Belkin pumps up WeMo home automation line with lights, maker kit, and Smart Crock-Pot

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is upon us, and a number of companies are making announcements before the show starts in earnest tomorrow. Among the companies spilling the beans early is Belkin, with some important announcements about additions to its app-controlled WeMo home automation devices.

To start with, Belkin is adding Smart LED Bulbs to the WeMo lineup. The bulbs, which are 60W equivalents that last up to 23 years, work through the WeMo Link device that controls up to 50 Smart Bulbs. Each one of the bulbs is fully dimmable, controlled through the WeMo app, and even has a vacation mode that turns lights on and off to simulate an occupied home. The WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set with two Smart Bulbs and a WeMo Link sells for US$129.99, while individual bulbs are available for $39.99 each.

For those do-it-yourselfers who want to create their own WeMo solutions, Belkin offers the WeMo Maker Kit (price not available at press time). It adds Internet connectivity and WeMo app controllability to any device controlled with a DC switch. You can also use WeMo Maker to monitor and manage 5V DC sensors from the app. Like many of the existing WeMo products, WeMo Maker works with, opening a world of specialized recipes.

Finally, Belkin and Jarden Consumer Solutions are announcing the first smartphone controllable slow cooker, the Crock-Pot WeMo Smart Slow Cooker ($99.99). This allows you to receive reminders from the slow cooker, change cooking times, adjust temperature, or even check the status of your dish while you're away. While the WeMo Slow Cooker will be highlighted at CES, the Belkin booth will also display four other WeMo-enabled devices, including the Mr. Coffee Smart Coffee Maker, the HOLMES Smart Console Heater, the HOLMES Smart Console Humidifier, and the HOLMES Smart Air Purifier.

The WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set, Smart Bulbs, Crock-Pot Slow Cooker, and Maker Kit will be available this spring. An updated version of the WeMo app, which includes a customizable long press gesture for the WeMo Light Switch, enhanced sunrise/sunset rules, a vacation mode, and a countdown timer, will be available in February.