HomeKit Automation #002: How to properly group accessories

In the second entry to our HomeKit automation series, we take a look at the different grouping methods for accessories. This is especially helpful in lights or fixtures that utilize multiple bulbs.

If you prefer to watch, rather than read, check our tutorial in video form.

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Now let’s go ahead and move on and look at this week’s challenge and tutorial.

The goal

Sometimes, certain accessories are easier to control when lumped together. For instance, if you have a ceiling fixture or lamp that requires multiple bulbs, or if you have multiple HomeKit light bulbs installed, you traditionally would need to control each of them individually.

As the example in this setup, I have a tall floor lamp in my dining room. In the top are two individual Hue bulbs. I would call them “Tall Lamp 1” and “Tall Lamp 2” in my Home app.

Whenever I want to turn the lights on or off, I have to do it to both bulbs individually. I could create several scenes that involve both lights, but there is a much better way.

How to properly group HomeKit accessories

To group these types of accessories into a single one, we will group them within the Home app. In this tutorial, I’m using Apple’s Home app, though the same feature is available in many others on the App Store.

To follow along at home, you need the Home app, and at least two HomeKit accessories you want to group together.

1) Open the Home app and choose the Rooms tab.

2) 3D Touch on any of the accessories that you wish to group together, and tap Details in the lower right hand corner.

3) Tap on Group with Other Accessories… under the GROUP header.

4) You are now free to choose any of the other accessories within your home to control as one.

5) Give the new grouped accessory a name, and you are all set.

Additional notes

Once accessories are grouped together, they will be controlled as a single unit. That includes on/off state, as well as color & brightness (if it is a light).

When you view this new grouped accessory, you can easily view the accessories that are included, or ungroup them.

Don’t feel limited to your lights! Lumping accessories may be primarily useful for lights, but it is also useful for other accessories (such as outlets).

It is worth noting that grouping accessories together is not the only way to control several accessories at once. You can still use ZonesRooms, and Scenes.

Wrap up

I often grouped accessories in my home. I have several overhead lighting fixtures that each have three bulbs, and several standing lamps that each have two bulbs in the top.

They’ve made things much more manageable, and cleaner within my Home app.

Did you give this HomeKit tip a try?

Let me know how it went, or any modifications you made, down in the comments!

Be sure to stay tuned to iDownloadBlog for our next installment in the HomeKit Automation series. If you’ve got any HomeKit questions or ideas for automation, please reach out to me on Twitter @Andrew_OSU.