If you’re not ready to commit to a hub controller, you’re looking at devices that can connect directly to your home’s wireless network. And when it comes to light switches, two of the most popular choices are the Belkin Wemo Light Switch and the TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch. Both score well in our reviews and match-up fairly similar, but only one light switch can be declared the winner in this battle. Let’s break it down.
Both companies feature a near identical physical design that mirrors the popular decorator light switches that are popping up in newer homes. Both devices act more as a button than a light switch where the bottom half will press in to turn on or off the switch. Both feature a clean white design with a screw-less faceplate. The difference comes in the light. The WeMo Light Switch lights up when the switch is on and has another tiny night light that will illuminate when the room is dark so that you’re not tripping over things finding the switch. The TP-Link works in an opposite manner where the LED lights up when the switch is off. It doesn’t have it’s own nightlight when the room is dark (although if the switch controls the lighting in your room, it theoretically can work as your nightlight). The advantage has to go to WeMo as it just makes more sense for the light to be on when the switch is on.
Both the WeMo and TP-Link light switches installed into the wall with relative ease. Both require a neutral wire. The WeMo takes a fraction longer to set up on the app but not enough to matter. There are no losers in this category.
The TP-Link Light Switch didn’t have a single hiccup in a month of testing. Every action requested went through, every scheduled event went on as planned, and every timer functioned admirably. While the WeMo did a great job too, there were some resets and the scheduled events would occasionally not work.
Both switches sync to popular apps that can control their respected companies line of smart home gadgets. Both also handle the basic function of turning on and off the switch to perfection. However, TP-Link’s Kasa app made setting up schedules, timers, and an away mode much easier. The WeMo app looked to have some more options available and perhaps the advanced users who got comfortable with the system might like it more, but for the basic stuff we’d use a light switch for, it’s the Kasa app all the way.
Both the TP-Link Smart Light Switch and the WeMo Light Switch work with the popular Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers. Both also have channels with IFTTT with loads of fun triggers and actions. A recent update has now made the Wemo light switch Apple HomeKit compatible. A huge upgrade for those invested in the Apple ecosystem. Wemo also has Nest compatibility and wins this category by a good margin.
As of this guide, the TP-Link light switch is at $35 compared to the WeMo sitting $40 at Amazon. We’d still like to see both devices drop into the $30 range at some point. But with devices that are so similar in everything they do, saving a few extra bucks adds up when switching over a home. In this case, TP-Link gets the edge.
If you’re without a hub and need something that’s going to connect directly to your home’s wi-fi, you can’t go wrong with either option. They’re both quality products with their own benefits. If you’re an Apple user, Wemo is the clear winner. But if you’re on a tight budget, TP-Link has the edge. Overall, while the performance of the TP-Link and its app were slightly better, the addition of Apple HomeKit compatibility and its slick design gives the overall win to Wemo.
Update: This article was updated to include the addition of Apple HomeKit comptability in all Wemo products.