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 homeowners 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

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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.

Add some smarts: Wemo Mini Smart Plug

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.

Remote monitoring: First Alert Onelink Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

In the U.S., the law requires that every rental has some kind of smoke detector. The Onelink smoke detector connects to your iPhone, and HomeKit sends you an alert if something is amiss in your home, even if you aren't there. Two variants are available: one that's hard-wired and one powered by a replaceable battery. We recommend the latter for renters since you can simply set it anywhere without having to mess with the existing ones installed.

Home security: Logitech Circle View

The Logitech Circle View camera is great for home security thanks to its high definition video and support for Apple's HomeKit Secure Video. HomeKit Secure Video uses your iCloud storage plan to keep 10 days of recordings in the cloud, and it provides smart notifications that can filter out people, vehicles, or animals. 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.

Lock it down: August Smart Lock

August's Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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.

Set it off: Eve Motion Sensor

This compact and completely wireless sensor from Eve is the key to creating truly hands-free automations, such as turning on the lights in the home the moment you enter. The Eve Motion uses Bluetooth, connecting directly to your Home hub or iOS device, which means it can be up and running within a matter of seconds with a quick scan of the pairing code in the Home app. The best part of this sensor, though, is that it works both indoors and out, making it one of the most flexible around.

These won't make your landlord angry

HomeKit functionality opens the door to scenes, automations, and Siri, and renters can join in on the fun with a wide variety of devices that are landlord-friendly. Whether it is smart light bulbs, locks, or plugs, there are plenty of options available that do not require an electrician or changing fixtures.

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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