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The HomePod is available now and it’s better time than ever for Apple users to turn their home into a smart home, or at least start moving in that direction. To do that you’ll want to buy smart devices that work with HomeKit. You’ll be able to control them by talking to your HomePod, or through your iPhone’s Control Center or Home app. No need to deal with each smart device’s individual app, which tends to be terrible.
To get you started, we’ve compiled the best smart devices that work with HomeKit, including locks, switches, lights and security cameras. For more options, see Apple’s complete list of compatible smart devices, here.
The Hub: Apple TV 4K
The Apple TV 4K is more than just a streaming device. It works with HomeKit and can actually function as a bridge for your smart home, allowing you to control your smart devices whether you’re home or not. If you don’t have an Apple TV or a Homepod, you won’t be able to control your smart home from afar. With an Apple TV, you can also preset automation schedules, like turning all your devices on or off at a certain time. It should be noted that an Apple TV (4th-gen) is the only other Apple TV that is HomeKit enabled.
The Lights: Philips Hue White Ambiance Starter Kit
Philips Hue are the most trusted smart lights you can buy — they just work. You can mess around with up 50,000 shades of white in the Phillips Hue app, or just create settings within the App app along with all your other HomeKit devices. It’s important to note that you can buy individual lights, but you need to have a Hue bridge from them to work — that’s why we suggest buying this starter hit.
The Thermostat: Ecobee4
There are a number of smart thermostats that work with HomeKit, including Honeywell’s Lyric Round ($250) and the iDevices Thermostat ($130), but the Ecobee4 is our favorite. It comes with a remote room sensor, which the others don’t, that you can place in an area that is notoriously hot or cold. The sensor can then relay the signal back to the main thermostat, which will then adjust the temperature accordingly. The Ecobee4 also has Alexa built-in, allowing voice-controlled adjustment of the temperature. You can also adjust the temperature with Siri by speaking to your iPhone or iPad. (Note: this thermostat requires a three-wire installation.)
The Lock: August Smart Lock Pro
At well over $200, this is an expensive smart lock — but it’s the best one out there. The Smart Lock Pro is actually a bundle that includes a smart lock, a wi-fi hub that lets you lock and unlock the door from anywhere (even if you’re far away) and a door sensor that indicates whether the door is opened or closed. Also, the lock doesn’t replace the door’s existing deadbolt, so you still have the option of manually locking your door the old fashion way.
The Sensor: Elgato Eve Room Sensor
This indoor sensor can track things like temperature, air quality and humidity. After installing and placing in a certain room, you’ll then be able to whip out your iOS device and ask about specific rooms, (e.g. “Hey Siri, what’s the temperature in the bedroom?”). The idea is that you can place multiple sensors around your house and get a better idea of your home’s total environment.
The Camera: Logitech Circle 2
The Circle 2 works much the same way as other smart security cameras. It can capture images in 1080p, send push notifications and keep a backlog of images for 24 hours without a subscription. It’s also weatherproof, so you can stick it outdoors (as long as it’s plugged in). The main advantage of the addition of Homekit support is it’s simpler to access: you don’t have to open Logitech’s app; instead, you’ll be able to see a live feed right from your iPhone’s dashboard. You’ll be able to see the live feed by saying, “Hey Siri, show me the security camera.” And you can set up home automations with your other HomeKit-supported devices, too — for instance, when the camera detects movement, it’ll trigger the lights or fan to turn on.
The Switch: Logitech POP Smart Button Kit
The HomePod is the first Siri-enabled smart speaker, but if you’re not in the same room as it, and you don’t have your iPhone on you either, you might not be able to turn a light on/off. That can be frustrating. This switch resolves that. After a simple setup process, you can program it to turn on/off lights and also set scenes. No more asking Siri or whipping out your iPhone required.
The Plug: ConnectSense Smart Outlet
This is our favorite HomeKit-friendly smart plug. It features two outlets, plus a USB port on the side to charge another device. Adjacent to both outlets are corresponding buttons that you can physically press to turn the outlets on/off, which will come in handy should you misplace your iPhone. The outlet also had LED lights built-in — it can effectively turn the outlet into a night light.
The Extra: Nanoleaf Aurora Lighting Smarter Kit and Remote
Nanoleaf’s Aurora is a set of triangle-shaped LED-light panels that mount on your wall and change colors. Each panel can be light up with 16.7 million colors, according to Nanoleaf, and with varying levels of warm and cold light. It’s really a unique and funky lighting fixture that you can build out as you go. (You can add up to 30 panels; the starter kit includes nine panels.) Also, Nanoleaf just announced a 12-sided remote can be rolled like a die; whichever way the remote lands, that triggers a light configuration or scene with other HomeKit devices. |
The Fixture: Hunter Apache Fan
No longer do you need to flip a switch to turn on your fan. This 54-inch, smart ceiling fan works with HomeKit so you can turn it on/off and adjust its speeds via your iPhone. It also can be programmed as part of scenes with your other devices. As for the fan itself, it has a WhisperWind motor for powerful-yet-quiet performance. Even more impressively, it’s reversible — able to provide a downdraft or updraft depending on the season and how you want the room to feel.
The Newest HomeKit-Enabled Devices
Philips Hue Calla and Lily Outdoor Lights
The Calla and Lily are Phillips Hue’s first smart outdoor lights. They come in both white and color options and work in exactly the same way with the same app as the company’s other smart lights. The Philips Hue Lily is a $280 spotlight that’s designed to illuminate a single area, like a garden. And the Philips Hue Calla is a $130 ground light, designed to brighten up outdoor pathways. Both lights will work with the Hue Bridge. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait to summer to buy them — both Calla and Lily outdoor lights will be available this July.
iDevices Instant Switch
This wireless wall switch requires no nails or wires to setup. Instead, it has an adhesive back that you can stick anywhere. It’s able to control the existing smart devices in your house that are set up as a certain scene. It also has a dimming feature to further control the room’s ambiance.
Elgato Eve Button
The Eve Button is, as its name gives away, a small button that can be programmed to controlled individual devices or up to three scenes. If it’s set to control one small lamp, a single tap will turn it on, two taps will dim it, and a long press will turn the lamp off. The same goes for scenes. The button is easy to use, portable and is specifically designed to work with iOS devices.
Fibaro The Button
This is similar to other smart switches on this list. It can be programed to initiate up to three different scenes: with one click, two clicks and a long press to initiate all different actions. The big thing here is the aesthetic. It’s a giant button that comes in either red, black or white.
Netgear Arlo Baby
Right away you’ll notice the bunny ears. Netgear’s Arlo Baby is a smart baby monitor that looks like a bunny; for an extra $20, you can make it look like a puppy or kitten instead. The camera is simple to set up and can be integrated with up to five other Netgear Arlo cameras (not necessarily other Baby cameras). It shoots up to 1080p video with up to a 130-degree field of view. The camera can detect motion or noise, so if your child stirs it’ll send you a push notification. Additionally, through the Arlo app you can play lullabies or white noise, which could help the child sleep. The Arlo Baby just recently got updated to work with HomeKit, so you can now see live feeds in the iOS Home app.
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