The best HomeKit devices you can buy to build your smart home
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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 Sensesmart 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
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
The best HomeKit light strip
Why you’ll love it: The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus can be as long or short as you want it to be, plus it’s super reliable and works well in the Apple Home app.
Looking to expand your lighting setup and add some accent lighting to your home? Then the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is the way to go. Like other Philips Hue lights, you will need to make sure you have the Philips Hue hub, but if you already do, then the Lightstrip Plus is a great addition to any home.
The strip is 80 inches long, and you can buy a 40-inch extension for it if you want it to be even longer. If the 80 inches is too large for your space, you can simply cut it to better fit your needs. On top of that, the Lightstrip Plus is relatively flat and easy to attach to surfaces using the included adhesive.
Of course, there are a few downsides to the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus. The biggest downside is that it is expensive, coming in at $80. Also, as mentioned, it requires a hub to work, so if you don’t already have the Philips Hue hub, then you’ll need to pay an even higher price.
Still, we found that the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus was ultra-reliable, and like other Philips Hue products, worked perfectly in the Apple Home app.
Pros: Reliable, colorful, versatile lengths
The best HomeKit plug
Why you’ll love it: The Belkin WeMo Mini is small and stylish, plus it’s relatively inexpensive, so you can deck out your home with these switches without spending too much cash.
While smart appliances are set to become increasingly common, the fact is that not everyone wants to replace all their older appliances with new ones. Thankfully, you can turn almost any dumb appliance into a smart one, thanks to a smart switch like the Belkin WeMo Mini.
There are a few reasons we recommend the WeMo Mini over other smart switches. For example, the switch is shaped so it doesn’t block the other outlets. You can even plug two WeMo Minis into a dual-plug outlet. Most other smart switches are too large for that.
The switch is also relatively inexpensive, making it a great choice for those who want to outfit their home with smart switches.
Not everything about the Belkin WeMo Mini is perfect. For example, the switch is pretty basic. If you want to be able to do things like track power usage, then you’ll need to shell out a little more cash for a different outlet. Also, the actual WeMo app isn’t great, though, thankfully, you can use the Home app instead.
Pros: Inexpensive, easy-to-use, works with range of smart home ecosystems
Cons: Basic, WeMo app isn’t great
The best HomeKit lock
Why you’ll love it: The Schlage Sense comes in a few different designs and colors, plus it’s relatively easy to install and works well with the Apple Home app.
Adding a HomeKit-enabled lock to your home allows you to set it to automatically lock and unlock depending on your location. You can also lock the door from bed if you happen to forget. If you’re looking for a great HomeKit-enabled lock, then we recommend the Schlage Sense. It has a nice design and works well in the Apple Home app.
The lock is actually available in a few designs, so you should be able to find one that fits nicely with your home’s style. Installing it is also very easy, though you will want to set aside a good half hour or so to do so. Thankfully, the Schlage app walks you through the process.
Once installed, the lock is very easy to use. Not only can you control the lock with HomeKit, but you can also use the number pad on the outside of the device to lock and unlock the door, or you can use the good old fashioned key that comes with the lock, too.
There are a few downsides to this lock. Perhaps the biggest is that you have to be willing to replace your entire deadbolt, which means this probably isn’t the best lock for someone who’s renting. The device is also a little more expensive than some other smart locks. Still, we used the Schlage Sense for around six months, and found that it worked excellently.
Pros: Nice designs, easy to use, lots of ways to lock and unlock
Cons: Requires complete replacement of deadbolt
The best HomeKit dimmable light switch
Why you’ll love it: The Belkin WeMo Dimmer switch connects to your HomeKit setup through Wi-Fi so you can control your lights with your phone or the switch itself.
For many, smart light switches make more sense than smart light bulbs. With a smart light switch, you can continue to control your lights with your phone even if the switch has been turned off, which is great for those who live with people who don’t want to use their phones or voice to control everything. If you want a dimmable light switch, then we recommend the Belkin WeMo Dimmer.
There are plenty of reasons why the Belkin WeMo Dimmer switch is a great option. For starters, the switch is well designed so. uit won;t stick out like a sore thumb, and it’s easy to use manually like a normal light switch, which is perfect for guests.
It’s also relatively easy to install, though it does require a neutral wire, so you’ll want to double-check that your home has neutral wires for light switches.
But what are the downsides to the switch? Well, perhaps the most notable is that it’s expensive, which means you’ll have to shell out a lot of cash to outfit your entire home with switches. Still, if you have the cash, or only want to set up one or two switches, then the Belkin WeMo Dimmer switch is well worth the money.
Pros: Nice design, relatively easy to install
Cons: Expensive, requires neutral wire
The best HomeKit non-dimmable light switch
Why you’ll love it: The Eve Light Switch works great with HomeKit and it’s very simple looking, so it should fit right in at home.
If you’re looking for a basic light switch and don’t need dimming capabilities, then we recommend the Eve Light Switch. The switch is simple, elegant, and highly functional.
This switch is specifically built to work with HomeKit, but it can also be used with the Eve app, which itself can be used to control all of your HomeKit devices, regardless of whether or not they were built by Eve.
Unlike some of the other switches, the Eve Light Switch connects to your phone through Bluetooth, so you have to be in range to control it with your phone.
Unfortunately, like other smart switches, the Eve Light Switch is a little expensive, which seems to be the main downside to the device. You’ll also need to have a neutral wire to set the device, which is something to keep in mind.
Still, despite the downsides, the Eve Light Switch has gotten good reviews, and works great. Currently, the device sits in with a 4 out of 5 star average on Amazon.
Pros: Beautifully simplistic design, easy to use
Cons: Still a little pricey, only connects through Bluetooth
The best HomeKit security camera
Why you’ll love it: The Logitech Circle 2 has a nice design, it works well with the Logitech Circle app, and it is one of the few security cameras that connects to HomeKit.
In the past few years, Apple has added a lot more support to HomeKit for security cameras, and you can now see your security camera’s feed at any time through the Home app. If you’re looking for a security camera to integrate with HomeKit, then the Logitech Circle 2 is the camera to go for.
The camera has a 1,080p resolution with a 180-degree field-of-view, which is more than wide enough for most use cases. Even though you may mostly use the HomeKit app to see your camera’s feed, the camera requires setup through the Logitech Circle app.
Logitech offers you free 24-hour cloud storage of video footage, though you can upgrade to get more storage. Other features include two-way talking, a smart time-lapse brief for each day, smart alarms, the ability to set motion zones, and more.
We’ve been using the camera with HomeKit for a while now, and while there are some limitations in how it works with HomeKit, that has more to do with HomeKit than the camera itself. For example, with HomeKit you can’t set a security camera to turn on or off, but you can do that in the Circle app.
It’s also important to note that the Logitech Circle 2 is available in a wireless version, but the wireless version does not work with HomeKit, so if you want HomeKit integration, you’ll have to stick with the wired model. The other main downside is that the camera is a little pricey, though not overly so.
Pros: Quality camera sensor, nice design, easy setup
Cons: Wireless version doesn’t work with HomeKit, HomeKit has limited functionality with cameras, a little pricey
The best non-Apple HomeKit speaker
Why you’ll love it: The Sonos One has AirPlay 2 built into it, so you’ll be able to control it straight from the HomeKit app, and it sounds great.
The HomePod is great, but it’s a little expensive. Thankfully, it’s not the only speaker that can be viewed in the Apple Home app. It’s important ti note that if you want Siri integration, you will need the HomePod, though.
However, any speaker with AirPlay 2 compatibility can be viewed in the Home app, and we think the Sonos One is the best of them. For those who dabble with other digital assistants, the Sonos One also has Alexa built in, with Google Assistant set to come to it soon.
Sonos has been building its range of smart speakers for a few years now, and the Sonos One is the culmination of that work. The speaker is well-designed with either an all-black or all-white look, plus it’s easy to set up and integrate with other Sonos products within the Sonos app. Once it’s all set up, through AirPlay 2, you can also connect the Sonos One to your speaker, so meaning you can use it with automations.
One of the best things about Sonos’ speakers is that it sounds great. It boasts deep, powerful low end, with well-tuned mids and clear and detailed highs. While it not a totally natural sound, anyone who’s not a dedicated audiophile should be more than happy with the frequency response that it delivers.
There are a few downsides to the Sonos One, despite the fact that it’s such a great speaker, For example, the speaker is a little pricey, coming in at $199. On top of that, Google Assistant’s release has been pushed a few times, so this probably isn’t the best choice for those who want Google on their speaker now.
Last but not least, while AirPlay 2 speakers can be viewed in HomeKit, you can’t actually do much to control them in the Home app, though you can use Siri on your phone or other device to play music on speakers in Home.
Pros: Great sound quality, very smart
Cons: A little expensive, Google Assistant has yet to arrive, control in Home app is limited
The best HomeKit thermostat
Why you’ll love it: The Ecobee4 allows you to control your home’s temperature and use it with automations in the HomeKit app.
Perfecting the heating and cooling in your house can play a huge role in ensuring that your home is comfortable, and integrating that system with your smart home can be important when it comes to automation and daily routines. If you want a smart thermostat that works excellently with HomeKit, then we recommend the Ecobee4.
One of the best things about the Ecobee4 is that it’s incredibly functional. At its core, the thermostat is all about keeping your home comfortable. While other thermostats focus on adding techy features, the Ecobee4 ensures that the temperature is always within a good range. It also has a remote sensor, so the thermostat can track temperature in different rooms. That’s perfect for those who live in a multi-story home, where the top floor can get excessively hot.
The Ecobee works beautifully in the Home app, too. From the app, you can control the temperature and use the thermostat in automations. If you want to up your smart home game, the thermostat also has Alexa built right into it, which is perfect for those who use Alexa as their voice assistant.
There are a few downsides to consider when it comes to the Ecobee4. For example, while the thermostat is well-designed, it’s not as beautiful as the Nest Learning Thermostat. It’s perhaps not as intuitive, either, though once you get used to it, it should be pretty easy to use.
Last but not least, if you want external sensors with the device, you’ll need to shell out a little more cash, which can make it quite an investment.
Pros: Well-designed, highly functional, very smart, works with external sensors
Cons: Not as beautiful as Nest, price with sensors adds up
The best HomeKit motion sensor
Why you’ll love it: The Eve Motion Sensor may not be the fanciest motion sensor on the market, but it can be used to unlock a ton of automations in the Home App.
Adding motions sensors to your HomeKit setup can unlock a ton of possibilities. Not only can you use motion sensors to control your lights, but you can also use them to control other devices.
Want your switch connected to your essential oil diffuser to turn on when you enter the office for the day? Want your garage door to open whenever you enter the garage? Motions sensors can help with all of those situations, and we think the best motion sensor is the Eve Motion Sensor.
Perhaps the best thing about the Eve Motion Sensor is how elegant and basic it is. That’s to say it doesn’t draw much attention to itself. It should be easy to hide on a shelf or between other items. It runs on two AA batteries, but those batteries should last months on end without needing to be replaced.
As you would expect, the Eve Motion Sensor is easy to integrate into HomeKit. Once connected, the device can be used for a range of automations, which is where you’ll truly unlock the power of the Home app.
Perhaps the main downside to the Eve Motion Sensor is that it is a little expensive. The device comes in at $39.95, so adding one to each room in your home can add up.
Pros: Basic, simplistic, can be used to control automations in Home
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