The home automation idea would have sounded ridiculous some years back, but nowadays, it is a part of many people’s lives.
One way to set up a convenient and effective smart home is to implement Apple Homekit. Apple Homekit is a system that lets users of its iOS products control their smart home devices for as long as they are compatible with the system.
The best thing about setting up an Apple Homekit smart home is that you do not require a central hub like the other smart home systems.
How Does Apple Homekit work?
The idea behind incorporating Apple Homekit in a smart home is to avoid having different smart home apps that do not work well with each other. To set up an effective Apple Homekit smart home, you’ll need smart devices compatible with the system.
Although when the system was first rolled out, it only incorporated few smart devices due to its rigid security and encryption standards. However, in recent times, Apple has simplified this process.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of smart devices that you can incorporate into your Apple Homekit smart home. It’s important to note that most of these smart devices work well over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but with the introduction of the HomePod mini Homekit hub, there is a third protocol in play, Thread.
With the Thread Standard, there will be a much easier protocol for smart devices to increase the reliability of devices that can communicate with each other.
To set up Apple Homekit devices, all you need to do is scan the six-figure Homekit code available on your smart device, it’s manual. or the box.
After scanning the code, the device will be paired, and it will appear on your Apple Home app; and after that, you can add it to your favorites for easier access. You can also assign it to Rooms where you’ll group it with the other smart devices you’ll be using it with.
What makes Apple Homekit very unique from other smart home platforms is its functionality. Apple Homekit majorly controls how a smart device functions.
Once you add a smart device to your Apple Home app, it will be controlled in the same way as the other smart device, even if it has different features to it on its own app.
Best Apple Homekit Compatible Devices
In 2021, there are even better options for the smart devices you can incorporate into your Apple Homekit.
These smart devices range from smart lights, smart doorbells, smart thermostats, smart speakers, smart cameras, smart air conditioning units, and smart motion detectors, among many others.
Here is a list of the smart devices that are compatible with Apple Homekit for various categories;
Smart lights are the basis of any smart home automation. For your smart home, you want lights you can remotely turn on or off in different rooms while also changing these lights’ colors.
Some smart lights brands even incorporate features that enable you to schedule routines for these lights. For example, you can have your smart lights turn on every time you pull up in the driveway, or you can have them turn off every time the smart door locks are engaged.
The smart lights you can include in your Apple Homekut include;
- Philips Hue White and Color Ambience.
- LIFX Mini White
- LEDVANCE 74979
- Feit LED Smart Bulb
- And many more…..
Smart Security Cameras
Smart security cameras are always a necessity for any smart home. You want to know what is going on inside or outside your home from time to time.
With smart security cameras connected to your Apple Homekit smart home, you’ll be able to get real-time alerts whenever anything or anyone is spotted by the security cameras.
Another important aspect about these smart security cameras is that they can give a live feed of your home even when you’re not around. Suppose you’re in another city or outside the country. You’ll be able to get a live feed of everything that is happening inside or outside your home.
The best smart security cameras you can get for your Apple Homekit smart home include;
- Logitech Circle 2
- Aquara Homekit Secure Video Indoor Camera
- Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera
- Eufy Security 2k Indoor Cam Plug-in Security Indoor Camera
- Eve Cam-Apple Homekit Smart Home Secure Indoor Camera
- Eufy Security 2k Indoor Cam Pan & Tilt
- And many more….
For your Apple Homekit smart home, you want to ensure that you include a compatible smart thermostat and an efficient one. You need a smart thermostat that can learn and adapt to your routine so that your home will always have the appropriate temperature. The following are some of the smart thermostats compatible with Apple Homekit;
- Ecobee SmartThermostat
- Emerson Sensi Touch
- iDevices Smart Thermostat
- Lux Kono Smart Thermostat
- Ecobee 3 Lite
Smart Smoke Detectors
With smart smoke detectors in your Apple Homekit smart home, the place is a lot safer. You will be able to detect smoke in real-time and get alerts on your iPhone or iPad so that you can prepare accordingly.
Your home will warn you whenever smoke or carbon monoxide is detected anywhere in your home. There are a limited number of smart smoke detectors you can incorporate in your Apple Homekit smart home, depending on your budget. They include;
- Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm
- OneLink Hardwire Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
- OneLink Battery-Powered Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
- OneLink Safe and Sound
Smart plugs are needed whenever you need to plug some of your smart devices, such as smart lights smart speakers. With Apple Homekit, you’ll able to them on and off from the Apple Home app after you’ve paired them.
Some of the best smart plugs you can get for your Apple Homekit smart home include;
- Belkin’s Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- Meross Smart Wi-Fi Plug
- ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet
- Elgato Eve Energy Smart plug
- Philip Hue Smart Plug for Hue Smart Lights
Using the Apple Home App
When Apple Homekit was first launched, you had to use different manufacturer’s apps to control your smart devices. Afterward, Apple Homekit launched its own app, one that could control all the smart devices compatible with it.
That app is the Apple Home app. The app works in three major ways.
- There is ‘Home,’ which showcases all the smart devices and ‘Scenes’ you frequently use and are tagged as favorites.
- Secondly, there is ‘Rooms,’ which categorizes your smart devices based on the rooms they are located.
- The third one is ‘Automation’ which is the tool that allows you to automate all your smart devices. With this, you can control how your smart devices react to different things. For example, you can have your smart lights or smart thermostat turn off whenever you leave your home.
If you don’t find the Apple Home app suitable for your customization needs, you can always use third-party apps such as Eve, Fibaro, among others. However, you might find these third-party apps a bit more complicated to navigate than the Home app.
‘Scenes’ is one of the best and most convenient features on the Apple Home app because it enables you to get several actions done with one tap.
For example, you can create a scene known as ‘Movie Mode’ and have your smart devices create it by turning on your Apple TV, dimming the lights, and lowering your AC.
To create such scenes, you open the Home app, tap on Add Scene, then choose all the smart devices you’ll like to incorporate on that Scene by clicking on Add Accessories, name the Scene, and then press done.
You create automation for your smart devices based on factors such as the time of the day, your location, or when there is an unusual event.
You can create some cool automations such as the doors lock when you turn off the smart lights or have your door open when the smoke detectors detect something.
Tricks and Tips to Make Apple Homekit More Fun
- When you use Apple TV, HomePod Mini, or set up an iPad as a home hub, you can add either of them to automations and scenes and have music playing whenever the door opens.
- You can use Spotify via HomePod as the speaker and stream music in multiple rooms.
- You can use the Apple Home app for macOS and control all the activities taking place in your home from your computer.
- With the new updates on iOS, Homekit can be integrated with Apple’s shortcuts app that supports smart home functionality. For example, you can have the lights turn on whenever your alarm goes off.
With new updates being added to the Apple Homekit system every day, there are endless features you can take advantage of and have your home running smoothly. Nowadays, you can even integrate your Apple Homekit with platforms such as Samsung SmartThings, IKEA Tradfri, and Alexa.
With the use of third-party software such as IFTTT, you’re able to use more smart devices with your Apple Homekit without the need for an additional hub.
If you are still feeling a little muddled up and looking for some help, then check out my Smart Home in 8 Weeks course designed to take you from zero to a fully integrated smart home!