The best HomeKit devices you can buy to build your smart home

  • 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 Sense
    smart door lock, as well as entertainment devices like the Sonos
    One.

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:

Updated on 8/22/2019 by Les Shu: Updated formatting, prices, and
links. Added related buying guides.

The best HomeKit hub 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.

Other reviewers love it as well. The device scored 8.7 out of 10
on CNET, while
TechRadar gave
it a 4 out of 5. The downsides? Well, it’s a little pricey, but
that’s about it.

Pros: Easy to use, great design, works
excellently with HomeKit

Cons: Expensive

Read our
guide to the best streaming sticks and boxes

The best HomeKit smart speaker 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, 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.

The HomePod has gotten some pretty great reviews since it was
first released. TechRadar
gave it a 3.5 out of 5, while WhatHifi scored
it a perfect 5 out of 5.

However, 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

Read
our guide to the best smart speaker you can buy

The best HomeKit lights 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 home automation.

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 is 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

Read our
guide to the best smart light bulbs

The best HomeKit light strip 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

Cons: Expensive

Read our
guide to the best smart light strips

The best HomeKit plug 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 a
range of smart home ecosystems

Cons: Basic, WeMo app isn’t great

Read our
guide to the best smart home devices

The best HomeKit lock 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

Read our
guide to the best smart locks

The best HomeKit dimmable light switch 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 it 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

Read our
guide to the best smart home devices

The best HomeKit non-dimmable light switch 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

Source: FS – All Tech News
The best HomeKit devices you can buy to build your smart home