Have you ever wanted to control your entire smart home with your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV? With Apple HomeKit, you can control smart devices from more than 100 different brands. HomeKit has excellent potential, though much of it depends on the HomeKit accessories you choose. Here, we review some of the top compatible peripherals, including smart lights, locks, thermostats, security cameras, and more.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock makes it possible for you to do things like track who is coming and going, give access to specific people, or lock and unlock your door remotely. Plus, it attaches to your existing deadbolt, so you don’t have to get a new set of house keys. In addition to being compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, it’s compatible with Apple HomeKit, too. You can check out our full review of the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock here.
Don’t want to have to worry about a house key? Yale Assure Lock uses a touchscreen keypad. If you upgrade your Yale Assure Lock (models YRD246 or YRD256) with a Yale iM1 Network Module, it’ll be compatible with Apple HomeKit. The module typically costs somewhere in the $50 range, and it’ll let you control the lock with voice commands and more. Read more about the Yale Assure SL lock in our full review (here).
The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt is another great option. It has both a keypad and keyhole, plus you can use your smartphone as your key. It comes in a wide variety of styles and finishes, and it’s compatible with Apple HomeKit and most other home automation systems.
Now, your favorite Hue products work with your Apple devices. You can adjust dimming, change colors in certain rooms, sync your lights, set scenes, and more. The Philips Hue Starter Kit is a great way to get started with smart lighting.
Lifx A19 LED Bulbs are another great HomeKit-compatible option. Delivering 1,100 lumens, they’re about as bright as a 75-watt incandescent bulb. However, they’re energy-efficient at only 11 watts, and they have a 22-year lifespan. With 16 million color options and no hub required, Lifx A19s offer a lot in a compact-sized bulb. They also just introduced the Candle Color, the first smart LED bulb that can emit multiple colors of light at once.
If you want something a little bit different, Nanoleaf’s Light Panels are triangular smart light panels you can shape into whatever design you like. Connect them to Apple HomeKit to activate different scenes. There’s even a rhythm add-on, so your panels and music will work in sync. If you’re looking for a less expensive way to add some color to your space, another great option is the LIFX Z, a HomeKit controllable Multi Color LED Light strip. The ribbon comes in at 6.6 feet, and additional extensions can be added on for greater flexibility.
Switches and smart plugs
“Hey Siri, dim the bedroom light.” The WeMo Smart Light Switch lets you voice-control your lights, set your lights on a schedule, and optimize your lights based on the bulbs you’re using and prevent flickering. With Apple HomeKit, you can tell Siri to turn the lights off for bedtime, or you can have her set the lights to brighten in the morning. The Lutron Caseta Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch is also compatible with HomeKit, and you can even install the switch without a neutral wire.
Another option is to go with a smart plug, which lets you control devices you plug in (think lamps, holiday lights, or even appliances). The Wemo Mini Smart Plug lets you control a plugged-in device with your voice or phone when you connect it to Apple HomeKit. For an even smaller version, you may prefer the Pure Gear PureSwitch, which offers app control, timers, and energy management options for anything you plug in. The iHome ISP6X Smart Plug also lets you control your plugged-in device with your phone or voice through Apple HomeKit. The plug also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Although the Ecobee 4 Smart WiFi Thermostat comes with Alexa built-in, it is also Google Home and Apple HomeKit-compatible. It comes with a room sensor to manage hot and cold spots in your home, and can also use scheduling or geofencing to manage your home’s heating and cooling. We conducted a full review of the Ecobee 4 if you want to learn more about it (here). Ecobee has other HomeKit-compatible offerings as well, such as the new Ecobee SmartThermostat (full review here). Or, if you want something a bit more affordable, the Ecobee 3 Lite still has a lot to offer. The Lite works with HomeKit and other smart home systems, but it doesn’t have Alexa built into the thermostat.
Honeywell’s Lyric T5 thermostat is HomeKit-compatible as well, and it’s a very cost-effective option. It has features like geofencing, scheduling, and smart alerts. Adaptive auto-recovery makes it so the thermostat knows how long it takes to heat or cool your home to your desired temperature at specific times, and the thermostat can also auto-change from heat to cool. Check out our full review of the Lyric T5 (here). Otherwise, if you are more interested in a minimal approach — a thermostat that appears to disappear into your wall — you’ll want to take a look at the Mysa Smart Thermostat; variations are available for both baseboard heating and in-floor heating. Minimal doesn’t mean simple, however, as the Mysa includes a smartphone app for monitoring your energy usage and setting up a heating schedule.
Cameras and security devices
Logitech’s Circle 2 is a smart choice if you’re looking for a security camera you can use indoors and outdoors. It’s weatherproof, easy to set up, and comes with some pretty decent free features, like 24-hour cloud storage and smart alerts with snapshots. Some of the more advanced features, like person detection and motion zones, require a paid subscription (after a 10-day free trial). Check out our full review of the Logitech Circle 2 (here).
The D-Link Omna 180 Cam is another good option (full review here). We like the fact that it has a built-in 128GB-capacity Micro SD card slot, so you can record video clips based on motion triggers. It also kind of looks like a droid. Keep in mind, if you want to stream a HomeKit-enabled camera remotely, you need a HomePod, an Apple TV 4K, or Apple TV (4th generation).
Apple HomeKit supports other security devices outside of just cameras. Sensors like the Fibaro Door and Window Sensor can add extra home security, while also making it possible for you to to do things like have the lights turn on when your door opens. The Fibaro system even monitors for shifts in temperature throughout your home.
Whether you’re a music fanatic or cinephile, you can use Apple HomeKit to expand your at-home A/V experience. For starters, the Apple HomePod is an excellent way to listen to your favorite playlists. The speaker’s sound is big, rich, and bass-filled, and the device’s six microphones are quick to pick up on your “Hey, Siri” commands, even in a room filled with noise. You can read more about our thoughts on the HomePod here. Do note that in order to use the HomePod, you’ll want to make sure your iOS devices are running on iOS 11.2.5 or later.
Alternatively, the Sonos One, Sonos Beam, and Sonos Amp are all HomeKit-compatible and can be controlled directly through your iOS device with Airplay 2.
For home-theater hounds, the fourth-gen Apple TV 4K is a fantastic way to bring HomeKit to your media cave. The streaming device delivers crystal-clear 4K HDR and features Siri support. In cases where you may need a smart bridge to control your HomeKit devices, the Apple TV can do that, too.
While relatively few smart home devices require bridges or hubs to work these days, bridges can still play an important role in some smart home setups. In this case, bridges can make sure that more devices from a brand work with HomeKit and the Home app, so if you have a particular favorite brand of smart devices, you may be able to expand their Apple compatibility.
The Wemo Bridge is a good example of this. While only a few Belkin Wemo devices are natively compatible with Home, this bridge expands that compatibility to include the Dimmer, LightSwitch, Insight Smart Plug, Wemo Switch, and more — making it a great choice if you’ve been adding Wemo devices to your home over the past years. And, as mentioned above, the Apple TV 4K can also function as a bridge for your HomeKit devices.
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