Belkin Wemo’s new smart dimmer switch with thread is exclusively for Apple’s HomeKit

Belkin’s smart home arm, Waymo, this week announced an updated version of its in-wall dimmer switch. New Wemo Smart Dimmer with Thread ($59.99) A wired . Is smart switch Which lets you remotely dim and turn the lights on and off. It works exclusively with Apple’s HomeKit platform over thread or Bluetooth and is available from now on. Belkin’s Web Store (and coming soon heroine,

This HomeKit focus follows the recent trend of the company, with some of its previous products – wemo stage scene controller, smart plugAnd video door bell — Only work with Apple’s smart home platform. This means that the new switch will use apple home app Notably (and not the Waymo app), and will work with Siri for voice control.

The main wireless protocol for, regardless of what thread is used CaseAnd after publicly announced it will launch new Device ready to matter this summerWemo says the smart dimmer won’t be upgraded to support the upcoming smart home standard.

“At this time, dimmers with threads will not be upgradeable to mater via firmware update when the new standard launches later this year,” said Belkin spokeswoman Cassie Pineda. ledge in an email. “When Miter launches later this year, we will be bringing to market new switches/dimmers that support Miter over thread.”

While it seems redundant to release two nearly identical versions of the same product in the same year, Pineda said the rationale is that the dimmer launching today supports HomeKit over Thread, “without making consumers more responsive, reliable and Provides a secure smart home experience without the hassle of third-party apps,” she said. case delay (it was originally scheduled to launch this summer), may have contributed to this divided ecosystem as well.

The new $60 Wemo Smart Dimmer Switch will work with Apple’s HomeKit.
Image: Belkin

New Smart Dimmer Doesn’t Replace current wemo smart dimmer switch, which is still available and works over Wi-Fi. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit, and costs around $40.

The biggest change with the new version, apart from being specific to Apple’s platform, is the use of Thread instead of Wi-Fi for connectivity. Thread is a wireless protocol specially designed for smart home devices, It’s designed to be faster and more reliable as well as use less power than Wi-Fi.

Since the Smart Dimmer uses HomeKit on a thread, you need an Apple HomePod Mini or Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) to act as a thread border router for the Switch. An upcoming update for the thread Will open border routers from different manufacturers to work together, but the Wemo Switch can only work with Apple’s border routers.

If you don’t have a Mini or the newer Apple TV, you can still use Smart Dimmer over Bluetooth. For this, all you’ll need is an iPhone for local control and an Apple Home Hub (an iPad or Apple TV or any model of HomePod) if you want to control the Switch and set up automation when you’re away from home. Huh. Home App.

In addition to Thread and Bluetooth, the Smart Dimmer also features NFC technology for faster, tap-to-pair setup.

The new dimmer has two buttons to dim the lights.
Image: Belkin

A wired switch, the dimmer fits into an in-wall electrical box.
Image: Belkin Waymo

A wired switch, the Smart Dimmer works with or without a neutral wire, making it compatible with both new and older homes. There are only a few smart switches that work without a neutral wire: Lutron Cassetta, Leviton, Aqara, and GE Lighting’s Sync offer some of the more well-known options.

Wemo’s smart dimmer is not compatible with three-way switches (lights controlled by the switch from two locations). It can only replace single-pole switches (Wemo sells a Wi-Fi three-way smart switch) it can be combined with wemo stage scene controller To recreate the virtual three-way setup. Waymo says the Switch has flicker-free technology, so works with both standard and dimmed bulbs without causing a flicker effect at low light levels.

While it’s nice to see more Thread products in the smart home, launching new Thread devices that won’t be upgraded to Matter today and then promising the same devices will come with Matter support later this year is going to cause confusion. . Confusion is one of the main things in smart home case should be fine,

The key point here is that Wemo’s new smart dimmer is designed for people who are on Apple’s HomeKit and have no plans to try another smart home platform. If you’re planning on adopting Matter in your smart home—which brings with it the promise of controlling your home with multiple platforms—wait for the next version.

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