Best HomeKit hubs iMore 2021
If you are ready to begin building out the smart home of your dreams, then you need one of the best HomeKit hubs. While things can get a little confusing, HomeKit hubs boil down to two types: Apple HomeKit hubs and accessory hubs. Apple HomeKit hubs unleash power features, including automation and remote out-of-home controls. In contrast, accessory hubs bridge smart home devices — like the best HomeKit light bulbs to HomeKit. Here's our guide to all of the best HomeKit hubs to help get you started.
- Thready to go: Apple HomePod mini
- Entertainment hub: Apple TV 4K - Entertainment smart hub
- Dual purpose: iPad 9th generation
- Hub and more: Aqara Smart Hub M2, Smart Home Bridge
- Gold standard: Philips Hue Smart Hub for HomeKit
- In-wall convenience: Lutron P-BDG-PKG1W Caseta Wireless Dimmer Kit with Smart Bridge
- Range extender: Eve Extend - Apple HomeKit Smart Home, Bluetooth Range Extender for Eve Accessories
- Homebridge hub: HOOBS All In One Box, Automation Home Wi-Fi Connector And Smart Outlet
- Affordable accessories: Sengled Use Products - Smart Hub
- Classic connection: WeMo F7C074 Bridge - Works with Apple HomeKit
- UK upgrade: Lightwave Generation 2 Smart Lighting Starter Kit
Thready to go: Apple HomePod miniStaff Pick
Apple's HomePod mini is the perfect way to build your HomeKit smart home. Apple's smart speaker unlocks advanced HomeKit features such as automation and functions as a Thread Border Router so that you can pair compatible accessories directly without the need for an additional hub.
Entertainment hub: Apple TV 4K - Entertainment smart hub
Like the HomePod mini, the latest Apple TV 4K acts as a fully-featured HomeKit hub that also supports Thread. Plus, with tvOS, you can keep an eye on all of your HomeKit cameras directly from the big screen with live look-ins and alerts.
Dual purpose: iPad 9th generation
If you want to test the HomeKit waters before investing in new hardware, you can use modern iPads — like the latest iPad 2021, as a hub. While you can't pair accessories directly to your tablet, it does unlock automation, scenes, and other HomeKit power features.
Hub and more: Aqara Smart Hub M2, Smart Home Bridge
Aqara's Smart Hub M2 supports up to 128 Aqara Zigbee accessories and puts them right in the Home app on your iPhone. This hub also adds a DIY security system to HomeKit, and it features IR blaster capabilities so that you can control just about anything with a remote.
Gold standard: Philips Hue Smart Hub for HomeKit
If you want to use your colorful Hue bulbs with HomeKit, you need the Hue Smart Bridge. This hub supports up to 50 Hue accessories, including light bulbs, remotes, smart plugs, and motion sensors.
In-wall convenience: Lutron P-BDG-PKG1W Caseta Wireless Dimmer Kit with Smart Bridge
This bundle from Lutron includes everything you need to add smart controls to your existing light fixtures. This set consists of a dimmer switch, a handy Pico remote, and the Caseta Wireless hub, which offers the absolute best performance around.
Range extender: Eve Extend - Apple HomeKit Smart Home, Bluetooth Range Extender for Eve Accessories
As the name suggests, the Eve Extend increases the wireless range of up to eight Eve HomeKit accessories. This hub works by bridging Wi-Fi with the Bluetooth connection from the Eve devices, which increases reliability and response times.
Homebridge hub: HOOBS All In One Box, Automation Home Wi-Fi Connector And Smart Outlet
The HOOBS Starter Kit is a must-have if you want to add HomeKit compatibility to non-HomeKit accessories. This all-in-one box provides an easy-to-use interface for Homebridge, which uses a plugin system for thousands of popular devices from Ring, Nest, and more.
Affordable accessories: Sengled Use Products - Smart Hub
Sengled's smart ecosystem is home to tons of affordable accessories, and this bridge brings them over to HomeKit. This hub supports pairing 64 total accessories, and it also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Classic connection: WeMo F7C074 Bridge - Works with Apple HomeKit
While newer Wemo accessories support HomeKit out of the box, older ones require the Wemo Bridge to get them up and running with the Home app and Siri. Compatible accessories include smart plugs, light switches, and even motion sensors.
UK upgrade: Lightwave Generation 2 Smart Lighting Starter Kit
For the folks in the UK, the Lightwave Smart Series Starter Kit includes the critical Link Plus hub as well as an in-wall dimmer switch. Along with Home app control, the Lightwave Dimmer also supports built-in energy monitoring.
Create the smart home of your dreams with the best HomeKit hubs
If you are just beginning your HomeKit smart home journey, or if you want to expand your automated empire, then Apple's HomePod mini is the perfect fit. The HomePod mini allows you to control your HomeKit accessories from anywhere in the world, and it also unlocks automation and scenes. The HomePod mini even acts as an accessory hub for compatible accessories as it is a Thread Border Router — it can truly do it all.
We recommend complimenting the HomePod mini with an additional accessory hub like the Philips Hue Bridge or the Aqara Smart Hub M2. These hubs open the door to a wide range of unique accessories — from fun color light bulbs to water leak sensors and so much more. Or, if you already have a few non-HomeKit accessories that you want to bring over to Apple's ecosystem, then the HOOBS Starter Kit makes it a breeze with an easy-to-use Homebridge interface.
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