WEMO Ideas

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3-way switches

Status: Under Review
by coreymcl on ‎06-18-2014 01:29 PM

I for one have a number of light switches I would love to replace with WEMO's however the switches in question are 3-way. While I understand if the WEMO devices don't talk to each other, but neither do the analog switches I have today. Please consider adding 3 way switches this way your customer won't have to look at other products such as z-wave devices. 

Thanks for the consideration.

Status: Under Review
by pinkyzeny
on ‎06-19-2014 04:40 PM

Nice idea! What I know is that Wemo Light Switch replaces single pole switch. It is not compatible with 3 way (multi location control) switches. Device will also work with existing single/double/multi-switch rocker style plates as long as it is not metal faceplates. You may also let the Belkin Team know by posting this idea to this link: http://www.belkin.com/us/contactus/submitanidea/

by mwhimpey
on ‎07-14-2014 08:11 AM

Consider eliminating the 3-way switch so that the light fixture is only being controlled by the Wemo Light Switch at one location (...after all, there is no need for a 3-way switch if your iPhone essentially becomes your 3-way switch!). This is relatively easy to do. The abandoned 3-way switch can be removed and a blank cover plate installed in its place. Let me know if you need additional info and I could post a wiring diagram.

by WEMO Maker Inventor
on ‎07-16-2014 09:15 PM

Bit risky as many (most?) 3 way switches are required to meet the electrical code.  You must have switches at the top and bottom of stairs or both ends of a hallway for example.


I've installed a Wemo in parallel with existing 3 way switches and that works fine.  It does point out the reason why Belkin struggles with this - in parallel a wemo switch can't know if the light is off or on regarlless of what it shows in the app - the switch only knows whether it is off/on itself.  And it can't turn off the light if the 3-way switch has been set to the on position.  So I need to make sure the 3-ways are set off in order to control the light with the Wemo switch.


What it did let me do is use it with my motion detector - I need only start down the stairs and the light comes on.  And I'm still compliant with code 'cause the light can be turned on or off from either location.

by WEMO Maker Inventor
on ‎07-24-2014 06:15 AM

Another idea would be if Belkin developed a WeMo wall plate switch that remotely controls another WeMo. You'd put the first WeMo in as a single switch - your first point.


This other wall switch device could be fitted as the 2nd (or 3rd, 4th etc) that remotely controls the 1st via WiFi - when installing these additional devices you'd just need to program the MAC address of the 1st (or whatever identify Belkin would use).

by pinkyzeny
on ‎07-24-2014 07:15 PM

Haven't heard about a WeMo wall plate switch that remotely controls another WeMo unit. It is not designed to control fellow Wemo switch. Nonetheless, this is a great idea. :-)

by WEMO Maker Inventor
on ‎07-25-2014 07:19 AM

You can alread do this with regular wemos using IFTTT (though it can be slow and unreliable) or with my app WemoManager available on Play.


The tricky part is understanding how the 3 way switches have been wired and how to get the wemos power at both ends of the circuit ('cause the wemos need both the white & black - hot and neutral - at all times). 


You'd need to use a pair of 2-way switches each wired to the load in parallel.  The cost is about $100 - twice the cost of a single Wemo switch in parallel with one or two regular manual switches left in place.


A "dedicated" remote switch that is only used to trigger another doesn't save much in terms of cost.  You still need hot and neutral to run it.   Belkin could get rid of the relay in the switch which is < $1 but it still needs the power transformer and the wifi interface.  So it's probably not worth it.


by LakeFae
on ‎07-25-2014 07:54 AM

Will the smart bulbs work with 2-way switches?


by jonfspencer
on ‎07-25-2014 09:13 AM

My home is filled with three way switches.  The idea that you don't need three ways because you have your smart phone is, well, silly.  I can see it now - walk in the front door; the room is dark.  Pull out your smart phone, switch it on, enter the security code, find the app, start it, wait for your WiFi to connect and voila!  You can turn on your light.i  Bzzzzzttttttt.  This is the seed of a good product, but until it is smart enough to coordinate with other WeMo devices, it will remain an also ran.  I can do all that this device does with other home automation devices (using mesh networking with an Internet gateway, just like this device requires).  However, it would be great to be able to just buy a device like this and plug the puppy in, perhaps doing a little configuration.  Not a big deal to do.  I'm not sure why Belkin wimped out on this.

by jonfspencer
on ‎07-25-2014 09:19 AM

As for not having hot at all ends of a 3/4/5+ way switch, there is not a switch box in my home that does not also have another switch with hot coming to it.  And if you don't have neutral to the box, ?????  Who wired your home? If you don't have hot to the box, there is almost always a hot wire near by, and with a little sweat you can get access to it.  That has been my experience in the many homes/businesses I have either wired or helped wire (I am not an electrician, just a geek who figured out how to do it, renovating my and my family's homes and my wife's businesses).  But the point is that Belkin missed out by not offering what most homes need.  I would buy several today if they worked for 3 way.

by WEMO Maker Inventor
on ‎07-25-2014 12:51 PM

Many switches don't have neutral (the white wire).  It depends on how it's wired.  Look at option 3, 6, 7, etc on this page: http://www.easy-do-it-yourself-home-improvements.com/3-way-switch-wiring-diagram.html.


Same can be done with simple switches, if the line goes into the load first and then to the switch - only the hot (black) wire is brought in.


Certainly many boxes have multiple switches and it's easier to run the line into them first before the load so they're easy.  But not all.  Perhaps you're confusing neutral with ground?  As long as it's not on a GFI circuit you may be able to wire the wemo's neutral to ground.


I don't have any smart bulbs, but presumably if the power is off from the switch they're not going to work.  If the two or three way switch is on then the bulbs will work fine.