Control your lights using Siri and a WeMo Switch

Using Siri and IFTTT you can control a lamp that's plugged into a WeMo Switch. It's easy to set up, even easier to use.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

There are plenty of creative hacks you can use to control a random appliance or two in your house with Apple's Siri, but most of them take some level of programming and hardware expertise to accomplish.

I've come up with a less tech-savvy way to use Siri to control a lamp, or anything that plugs in. You'll only need to know how to give Siri a command after everything is set up.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Once you've connected the WeMo Switch to IFTTT, create a new recipe (or use this one I've already created). The recipe uses the SMS channel and the WeMo Switch channel. The end result: when you send IFTTT any text message, it will toggle the WeMo Switch.
  • Make sure you add the IFTTT phone number to your contacts, making it easier to give Siri the commands. I named my contact "If This" because Siri wasn't able to recognize the pronunciation of IFTTT.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Once you have added the recipe and have added IFTTT to your iPhone contacts, give Siri the command: "Text [insert contact name] turn my light on."

    You don't even have to say that much; you can put anything as the body of the text and IFTTT will toggle your WeMo Switch.

There is another SMS trigger that fires based on a user-defined hash tag in the message sent to IFTTT, but I was having trouble getting Siri to dictate the message properly. Feel free to experiment with tags and recipes until you figure out the right mixture for your use.

Sure, there isn't a whole lot to this workaround, but that's the beauty of it. You can quickly send a text message through Siri and control your lights. It's a great way to impress your friends or maybe even win a bet.