Best HomeKit Accessories iMore 2020
HomeKit is Apple's home automation platform, and it lets you control any compatible lights, plugs, thermostats, sensors, alarms, locks, and other connected devices with a tap of your iPhone or — thanks to Siri — the sound of your voice. Better still, it does so in a way that ensures privacy and security for your network and your home. More and more HomeKit accessories are coming out all the time, so here is the best of the best to help you with your needs.
- Lights on: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance
- Switch things up: Lutron Caseta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit
- Get smart: Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- Keep an eye on things: Logitech Circle 2 Camera
- Push it: Eve Button
- Keep your cool: ecobee Smart Thermostat
- Lockdown: August Smart Lock
- Highly sensitive: Onvis Smart Motion Sensor
- Stay hydrated: Eve Aqua
- Nice breeze: Hunter Signal Wi-Fi Ceiling Fan
- Flood insurance: Fibaro Flood Sensor
- Open up: Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub
The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance starter kit include everything you need to get going with HomeKit lighting. This set contains three color bulbs that are compatible with any current light fittings using an E26 screw base. Included with this starter kit is the Philips Hue bridge, which connects to your home router to enable HomeKit support. Once connected, you can use Siri, or the Home app to control your lights from anywhere in the world.
Lutron's Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit includes the HomeKit-enabled Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge. These in-wall dimmer switches can replace your existing in-wall switch. From there, link it to the Smart Bridge, and boom! You've got wireless, HomeKit-enabled control of your existing lighting. Luton Caséta also has integrations with Amazon Alexa, Hunter fans, and Sonos audio devices.
Belkin's Wemo Mini Smart Plug is the quickest way to start your HomeKit journey. These tiny devices plug directly into any electrical outlet and instantly turn anything attached to them smart. You can control devices such as coffee makers, lamps, air purifiers, fans, and more with your voice or through a simple tap. The Wemo Mini is also compatible with other smart home platforms such as Alexa and Google Assistant.
The Circle 2 Camera from Logitech is one of the most flexible cameras around with its ability to work both indoors and out. This camera is also compatible with a range of optional mounts, such as one that attaches it directly to the glass on a window. The Circle 2 includes high-quality 1080p video, two-way audio, smart notifications, and much more, making it one of the most feature-rich cameras available. Logitech has also promised that the Circle 2 Camera will support Apple's upcoming HomeKit Secure Video feature which utilizes iCloud for storage among other things when iOS 13 launches.
The Canadian-designed ecobee Smart Thermostat tries to one-up Nest by coming with remote sensors. This allows you to measure not only the temperature of the room or hallway where it resides, but also any other room as well. As such, you get more granular control and better comfort and energy efficiency in your house. The ecobee Smart Thermostat comes with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant built-in. This is thanks to embedded microphones that feature far-field voice recognition and a speaker that makes Alexa sound loud and clear, despite coming from a thermostat fastened to your wall.
The August smart lock's appearance is immediately striking and will give any door a futuristic look — with your choice of finishes. You can use your smartphone to unlock or lock your door remotely, or you can set up a proximity lock. Your door will unlock when you approach with your phone and lock when you move away. August also lets you create virtual keys for friends and family staying at your place. Plus, you can keep tabs on the comings and goings of your household using a built-in 24/7 activity log. The August smart lock requires no wiring and installs using an existing deadbolt.
While the Onvis Smart Motion Sensor features its ability to detect activity that is happening around it in its name, this compact device offers so much more. The Onvis Smart Motion Sensor features the ability to measure and report both temperature and humidity to HomeKit, allowing you to view the status of your home through the Home app and via Siri. You can also build automation based on these metrics, such as activating a fan if your home gets a little too hot. The motion sensor portion of this accessory works as advertised, turning on and off lights and more once connected to HomeKit.
The Eve Aqua is the only accessory on the market that works with a traditional spigot and hose to deliver water anywhere you desire. This means that the Eve Aqua can be set up to turn on and off sprinklers, drip irrigation systems, and more, as long as it has a hose fitting. Keep up with your gardening or landscaping with ease by building a schedule that automatically runs, or if you prefer more control, Siri and the Home app are at your disposal. A built-in Bluetooth radio allows the Aqua to connect directly to your HomeKit hub or iOS device. Just keep in mind that it will need to be somewhat close by.
Hey Siri, turn on my fan." A HomeKit-connected ceiling fan may not be at the, ahem, top of one's list of connected accessories. But when it's enabled alongside the lights or thermostat in one's living room, it becomes an integral piece of a larger whole. Available in satin nickel "Signal" or fresh white "Symphony" color schemes, the Hunter HomeKit Enabled Ceiling Fans are standard 54-inch, three-blade fans with so-called WhisperWind motors for quiet operation even at high speeds. Each fan includes two dimmable LED lights, and a remote for non-smartphone connectivity (though why'd you want to go analog when you have so much digital potential?).
The Fibaro Flood Sensor is one of those accessories that you will most likely forget about after you set it up and place it into position, which is a good thing. This completely wireless sensor is a single-purpose device that is meant to alert you if it detects the presence of water. It could mean the difference between a small repair, and a large cleanup job. The Fibaro Flood Sensor also includes the ability to monitor the temperature of an area, and it, like its water detection status, is viewable in the Home app and with Siri. Despite its somewhat high price, the Fibaro Flood Sensor is more than worth it as it could save you money and hassle in the long run.
For many, the garage serves as the main point of entry into the home, making some smart locks not quite as vital as other accessories, such as Chamberlain's MyQ Smart Garage Hub. This handy set includes everything that you need to add smart functionality to your existing garage door and installs in a matter of minutes. Using Wi-Fi for connectivity, the MyQ Smart Garage Hub allows you to open and close your garage door remotely, as well as reporting its status. This provides some peace of mind after leaving for the day. Keep in mind that this set supports Alexa and the Google Assistant out of the box, HomeKit requires the Chamberlain HomeKit Bridge which is available as a separate purchase.
The best of the best
Having HomeKit accessories in your home enables the ultimate in convenience through automation and voice control. Since HomeKit accessories reside under one roof, the Home app, you can do a lot more. You can create scenes such as movie night which dims your lights to a more comfortable viewing level. The Home app also opens the door to powerful automation, such as unlocking your door when you arrive home. Looking for an easy way to enter the HomeKit ecosystem? The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance starter kit gets our recommendation, as it only requires screwing in a light bulb along with pairing it with its included bridge. This starter kit also opens the door to other devices within the Hue product line, including remotes, lamps, and more.
Want to take your lighting to the next level? Check out the Lutron Caseta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit, which keeps things simple with replacing your existing light switches, removing the need to have to train others how to operate the lights in your home. Want to go the in-wall switch route but do not know where to start? Check out our guides for Everything that you need to install a light switch, as well as How to install a HomeKit light switch.
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