January 5, 2014 4:15 PM PST / Updated: January 6, 2014 7:34 AM PST
Consumers with a budding interest in the smart home have a few new reasons to consider Belkin this year, as the company wasted little time in announcing several new smart devices at CES today. Perhaps most intriguing among them is the WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set. Consisting of a pair of the newly announced WeMo Smart LED Bulbs and a "WeMo Link" plug-in hub to help control them, Belkin's first step into smart lighting will cost $129, with additional bulbs retailing for $39.
The LED Starter Set will join WeMo's existing line of automatable light switches, plug-in modules, and motion detectors, and share their full integration with the WeMo Android/iOS app, as well as full compatibility with the popular web service IFTTT. This means that you'll be able to tie your lighting rules to things like Foursquare check-ins or iOS location, or to other IFTTT-friendly smart devices, such as SmartThings sensors or Philips Hue bulbs.
At $129 per Starter Set, Belkin is pricing their smart lighting option considerably beneath what you'll pay for a Philips Hue Starter Kit, though it's worth noting that -- in addition to full color control -- the Philips kit comes with a third bulb. Additionally, a three-bulb Connected by TCP Wireless LED Lighting Kit costs $20 less than the two-bulb WeMo Starter Set when purchased through HomeDepot.com.
As for the bulbs themselves, each one is rated to last 25,000 hours, putting them on par with most other LEDs as far as longevity is concerned. At 800 lumens per bulb, they're bright enough to replace 60-watt incandescents, and with a color temperature of 3000K, should have a familiar, warm white glow. Each bulb comes with a 2-year limited warranty, and that might be a bit short for consumers unconvinced about the long-term value of LED lighting -- especially given the fact that WeMo bulbs cost $39 each.
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies, and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. He has a strong appreciation for nifty, well-designed tech that saves time, looks stylish, and/or helps him avoid burning his dinner quite so often. Ry lives in Louisville, KY.