Belkin is quickly becoming one of the go-to brands for home automation products. This manufacturer offers a small selection of connected power outlets that are worth considering if you are getting started with home automation or want to add more connected appliances to an existing system.
What Are Belkin Smart Outlets And How Do They Work?
Belkin currently offers three different smart outlets. These products use the same technology and connect to your home Wi-Fi network. You can then control these connected outlets via the Wemo app that is also compatible with other Belkin smart products, or control your connected outlets via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or with the free web-based home automation service IFTTT (If This, Then That).
The great thing about these connected outlets is that you don’t need a home automation hub to control them. This makes home automation a lot more affordable and easier to set up.
Let’s take a look at the different connected outlets so you can get a better idea of which Belkin smart outlet is adapted to your needs.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug
This is simple but efficient connected outlet. Its sleek and compact design allows you to use adjacent wall outlets or to have more than one smart outlet plugged next to each other.
This smart plug would be ideal if you are getting started with home automation and want to remotely turn power on and off for a single appliance, but you can use multiple connected outlets to create a more complex home automation system.
Wemo Switch Smart Plug
The Switch Smart Plug is an older model. It has the same features as the Mini Smart Plug, but the design is bulkier.
The Switch Smart Plug is an interesting alternative since you can find it at lower prices and the functionalities are the same. However, the Mini Smart Plug would be a better choice if you don’t want to restrict access to nearby wall outlets.
Wemo Insight Smart Plug
This Belkin smart outlet is going to help you reduce your energy consumption. It does everything the Mini Smart Plug does and it also gathers analytics on your electricity use.
You can monitor how much power you use via your connected outlet and use the Wemo app to adjust the schedule and automated behaviors of the smart outlet to use less power. If you want to create a home automation system that helps you save on electricity bills, the Insight Smart Plug is a must-have item.
What Makes Belkin Smart Outlets Unique?
Belkin stands out from other manufacturers by offering connected products that don’t require a home automation hub. A lot of other manufacturers offer connected products that only have a few basic features but require you to purchase the manufacturer’s home automation hub to access more advanced features such as setting schedules for your connected outlets.
A home automation hub represents an additional expense and the setup process can be complicated. Besides, using a hub isn’t justifiable if you only want to have a couple of appliances plugged into connected outlets.
Belkin’s smart outlets are a good choice if you are just getting started with home automation or would rather control connected device with your Smartphone and a dedicated app.
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Belkin’s products are designed to be used with the official Wemo app but are also compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and with the IFTTT service. This gives you more freedom when it comes to choosing how you want to control the lights, appliances, or electronics you will plug into these connected outlets.
The Wemo app in itself adds value to the products Belkin offers. This is a free app with a functional interface that allows you to easily control all your smart devices. You can use the app to remotely control smart outlets, connected light switches, or a Nest thermostat.
The Wemo app does a lot more than letting you remotely turn smart devices on or off. You can set a schedule for your smart outlets or connected lights, use a randomized mode to give the impression that someone is home, and keep track of your energy consumption if you are using Insight Smart Plugs.
The compact design of Belkin’s smart outlets is also worth noting. A lot of manufacturers offer bulky smart outlets that prevent you from plugging other devices in your wall outlets. This can be an issue with the older smart outlet model sold by Belkin, but the Mini Smart Plug and Insight Smart Plug have successfully solved this problem.
The Mini Smart Plug is the most affordable connected outlet sold by Belkin at $30. The Insight Smart Plug costs $45, but this higher price tag is justified since you will be able to use this device to reduce your electricity bills.
The Switch Smart Plug is not available on the official Belkin website at the moment, but we were able to find sellers who offer it for as low as $40. Choosing this older and bulkier model doesn’t make sense when you can purchase a Mini Smart Plug for $30 unless you can find a better deal.
Other Reviews Of Belkin Smart Outlets
These three connected outlets have received positive reviews from most shoppers, but there are a few drawbacks you should know about if you are considering getting one of these products.
The Insight Smart Plug is the highest rated Belkin smart outlet. Shoppers like being able to track their power use and find that the Wemo app makes this information very easy to access and interpret by showing a visual representation of power usage over time rather than displaying numbers.
Some reviewers felt that the only way to get the most out of these connected outlets is to use a service like IFTTT, which makes the setup more complex. This is true if you want to create advanced automated behaviors for your connected outlets based on what other connected devices or apps are doing or detecting.
However, if you want to use your smart outlets to remotely control lights, appliances, and electronics, or to use a schedule to turn power on and off, you can use the Wemo app without relying on a more advanced service like IFTTT.
The Wemo Mini Smart Plug is one of the most popular home automation products due to its affordable price and compact design. The shoppers who choose this smart outlet as an entry point for creating a home automation system are usually very satisfied with their purchase.
The main issues mentioned by shoppers include connectivity issues with the smart outlets and glitches with the Wemo app. It is likely that Belkin will keep improving the Wemo app and solve these issues, but connectivity issues might not be resolved until a new generation of smart outlets is released.
How Do These Smart Outlets Compare To Similar Products?
Belkin has one of the best selection of smart outlets on the home automation market. There are very few brands that offer products with similar functions in the same price range.
Belkin stands out by offering products that are compatible with Android, iOS, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT. The small compact designs that don’t block adjacent outlets make these smart outlets a popular choice.
The power usage tracking feature available with the Insight Smart Plug isn’t something a lot of other brands offer, and the fact that you can use Belkin’s smart outlets without a home automation hub is a huge advantage.
We found a few alternatives worth considering, but keep in mind that the Wemo Mini Smart Plug is still your best option for an entry-level product.
Insteon offers an interesting alternative because this is a smart plug with two outlets. This device costs around $60, which is justifiable since you would have to purchase two Wemo Mini Smart Plug to control two appliances at once. It is worth noting that this connected device allows you to control the two outlets separately.
The D-Link Smart Plug is a product you should look at if you are interested in the Wemo Insight Smart Plug since this connected outlet will help you monitor your energy usage. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT but the price tag is a little lower than what Belkin offers.
The thermal sensor is an interesting feature since it can help prevent overheating for the electronics or appliance plugged into the smart outlet. However, the D-Link Smart Plug has received mixed reviews because setup is difficult a lot of shoppers seem to run into software issues.
The Edimax Wi-Fi Smart Plug is very similar to what Belkin offers. This connected outlet provides you with insights regarding your energy usage. The price is similar to Belkin’s products.
This smart outlet can send you email notifications to keep you updated about your energy usage, which isn’t something the Wemo app can do.
However, the design is bulkier and could restrict access to adjacent outlets. This connected outlet will only work with the EdiRange app, which includes features similar to the Wemo app and has received good reviews.
The downside is that this manufacturer doesn’t offer the same selection of connected devices and choosing a Belkin product would make more sense if you want to use the Wemo app to control connected outlets, light switches, and your smart thermostat.
What We Think
After comparing Belkin’s smart outlets with what other brands offer, it is clear that Belkin has some of the best products on the market. A Belkin smart outlet would be an excellent choice if want an entry-level home automation product or need to add more connected outlets to an existing home automation system.
Investing in the Insight Smart Plug would make sense if you want to reduce your energy consumption, and the Wemo Mini Smart Plug is your best option if you are shopping on a budget and need a smart outlet you can easily control with your phone or with a smart speaker.