I have a Belkin WeMo Insight switch through which I’ve hooked up my computer. Now I want to see how much electricity the device uses on a day by day basis. Does the WeMo app show me this information?
I recently reviewed the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch and found it to be a neat stepping stone on the way to a smart house, but while it is Internet savvy and gives you the ability to remotely monitor and control an appliance or whatever else you want to plug in to it, the “analysis” piece of the puzzle isn’t something that the development team seems to have spent much time thinking about. To wit: there is a way to export a rolling 45-day data set for a given WeMo device, but there’s no way in the WeMo app to even get a rudimentary graph of usage per day, leaving you stuck wrestling with Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, Google Docs spreadsheet, or whatever other third party app you prefer. Rather a drag, if you ask me.
But let’s go through this step-by-step with the WeMo iOS app.
Note that I’ve trimmed some of the screen captures down to just show the essential information. This should make the page easier and more pleasant to read 🙂
First off, here’s my Insight Switch within the WeMo app:
You can see that I currently have my fridge plugged into the WeMo unit (earlier I’d had my TV plugged in, but thought it’d be an interesting data point to compare the two by electricity usage).
To get to the data export capability, tap on “Edit” on the top right.
This time when you tap on the device, the results are slightly different:
See the “Data Export” option near the bottom. That’s the one you want.
Tap on “Data Export” in the WeMo app:
Notice you can schedule exports, which is handy. Every 30 days you could have the app automatically email you power usage for the previous 45-days, for example.
Well, you could if you actually enter your email address, so do that. Then tap on “Scheduled Exports”:
That looks good.
Let’s also “Export Now” so tap on that too.
Well, yes, that’s the plan.
Tap on “Yes”.
What’s it look like on the other side? Not very glamorous. It’s a data set of comma-separated values (.csv):
Open it up in the spreadsheet of your choice and it’s tabular data:
And now you’re on your own to figure out which column you want to look at and how to produce a useful and enlightening graph.
Personally I found it quite frustrating and wish that within the WeMo app itself there was a simple “show usage” that gave me a line graph where the x-axis is days, starting 45 days in the past, and the y-axis is total energy consumption for each day. Easy. But now at least you know how to export the data!