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.
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.
Motoring Watches Style Technology Sports Outdoors Home Spirits
Jeremy BergerBen Bowers