So I recently bought an Amazon Echo and a Belkin WeMo switch and heard that they could be used together. After playing around a bit with the two devices, I was able to figure out how to control my WeMo Switch while talking to Alexa on the Echo.
The great thing about using the WeMo Switch with the Echo is that it works without requiring you to install a third-party skill on the Echo or purchase a hub. The three WeMo devices that work directly with Alexa are WeMo Light Switch, WeMo Switch, and WeMo Insight Switch.
Overall, it’s very easy to set up, but I’ll also mention a few troubleshooting tips if it doesn’t work the first time.
Configure WeMo Switch
The first thing you need to do is connect your WeMo Switch to your Wi-Fi network and make sure it shows up in the WeMo app. You should be able to turn it on and off using the virtual power button on the right.
If you hit the little down arrow, it should expand to show you some energy usage stats (WeMo Insight switch only).
We now need to do two things in the WeMo app before we can connect it to Alexa. First, you have to rename your radio button to a name other than the default. Whatever name you give it here, you will have to call it when you talk to Alexa. So if you name the switch “Refrigerator” you can say “Alexa, turn off the refrigerator” and he will obey. To do this, click the Change button at the top, and then click the radio button you want to rename.
If you use numbers in the name, make sure you spell the number and not a numerical value. Click Save and the radio button should now have a new name. The second thing we need to do is enable remote access. To do this, click “More” at the bottom of the application.
You will see the “Remote Access” option. Disabled is displayed by default. Go ahead and click on it and then click Turn on remote access. This will not only allow you to control the switch from anywhere in the world, but it will also allow Alexa to control the switch.
You should receive a message that remote access is enabled and you can manage the switch from anywhere with Internet access.
Discover devices with Alexa
With these two tasks completed in the WeMo app, we can navigate to the Alexa app. Open the app, tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner, and then tap Smart Home.
This screen is divided into three parts: Groups, Skills, and Devices. Groups allow you to control multiple devices with a single command. For example, if you have three WeMo switches, you can create a group called Bedroom Lights and then simply say â€œAlexa, turn off the bedroom lights.â€
In the Smart Home Skills section, you can apply skills to products from different companies. Above you can see that I have enabled Kasa’s TP-LINK skill because I have a TP-LINK switch. Finally, under Your Devices, you can add new devices by clicking Discover Devices.
Alexa will now start searching for devices in less than a minute. After completing the search, you should see the device in the “Your Devices” list.
That’s all! Everything is now ready. You should be able to refer to the switcher by its name when speaking to Alexa. Just say “Alexa, turn off / on Switchname “. If all goes well, Alexa will just say OK and that’s it. You can manually go through the verification in the WeMo app and you will see the toggle state has been changed.
If you run into problems in the process, there are several things you can do:
- Make sure your Amazon Echo has the latest firmware. You can do this by making sure it is connected to Wi-Fi and turned on. Echo will check automatically and update if an update is available.
- Make sure your WeMo Switch has the latest firmware. When you open the WeMo app, it notifies you of any firmware updates and you can do so from the app.
- If Alexa can’t find your WeMo device, make sure your Echo is connected to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network if you have a dual band router. WeMo devices only connect to the 2.4GHz frequency, so if your Echo is on a 5GHz network this can cause problems.
Hopefully this guide helps you get started with Alexa and WeMo for a more fun smart home. Sadly, Belkin has stated that WeMo devices will not support HomeKit, so Siri won’t be able to control lights anytime soon. For me, Alexa can do a lot more than just control smart home devices, so if you already own an Echo it might be worth buying WeMo switches as they work well together. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!