Belkin WeMo Light Switch

Home Automation Made Easy
by K.B. GOULD




Seems like just yesterday that the Ancient Greeks were rubbing fur and amber to generate an electrical charge. Then suddenly Edison comes along, and everyone and their mothers is using electricity to produce light. Thanks to companies like Belkin, who have their hands in electronics products from charging stations to LEGO phone cases, we've come a long way since those early days. The WeMo Light Switch, the latest in a line of products that allows you to control home electronics from your tablet or smartphone, furthers humanity's culture of innovation with a bit more panache than animal hair and fossilized tree resin. 


A significant portion of the product's usefulness stems from its DIY installation, which, for most, won't require an electrician. (Just remember to turn of the circuit breaker before you go poking around, genius.) Once installed, the WeMo Light Switch connects to your existing wi-fi network and gives you control of your lights from anywhere. Too lazy to get out of bed? Done. Want to scare the kids from Dubai? No problem. With the free iOS and Android apps, you can even schedule the lights to turn on and off at certain times, say, when you get home from work, or at bedtime. The app also monitors daily sunrise and sunset times and can be programmed to turn on and off accordingly, so you can be sure to never set foot in a dark room. As long as your phone or tablet has internet access, you can control and program your lights. If you prefer, the switch also functions manually -- though that kind of defeats the point, doesn't it? 


Considering it costs about the same as a tank of gas, the Belkin WeMo Light Switch is a giant leap forward in home automation for the masses. Sorry, Ray Bradbruy. We like this one.


$50, amazon.com





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THE GP100 HOME INDUCTEES

STATEMENT

Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope. 


The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.



METHODOLOGY


The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.


THE CATEGORIES


Motoring   Watches   Style   Technology   Sports   Outdoors   Home   Spirits

WRITERS


Jeremy Berger

Ben Bowers
Alex Bracetti
Nick Caruso
Adam Craniotes
Ed Estlow
Jon Gaffney
Jonathan Gallegos
K.B. Gould
Bradley Hasemeyer
Jason Heaton
Mike Henson
Amos Kwon
Matt Neundorf
Scott Packard
Austin Parker
Henry Phillips
Peter Saltsman
Chris Wright
Eric Yang

CREDITS 

Produced by Ben Bowers, Chris Wright, Eric Yang Designed by Eric Yang 
Edited by Chris Wright 
Photography by Henry Phillips, Eric Yang, Gishani
Special Thanks to Braun, Scroll Kit and Say Media

RESOURCES

Inquiries, Corrections support@gearpatrol.com
2014 Submissions  100@gearpatrol.com