I have been a huge supporter of WeMo for controlling lights within a home. Between two homes, I have six WeMo Switches, one WeMo Insight Switch and one WeMo Light Switch. I am able to turn anything on or off from anywhere in the world. I am writing about these devices to introduce a new way to improve night vision on a home security camera.
First, a quick primer on what these devices can do for you. A WeMo switch connects to your home router. You can turn the switch on or off from anywhere that your smartphone can get internet connectivity. This allows me to control lights in my Florida home from New Jersey. You can also establish a schedule to automatically turn the device on or off. So for example, you may want the lights to automatically come on 30 minutes prior to sundown and off at midnight. The scheduling automatically occurs according to whatever you program. To turn anything on or off remotely, you would need your smartphone with the WeMo app installed.
There are three types of WeMo Switches:
Switch – These plug into an AC outlet. You plug a small appliance or light fixture into it. You can turn whatever is plugged into this switch on or off from anywhere in the world.
Insight Switch – It’s the same functionality as the WeMo Switch except it provides detail on electricity usage.
Light Switch – This replaces your wall switch. This device is for hardwired lights. You can install these yourself or opt to have an electrician do it. These are good for controlling outdoor lights.
I use my WeMo Light Switch to improve the night vision for my Nest Cam. I have my Nest Cam pointed through a window of my home in Southwest Florida. The Nest Cam is used to monitor the front of my home. Great video during the day. I found at night, it wasn’t too effective. I did a lot of things to improve the situation and that’s documented in Using a Nest Cam Through a Window.
The problem on my street is that it’s fairly dark at night. I have some several lights outside my home all connected to a single switch. Turning these lights on when I need to get a good view at night is accomplished with the WeMo Light Switch. When I need extra light at night, it’s a matter of opening my WeMo app and turning the light on. The app is in the photo that accompanies this article. See the one that says “Breezeway”? That’s the one I turn on for added light outside my home. We don’t have breezeways in New Jersey, that’s a Florida thing. Similar to a screened porch.
So the end result is that I am able to get a much more clear video of outside my home at night. The WeMo Light Switch has been a great help in helping me to monitor my home when I’m not there. Although I did this for my Nest Cam, it’s equally as effective for any home security camera. More light means better vision. Combine it with the tips shown in Using a Nest Cam Through a Window to get the most improvement.
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).