Sunday, November 29, 2020
It’s been a while since we have written a blog for the web site. While there are many excuses that can be given (many valid reasons, really), we’ll spare you from the doom and gloom (and political turmoil) of 2020 and instead focus on what we do best — solving problems!
Although working with the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is not our main focus, every so often we have to put on our IT problem solving hats to resolve issues that don’t exactly relate to enterprise/corporate information technology.
Case and point: A WeMo Dimmer switch that works almost perfectly, except for the “Rules” function.
The objective in this case was to configure the WeMo Smart Dinner to turn on the security / porch lights at sundown, and turn off the lights at sunrise.
- The first step was to have the WeMo Smart Dimmer installed by a qualified electrician.
- The second step involved joining the WeMo Dimmer to WiFi. It’s important to note that if your home wireless network combines the 2G and 5G frequencies, you will most likely need to separate those into two separate networks. (This is very easy to do with a UniFi controller)
- Once the WeMo Dimmer was joined to the wireless network, it had to be configured. Again, there was a snag in that it wasn’t able to be initialized by an Android device, but it was able to be initially configured by an Apple device. (Note: After initial configuration, it was able to be controlled without issue by both Android and Apple devices)
Once the WeMo Dimmer switch was on and functional, the lights on the front porch could be dimmed (or brightened) easily using either the wall control, a smart phone, or an iPad without issue. The final step was to configure the WeMo Rules:
As you can see above, there are no rules configured, because the WeMo rules (at least in our experience) don’t work worth a damn!
The key to configuring rules on the WeMo involves a third party integration with a wonderful (and free) service, called IFTTT (“If This, Then That”).
How to configure the WeMo Dimmer Switch with IFTTT:
From the Main Wemo Screen, click on the gear in the top left corner:
From the “More” menu, choose “Connect to Other Services”:
From the “Connect to Other Services” menu, select IFTTT:
From the “Connect to IFTTT” screen, follow the prompts:
With the example that we are discussing, we are linking two different services together to create this rule. The first service is called Weather Underground, and this is what is used to define sundown and sunrise.
It takes 9 clicks to make a rule, but trust me, this can be completed in less than 5 minutes, it’s very quick and simple! Here we go:
Once you have logged into IFTTT, click the + to “Create” a rule. On the “Create Your Own” screen, click “Add” on the “If This” button:
Next, on the “Choose a Service” screen, search for Weather and select a weather service. In this example, we have selected Weather Underground:
On the screen that follows, choose your trigger. In this example, we are selecting “Sunrise” (a separate rule will be made for Sunset later on):
On the “Complete Trigger Fields” screen, enter your location, then click Create Trigger:
We are then taken back to the “Create Your Own” screen, where you should select Add on the Then That button:
On the “Choose a service” screen, search for Wemo and then select Wemo Dimmer:
On the “Choose an action” screen, make your selection. In this example, we want to turn the security / porch lights off upon sunrise:
On the following “Complete action fields” screen, select your dimmer, then click Create action. This screen mainly exists for those who might have multiple WeMo dimmers:
We’re back to the “Create your own” screen. This is the final screen where you review your logic, and then click “Continue” to create the rules.
We repeated this process for sunset, because we want the lights to turn on when the sun goes down.
The result is two separate rules (one for sunrise, and one for sunset), which look like this:
…voila! And this is how you can utilize the wonderful IFTTT service to control a WeMo dimmer. We hope that you found this to be helpful.
Stay safe, everybody!
– Team Concise