HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of ‌HomeKit‌ products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite ‌HomeKit‌ products that we find most useful.

  • HomePod mini ($99) - At $99, the HomePod mini is probably the best HomeKit-enabled speaker on the market. It integrates seamlessly with your other Apple devices, and can be used to control all of your other ‌HomeKit‌ products with Siri, while also serving as a home hub for accessing ‌HomeKit‌ devices when you're out of the house. ‌HomePod mini‌ also works with Apple's Intercom feature, so if you have multiple ‌HomePod mini‌ (or HomePod) speakers in the house, you can use them to communicate.
  • Logitech Circle View Doorbell ($199) - The Circle View replaces your existing doorbell with a version that offers video, so you can see who is at your door and keep an eye on package deliveries. It features HomeKit Secure Video, so the only plan you need is a 200GB or 1TB iCloud Storage plan to record video. It offers HD video, color night vision, and an unobtrusive design.
  • Logitech Circle View Camera ($160) - If you want a ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ camera but not in doorbell format, Logitech also has the Circle View Camera with a 180 degree field of view, water resistance, and a high-quality camera that shows everything in full detail.
  • Ecobee Smart Camera ($79) - If you don't want to spend over $100 for a security camera, Ecobee also has a Smart Camera available that's just $79. It offers 1080p video, a 180 degre field of view, smoke alarm detection, and more. It supports ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ as an optional feature.
  • Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control ($250) - This is Ecobee's top of the line Smart Thermostat, which learns and adapts to your schedule to keep your home at a comfortable temperature at all times. The Voice Control feature is Alexa-based, but it lets you listen to Spotify, make calls, and send messages. With ‌HomeKit‌, it also responds to ‌Siri‌ voice commands and can be controlled through the Home app. If you don't need the Voice Control, make sure to check out Ecobee's more affordable options.
  • Nanoleaf Essentials A19 ($20) - Nanoleaf is mostly known for its wall-mounted Light Panels, but late last year, the company came out with a new Essentials line that includes HomeKit-enabled WiFi light bulbs. It's affordable at $20, and can be set to any color, plus it has a fun multi-faceted design that looks great in situations where the light bulb is visible. Nanoleaf's Essential bulbs feature Thread support, which is a mesh network that allows smart home products to better communicate with one another. Thread has many benefits, including extended range and coverage within the home, and better reliability for smart home products. No hub is required, and Thread devices integrate with other Thread devices, such as Apple's ‌HomePod mini‌.
  • Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip ($50) - Nanoleaf's Essentials line also includes a Lightstrip, which is priced at $50 for 80 inches, with expansion strips available too. The Nanoleaf Lightstrips connect to a ‌HomeKit‌ setup over WiFi and can be set to any color. You can put the Lightstrips under counters, behind TVs, behind desks, and more, thanks to the adhesive backing.

Have a favorite ‌HomeKit‌ device that we left out? Let us know in the comments and we may highlight it in a future ‌HomeKit‌ video.

Top Rated Comments

ibran Avatar
7 months ago
If you like to tinker and have access to a Raspberry Pi, Homebridge ('https://github.com/homebridge/homebridge') is the greatest thing ever. It lets me manage my hodgepodge of smart home devices within the Home app regardless of official HomeKit support, including my Ring alarm and TP-Link Kasa outlets. Use a Ring motion detector to trigger Hue bulbs? No problem. Use a Hue switch to set a scene including Kasa and IKEA Tradfri bulbs? Easy.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CHLFC Avatar
7 months ago
As you mentioned the HomePod Mini quite prominently at the beginning, when you mentioned the Nanoleaf bulbs it would have been interesting if you said a little bit about Thread, which is new on the HomePod Mini and uniquely almost to Nanoleaf bulbs. Thread is going to be interesting for smart homes going forward delivering faster response times to commands amongst other things
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
7 months ago
https://www.casetawireless.com

I have a bunch of their switches and dimmers, work flawlessly.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
munpip214 Avatar
7 months ago
Lutron Caseta wireless products are rock solid. Plus dimmers don’t need a neutral wire. It does need a hub but that is part of why they are so reliable.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PJWilkin Avatar
7 months ago
I have some Meross smart plugs
cheap and work well with home kit
highly recommended
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CJ Dorschel Avatar
7 months ago
August smart locks are the best on the market. just change the interior deadbolt with the smart lock as there is no need to re-key your door. The current generation model doesn’t require the connect bridge as it’s all built into the lock which is now smaller. Works with HomeKit as well as all other smart home systems.

Phillips hue is another essential. My homes have had Hue systems since 2012 and I have not replaced a single bulb since. I did break one by accident and Phillips replaced it at no cost. Start small with a few bulbs from a kit with a bridge 2.0 and work your way up. It can be an expensive investment but you don’t need to make every bulb in your home a smart bulb and long-term it will save you energy costs and programming, scheduling, etc. can act as a security deterrent.

my home in Berlin has a Control4 system with HomeKit devices mixed in. My home in New York is mostly HomeKit. Between the two I prefer HomeKit.

For devices that are not HomeKit I’ve used homebridge yet Apple has opened up the HomeKit system so I hope other manufacturers begin using the API.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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