Here in Southwest Florida, every room has a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan helps a lot to keep you cool when in the room. A ceiling fan doesn’t need to be on when not in the room. That’s where a Nest Cam and a WeMo Switch come into play. This article will show you how to control a ceiling fan with Nest Cam and WeMo. We will also throw an automation service known as IFTTT into the mix as we need software to tie a Nest Cam and WeMo together.
The WeMo Switch takes the place of the wall switch that controls your fan. Installation of the WeMo Switch isn’t too difficult. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this sort of work, an electrician can be called. This device works just like a regular wall switch except it an be accessed over the internet when connected to a wireless router. The WeMo Switch should work fine with most ceiling fans but check with an electrician if unsure.
Once that’s all hooked up, install an app called IFTTT on your smartphone. IFTTT is an acronym for “If This Then That”. You can do some great things with this service and this article will show you how to do it and highlight some of the capabilities. You will need to sign up for the IFTTT service which is free.
IFTTT has pre-published applets that integrate a Nest Cam with WeMo Switch. There is a very useful applet that will turn on a WeMo Switch when a nest Cam detects motion. That’s exactly what we want. Activating this applet to tie my Nest Cam and WeMo Switch which controls my ceiling fan will turn on the fan when someone enters the room.
Activating the IFTTT applet is simple. Details are explained in the article link we provided. But in short, simply authorize IFTTT to see the particular camera that will protect your motion. Also authorize IFTTT to access the WeMo Switch that controls the ceiling fan. Then simply activate the applet.
So that’s how to control a ceiling fan with Nest Cam and WeMo. What about automatically turning it off when you leave the room. Not so easy. It’s probably best to simply turn it off at the switch or from the WeMo app on your smartphone. While there might be a way to create an IFTTT applet that would turn the WeMo Switch off when the Nest Cam location service detects you aren’t home, I haven’t tried it.
I have used the IFTTT service for a lot of automation with several different camera brands. To no surprise, Nest is one of the most popular manufacturers so you will find a lot of other IFTTT applets that go beyond simply controlling a switch. I have found the service to be mostly reliable. Sometimes, their time detection is off by a small amount. It seldom misses an event.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).