HomeKit is Apple’s home automation protocol. If an appliance supports HomeKit, you can control all of its functions using the Home app on the iPhone or just using Siri on your iPhone or HomePod. When it works, it’s truly magical. You can just ask Siri to turn off the lights or dim them. If you’ve connected a smart plug to your espresso machine, you can just ask Siri to make you a cup of coffee and it will start the machine on its own!
The possibilities here are endless. I would say they’re only limited by your imagination. But this being Apple, they’re more limited by your budget. Multicolor LED panels, outdoor camera systems, and smart locks might be out of your budget. But there’s a whole world of affordable HomeKit accessories out there. They’ll solve some of your basic issues while giving you the feeling of living in the future. All without breaking your bank.
1. Wemo Mini Smart Plug
Buying Wemo Mini Smart Plug is the simplest foray into the world of smart appliances. Plug this into an adapter, and then plug any of your old appliances or lights into it. And instantly, you’ve turned it into a smart device!
The Wemo Mini Smart Plug works over Wi-Fi and there’s no need for a hub of any kind. The device has been designed in such a way that it only takes up on spot in your socket (this is something that many other smart plugs on the market do not provide).
The process of using it is simple. You download the free Wemo app, and set up the smart plug. Then add the device to the Home app and you can just control it using the Home app or using Siri.
A smart plug gives you the freedom of controlling your lights and devices from anywhere in the world. Doesn’t matter if you’re home or not. After you’ve downloaded the Wemo app, you should look at the Schedule feature as well. Using this, you’ll be able to schedule some lights to turn on or off automatically at a given time.
This can be a really useful feature if you’re traveling and you don’t want people (burglars) to know that you’re out of town. You can also use it to automatically turn on outdoor lights at a given time. Wemo Smart Plug costs just $22.99.
Buy: Wemo Mini Smart Plug ($22.99)
2. Philips Hue White Starter Kit
Philips Hue was the pioneer in the field of smart lights. And Philips is still the most reliable and versatile way to add smart lighting solutions to your home.
Unlike some of the other smart bulbs, Philips requires a bridge to function. It acts as a hub for all the connections. You can connect up to 50 bulbs to a hub. The hub is the magical reliability factor here.
While the hub makes Philips Hue system more expensive to start with, it’s worth the cost. You can pick up a starter kit of Hue White 60W bulbs (2) and one hub for $69.90. A 4 bulb starter kit costs $99.90. And you can buy extra bulbs starting at $20.
Buy: Philips Hue White Starter Kit ($69.90)
3. Eve Energy
Eve Energy is a simple way to find out how much energy a device is using. It can come in handy if you’re trying to find a device that’s gone rogue. Or if you’re getting a higher electricity bill but you can’t figure out why.
And because Eve Energy works with HomeKit, you can use Siri to control the connected devices as well.
Buy: Eve Energy ($44.95)
4. LIFX Smart LED Bulb
LIFX’s smart LED blue is the multi-color bulb you didn’t know you needed. You get access to 16 million colors at the tip of your fingers. The bulb works on Wi-Fi and doesn’t require a hub. You can connect it with HomeKit, Google Assistant and Alexa.
Because it works with HomeKit, you can just ask Siri to set a particular light color for you. As it’s an LED bulb, it will ask for over 22 years (at 3 hours of use per day). And it’s quite bright, equivalent to a 75W bulb.
Buy: LIFX Smart LED Bulb ($47.99)
5. LIFX Mini White Blub
LiFX Mini is an entry-level white smart bulb. At just $20, you can add a bit of home automation to your room. It’s simple to set up, doesn’t require a hub and works using Wi-Fi.
The bulb provides a soothing shade of white at 2700K. At 800 lumens, it’s perfect for ambient lighting.
Buy: LIFX Mini White Blub ($24.99)
6. iDevices Socket
iDevices Socket is an intelligent way to convert your normal bulbs into smart bulbs. As the iDevices Socket costs around $35, this might not be the best option for everyone as you can buy a smart bulb for around $20.
But a new LED bulb can mess with your decor or mood lighting. If you’ve got old lamps or bulbs that you just don’t want to change, but would like to convert into smart bulbs, the iDevices Socket is a good idea.
Buy: iDevices Socket ($33.99)
7. Eve Door and Window Sensor
You can do some really cool things by pairing Eve Door and Window Sensor with Siri. Once the sensor is connected to the Home app, it will transfer data of when the door or window was opened or closed. You can use it just to collect this data, or to notify you when the activity happens.
But the real fun begins with you pair the sensor with the other smart home devices that you’ve connected via HomeKit.
For example, you can link the door sensor in the bathroom to automatically turn on the Philips Hue light strip in the bathroom and the specific color and brightness that you’ve set in the app. You can use it for outdoor lighting and more.
Buy: Eve Door and Window Sensor ($39.90)
8. Koogeek Smart Surge Protector
This might not sound so sexy at first but it can be immensely useful in day to day life. Koogeek makes a smart surge protector that comes with three outlets and three USB plugs that can all be controlled using Siri.
At around $60, you’ll have access to six smart devices instantly. Set it up and you can control each individual device using your voice with Siri or using the Home app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. You can remotely control each device or set up the devices on a schedule.
Buy: Koogeek Smart Surge Protector ($63.99)
9. Koogeek LED Light Strip
A light strip is an instant way add a cozy feeling to any room. And a smart LED light strip just makes things much more interesting. Once you’ve set this up, you’ll be able to control not just the brightness but also the color of the LED strip directly from your iPhone or using your voice with Siri.
The LED strip is powered by USB and has a lifespan of 25,000 years. This two-meter strip supports 16 million colors and is dimmable as well. You can automate it and put it on a schedule as well.
Buy: Koogeek LED Light Strip ($39.99)
10. iHome ISP100 Outdoor Plug
You might want to add automation to devices in your garden or outdoor area. For that, you’ll need smart plugs which are weatherproof. iHome makes a rugged and affordable smart plug that you can use with HomeKit and iPhone.
Buy: iHome ISP100 Outdoor Plug ($29.99)
Your Favorite HomeKit Accessories
What are some of your favorite devices that work with Siri and HomeKit? Share with us in the comments below.