So you have been thinking about home automation but you want to do it for reasonable prices. Where should you look? Belkin is releasing soon a couple of devices that can be controlled both wirelessly and through motion detection. It can also be programmed to respond to a free service call IFTTT (IF This Then That). These are fairly simple on/off power control devices but they have the ability to be accessed using WiFi and your iPhone.
These switches connect to your home WiFi network and communicates via a free WeMo iOS app, so you can control any appliance or fixture that can plug into a regular outlet right from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. For example, you can use it to remotely turn on and off a light or heater, or schedule your coffee maker to turn on at a certain time in the morning. WeMo even comes with seamless support for the automated web service IFTTT, where you can set up "recipes" such as receiving a text message when an appliance turns on or off.
The WeMo Switch will cost you $49, or you can go for the Switch + Motion bundle for $99 where you get a motion-activated Switch that can trigger devices with a simple walk-by. Both are available now on Belkin's website.