Two new Belkin products might make you feel better about leaving home

This summer has been an absolute blur of trips for our family. We’re blessed to have lots of family around, and every weekend with the exception of one, we were on the road to spend time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Have I mentioned I’m excited for the return to regular routines and school?! Cannot wait!

I digress. Back to traveling.

Every time we leave the house, we have the same discussion: which lights should we put on a timer or leave on? Which appliances should we leave on or unplug? Should we leave the thermostat at 80 or turn it off all together? We’re also thinking of getting a puppy in the near future, which I am sure will take these kinds of discussions to an entirely new level.

We’ve both said to each other numerous times, “Won’t it be great when we can control all of this from our iPhones?”

But our assumption to date has been – home automation is too expensive for us.

That’s why, when the lovely folks at Office Depot offered me the chance to review a WeMo Switch and Netcam from Belkin, I leapt at it.

In a nutshell, Belkin’s new WeMo Switch lets you control various electronics in your house right from your iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) or Android device. And their Netcam is enables you to see what’s going on at home in hi definition from your iOS or Android device.

Yep. Jetson’s living is going mainstream!

Easy as 1-2-3

We tested the Switch and Netcam out and were kind of amazed. Both devices took us all of 3 minutes to set up and start using.

Belkin WeMo Switch

The WeMo Switch
Basically, all you have to do is plug in any device (lamp, computer, coffee machine, curling iron, you name it) to a WeMo Switch. Once you download and install a very straightforward WeMo app, hook the switch to WiFi and connect to the WeMo network – you are off to the races. Via the app, you can turn on or off the switch.

My husband decided he “needed” to go to Starbucks to test the app. So he left me at home and turned on a lamp while waiting in line for a venti black coffee.

Low and behold, it worked!

My little guys thought it was about the coolest thing they had ever seen. A lamp that daddy was controlling from his iPhone! Holy Cow!

I immediately took the switch and plugged my flat iron into it. I have been known to leave mine on unwittingly all day — more than once. $49.99 to make sure I never do that again is worth its weight in gold as far as I am concerned.

We will be purchasing a few more to scatter around rooms so that when we are away we can turn on lights and manage basic appliances. At $49 per switch, it gives us automation at a price point that we can afford.

The Netcam HD
Just like the WeMo Switch, set up for the Netcam is easy to set up. You can mount the camera on a stand or on the wall – whichever works best for your purposes. Once you download the app, connect the device to WiFi and then to the WeMo network – you’ll be able to see what’s going on in the room from any iOS or Android device.

Belkin Netcam

I love that the camera takes a wide-angle view of the room. It also has “night vision” so you can see the room clearly even in low light. And that you can hear what’s going on in the room.

I’m thinking this will be perfect when we eventually get a puppy. And when the boys are teenagers (God help me!).

Do you ever think about automating your home? What kinds of things would you automate first? Have any of you ever left a curling iron on all day?

This post was sponsored by Office Depot. The opinions and test results are always my own.