Philips Hue Hub

If you are a renter, you have 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.

Just because you rent, it doesn't mean you can't join in the reindeer games. too. Here are some of the smart accessories we've added to our rented domiciles to make it smarter without making our landlords mad.

Philips Hue smart bulbs and lights

Philips Hue

Philips actually makes a variety of smart lighting accessories that are HomeKit compatible. I suggest starting with the Hue bridge and three-pack of color ambient A19 bulbs. It's around $200, which I know sounds really expensive for light bulbs, but if you start with the biggest and best, you'll be happy with the experience you have. I "set off" fireworks on New Years Eve with my color ambient A19s and it made the whole thing worth it.

If you don't want to go all-in with the color bulbs, you can also get the bridge and a two-pack of white smart bulbs for around $100. I was super impressed with how bright the white bulbs can get. I use one in my kitchen where I previously had two non-smart bulbs, and it's brighter than before. You may not have as much fun, but you are not settling for less with these bulbs.

Once you've invested in a Hue Bridge, the cost of buying smart lighting will drop. The bridge is necessary to connect all of the devices together so you can use them with your HomeKit apps.

Other lighting options I love and can't wait to add to my home:

Basically, Philips Hue lighting is a great way to make your home smarter, and it's worth the extra cost because the company makes the best looking, best working smart bulbs on the market.

See at Amazon

iDevice Plugs

iDevice plugs

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 you can plug your coffee maker, fan, stereo, or anything else into it. iDevice makes top-quality HomeKit enabled smart plugs so you turn anything that's electric into a smart device.

I suggest getting the indoor/outdoor three-pack (it's called a 2-pack on Amazon, put it comes with three plugs). It comes with two indoor iDevice Plugs (the company calls them switches) and one outdoor iDevice Plug that comes with two sockets. That's a total of four things you can make smart.

The reason you should get a multi-pack of plugs is that,

  1. They are less expensive when you buy them in packs.

  2. You're going to be disappointed if you only get one. You're going to wish you had more of them because you'll love using it some much.

So, even though your investment feels big out of the gate, you'll be glad you went for the three-pack instead of just getting a single plug.

See at Amazon

Nanoleaf Aurora

Nanoleaf Aurora

I personally don't have this getup yet. But I really want one. Zac Hall at 9to5Mac has a set and even made a video showing what they look like all lit up and connected to Siri. I could see this set up above my fireplace to set the mood for a party or night of D&D fun. It might even look awesome attached to my ceiling above my dinner table.

It comes with a stack of 3M Command Strips, so you don't even have to put any holes in your wall to mount the Aurora, which your landlord will really appreciate.

The Aurora starter kit comes with nine LED panels and a bunch of connecter strips so you can put it together anyway you like. There are also three-panel expansion packs available if you can't get the right look with just nine.

See at Amazon

Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Onelink smoke detector

In the U.S., the law requires that every rental have some kind of smoke detector. So, if you were to purchase your own smart smoke detector, your landlord wouldn't begrudge you. In fact, he or she would probably be relieved that you have something that provides away-from-home alerts if something does catch fire in your house.

The Onelink smoke detector also includes a carbon monoxide scanner to protect from the dangers of CO poisoning. It connects to your iPhone and sends you an alert if something is amiss in your home, even if you are on vacation.

You do have to actually mount it to your ceiling, but like I said, you're home should already have at least one smoke detector in it anyway, so this is a solid replacement that will make your landlord happy.

See at Amazon

How do you make your home smart?

These are just some of the HomeKit enabled devices that you can use in a rental without having to get permission from your landlord to use. If you're a renter, what other HomeKit smart devices do you use?

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