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How to use Siri with your HomeKit accessories

Siri responses to HomeKit commands on an iPhone
Siri responses to HomeKit commands on an iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

We love being able to see all of our home automation devices in the Home app, but the best part of HomeKit is using it with Siri, Apple's voice-activated assistant. Whether it is through our iPhone, Apple Watch, or HomePod, we use Siri to turn off our lights, set the temperature, and to check on things such as humidity levels around our home.

Need a little help getting your accessories and your home set up? Check out our handy guides below.

What works with Siri and HomeKit?

You can control your HomeKit accessories on any device where you're logged in to your iCloud account: That includes the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod.

How to use Siri while outside of your home

If you have a HomeKit hub, you can give Siri commands outside your local Wi-Fi network and still access your HomeKit devices. HomeKit hubs include Apple TV 3rd generation or later, HomePod, or an iPad. Here's how it works.

This is how your Apple TV talks to HomeKit when you're away from home

What Siri commands can I give HomeKit accessories?

At its core, Siri is best used with your HomeKit accessories to turn items on and off, check temperatures and readings, and adjust them if necessary.

Here are some of the most common phrases you can use with HomeKit and Siri:

"Turn on the lights."

This all-purpose command will turn on any HomeKit-enabled lights that you have in your home.

"Turn on the lights in the Dining Room."

This will turn the lights on in a specific room you've previously set up.

"Turn off the lights Downstairs."

This will turn all the lights off in the Downstairs zone.

"Set the Living Room lights to 65."

This will dim all the lights in the Living Room (if possible) to 65 percent. (You can also use this command for a specific light name, too.)

"Set the Living Room lights' saturation to 65."

If you have color-changing lights, this will set the saturation of the lights in the Living Room (if possible) to 65 percent. (You can also use this command for a specific light name, too.)

"Set the Office lights to blue."

If you have color-changing lights, this will change their color to blue. You can substitute just about any color, and Siri will adjust as necessary if it can't find the color you're looking for. (You can also use this command for a specific light name, too.)

"What's the temperature in the Living Room?"

This checks with a thermostat or room sensor to give you the temperature of the Living Room.

"What's the humidity in the Bedroom?"

If you have one, this checks with a thermostat or room sensor to give you the humidity of the room.

"Set the temperature in the Living Room to 71 degrees."

This will set the temperature to 71 degrees for your Living Room thermostat. You can also say "Set the Living Room thermostat to..." for the same result.

"Turn on the Living Room TV."

This will turn on a HomeKit enabled TV in the living room.

"Close the Living Room blinds."

This will close the automated blinds in the Living Room.

"Lock the Front Door."

This will lock the automated HomeKit lock labeled Front Door.

"Is the Front Door locked?"

Siri will return the status of a lock, either locked or unlocked. You can also ask Siri if there are any unlocked doors in the home, and the response will include the number of locks that are unlocked.

"Is the Kitchen Door/Window open?"

Siri will respond with the status of a contact sensor that is designated as the kitchen door or window.

"Are there any doors/windows open?"

Siri will check the status of any contact sensors that you have designated as doors or windows in the home.

"Turn off the (Home Name/Room Name/Zone Name)."

This will turn off every that is located device in your specified request. For example, asking Siri to turn off the home will turn off every device in your home.

"Set the goodbye scene."

This command will activate the specified scene and all of the actions that are a part of it. You can also say just the scene name and Siri will work its magic.

"Turn on the air purifier."

This will turn on an air purifier that is connected to a smart plug.

"Set the Master Bedroom fan to 50%."

This will set the speed of a HomeKit ceiling fan to 50%. HomeKit fans are adjustable in 25% increments. This command also works for HomeKit ceiling fan switches.

"Turn on the Front Yard sprinklers."

This will turn on any HomeKit enabled irrigation/sprinkler controller for the default run time set in the Home app.

"Is there motion in the Basement?"

If a motion sensor is set up, Siri will report if there is motion detected in the basement. You can also ask if there is any motion in the home, and Siri will respond accordingly.

"Is the smoke alarm tripped?"

Siri will respond with the status of any HomeKit smoke detectors in your home. This also works with CO detectors.

"Set the Living Room humidity to 35%."

This will set any HomeKit humidifiers or diffusers to the desired humidity level.

"How is the air quality in the Guest Bedroom."

Siri will respond with the air quality of the specified room.

"Close the Garage Door."

This will close a HomeKit garage door opener. You can also specify a name for a specific 'garage door.

"Is the Garage Door open?"

Siri will respond with the status of a connected garage door opener.

"Show the Back Porch camera."

Siri will respond with a live view of the back porch camera. This command only works on iOS devices.

"What is the light level in the Kitchen?"

If you have a HomeKit light sensor, Siri will respond with the current light level in percentage form.

Did we miss any commands?

Found a HomeKit Siri command that we haven't covered above? Let us know in the comments below!

Updated August 2019: Updated for iOS 12.

Serenity Caldwell contributed to an earlier version of this guide.

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit. If you wish to join him on his quest to automate everything, you can follow him on Twitter at @itschrisclose.

17 Comments
  • Shouldn't be long before Google copies Homekit... ;-)
  • Can already use Google Now to access and start certain devices. Posted via S6 Edge
  • Not sure I want Google, Apple, or MS to be the central hub. I'd rather a system be platform agnostic. At some point in time I'm going to sell the house. When that day comes, I'm not going to spend days ripping it all out and making the system platform dependent limits the pool of prospective buyers. There's also the problem not getting the most for your money like my sprinkler system. Do I go with something like this or do I get a specialized one that can check the weather forecasts and automatically decide to not turn on the sprinklers if there's rain? I like what Insteon is doing with their stuff for the most part, I don't like this Apple centric version of their hub. The regular hub appears to be better and compatible with all three platforms. As I recall, Insteon is already works with Cortana on Windows Phone and Desktop after Win X. It doesn't require a specialized version of their hub and it's half the price of the Apple centric hub.
  • I can see real usefulness for anyone with motion problems, such as people in a wheelchair, but not for anyone else beyond showing off to the friends at parties. Fishing out a phone and pressing a button until Siri answers, barking out commands and waiting for a response or an error message will never beat just switching the lights on or off. Even with an Apple Watch its still ridiculous.
  • It is nice from a "outside the house" perspective — turn on the lights when you pull in the driveway so that you can see where you're going, unlock the door, etc. It's early days yet, but there are lots of potential use cases.
  • I guess you're right, but I still feel that the vast majority of people will never feel safe knowing their doors can be unlocked wirelessly, and lets face it, the other uses you described are too frivolous to justify the expense. I see huge potential for the elderly and the physically impaired though, so I won't deny that there is real value in Homekit.
  • Don't live in a multiple story or more than one house I take it? I have phone controlled garage doors which is already great. No more going downstairs to check and shut them. Can see on the phone if they're open or not. Controlled lights for downstairs would also be nice along with locks. One tap to lock up the house? I'll buy that. Not having to get all over the place becomes quickly convenient. A lot more than you would originally think. An apartment though? Nah, no point.
  • I see your point, but its still ironic that in an era that most products give us incentive to be more active, people still embrace tech that breeds laziness. We buy Apple watches to help us be more active, and then use Homekit to offset all those gains.
  • Doubtful homekit is going to counter the mile I run every day. Really, if your exercise is moving around your house there's a bigger problem going on.
  • I'll wait until I see something more useful. . . . I want to use the Apple Watch (with flick of the wrist) to instruct Siri to "Crash the Compound!"
  • Can someone explain the origin of "Crash the Compound!" for me? I presume it's from some movie or TV show?
  • Really great article Serenity - this is exactly the kind of information I've been waiting months to know to understand how this will work. Here's hoping for a z-wave/zigbee hub and Siri support through Apple Watch!
  • "Also disappointing: Siri on Apple Watch won't currently accept any of these commands, booting you instead to your iPhone with Handoff" Oh that's lame, yeah I hope they add this feature eventually.
  • I don't use Siri now, as its quicker to do things without it. I have hive heating, but don't see myself using Siri to change the heating when I can do it faster via the hive app. The only thing I can see home kit offering is a central app to control multiple devices. But for now they are too expensive to justify owning.
  • You know what? Give me a homekit controlled breaker box for under $500. No? Bye.
  • Great article, Serenity! Looks like you were testing the Caseta Wireless system from Lutron, right? I'm using the same system, but I cannot get Siri to control individual devices - she just comes back with "Sorry, but I'm not able to do that." I'm on iOS 8.3 and I can control devices via Zones and "all the lights" but can't seem to get it to work individual like your "whitey" example. Siri doesn't appear to recognize scene names yet either :( Did you do anything special to get the individual devices to be recognized by Siri? Thanks for your help!
  • Here is my video showing off the Lutron + HomeKit combo:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s_suF2CNyo During my testing (I have 20+ switches at my home on Lutron Caseta) I found there are a few ways to mess up the system. For example asking Siri to turn on a light that doesn't exist turns on ALL the lights. Another issue is that you have to use the word light in many cases, or it won't work right. All of these examples exist in my video above, and will be further discussed on my blog in the near future (www.arijaycomet.com). Overall, REALLY happy with Lutron + Apple HomeKit!