In 2014, Apple announced a new connected devices platform called HomeKit, with the hopes of making smart home technology easier and more accessible. It sounds complex, but the gist of it is you can control HomeKit-compatible appliances with your iPhone or Siri.
To make it easier to find the best HomeKit-compatible accessories, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites. We made our selections based on a handful of factors including price, features, user feedback and of course our own personal experience with the products.
As mentioned above, HomeKit allows you to control compatible appliances using devices like your iPhone and iPad. You can either use Apple’s Home app (which debuted in iOS 10) or voice commands via Siri to operate and program things like lights, thermostats and smart plugs. Imagine being able to turn off the bedroom light by simply saying “Hey Siri, I’m going to bed,” or being able to turn your thermostat down with a single tap on your iPhone. These are just a few of the things that are possible with HomeKit. And it’s not complicated to set up. Just install the product and pair it with the Home app. That’s all there is to it!
August Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock turns your smartphone into a smart key. It allows you to lock and unlock your door, keep track of who comes and goes, and even print virtual keys for guests. Installation is super easy and it uses Low Energy Bluetooth for extended battery life. In addition to HomeKit, it also works with Nest devices and Amazon’s Alexa.
Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
If the August Smart Lock isn’t really your style, check out the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt. It meets the highest industry rating for security and durability, and its features include a built-in alarm that senses potential door attacks and the ability to store up to 30 access codes. The touchscreen pin pad is actually a nice little touch, so you can create 1-off codes for guests and the like.
Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
Other than Google’s Nest, the Ecobee line is the most popular smart thermostat line. It’s a #1 Best Seller on Amazon, and a top accessory in Apple’s web store. It’s smart enough to know things like when you’re home and what the weather is like outside, to make sure you’re comfortable when you’re around and saving money when you’re not. It’s also, obviously, compatible with both HomeKit and Amazon Alexa. In fact with the just-released Ecobee4, Alexa is built right in to the thermostat.
Buy for $239.
Philips Hue Ambient Starter Kit
The Philips Hue has been a favorite smart home accessory for a few years now, and the latest generation works with Apple’s HomeKit. The kit gives you 3 color LED bulbs and a bridge that allows you to connect up to 50 lights. You can actually do a lot of cool stuff with Hue lights, like customize the color, create digital scenes, and even sync your lights with music, movies and games for an immersive effect.
iDevices Switch Wi-Fi Smart Plug
If you’re not quite ready to make a large financial commitment to smart home accessories, try starting with something like a smart plug. This allows you to remotely control an appliance plugged into the device with very little setup. We like the iDevices Switch because of its energy tracking features and the customizable LED strip that doubles as a nice hallway or night light.
Buy for $42 (sale).
Koogeek Smart Plug
The Koogeek is another highly rated smart plug. It doesn’t have the LED strip like the iDevices, but it’s less expensive and has a more discreet design. It too allows you to monitor your energy consumption, electricity cost, as well as set schedules and reminders for your appliance and create scenes with multiple plugs. Imagine turning on 5 lamps throughout your house by simple saying “Hey Siri, I’m home.”
Buy for $35 (sale).
Elgato Eve Connected Wall Switch
If you want something more permanent to control your lights, check out Elgato’s Eve connected wall switch. Thanks to its HomeKit support, you can turn your lights on and off using Siri or with a quick tap on your iPhone. It also supports scene creation, so you can pair it with other HomeKit devices to operate a range of appliances with a single command. Uses Low Energy Bluetooth, so there’s no hub to worry about.
Elgato Eve Door & Window Contact Sensor
Live smarter by knowing more about the place you care about most. The Eve Door & Window understands whether your door or window is open or closed, and it can track the time and duration to give you insightful data. You can use this data to perhaps save money on your energy bill or keep your home more secure. The device is truly wireless, with a long-lasting, replaceable battery.
Lutron Caseta Smart Light Switches
If you’re in need of new in-wall dimmer switches, this Lutron Caseta Smart Switch is worth checking out. It is compatible with over 800 bulbs, as well as a variety of smart home systems such as the Ultra Smart Bridge, WINK, Alexa, NEST, Samsung’s SmartThings and of course Apple’s HomeKit.
Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat with Touchscreen
The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat puts comfort control at your fingertips whether you are at home or on-the-go. Just a tap of the easy-to-use touchscreen display or free mobile app lets you remotely access, change or program your home temperatures. There are obviously dozens of these smart thermostats on the market, but the Sensi’s support of Wink and HomeKit platforms help it stand out in the crowd.
Philips Hue Ambiance Wellness Table Lamp
Enhance your everyday life with Wellness Philips Hue White Ambiance. It can wake you up and help you energize, read, concentrate and relax. With 50 thousand shades of white, from warm to cool, you can customize all of your daily routines into moments you can enjoy. As with other Hue products, a wide range of smart home platforms are supported including Nest, SmartThings and of course HomeKit.
If an accessory didn’t make this list, it’s either very poorly reviewed, difficult to purchase or we simply don’t know about it yet. If you think we missed something, let us know about it in the comments below!
And be sure to check out our other roundups: