Start at the door with Schlage Sense. This product not only is easy to install for most DIYer’s but is a great place to begin your HomeKit adoption. The lock provides a variety of ways to control including voice, Schlage Sense application, Apple’s Home application, keypad, and lastly a physical key. You can use the existing key that you already have for your home so you won’t have to won’t have to change the rest of your locks at home. Its sleek looks will help add a pep to your front door and it comes in a variety of finish options. Last but not least the product line is made by a company with that dates as far back as 1909. Schlage began its journey as a cutting edge tech company back then when it invented and patented a door lock that would also turn on lights. Kind of neat that they are still pushing the industry forward today becoming one of the first HomeKit enabled door locks. You can read more about two of Schlage smart locks by clicking here.
While changing out hardware and wiring in your home may seem a bit more difficult for the “Average Joe”. Lutron Caséta Wireless offers smart products that can help you do just that. Their step by step guides and videos can help even the most novice of DIYer’s feel like they missed their calling as an electrician. The products they offer range from smart dimmer switches to smart switches that can control power to things such as lights or ceiling fans. They also offer remote accessories and mounts to help you in 3 way/4 way installation and saves you considerable money over some of their competitors. You can read my full review of Lutron Caséta Wireless by clicking here. The most notable benefit that Lutron Caséta offers is its vast product line and integrations. These products truly can adapt to your specific installation and usability needs.
Perhaps the easiest smart home lighting set up product for HomeKit is the Philips Hue lighting line up. Be careful where you put these as using them in a multi-bulb set up can get very expensive and you would be better off using the Lutron Caséta products listed above. However, I love using these in lamps all around my home. They can add just the right shade of white with the use of their white ambiance light bulb collection, or they can really jazz up your place with their color ambiance bulb collection. Philips hue also offers a wide range of design centric lights like their smart light-strips. Philips hue go, and Philips hue bloom, that can flood an area with brilliant colors or provide subtle conversation starters around your home. Fair warning though, smart bulbs come with a variety of quirks and limitations that you may need to over come even though Philips Hue has done a pretty good job navigating around these issues. You can read more about what and where to use specific lighting products around your home here. For a very quick and easy intro into the HomeKit smart home lifestyle, it’s hard to beat out the easy of adopting Philips Hue.
What is a smart home without brainless control? I’m not talking about using your voice or setting a schedule, but what about walking into a room and having your house just start adapting to your presence? Enter Elgato Eve Motion. This tiny wireless motion sensor can be set up in minutes and can be used to trigger numerous actions from other HomeKit accessories you have installed around your home. With Eve Motion walking into your living-room could trigger your lights to come on, your thermostat to kick to your preset comfort level, all while lowering your smart blinds to give you more privacy. I have said it before but Eve Motion and other sensors act as the quarter back of your HomeKit smart home. You can read my review of Eve Motion by clicking here, and while there has been a small noted lag in responsiveness in the past with these Bluetooth products, iOS 11 aims to fix these issues and more.
What! Another Eve product? I recently purchased renovated and move my family into another home. The previous owners of the home had smoked inside and had pets that, to say it lightly, decorated the home how they pleased. During the renovation process, we did all that we could to eliminate any odors left behind but as we have spent more time in the home we started to notice hints of ghosts from the past. That’s where Eve Room can come in and help identify problem areas around your home. It does this with the use of a sensor that identifies VOC’s in your air. By placing this small Bluetooth connected device around your home you can view VOC level data over a period of time. This can help you identify possible remediation procedures to help eliminate these possibly dangerous airborne compounds.
Not the only HomeKit enabled smart thermostat but perhaps the most intriguing. Ecobee produces three variations of its thermostat that can play nicely with Apple’s HomeKit. Ecobees flagship feature is laughably simple in the way that begs “why didn’t anyone else think of that.” Ecobee allows you to place wireless and battery powered remote sensors in areas around your house that are away from your actual thermostat. Gone are the days where your thermostat adjusts the temperature to keep your hallway comfortable while you sleep in your bedroom or watch tv in your favorite sofa chair. Ecobee can use these sensors to know where you are and adjust the temperature to keep you from sweating as you watch the new Game of Thrones Season 7.
These are just a small sample of HomeKit products available on the market today and just a drop in the bucket of what is yet to come. Many HomeKit smart home products can help you save money or time, get better sleep, provide you with better security, or just make you more comfortable while at home. Getting started can be easy, painless, and if you wait for the right deals can actually be pretty inexpensive. You don’t need to have a master degree in technology to begin adopting these products to help improve your life. Just select one and try it out. What is the worst that could happen? You can always go back to that three button thermostat, paint coated deadbolt, or power hungry light bulb.