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- If you decide to build your smart home with devices that are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, you want to be sure that you’re choosing the right gadgets.
- We’ve rounded up the best HomeKit devices you can buy to build your smart home from the ground up with only Apple-approved products.
- You’ll want to get an Apple TV or the HomePod speaker to serve as your smart home hub, the Philips Hue smart lights, Belkin’s WeMo Mini smart outlet, and the Logitech Circle 2 security camera to start.
- We also have more recommendations for advanced smart home tech like the Ecobee4 smart thermostat and the Schlage Sense smart door lock.
Although the Google Home and Alexa smart home ecosystems might be larger, there’s something to be said for an ecosystem of products that all work together perfectly. Apple’s HomeKit is the ideal smart home ecosystem to base your smart home around if you prefer a more carefully curated selection of smart home products. All HomeKit compatible products are vetted by Apple and made to work seamlessly together with the same ease that the Mac, iPhone, and Apple Watch all work together.
Of course, the HomeKit ecosystem is already pretty big, and it’s only getting bigger, so it can be tough to find the right devices for your smart home. That is why we’ve put together this guide — to help you find the perfect HomeKit devices for your needs.
There are a number of things to consider when buying something for your HomeKit setup. For starters, you’ll want to check whether or not you can use the device with HomeKit alone or if you’ll need to use the manufacturer’s app for setup. For many people, using a third-party app initially won’t matter, but others prefer to stick solely within the Apple Home app.
You’ll also want to make sure that the devices work with your house’s physical setup. Light switches, wall outlets, thermostats, and other similar devices all have to be wired into your home, and different homes might have slightly different wiring setups.
It’s also important to keep in mind that to use HomeKit devices outside of your home, you’ll need to set up a HomeKit hub. A number of devices can work as a hub in a HomeKit setup, including an Apple TV, HomePod, and in some situations, an iPad. We’ve noted our favorite HomeKit hub below along with all the other gadgets you might want for your HomeKit smart home.
Here are the best HomeKit devices you can buy:
- Best HomeKit Hub: Apple TV 4K
- Best HomeKit smart speaker: Apple HomePod
- Best HomeKit lights: Philips Hue
- Best HomeKit light strip: Philips Hue Lightstrip
- Best HomeKit switch: Belkin WeMo Mini
- Best HomeKit lock: Schlage Sense
- Best HomeKit dimmer switch: Belkin WeMo Dimmer Switch
- Best HomeKit light switch: Eve Light Switch
- Best HomeKit security camera: Logitech Circle 2
- Best HomeKit non-Apple speaker: Sonos One
- Best HomeKit thermostat: Ecobee4
- Best HomeKit motion sensor: Eve Motion Sensor
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best HomeKit hub
Why you’ll love it: The Apple TV 4K is a great streaming player and it works as a HomeKit hub, so you can control your HomeKit devices from outside the home.
If you’re looking for a hub for HomeKit and like the idea of bringing your TV into the Apple ecosystem, then the Apple TV 4K is definitely the way to go.
Buying an Apple TV serves multiple purposes: Not only can you use it to control your HomeKit devices when you’re outside your home, but you can also use it to make your TV smart and stream video from apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and more.
There are a few things that make the Apple TV 4K such a great choice. As you can probably tell from the device’s name, it’s the only Apple TV to support 4K streaming, but it also supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, plus HDR10. The device itself is relatively sleek and stylish. It’s black, has a HDMI port on the back of it, so it should look right at home on any TV stand.
Of course, in the context of Apple’s HomeKit, it can come in handy, too. That’s because with the Apple TV set up as a hub, your HomeKit devices will connect to it and your Wi-Fi network, so you can control your HomeKit devices from outside your home. Without a hub set up, you can only control your devices when you’re within range of your home.
I’ve been using the Apple TV 4K for quite a while now, and I absolutely love it. Not only is it an excellent way to elevate the TV-watching experience, but it works like a charm with HomeKit, too.
Pros: Easy to use, great design, works excellently with HomeKit
The best HomeKit smart speaker
Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images
Why you’ll love it: The Apple HomePod works great as a HomeKit hub, plus it boasts excellent sound and has Siri built right into it.
Want to be able to control your smart home with your voice? The Apple HomePod is a great way to do so. The HomePod was released by Apple a few years ago, and it has Siri built right into it. You can ask Siri to turn your lights on and off, change the temperature of your HomeKit-enabled thermostat, and so on.
One of the main reasons you might buy the HomePod is to listen to music, and thankfully, the it sounds great. The speaker boasts smooth yet powerful bass response, sculpted yet still very nice sounding mids, and a ton of clarity and detail in the high-end. In fact, we would argue that the HomePod is one of the better smart speakers in terms of sound.
It’s important to note that the HomePod can work as more than just a smart speaker. It can actually also be used as a HomeKit hub, so if you don’t want to get an Apple TV, then you can use this as your hub instead.
Despite the perfect score, many reviewers did note a few downsides. For example, the speaker is pretty expensive, and while Siri might be fine for many users, it most certainly lags behind the competition and could use an update.
Pros: Excellent sound, works great as a HomeKit hub, stylish design
Cons: Expensive, Siri needs work
The best HomeKit lights
Why you’ll love it: Philips’ Hue range of smart bulbs are excellent, easy to use, and very affordable, plus, in the Home app, you can control their brightness and use them in automations.
Philips is a pioneer in smart lighting, and if you want great smart lighting that works perfectly with HomeKit in 2019, then Philips Hue is absolutely the way to go. Hue lights are the most reliable smart lights out there, and there are a range of lighting products that work with the Hue hub.
If you’re looking to get started in the world of smart lighting, then we recommend the Philips Hue starter kit. There are a few starter kits available, but the one we recommend comes with four A19 white bulbs and a Philips Hue hub. That hub is a necessary part of any Philips Hue setup, as it connects the lights to your Wi-Fi so you can control them remotely. The hub is what makes Philips’ lights more reliable than any other smart lights.
If you have the hub, you can add bulbs without buying another hub, which means that while there is a higher upfront cost, in the long run, the cost evens out a little. If you want to change the color of your lights, you need the color bulbs, but you can add those to your collection over time.
Philips Hue lights work flawlessly with HomeKit. You will need to connect the lights to HomeKit through the Philips Hue app, but once you’ve used that app to set everything up, you can safely store it on your fourth home screen and only use it to add extra bulbs.
We’ve been using Philips Hue bulbs for a few years now, and have yet to run into any real issues. If you want to expand, you can do so, too — not only with extra bulbs, but also with switches.
But are there any downsides? Well, there’s one — the fact that Hue has a higher upfront cost than other systems. Some smart bulbs connect directly to Wi-Fi so that you don’t have to use a hub, but we think going for Hue is better overall, as that hub ultimately makes your system more reliable.
Pros: Reliable, huge range of bulbs, ultimately affordable
Cons: Higher upfront cost
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