The Gift of Automated Power

WeMo Light Switch

WeMo Light Switch from Belkin

For that special someone who always forgets to turn the light out when they leave, there's the WeMo Light Switch from Belkin ($50; Belkin.com).

A marvel of technology designed specifically for the chronically scatterbrained, the WeMo Light Switch replaces a conventional light switch as easily as, uh, replacing a light switch.

It's a programmable device that can be set to turn on an off at specific times of day - ideal for lighting up the porch, garage, hall or office lights as specific and finite times.

But it's also a wi-fi device accessible at any time from any location though an Android or iOS app. This lets users turn things on and off manually from down the road or across the continent, which is pretty cool in the fake-occupancy way of burglar deterrents and haunted house hoaxes. The app also allows for more complex, automated programming of multiple switch flicks per day, and can even be set to check what time the sun sets each evening and then flick on exactly at dusk, year round.

Similarly, Belkin also make the WeMo Switch (also $50; Belkin.com), which turns a regular wall outlet into a "smart" outlet, thus enabling the same sort of interactive interfacing with appliances like space heaters or the kid's TV in the basement - supper is as 6 o'clock sharp, dammit!

Considering the season, the WeMo switch is also perfect for Christmas tree lights.

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