be intruders.

Interestingly, the Belkin WeMo LED bulbs won’t be quite the same style as the Philips Hue ones, as these are less about changing the colour of the light, and more about timing for when they’re powered.

As is normal with everything CES related, Belkin has no pricing or availability announced for Australia, though in America, the pricing for the kid with two bulbs and the connection kit (the Belkin WeMo Maker) will come in at $130, with extra bulbs costing $40 per light. Here’s hoping we’re not too far off when they do arrive locally.