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CES 2014: Belkin bets big on connected homes with DIY starter set

This year's CES is seeing companies from around the world letting of their opening salvos in the battle for connected homes – and Belkin is one company not to disappoint.

A new round of WeMo devices have been released, promising to make the true smart home a reality. With a connected slow cooker, new LED light bulbs and a multifunctional DIY "Maker" device all integrated with the existing Android and iOS app.

The apps are also compatible with "smart things" pioneers IFTTT, short for "if this, then that", which allows users to create custom triggers and actions using virtual occurrences and real-world smart devices.

One of the new releases to make the most practical step into home automation is the WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set, which consists of two WeMo Smart LED Bulbs and the WeMo Link, which is a hub capable of controlling as many as 50 lightbulbs at once.

Using the WeMo app, users will be able to control their lighting automatically, for instance turning certain lights on at sunset and off at sunrise. The Starter Set is priced at $129 (£78), with individual bulbs coming in at $39 (£24) each.

Also designed to grab homeowners attention is the Crock-Pot WeMo Smart Slow Cooker, the first cooking device to make all of its time and temperature controls available on your smartphone.

This useful little gadget is the result of Belkin's partnership with Jarden Consumer Solutions, which makes a wide range of home appliances. Also displayed at Belkin's CES booth are the Mr. Coffee WeMo Smart Coffee Maker, as well as WeMo-enabled heaters, humidifiers, and air purifiers from Holmes, although it's not clear how many of these are actually going to go into production.

The final offering, the "Maker" switch, allows users to effectively turn anything with a DC switch into a smart device. This means you could link up sprinklers, blinds and so on either through the WeMo app or through IFTTT.

Existing WeMo users can also look forward to a comprehensive upgrade of the WeMo app next month, adding new features like advanced sunrise and sunset rules, a countdown timer, and a customisable long press gesture for the WeMo Light Switch that can act as an instant IFTTT trigger.

For more news, analysis and photos from CES 2014 in Las Vegas, check out our minute-by-minute live coverage.