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Hands On

Since I already have an existing WeMo Link hub and WeMo account, adding the WeMo/OSRAM devices was really easy. I installed one product at a time. For the tunable LED light bulbs, I plugged them both in. They blinked indicating pairing mode and the WeMo app found both of them right away. I added them and they became part of my WeMo network. Similarly, after connecting the controllers to their power supplies and the light strips to the controllers, both the Flex strips and the Gardenspot controllers were quickly discovered. I used both iOS and Android devices to discover different products. The app on each platform discovered the devices it was supposed to.

I did have an issue with one of the tunable LED bulbs; one bulb appears to be defective. While I could control and dim the light, the only color temperatures I could get were the "warm" yellowish colors. None of the cooler, bluish colors would appear. In fact, when I tried the coolest color, 6500K, the light went out altogether. I'm guessing that the blue LEDs in the bulb were defective. I reset the bulb to factory defaults as recommended by Belkin and paired it again. I still had the same problem with the color. The other tunable bulb worked as expected with a range from a very yellowish light to a bright blue-white color.

Each of the WeMo/OSRAM products installed as a standard WeMo device, and as such use the same scheduling methods I've covered extensively in other reviews. You can schedule for time of day, sunrise/sunset, select days of the week and trip on motion sensors. I created schedules for each of the WeMo/OSRAM products and the schedules executed as expected. The WeMo motion sensor was also able to activate the OSRAM lighting products.

I was a bit surprised and disappointed that setting a color wasn't an option when creating a schedule. If the current color is red, it will turn on red at whatever brightness level you select when you schedule it to turn on. You can't, for example, create a schedule to turn on the flex strip at sunset with red and another schedule to turn it on with a different color at a different time. This might be an "edge use" case, but I can see how some people might want the flexibility of attaching color to a scheduled event.

IFTTT

I've written about support for IFTTT (If This Then That) in previous reviews. To recap, IFTTT, recently re-branded "IF", allows you to set up simple rules or "recipes" as they are called on IFTTT's web site. A recipe determines what action will be taken when a specific trigger occurs. In order to use IFTTT, you need to create an account. Don't worry, it's free.

From within the WeMo app's "More" menu, there's an option to "Connect to IFTTT". When you click on that menu, you generate a registration key that's valid for only 30 minutes. Within 30 minutes, you can register your WeMo device with IFTTT. Thereafter, your WeMo device is connected to IFTTT.

Since there is built-in support for IFTTT, I wanted to test it with the OSRAM Lightify products. Using the Belkin WeMo motion sensor in my living room, I created a new recipe to turn on the OSRAM Flex light if motion was detected after 1 minute of quiet time. To set up the rule, I used the WeMo Motion channel as the trigger, and the WeMo Lighting channel as the action device.

The screenshot below shows the WeMo channels, and that my WeMo network is connected to four of the six available channels. Though I had previously used the WeMo Lighting channel for previous reviews, I had to reconnect to it before I use it to create a new recipe. I'm assuming that's because I've changed and added lighting components.

IFTTT connected WeMo Channels

IFTTT connected WeMo Channels

While creating the new rule, the OSRAM Lightify products all appeared in the list of available lighting devices (left image below) along with the WeMo-branded light bulbs. The right image shows the final step for recipe creation. Currently, there aren't any published rules that are specifically designed for the multi color/temperature OSRAM products. Unfortunately, as with the scheduling rules in the WeMo interface, you can't change the color/temperature of OSRAM products with an IFTTT rule. You can't for example, turn on the OSRAM Flex lights red for one trigger and blue for a second trigger. The rule executes and just turns on the OSRAM products with the last used color/temperature settings.


IFTTT Available lighting devices (left) and recipe summary (right)

IFTTT Available lighting devices (left) and recipe summary (right)

Closing Thoughts

All the OSRAM Lightify products in this review are also available directly from OSRAM on Amazon. OSRAM also offers a Lightify app, but it only works with the OSRAM hub, which they call a gateway. The OSRAM hub looks almost identical to the WeMo Link hub.

So, while you can use the lighting products with either hub, the app that you use to control the lights must be linked to a like-branded hub. And while the OSRAM products may connect to other standard ZigBee hubs, such as the recently reviewed SmartThings HA system, you'd only be able to control them with the app corresponding to the hub. This underscores the importance of the application software Ive been talking about in almost every HA review.

If you're already building out a Home Automation system based on WeMo products, the three new Belkin WeMo/OSRAM products could be a great addition. Each connected easily to the WeMo Link hub, and each was controlled by the same user interface that controls WeMo-branded products. I liked that the Gardenspot lights looked like they were really built for the outdoors and had a suitable IP dust and water rating.

In the end, my only real complaint is that you can't control color or color temperature as part of a schedule or an IFTTT action. Maybe Belkin will add that to a future WeMo app release.

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