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As more and more devices enter the smart home space, more and more people are also taking notice. Finally, you now have a flat iron that can alert you when you left it plugged in, and you can now turn off any appliance even when you are not home.
So how do you manage your home automation? There are automation systems and mobile apps that allow you to control different connected devices coming from the same manufacturer.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Wemo Home Automation
- 2 The Wemo mobile app
- 3 What you would like about Wemo Home Automation
- 4 Samsung SmartThings
- 5 The SmartThings mobile app
- 6 What you would like about Samsung SmartThings
- 7 Final recommendations: Wemo Home Automation vs. SmartThings Hub
Wemo Home Automation
Wemo Home Automation promises to turn your house into a smart home, without using complex setups. It keeps things simple and does not offer hubs.
It does, however, have a range of products that can work together and connect to your Wi-Fi network so that you can control these devices through your smartphone. Wemo devices are ideal for those who are still starting to set up their smart homes.
Most of Wemo’s products are plugs and switches that convert your non-smart appliances into smart ones, allowing these to connect to your Wi-Fi.
However, Wemo is starting to offer smart lights that you can dim or turn on or off using your smartphone. They also have several Wi-Fi cameras that allow you to view things at home using your smartphone.
Currently available devices
Wemo Home Automation offers the following products:
- Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Dimmer
- Wemo Insight Smart Plug
- Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Light Switch
- Wemo Switch Smart Plug
- NetCam HD+ Wi-Fi Camera with Glass Lens and Night Vision
- NetCam Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision
- Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set
- NetCam Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision
The Wemo mobile app
The Wemo mobile app is where you go if you want to control your Wemo devices.
It gives you insights into your usage. For instance, if you have a Wemo Insight, the mobile app will let you know how long it has been in use and since that time it has been on.
It will also show you the average duration of use per day for that particular device, and compare your usage today with the average. It will also calculate how much wattage the device is using, and how much it is costing you.
The mobile app also allows you to schedule when your Wemo devices turn on or off. You can even synchronize your Wemo lights to turn on when the sunsets and turn off when the light outside is enough to brighten your room.
The mobile app further has an away mode, which turns your Wemo devices on or off randomly, making it look like you are home. This is a great anti-theft device that could discourage would-be burglars thinking that you’re home when you’re not.
Other than the other devices from the same manufacturer, Wemo also works with Nest. It can use Nest Thermostat‘s home and away modes to automate your Wemo devices.
For instance, once your Nest Thermostat switches to Away mode, Wemo smart plug can turn itself off, saving you more electricity. Another use case for this is the ability to turn on your lights automatically when the Nest Thermostat switches to Home mode.
You can also use IFTTT recipes with your Wemo devices, allowing you to connect your Wemo devices with other connected devices and services. Some of the IFTTT recipes you could use allow you to:
- Turn a device off after it has been on for a specific amount of time.
- Turn your lights on when the sun sets.
- Turn your lights off at 6:30 am.
- Blink your Wemo lights when your favorite sports team starts playing.
- Log the times your Wemo devices turn on using Google Calendar
- Send an e-mail to your contacts if you long-press a Wemo light switch.
You can also use voice commands to control your Wemo devices if you have Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
What you would like about Wemo Home Automation
Wemo keeps its promise to make home automation very simple and turns your current non-smart appliances into Wi-Fi connected ones.
It also allows you to operate your appliances in a variety of ways: through physical switches, through the mobile app on your smartphone, by creating schedules, or by giving out voice commands.
You can get usage information and get push notifications for your Wemo devices, plus you can get energy use insights as well.
What’s more, the integration with Nest and IFTTT helps you get more out of your Wemo.
The offered Wemo products are also very affordable. The switches and plugs are under $40, while the cameras are under $100.
What could be better
Wemo Home Automation may be simple to use, but its range of devices is very limited. It also does not work with Zigbee or Z-wave protocols. You are pretty much locked into a single vendor as there is no way for you to control smart devices from other brands with the Wemo app.
If you have another smart device, for example, it means that you need to have the mobile app for that particular smart device aside from your Wemo app.
Also, there is no way for you to easily control several Wemo devices simultaneously. There is no “scenes” feature in the mobile app. This means that you would have to program or schedule each device separately. Thankfully, you can use IFTTT recipes for that.
The problem with Wemo Home Automation devices is that you would need to work each device separately. You cannot turn Wemo devices on or off together; you have to do it one by one. You have to create a schedule for each one.
It does not really offer a wide range of smart devices and this will force you to look into other manufacturers for, say, a smart lock. Now, in order to operate that smart lock and your Wemo devices, you would need two different
If you add more smart devices from other manufacturers, it is easy to complicate things. You would be dealing with at least two mobile apps, switching from one to another in order to turn off the lights and lock the door.
With Samsung SmartThings, you no longer have to deal with this kind of inconvenience. Samsung SmartThings is a hub that you can use in order to connect all the connected devices in your home.
In fact, if you currently own Wemo Home Automation devices, you can add SmartThings into the mix in order to solve Wemo’s limitations.
SmartThings is compatible with Zigbee and Z-wave protocols and connects to your Wi-Fi network. You can then connect different compatible products to your SmartThings and be able to control all of these using just one mobile app.
SmartThings can also work with IFTTT recipes and can be controlled via voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
SmartThings support sensors and devices created by Samsung itself, as well as a range of devices for third-party brands and manufacturers.
The SmartThings mobile app
The SmartThings mobile app lets you control, secure and monitor your home even when you are halfway across the world. The SmartThings mobile app allows you to arm or disarm your home automation system, setting into motion your various automation rules.
For instance, you can set your SmartThings to alert you when the door is opened or when motion sensors have been tripped while you are out of the house. Or you can disarm these notifications when you’re home.
You can also have it turn on your smart lights and kick your thermostat into action when you unlock your smart lock.
The mobile app will also let you create routines. For instance, in the morning, you can have your smart thermostat cool your entire house, turn off all the lights, and even set it to brew coffee.
The mobile app also gives you a quick overview of all the devices and sensors you have connected to SmartThings and the notifications promptly arrives.
This is very important if you have included sensors into your smart home mix, as you certainly need to be immediately informed if there are water leaks or if the windows have been opened.
What you would like about Samsung SmartThings
Samsung SmartThings have official integration with a number of connected devices, allowing you to be more flexible when choosing the right smart products for your home.
It also has its own developer community, which can give you unofficial workarounds to devices and manufacturers that are not currently supported.
Current official brand partners include:
- Switches and lightings: Philips Hue, Sylvania, Cree, and Leviton
- Plugs: Leviton, Enerwave, Remotec, GE
- Sensors: Ecolink, Fibaro, Aeotec, Nortek, FortrezZ
- Doorbells and Cameras: Netgear, Ring Video Doorbell,
- Door locks: Yale, Schlage, Kwikset
- Thermostats: Ecobee, Honeywell
- Speakers: Bose
Another thing about SmartThings you would really like is that it comes with a battery backup that ensures your home is still automated even when the Wi-Fi goes out. For instance, your smart lights will still work according to schedule even if the hub is not connected to the Internet.
Performance-wise, you would love SmartThings because it does what it promises to do and it performs really well.
What could be better
The Samsung SmartThings hub becomes the heart and brains of your connected home. However, its casing is made of a white plastic material and it ultimately makes it look drab and boring. But it is okay because you really do not have to keep your SmartThings hub out in the open for it to work.
Setting up your SmartThings using the mobile app can also be a pain. The app is not really all that intuitive and it can take you quite some time to figure out how to tweak the setting properly.
Even the steps are quite difficult to figure out. The whole setup process can be frustrating, even when most of the devices have step-by-step guides.
Final recommendations: Wemo Home Automation vs. SmartThings Hub
Wemo Home Automation and the Samsung SmartThings Hub are ideal for different types of homeowners who want to automate their homes.
For those who are just starting to automate their homes or those who want to try out smart and connected devices, Wemo is a good bet. For less than $40, they can turn their current appliances into smart devices that they can control from their smartphone.
With its ease of use and simplicity, it ensures that the user is not overwhelmed.
However, if you are dead serious about home automation and connected devices, the Samsung SmartThings is the better option for you.
Not only will you have a better option for controlling your connected devices, you would only have one mobile app to contend with. Plus, it works with a lot more third-party brands and devices too!
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the devices and integrations of each:
|Wemo Home Automation||Samsung SmartThings|
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!