Technology

The best Apple HomeKit devices of 2020





HomeKit is Apple’s platform for smart home products, and it comes baked into each iPhone and iPad that the electronics large sells. Obtain Apple’s free House app, pair it along with your HomeKit compatible devices and presto: an Apple good dwelling you could management with just a few faucets in your iOS machine or with a Siri voice command.

What kind of good gadgets are you able to hook up with HomeKit? You’ve got plenty of choices — door lockslights, a plug, cameras, a thermostat, motion sensors, shades, you identify it — and the House app can deal with all of it in a single place. As for Apple’s assistant Siri, it’s going to be completely happy to lock the door, dim the lights, alter the air con, run a wise dwelling scene or no matter else you demand of your fancy, voice-activated abode.

The true query is which of those good dwelling gadgets are definitely worth the money — as a result of plenty of them do not come low-cost. There’s a growing list of options, however we’re right here that can assist you slender it all the way down to one of the best HomeKit gadgets in your good dwelling. Listed below are our prime picks for Apple HomeKit merchandise, all based mostly on years of exams at the CNET Smart Home.

Learn extra: 6 coolest smart home devices you didn’t know existed  

You may pair Apple HomeKit gadgets along with your iPhone as quickly as you set them up, however if you wish to management merchandise whenever you’re away from dwelling, you then’ll want a HomeKit hub. The hub works like a bouncer in your dwelling’s Wi-Fi community. Once you attempt to management a wise lock from Apple’s House app whilst you’re at work, for example, the hub’s job is to examine your ID earlier than letting you in. 

Learn extra: Everything you need to know about Apple HomeKit

Apple would not provide a standalone HomeKit hub, however as a substitute, forces you to decide on between three high-priced Apple devices that do the job: The HomePod smart speaker, a third-gen-or-better Apple TV, or a devoted, always-on iPad.

Whereas yow will discover it on sale, the $300 Apple HomePod remains to be too costly for what it’s. In the meantime, the iPad route is a bit clunky, particularly since it might must be all the time on and plugged in. That is why I might go along with the Apple TV — ideally the Apple TV 4K, which CNET’s David Katzmaier hails as the best streamer available today. At $169, it would not come low-cost, however none of those HomeKit hubs do. And, along with serving as a wonderful streamer, you can pull up the video feed from suitable HomeKit cameras in your TV with a fast voice command into the distant.

Read the Apple TV 4K review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

You’ve got bought lots of interesting options in case you’re out there for a wise thermostat, together with a few thermostats that assist Siri management by way of Apple’s HomeKit. Of those, we like Ecobee’s thermostats one of the best. At $250, the Ecobee4 thermostat is the latest, but it surely actually solely provides in a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker to the expertise. That is not the largest draw in case you’re anchoring your good dwelling to Apple HomeKit and centering round Siri for voice controls.

Learn extra: The best smart thermostats of 2020

That is why I feel it is a smarter transfer to stay with certainly one of Ecobee’s previous-generation, inexpensive thermostats. All of them work simply as effectively with Apple HomeKit and so they assist Ecobee’s nifty temperature sensors, too. The Ecobee3 thermostat is listed as offered out on the Ecobee web site, however the Ecobee3 Lite thermostat remains to be out there for between $150 and $170. That is the suitable worth for HomeKit-compatible local weather management.

Read the Ecobee3 Lite review.

flecobee3lite0


Now playing:
Watch this:

Ecobee slashes the price of its latest smart thermostat



1:23

Chris Monroe/CNET

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock includes a retrofit August lock and a DoorSense open-close sensor. Wi-Fi is built into this model, so you won’t need to purchase an August Connect module to enable remote access. 

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is 45% smaller than previous August models, too. It works with Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa for voice commands and smart home integration. You’ll get unlimited user access and codes, as well as a log of every action that happens at your front door. 

Wi-Fi enables remote access to lock and unlock your doors from your Android or iOS devices when you’re not home. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is a capable, easy-to-install smart lock and the winner of our CNET Editors’ Choice Award. 

It’s certainly not an inexpensive smart lock, but it’s the best one for HomeKit households that we’ve tested to date.

Read the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

At $140, the Logitech Circle 2 can be used indoors or out, and it proved reliable and responsive when we tested it out with Apple HomeKit. The wired design means that you’ll need to keep it close to an outlet, but I actually prefer that over something with batteries that can run dead at inopportune times. A battery-powered version is available for an extra $20 if that’s your preference.

Once you find a spot for it and set it up, you’ll be able to view the feed straight from the Home app (or, if you’ve got an Apple TV, right on your TV). The Circle 2 offers motion sensors, night vision, and two-way audio. You also get a free 24-hour event-based backlog of clips, plus the option to extend that clip history to 14 or 31 days for a $4 or $10 monthly fee (subscribers also get access to a motion alert zone feature). My favorite part might be the variety of accessories Logitech sells to help you mount it in clever places. All of that adds up to a great little camera that costs less than popular competitors like the Arlo and D-Link Omna.

Read the Logitech Circle 2 review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Smart switches are another good option if you’re looking to automate the lights in your home — particularly for spots where a single switch controls several bulbs at once. You’ve got several options that work with HomeKit, but our favorite by far is the Lutron Caseta In-Wall Dimmer Switch.

Why Lutron? For starters, Lutron’s been in the business of dimmer switches for decades, and it’s a smart home stalwart, too. Its well-featured switches work with everything, they support three-way setups, and they look appropriately distinctive without being gaudy.  Along with with a wide variety of light switches, the Caseta platform also offers specialty switches for things like ceiling fans and Sonos speakers, as well as luxurious Serena smart shades. All of it communicates with the Lutron Bridge using Lutron’s proprietary Clear Connect wireless standard, which is one of the speediest and most reliable standards we’ve tested at the CNET Smart Home.

That’s a long-winded way of saying these are really, really good smart light switches. Right now, you can get one on Amazon with the Lutron Bridge and a bonus Pico remote that you can dock in the wall as a second switch, or carry around with you for a total cost of $90.

Read the Lutron Caseta In-Wall Smart Dimmer Switch review.

It’s counter-intuitive, maybe, but Philips Hue is best when you skip the colors and focus in on the Hue White bulbs, which put out smart, dimmable light at a yellowy 2,700 K. That’s because the best thing about Hue bulbs isn’t the colors at all, but rather, the strength of their best-in-class platform, which works with everything, pairs extremely well with Apple HomeKit and comes packed with useful features.

Read more: The complete guide to Philips Hue lights 

To take advantage, you’ll need to get a Philips Hue starter kit that comes with the essential Hue Bridge — and the two-bulb Hue White starter kit, currently available on Amazon for $68, is an affordable way in. And yes, you can always add color-changing bulbs to your HomeKit setup later (preferably when they go on sale).

Read the Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

If great-looking colors are what you want the most from your smart lights, go with Lifx, an Australian startup that’s grown into a pretty major player in the smart lighting space over the past several years. Like Philips Hue, its bulbs work with just about everything, Apple HomeKit included, but they also put out brighter, better-looking colors. On top of that, Lifx bulbs use a Wi-Fi connection to communicate, so they don’t need a hub.

Read more: The best color-changing smart lights (that cost less than Philips Hue)

Lifx makes lots of different bulbs, floodlights, light strips and even tiles for your wall, all of which you can program, control and schedule to your heart’s content using the excellent Lifx app. I like the Lifx Mini, which costs less than the comparable Hue bulb. Bonus shoutout to the Lifx Z light strip, which can put out multiple colors at once. Hue’s light strip still can’t do that.

Want something that costs even less? Check out the color-changing Sylvania Smart Plus LED, which you can currently get for less than $30 on Amazon.

Read the Lifx Mini LED review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

They aren’t for everyone, but if you’re putting together a flashy-looking game room or decorating a kids room, perhaps, then consider Nanoleaf’s color-changing LED wall panels. The nine-panel starter kit comes as either triangles or second-gen squares — both cost about $200, but I prefer the square-shaped Nanoleaf Canvas panels due to the addition of touch-sensitivity and the fact that you have more room to expand your setup should you decide to get crazy with the things.

Read more: The best smart lights for covering your walls in color

The panels use Wi-Fi to connect with your router (and with HomeKit), so they don’t need a hub. Once they’re set up, you’ll be able to switch between hundreds of user-created animated presets, including ones that use the on-board mic to sync color-changes with whatever music you’re listening to or whatever game you’re playing. In addition to supporting Siri voice controls, they also work with Alexa, Google and IFTTT.

Bonus points for the optional Nanoleaf Remote, a 12-sided, motion-sensitive dodecahedron that you can use to trigger Nanoleaf scenes or HomeKit automations just by rotating different sides to the top. The cost for that gizmo: $50.

Read the Nanoleaf Canvas review.

Molly Price/CNET

At $25, the WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug is affordable and comes with native Google Assistant, Alexa and yes, HomeKit compatibility. It fits inside the frame of most wall outlets and has a physical button and LED indicator light.

The WeMo app isn’t our favorite app, and you won’t get energy monitoring with the WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug. Those shortfalls aside, this smart plug’s space-saving design and solid HomeKit compatibility make it easy to recommend to users in Apple’s ecosystem.

Read the WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug review.

More smart home advice

Originally published last year. Regularly updated as we review new products.





#Apple #HomeKit #gadgets



Author

Molly Price

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.