Quick and Easy Home Automation For Christmas Lights

OK, if you’ve been following this site for awhile you probably know that I’m a huge z-wave nerd. But I’m open minded and I like to experiment with new systems. So I bought some Belkin WeMo stuff. I am mostly pretty happy with it. To start, it came in a cute little box. You can just get the light switch, but I splurged the extra $5 and got the little motion sensor, which is well worth $5. I got mine at Best Buy who has a couple of WeMo products in stock at the stores around my house.

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First up, install the WeMo app on your iOS device from the app store.

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By now, you might have noticed that your two WeMo devices have each setup their own wireless network (similar to the setup of a FitBit Aria). Once you install the WeMo app, open it to be prompted to select a wireless network. Tap on one of the two listed WeMo networks.

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The iOS app pairs to the selected WeMo device and then prompts for the SSID of your main network that you want the app to configure the device to connect to.

IMG_7384Assuming the wireless network requires a WEP or WPA key, you’ll then be prompted for what the app will send to the WeMo device as the key. Enter it and tap Join.

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You’re then prompted for whether you want to receive Push Notifications. I like to do so, so I just tap OK here.

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The next screen informs you that the app is gonna’ do all the networking in the background so there’s no ports or other weirdness to open to be able to control your awesome Christmas tree remotely. Tap OK.

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At the Setup Successful screen, you’ll see the information for the device you just entered. Give it a name, make sure the icon is correct and provide an email address, then tap Done.

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Now the annoying part. You need to say yes to this Firmware dialog. The firmware file only takes a couple of minutes to transfer from your iOS device to the WeMo device. Just tap yes…

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And then tap Update Now.

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Now, you get to do the next device. Yay. Tap add and then select the other wifi network created.

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Then complete the wizard again, updating firmware when prompted.

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Next, tap on Rules and configure a New Time Rule. I’ll do an article on this soon. First, I want to do one of IFTTT integration so that this flows. I guess that makes this a series. Swanky.