Best HomeKit Accessories for Renters iMore 2020
If you're a renter, you've probably experienced a bit of smart home envy when you hear about the wonderful ways home owners have made their lives better with HomeKit-supported locks, garage door openers, ceiling fans, and the like. However, just because you rent doesn't mean you can't join in on the reindeer games. Here are some of the best smart accessories to make your home smarter without making your landlord mad.
- Light all the things: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit
- Add some smarts: Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- Remote monitoring: First Alert Onelink Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Home security: Logitech Circle 2 Camera
- Lock it down: August Smart Lock
- Jack of all trades: Onvis Smart Motion Sensor
Philips actually makes a variety of smart lighting accessories that are HomeKit compatible. We suggest starting with the Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit since it includes everything you need to get connected to HomeKit. Even though it is a little pricey to start, once you've invested in a Hue Bridge, the cost of buying smart lighting will drop. You can use Siri to turn on and off your lights, and even create fun scenes and powerful automations.
A smart plug is a less-costly alternative to a smart bulb and offers more versatility. Not only can you plug your light into it, but also your coffeemaker, fan, stereo, or anything else electrical. Belkin's Wemo Mini is a budget friendly, top-quality, HomeKit-enabled smart plug that can be set up in just a matter of minutes. This compact plug is small enough to allow for two to be installed in the same outlet.
The Logitech Circle 2 Camera is great for home security thanks to its high definition video and flexible mounting options. This camera is also rated for usage outdoors, although it requires a constant source of power ,which could limit your options. The built in motion sensor in the camera can also be used to trigger other actions within HomeKit, such as turning on lights when entering a room.
August's Smart Lock is designed to work with your existing hardware, making it appear as if everything is still original from outside. While this may require your landlord's approval, adding the August Smart Lock will still allow them to access your place without having to get a new key. HomeKit support is included right out of the box, allowing you to set up convenience features such as auto-unlocking when you arrive home.
Don't let its name fool you, the Onvis Smart Motion Sensor is more than just a one trick pony. This compact battery powered multi-sensor includes temperature and humidity sensors in addition to motion detection. These measurements will be displayed in the Home app, and can also be summoned via Siri. Motion detection can work with HomeKit lights to automatically turn on and off when you enter and leave your pad.
These won't make your landlord angry
HomeKit functionality opens the door to scenes, automations, Siri and more, and renters can join in on the fun with a wide variety of devices that are landlord friendly. Looking for lighting that is compatible with HomeKit and doesn't require you to replace your existing light switches? The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit gets our recommendation as it only requires you to install a light bulb into the fixtures already in your home. This Philips Hue line is notable for its reliability and responsiveness, and additional accessories such as a dimming remote can be added after you have the starter kit set up.
Want a simple way to add some smarts to a small appliance, fan, or lamp? Check out the Wemo Mini Smart Plug, which is a cost effective solution that is easy to set up and is small enough to allow two of them to be installed in the same outlet. Whichever devices you choose, these HomeKit accessories are sure to be a hit in your home, and do so without having to worry about whether or not your landlord approves.
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