HomeKit and smart home systems are very cool, but often you’re left controlling everything either with your iPhone 14 across multiple apps, or with Siri voice commands that can sometimes be temperamental.
There are some impressive bespoke systems that you can buy with touchscreens in every room that control aspects of your smart home setup, but those often need fitting in your house, and wiring in. They’re expensive, and if you’re a renter, they’re intrusive and impossible to wrangle around a landlord. Thanks to smart home specialists Brilliant, however, it looks like getting a wall-mounted touchscreen controller has never been easier than with its new Plug-in Panel.
Control your house with a touch screen
Brilliant has a long legacy of excellent smart home control units, and this new touchscreen model is its most powerful controller yet. With an easy-to-fit design that’s perfect for those with older houses, it’ll fit even renting lifestyles — you can mount it on any wall, and plug it into any outlet without the need to connect it to your internal electrical wiring system.
Once you’ve got it mounted on a wall and plugged in, it will connect to Wi-Fi and pair with all the smart home kit that you’ve got dotted around the house. That includes support for HomeKit devices, so all your accessories that work with Siri and your HomePods are going to be detected.
Thanks to the Matter smart home standard, it will have wide support for a range of other smart home devices as well — and as the list of Matter products grows, so too will the number of devices that the Brilliant touchscreen controller will work with.
What can it do, though?
Well, loads. There’s the obvious stuff, of course; control the different lighting zones you’ve created around your house, check the time, see the temperature, etc etc. But there’s a lot more to its slick white chassis than first meets the eye.
It’ll work with HomeKit standards, yes, but also, according to Brilliant, connect with dozens of devices from leading smart home brands across the industry, including “Ring, Google Nest, Sonos, Philips Hue, Kwikset, Schlage, Yale, August, Honeywell Home, Resideo, ecobee, TP-Link, Samsung SmartThings, Genie, Hunter Douglas, Somfy and more." That’s an excellent selection of different standards, and will make sure that it slips seamlessly into any smart home setup.
When connected to a smart doorbell, for example, it will show you a video of who is at the door so that you can answer with the two way microphone. You can control Sonos devices on the screen too, so you can change tracks without having to go to the device itself — and read what's playing without looking at your phone. You can even let people in when you’ve got an attached smart lock, working in tandem with the doorbell for a truly handsfree experience.
There’s a motion sensor built in as well, so you can program it to turn the lights on when you walk into a room; it’s a powerful device, that’s for sure.
Aaron Emigh, CEO and founder of Brilliant says “We’re excited to bring this new plug-in model to the Brilliant Home Control Panel lineup, providing more flexibility for installation and expanding the addressable market for complete smart home control systems at an affordable price.”
Looks like they’ve done a good job, too, on paper — although we’ll have to get it in our hands to see just how powerful it is.
The panel costs $399, which is not cheap — but compared to the traditional wire-in systems that require a professional fitting, it’s a bit of a bargain. You can find one at the Brilliant website, or Amazon.
Need more HomeKit tips? Check out the ultimate guide to HomeKit for more information about Apple's smart home standard.
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As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.