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, and here are some that are sure to please that smart-home-savvy person on your gift list!
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit
These enhanced bulbs have been upgraded from 600 to 800 lumens and provide richer colors in varying shades of white and color ambience. The bulbs are compatible with any current light fittings using an E26 screw base. Included with this starter kit, which will run you about $150, are three bulbs to use around your home that can be controlled via Siri, and used with third party HomeKit-enabled apps.
Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit
Lutron's Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit includes the HomeKit-enabled Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge. These in-wall dimmer switches are a nifty addition to any smart home setup. You replace your existing in-wall switch with one from Caséta, 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 — to name a few. You can purchase a starter kit from Amazon for about $190.
D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD
The D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD is a HomeKit-enabled, 1080p HD camera that offers a unique 180º field of view.
The device features motion detection, two-way audio (i.e. a speaker and a microphone), a MicroSD card slot for local recording, IR LEDs for viewing in low-light conditions, and a very svelte metallic frame.
The $150 D-Link Omna is your pretty standard package when it comes to in-home cameras, save for one detail: HomeKit support! D-Link has successfully taken the lead on the HomeKit-enabled security camera market.
The Elgato system includes Eve Room, Eve Weather, Eve Door & Window, Eve Energy sensors, and more. Eve Room lets you monitor indoor air quality, temperature, and humidity, all measured by a sensor that analyzes volatile organic compounds (VOC). Eve Weather keeps track of outside temperature, and air pressure; Eve Door & Window lets you monitor whether your doors and/or windows are open or closed, and monitor stats for time and duration; and Eve Energy tells you how much power your appliances are using. All of these products can be controlled with the Elgato app or, thanks to HomeKit, with Siri.
You can find the entire Elgato system over on Amazon. Prices range from about $40 to $90 depending on the device you're after.
ecobee4 smart Wi-Fi thermostat
ecobee4, a Canadian-designed smart thermostat, tries to one-up Nest by coming with remote sensors, allowing you not to only measure the temperature of the room or hallway the thermostat is installed, but also any other room as well. As such, you get more granular control and better comfort and energy efficiency in your house.
The ecobee4 comes with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant built in, thanks to embedded microphones that feature far-field voice recognition (the same technology that makes the Amazon Echo hear you from across the room) and a speaker that makes Alexa sound loud and clear, despite coming from a thermostat fastened to your wall.
That means, on top of having all the same great features as the ecobee3 (HomeKit-enabled, satellite room sensors, energy-saving benefits), you can use the ecobee4 in the same way you'd use an Echo, Echo Dot, or Tap. Ask Alexa to set a timer, adjust the lighting, give you the steps to a recipe, play some jazz — you can do it all right from your smart thermostat.
Ecobee4 is available for purchase; the Alexa-enabled smart thermostat retails for about $250.
iDevices Switch Connected Plug
The iDevices Switch is hands-down, without a doubt, my absolute favorite smart plug. It's the WiFi-connected plug I recommend any time someone asks me what plug they should get. The gray and white rectangle is small enough that it's stackable. The receptacle's unique placement (on the side of the housing) makes for a svelte, less-conspicous look. In other words, you don't have a cord sticking out of the front of a plug that's sticking out of a plug in your wall. The iDevices Switch works with Apple HomeKit. That means you'll be able to control it in the iOS Home app and using Siri voice commands. It also works with Android, Amazon Alexa, and its own iDevices app. This switch also lets you monitor your energy consumption, so you can keep an eye on your devices' energy usage. It even sports a nifty LED light strip across the front of the housing. The multi-color, multi-brightness LED strip is a great night light that also serves as an indicator light for the plug's status.
You can get this exceptional HomeKit-enabled plug for a mere $30 on Amazon. It's a steal.
Honeywell Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat
Honeywell is a well-known home appliance company, and has recently added its popular Lyric Round Wi-Fi thermostat to the HomeKit family with the second generation.
Like ecobee4 and Nest, Honeywell tries to cut down on energy use (and, subsequently, heating bills) by intelligently applying heating and cooling at the right times. In addition to HomeKit compatibility, Lyric is also compatible with SmartThings (which is now owned by Samsung) and can be controlled through an iOS or Android app. You can snag one for about $200 over on Amazon.
Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
Meeting the highest industry rating for security and durability is the $200 Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt, which features built-in alarm technology that can sense potential door attacks. It's designed to work with Apple HomeKit and can hold up to 30 access codes at any time. Set up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to unlock your door(s) using Siri, and take your pick of different deadbolt styles including Century or Camelot, available in satin nickel or matte black.
August Smart Lock
The August smart lock's appearance is immediately striking and will give any door a futuristic look — with your choice of dark gray or silver finishes. You can use your smartphone to remotely unlock or lock your door, or you can set up a proximity lock: Your door will unlock when you get approach with your phone and lock when you move away.
August's smart lock is listed among the Wirecutter's choices for best smart lock, especially for those who prefer to keep their existing hardware (I'm looking at you, renters!).
August lets you create virtual keys for friends and family staying at your place, and 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. It's also HomeKit-enabled, so you can use Siri and the new Home app to control your locks. Thanks to some new additions to August's lineup, the 2nd-generation August Smart Lock is available for about $150.
Hunter HomeKit Enabled Wi-Fi Ceiling Fan
"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?).
It's true $350 makes for a pretty expensive ceiling fan, but any smart home enthusiast would be ecstatic at the thought of having a Siri-controlled fan in their home.
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