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WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy

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WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« on: December 17, 2015, 06:07:24 pm »
Hey guys first post on here! I know this post is going to be very similar to another active thread about which hub to get. But I feel every situation is different especially with all of the options available these days.

I currently have two Osram Lightify tunable white bulbs with the WEMO hub...but after purchasing it, I found that the WEMO bulb hub is not supported. I'm currently having to use IFTTT to control my WEMO hub connected lights through Alexa. It drives me nuts because there is anywhere from a 5 - 60 second delay when I control the bulbs.

I'm considering the SmartThings hub. I'm assuming that I will be able to connect my bulbs directly to this hub without any issues? And based on the latest Echo updates, I can now easily control the SmartThings hub through Alexa?

My end goal here is to be able to control my smart bulbs using Alexa without a significantly long delay. I need to be able to turn the lights on, off and dim them to certain percentages...I currently have about 12 IFTTT recipes set up to do this (10-100% in 10% increments, and to turn the lights on and off). I also have a WEMO Insight Switch....but from what I've read, SmartThings doesn't yet officially support it.

Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 08:32:22 am »
It appears that reading up on wemo+smartthings, its a crap-shoot whether they will work reliably or not.  People appear to have gotten them to work but not super reliably.  The bulbs aren't officially supported but doesn't mean that a developer hasn't gotten them to work.   I started my home automation with wemo products and soon ditched them as Belkin doesn't seem to have great customer support, their platform isn't open, and they don't seem to be actively adding devices....

I jumped ship for smartthings just a few weeks ago and am as happy as can be.  The number of devices is crazy.  Also with the open platform, its amazing at the number of "smartapps" that people are developing for smartthings.  The community for smartthings is awesome and the people there are really helpful in getting just about any device to work.  My recommendation is to look hard at smartthings and don't be afraid to jump in and worst case is, you have to get rid of your wemo bulbs.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.   Huge plus is the Echo integrates directly with smartthings!!

https://www.smartthings.com/compatible-products


Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 07:25:29 pm »
Pretty much everything wemo has is unreliable in my setup. My 2 makers work pretty well but still have problems.

I have Smartthings, hue, harmony, netatmo, echo, nest, and several wemo switches.

I love the way echo works with Smartthings. I have automated so many things and created triggers and commands for echo. Usually when people come over, it blows their minds with what it can do.

But back to Belkin wemo, I have posted many issues on the wemo community and Smartthings forum. The only think Belkin wants you to do is reset the switches which isn't really a good answer.

Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 08:01:01 pm »
it is confusing and it will drive someone crazy if they are just now getting into home automation.   I had tcp connected bulbs long before the echo.  Once I got the echo, at first, the tcp bulbs were not compatible.  They are now compatible using wink.   I got lucky.   

What I see is happening, is there are many brands of connected bulbs and the will work with the echo using smarthome, wink or other.  However, there have been updates that break the compatibility.  Most recently with philips.  I am waiting for some company put together an amazon echo home automation starter package to make it easier for newbies to get into home automation using the echo. 

if I had the money, one thing I would do different is not to use connected bulbs but to use wall switches instead.   Visitors and guests tend to use light switches to turn off lights, and I would have to manually turn them back on in order to use the echo.  I


Offline jwlv

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Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 03:06:25 pm »
I use mostly Wemo Switches and Wemo Light Switches. I also have 2 Blackloud devices that are just used for testing. I do not have any Wemo Bulbs.

For me, Wemo has been very reliable from the Wemo app on my iPhone. I can use the app to control everything without missing a beat. The Echo, however, will occasionally respond that it cannot find a particular device. This is strange because the device is still there in the Wemo app on my phone and I can control it just fine. This just tells me that the Echo is at fault for "losing" the device.

There's virtually no lag when I tell Echo to "turn on the living room light." It turns on almost instantly.

There is one problem that I have been able to duplicate with the integration between Wemo and Echo. If I turn off my Wifi router and turn it back on, everything would appear to be okay after a few minutes. The Wemo app can control all of the devices normally. The Echo cannot. Quite often when this happens, Echo can't any of the devices. One fix that I've found is to unplug the Echo. I have a theory of why this happens. From what I understand, Wemo devices uses a TCP port number that ranges from 1 to 65536. Each device can use any port at any time. In order for the Wemo app or the Echo to control a device, it needs to find the correct port number. I assume that when I turn off my router, each Wemo device changes its port number when the router comes back. The Wemo app also realizes that the port number has changed and goes out to find the new ports from all of the devices. Echo isn't that smart. When it reconnects to the router, it probably assumes that the Wemo devices are still there and still using the same ports. When I issue a command to turn on/off a device, the Echo can't find it. The reason why turning off the Echo fixes this problem is that it forces a cold reboot, and I assume at that time, Echo goes out to look for the new ports.

Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2015, 06:25:48 pm »
Thanks for the help everyone.

I'm not shy with electronics, so I'm more than open to taking the more difficult/technical routes when it comes to getting this stuff set up and working the way I want. My SmartThings hub should be getting delivered today. I'm not too worried about being able to use it to turn the lights on and off without delay, however, I'm worried that I will lose the ability to control the brightness with Alexa.

Does anyone here have a similar set up (SmartThings, dimmable lights) and use their Alexa to control their lights brightness?

The main reason I didn't go with the in-wall light switches is because of the dimming feature on the bulbs. I'm also able to set up IFTTT rules that let me turn only a single bulb on at a low brightness, this way my girlfriend can sleep undisturbed, and I can still work or read a book, etc. I also like to use the bulbs because I have rules in place that fade them on at sunset (I have two guinea pigs, I don't like to leave them in the dark while I'm at work, and then all of a sudden turn the lights on, they can be a bit skittish).

I also have things like when my alarm goes off, to turn on my lights, etc.

Seems like there are a lot of trade offs when it comes to choosing a SmartThings hub, vs using the WEMO hub, etc.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 06:29:04 pm by chadbaldwin »

Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2015, 09:26:25 pm »
Okay, so, I got my SmartThings hub set up and configured. Got the bulbs connected. Set up my SmartThings account in the Alexa app, added the bulbs and created a group called "Lights".

Here's the trade off I'm already seeing now...
- The WEMO app lets you create device level groups, similar functions are all combined. For example, if you add 3 light bulbs to a group (for example, ceiling lights, fan light, lamp) in the WEMO app, then set the dim level to 50% for that group, it affects all bulbs in that group. Same for color temp, on/off, fading off after X minutes, rules, etc. IFTTT also downloads these groups and sees them as a single device for controlling, which they have trigger actions set up for Groups.

- The SmartThings app lets you create "Rooms". These rooms contain your devices, however, all devices stay separated as far as their settings go. So when I set the color temperature of the lights, I have to do it bulb by bulb, and the App uses a slider, whereas WEMO uses a color wheel (much easier to use and be more precise). I wasn't able to set the color temps to the exact same value, but it appears that after you save it, it rounds it....I don't know how much it rounds it by yet (10?, 100?).

- When I had the bulbs on the WEMO app and connected them to Alexa via IFTTT, IFTTT would turn the bulbs off/on/dim all at the same time.

- However, with the bulbs directly connected to Alexa via SmartThings, when I ask Alexa to dim or turn off/on the bulbs...it is almost immediate, however, she does each bulb one by one, which is tolerable, but still annoying. Hopefully this will be improved.

I'm still learning the ups and downs and the trade offs, but so far I'm pretty happy I no longer have to wait 5-30 (sometimes 60) seconds for my bedroom lights to turn on/off or dim.

Hopefully the integration support between SmartThings, Echo, IFTTT, WEMO and the OSRAM bulbs will improve soon, I can already see a laundry list of things I would recommend myself, and will probably send to their contact pages in hopes of some of these set backs making it in future releases.

Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 08:41:17 am »
what you can do is create a virtual switch or dimmer within smartthings and name is "Living Room Lights".  Then from that you trigger all your other lights based on a rule using a SmartApp like "Rule Machine".  You can then say, Alexa set Living room lights to 75% and she will do it.  To get the actual lights to respond and dim to that level is just programming.

PM me if you want more detail.

Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2016, 08:58:10 pm »
what you can do is create a virtual switch or dimmer within smartthings and name is "Living Room Lights".  Then from that you trigger all your other lights based on a rule using a SmartApp like "Rule Machine".  You can then say, Alexa set Living room lights to 75% and she will do it.  To get the actual lights to respond and dim to that level is just programming.

PM me if you want more detail.

I have never heard about this until now, how do we set this up?

Offline Yoda_One

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Re: WEMO Bulbs, IFTTT, SmartThings, me going crazy
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2016, 09:35:24 pm »
If you have Hue or smart things then just download the apps and follow the instructions. Now IFTTT just download the app and there are lot of recipes that are sharable and easy to modify.
Learning to laugh at oneself and with others is good for your soul.

Offline Yoda_One

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Learning to laugh at oneself and with others is good for your soul.