HomeKit isn't the only way to connect and control your smart home accessories. Check out these other options!

The beauty of HomeKit is its unifying capabilities. HomeKit brings together different home automation accessories in a way that lets Siri, the iOS Home app, and third-party apps — iDevices, Elgato Eve, and more — view and control them. You're not forced to bounce between apps for each of the various accessories you purchase.

All that said, Apple's stringent rules regarding the security and quality of HomeKit-enabled accessories have kept some manufacturers from creating products that work with Apple's HomeKit framework. It's not just Apple's stringent rules, though. There are also competing communication protocols (methods used to communicate with home automation tech) — ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, and Thread (to name a few) — that manufacturers can use as the primary means of communication for their devices. It gets pretty complicated pretty fast.

Whether you're looking for a unifying tool for bringing together various communication protocols or just want a way to control non-HomeKit-enabled accessories, these are the best alternatives to HomeKit!

Samsung SmartThings Hub

The Samsung SmartThings Hub brings together three communication protocols: ZigBee, Z-Wave, and regular ol' IP communication. It hooks up to your router via ethernet and does the job of communicating with Samsung SmartThings accessories and supported third-party accessories.

Samsung SmartThings features some very affordable smart home accessories, including a motion sensor, multipurpose sensor (contact sensor/temperature/accelerometer), an outlet with dimming capabilities, a leak sensor, and an arrival sensor. But I'd argue it's not the SmartThings-branded products that make the SmartThings Hub so great — it's the fact that it works with so many third-party accessories thanks to those built-in communication protocols.

Samsung SmartThings supports the following products and accessories:

Voice Control

  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo Dot
  • Amazon Tap
  • Google Home
  • Nucleus Anywhere Intercom

Switches and Bulbs

  • Leviton Z-Wave Switches & Dimmers
  • Lutron Caséta Switches & Dimmers
  • Philips Hue Bulbs, Lights, and Lightstrips
  • Sylvania Lightify Bulbs, Lights, and Lightstrips
  • Belkin WeMo Bulbs
  • Cree Connected Bulbs
  • Enerwave Z-Wave Switches and Dimmers
  • GE Z-Wave Switches and Dimmers
  • LIFX Bulbs
  • Sengled ZigBee Bulbs

Outlets

  • Leviton Z-Wave Outlets
  • Samsung SmartThings Outlet
  • Enerwave Z-Wave Outlets
  • GE Z-Wave Outlets
  • GE ZigBee Outlets
  • Remotec Plug-in Dimmer
  • iHome SmartPlugs

Sensors

  • Halo Smart Labs Halo & Halo+ Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Samsung SmartThings Arrival Sensor
  • Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor
  • Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor
  • Samsung SmartThings Water Leak Sensor
  • Aeon Labs Door & Window Sensor
  • Aeon Labs MultiSensor
  • Aeon Labs Recessed Door Sensor
  • Ecolink Door & Window Sensor
  • Ecolink Motion Detetor
  • Ecolink Tilt Sensor
  • Enerwave Door & Window Sensor
  • Everspring Water Detector
  • Fibaro Door & Window Sensor
  • Fibaro Flood Sensor
  • Fibaro Motion Sensor
  • First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • FortrezZ Moisture Sensor
  • GE Motion Sensor
  • Iris Contact Sensor
  • Iris Motion Sensor
  • Iris Smart Water Sensor
  • JASCO Hinge Pin Smart Door Sensor
  • Nortek GoControl Door & Window Sensor
  • Sensative Door & Window Sensor Strips

Cameras

  • Netgear Arlo Wire-Free Camera
  • Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell Pro
  • Samsung SmartCams
  • Skybell Video Doorbell

Locks

  • Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt
  • Schlage Connected Keypad Lever
  • Yale Assure Lock
  • Yale B1L Lock
  • Yale Key Free Deadbolt
  • Yale Push Button Deadbolt
  • Yale Push Button Lever Lock
  • Yale T1L Lock
  • Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt
  • Yale Touchscreen Lever
  • Kwikset SmartCode Deadbolts
  • Kwikset SmartCode Levers
  • Kwikset SmartCode Touchscreen Deadbolts

Thermostats

  • Honeywell Lyric Thermostat
  • Honeywell Total Connect Comofort Wi-Fi Thermostat
  • Honeywell Z-Wave Thermostat
  • ecobee Smart Si Thermostat
  • ecobee3 and ecobee3 Lite Thermostat
  • 2Gig CT100 Thermostat
  • Fidure Thermostat
  • Zen Thermostat

Speakers

  • Bose SoundTouch Speakers
  • Samsung HW Multiroom Speakers
  • Samsung M7 Wireless Speaker
  • Samsung Radiant360 Speakers

Appliances and Misc.

  • Samsung Appliances with SmartThings (refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, ovens, dryers, and vacuums)
  • Aeon Labs Key Fob
  • Aeon Labs Minimote
  • Aeon Labs Panic Button
  • Aeon Labs Siren
  • EcoNet Controls Vent
  • FortrezZ Siren
  • FortrezZ Water Valve
  • Iris Smart Fob
  • Keen Home Smart Vent
  • Leak Intelligence Leak Gopher Water Shutoff Valve
  • Linear GoControl Garage Door Opener
  • OSO Technologies Soil Moisture Sensor
  • Spruce Irrigation Controller


See at Samsung SmartThings

Wink Hub 2

The Wink Hub 2 is a force to be reckoned with, folks.

Not only is it a good-looking device (meaning you won't feel the need to tuck it away in a cabinet somewhere where the signal isn't as strong), but it's also jam-packed with communication protocols. The Wink Hub 2 supports Bluetooth LE, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Lutron Clear Connect, Kidde, and Thread protocols. Because of its impressive support of so many different home automation protocols, it's easy to recommend the Wink Hub 2.

It's also worth noting the security features of the Wink Hub 2. The device includes a hardware-based feature called secure boot that only lets Wink-created software run on the Hub. If a malicious individual tried to install malware on the hub, the Wink 2 would refuse to boot with the malware.

The Wink Hub 2 supports the following products and accessories:

Voice Control

  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo Dot
  • Amazon Tap
  • Google Home

Switches and Bulbs

  • GE Link Connected Bulbs
  • Sylvania Lightify Bulbs
  • Philips Hue Lights, Bulbs, and Lightstrips
  • Commercial Electric Smart Lighting
  • Cree Connected Bulbs
  • Hampton Bay Smart Lighting
  • Leviton Z-Wave Switches & Dimmers
  • Lutron Caséta Switches & Dimmers
  • Switchmate

Outlets

  • Leviton Z-Wave Outlets
  • iHome Smartplug

Sensors

  • Nest Protect Smoke and CO Alarm
  • Kidde Smoke and CO Alarm
  • GoControl Essential & Premium Home Security Suites
  • Leaksmart Valve & Sensor
  • Andersen VeriLock Security Sensors
  • Andersen Door & Window Sensor
  • Andersen VeriLock Translator
  • Pella Bridge
  • Pella Door & Window Sensors
  • Pella Garage Door Sensor

Cameras

  • Ring Video Doorbell & Video Doorbell Pro
  • Ring Stick Up Cam
  • Canary All-in-one Security
  • Nest Cam
  • Dropcam Pro
  • Arlo Cam

Locks

  • Kwikset Smartcode Deadbolt
  • Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt
  • Schlage Keypad Lever
  • August Smart Lock
  • Yale Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt
  • Yale Key Free Push Button Deadbolt

Thermostats

  • Ecobee3 Thermostat
  • Honeywell Thermostats
  • Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat
  • Carrier Côr Thermostat

Appliances and Misc.

  • Chamberlain MyQ Products
  • GoControl Smart Garage Door Controller
  • Rachio Irrigation and Sprinkler Controllers
  • Rheem Econet Water Heaters
  • Gardinier Wink-Enabled Ceiling Fan
  • Ball Motorized Window Treatments
  • Lutron Serena Shades
  • Pella Motorized Blinds and Shades

Note: The Wink Hub 2 will more than likely work with any product that features one of its supported communication protocols. Listed products are those tested by the Wink team for compatibility.


See at Amazon

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo family (Echo, Dot, and Tap) feature Amazon's Alexa smart assistant. Amazon has built up an impressive array of supported smart home accessories by creating a "come one, come all" model for integration. It's very easy to add Alexa control to a product and that means many smart home manufacturers are doing just that! It's not quite like the hubs we mentioned so far in that its sole purpose is to be a centralized hub that shoots out commands to all your products, but it's pretty darn good at it. Of note, it also integrates with many of the home automation hubs I've included here and some that I've not.

Aside from being a HomeKit alternative, the Amazon Echo (and its Dot & Tap counterparts) is a great content consumption device. It plays music and podcasts, gives you the run down on weather and traffic, lets you know the news, and more. It's also a handy way to order Amazon products, store reminders, keep a timer, set alarms … the thing does a lot.

Amazon Echo supports the following products and accessories:

Switches and Bulbs

  • Philips Hue Bulbs, Lights, and Lightstrips
  • Lutron Caséta Switches & Dimmers
  • LIFX Bulbs and Lightstrips
  • Insteon Lighting
  • TP-Link Switches and Bulbs
  • GE Link Bulbs
  • Haiku Home Select Lighting
  • Stack Bulbs

Outlets

  • WeMo Plugs
  • TP-Link Plugs
  • iHome Smart Plug
  • D-Link Smart Plug
  • iDevices Smart Plugs

Locks

  • August Smart Lock
  • Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt
  • Schlage Connected Keypad Lever
  • Yale Assure Lock
  • Yale B1L Lock
  • Yale Key Free Deadbolt
  • Yale Push Button Deadbolt
  • Yale Push Button Lever Lock
  • Yale T1L Lock
  • Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt
  • Yale Touchscreen Lever
  • Kwikset SmartCode Deadbolts
  • Kwikset SmartCode Levers
  • Kwikset SmartCode Touchscreen Deadbolts

Note: Most of Amazon Alexa's lock compatibility comes by way of its integration with the Samsung SmartThings Hub and Wink Hub.

Thermostats

  • ecobee3 & ecobee3 Lite Thermostat
  • Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Lyric T5 Thermostat
  • Sensi Emerson Thermostat
  • iDevices Thermostat
  • Honeywell Lyric Thermostat
  • Tado Thermostat
  • Carrier Côr Thermostat

Appliances and Misc.

  • Racho Smart Sprinkler Controller
  • Samsung Robotic Vacuum


See at Amazon

Google Home

Much like Amazon's Echo, Google Home is a smart speaker — a music- and content-consumption device with the Google Assistant built in. If you've read any of my writing about Google Home and Google Assistant, you know I regularly complain about Google's lack of smart home integrations. That's gotten a bit better, but Google still has a long way to go to catch up to the competition. Luckily, the device integrates with Samsung SmartThings and Wink, so many of the devices those hubs control can also be controlled by Google Home.

All that said, Google Home is a beautiful device that integrates incredibly well with Google's services (go figure), so if you use a lot of Google services and want a better-sounding smart speaker than Amazon Echo, give Google Home a shot!

Switches and Bulbs

  • Philips Hue Bulbs, Lights, and Lightstrips
  • TP-Link Bulbs and Switches
  • LIFX Bulbs and Lightstrips
  • Some switches and bulbs available to Samsung SmartThings and Wink Hub 2

Outlets

  • Insignia Smart Plug
  • TP-Link Plug
  • WeMo Plugs
  • Some outlets available to Samsung SmartThings and Wink Hub 2

Sensors

  • First Alert OneLink Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • First Alert OneLink Environment Monitor
  • Some sensors available to Samsung SmartThings and Wink Hub 2

Cameras

  • Vivint SmartHome Cameras

Locks

  • August Smart Lock

Thermostats

  • First Alert OneLink Thermostat
  • Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Honeywell smart thermostats
  • Some thermostats available to Samsung SmartThings and Wink Hub 2

Appliances and Misc.

  • First Alert OneLink Safe
  • IFTTT integrations
  • Frigidaire smart appliances
  • Rachio Irrigation and Sprinkler Controllers
  • Other appliances and accessories available to Samsung SmartThings and Wink Hub 2

See at Best Buy

Planning your connected home

As you can see, there are quite a few options when you're looking for a HomeKit alternative with various integrations and compatibilities. What makes the most sense for your home depends entirely upon your home automation setup. I've personally tried to stick to HomeKit-enabled accessories, because I can control my entire home using Apple's Home app. But a hub device like the Wink Hub 2 or Samsung SmartThings gives you similar options — just using different apps.

The most important thing you can do is plan before you buy. If you want to go all-in on HomeKit, that's great! Just make sure you know what's available for purchase. If you want to go all-in on ZigBee or Z-Wave or Bluetooth LE products, that's great! Just know the limitations.

What does your connected home setup look like? Have you given any of these devices a try? Are you mixing hubs and protocols? I'd love to hear it all, so be sure to let me know in the comments below or over on Twitter!