Anyone who already has Siri on their iPhone and buys a HomeKit-based Smart Home would naturally like to use it to control as many household appliances as possible. However, only Apple-certified (works with HomeKit) components can be used for voice control via Siri or HomeKit. We provide an overview of all already compatible products and those that are about to be certified.
From HomeKit and Home App to the individual Smart Home
The name HomeKit and the associated smart system were developed by Apple for the smart home area, with the aim of revolutionizing home control. The interface uses the “Home App” to establish a connection to compatible smart home devices. The very simple operation should make everyday life easier for every user and create more comfort. Instead of countless stationary switches in the house or traditional remote controls, only an iPad or iPhone is needed. Alternatively, a Mac or iPod touch can also be used. Apple’s HomeKit is also compatible with ‘Siri’ and can therefore be controlled via voice commands.
How to integrate HomeKit compatible devices
The Apple HomeKit can be used with iOS 8.1 or newer operating systems. The HomeKit operation was deliberately kept as simple as possible by the developers. For example, in order to integrate a smart light into the system, the user only has to switch on Bluetooth and activate a corresponding app. This then automatically detects all smart devices in the environment and guides the user step-by-step through the installation.
Functions of the Home App for the Apple HomeKit System
Switch off the living room lamps and turn on the heating at the same time in the evening while closing the garage door and locking the front door – all this works with the HomeKit with just one voice command or a few clicks in the app.
Apple HomeKit Lamps and Lighting Systems: Bringing Illumination to Life
No matter if you want to switch off the lamps in the rest of your apartment from your bed in the evening or if you want your mood lamps to create a natural-looking sunrise in the morning, both are possible even faster from now on. We present various HomeKit-compatible lamps and lighting systems that are suitable for this purpose.
Recommendation: Philips Hue is our test winner in the HomeKit lighting control sector.
The Philips Hue system is a good choice for those who never want to feel for a light switch in the dark again. It works similar to Elgato Avea, but needs a hub. This makes installation a bit more complicated, but the choice of luminaires is all the greater, as the system has been on the market for some time. Colorful LED bulbs are available for E27, E14 or GU10 sockets. In addition, complete luminaires are available in Scandinavian style and the Philips Hue bulbs also fit into the conventional lamp holders of many IKEA lamps.
Philips Hue components can be controlled with the Mac or via mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad, as the manufacturer has always supported the iOS system. Another plus: all Philips Hue lamps and bulbs are Alexa compatible. However, the full range of functions is only available with a Hue Bridge, because the system automatically synchronizes with the cloud via the Bridge and downloads updates. Due to their particularly high compatibility and number of functions, they have already been voted the winner in many practical tests and product evaluations.
Test winner alternative 1: Portable Elgato Avea HomeKit mood lamps
Elgato Avea are modern, energy-saving light bulbs that can be screwed into conventional sockets. With Avea, lights can be controlled via an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. The luminaires can also be controlled and programmed using a Mac.
If desired, Avea can, for example, be programmed so that it wakes its owner up in the morning with pleasant, slowly brightening lighting effects. Among the lighting scenes already pre-programmed by the manufacturer are the following: Evening mood, cherry blossom, open fire, magic forest, wonderland, aurora borealis, mountain scent, cornfield, Caribbean flair and Provence. When one of these variants is activated, the intelligent Avea LED lamp automatically coordinates all the associated color changes. It does not require a permanent connection to the iPhone or iPad. It is pleasing to note that this system does not require a bridge or gateway.
Test winner alternative 2: Cheap OSRAM Smart+ HomeKit lamps
From the outset, there were heated discussions between Philips Hue and OSRAM LIGHTIFY enthusiasts as to whether the price or the variety of functions were more important for the purchase. The fact is that the Philips Hue system can currently do much more and is completely HomeKit-compatible, while the OSRAM LIGHTIFY system is much cheaper, but can only be partially controlled via HomeKit.
If you choose OSRAM, you should therefore make sure that you order LED bulbs from the latest Smart+ series. Otherwise it could happen that the purchased lamps are only Alexa-compatible.
Test winner alternative 3: IKEA TRADFRI HomeKit Furniture luminaires and light panels
The Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA does not only offer cheap cabinet kits. It also offers DIY fans smart home lamps and wall mounted light panels that can compete with the more expensive models and can either be integrated into a HomeKit or networked with Alexa. The following guide explains how the connection with the HomeKit works: Controlling IKEA TRÅDFRI lamps with the HomeKit – that’s how it works.
In addition, the HomeKit and TRADFRI lamps can be connected via the iHaus app.
More HomeKit compatible lamps and Smart Home lighting solutions
In addition to our test winner and the three particularly popular alternatives already presented, there are of course many other Smart Home luminaires that can be controlled with the HomeKit. For example the following.
Freely combinable Nanoleaf panels for HomeKit individualists
The Aurora lighting system consists of triangular light panels that can be combined as desired. In just a few simple steps, a unique wall lighting system is created, which can be composed of up to 30 smart panels. After installation, the light modules can be adjusted in color at any time and can even be controlled verbally via Siri, Google Assistant or Alexa. Thus Nanoleaf not only offers practical HomeKit compatible lighting solutions for everyday use in the Smart Home, but also makes spontaneous parties a highlight. Read about Aurora also our article about the manufacturer Nanoleaf and get all information at a glance.
LIFX – compromise between expensive Philips Hue and cheap OSRAM
The manufacturer LIFX has opted for lamps and LightStrips with their own app control, which can also be integrated into an existing Smart Home system. Thanks to their simple operation, they are also suitable for technology beginners.
HomeKit Compatible WLAN Sockets: Deliver Proper Power
Smart plugs connect normal household appliances to the desired Smart Home system or a voice control system. For example, lamps, music systems or coffee machines can then be operated with Siri.
Recommendation: Elgato Eve Energy is our HomeKit test winner for WLAN sockets
The stylish Elgato Eve Energy Bluetooth socket outlet is particularly easy to connect to an iPhone and control via a home app. It is also compact enough to fit between a wall and a sofa, for example. We have been using Elgato Eve Energy for over two years and are very satisfied with it.
Elgato Eve Energy was voted the best HomeKit socket in our WLAN Socket Test Overview and by the way was also well rated by many other users, bloggers and experts.
The Eve Energy Strip, which is a HomeKit-compatible multiple socket from Eve Systems, also offers space for several devices.
Parce One: Cheap alternative to the best HomeKit socket?
Parce One from the Munich StartUp Parce also received the official Apple HomeKit certification. The two sockets were initially qualified as compatible:
- Parce One EU151000/20140001
- Parce One EU151000/20160001
However, safety deficiencies were identified before the market launch and could only be remedied in the successor model Parce Plus. The following adapter plugs from the manufacturer are also HomeKit compatible
- Parce L1
- Parce M1
As not all our safety concerns about the quality of the workmanship have been resolved so far, we do not recommend the purchase of this model. The same applies to the manufacturer Koogeek, whose Smart Plugs have repeatedly been overheated in recent years.
HomeKit compatible radiator and room thermostats: Powerful heating
At first it might seem a bit exaggerated to remote control something as banal as a radiator thermostat, but it’s worth it. Whether in the bathtub, from the sofa, deck chair or on holiday: With a HomeKit-compatible thermostat, the temperature can be changed anytime and anywhere to increase comfort or save energy.
Thermostat recommendation: tado° impresses with performance and design
The manufacturer tado has not only dedicated itself to smart thermostats, but also offers a tado° Cooling air conditioning system for hot days. All tado components are also easy to operate, can be configured via the manufacturer’s own IFTTT channel and can also be used with geodata to automatically lower the heating as soon as all residents have left the house.
HomeKit alternative 1 to comparison winner: ecobee thermostats
ecobee thermostats are also equipped with a HomeKit connection. It is optically adapted to Apple’s design and displays, in addition to the obligatory temperature setting and humidity, for example, a weather forecast for the current location as well as the day or night mode with different heating levels. In contrast to the learning nest thermostat, ecobee3 focuses on personal control by the user. Of course, the Smart Home thermostats can still be (pre)programmed.
The ecobee3 thermostats also have these features: DataRhythm Technology, wireless remote sensors, Smart Home/Away (automatic recognition), Follow Me function, Smart Recovery (uses the local weather for regulation) and much more. They are compatible with ZigBee, HRVs, ERVs and other remote sensors.
HomeKit alternative 2: Honeywell Lyric thermostats with Apple HomeKit
Honeywell Lyric Pro, Smart and Wi-Fi thermostats are absolute consumer favourites. For example, they use geo-fencing to detect when all residents have left the house and then activate the energy-saving mode. As soon as the first resident falls below a predefined radius and approaches the house, the temperature is automatically raised again. The thermostats are easy to operate, even for beginners without extensive technical knowledge. They can be controlled either via the smartphone or Siri voice commands. For more information, see our Honeywell Lyric review article.
HomeKit compatible sensors for the smart home: ready for use day and night
Sensors that trigger automatic reactions to certain situations are indispensable for a HomeKit controlled Smart Home system. For example, they illuminate the corridor as soon as someone enters it or switch off the heating if windows remain open for longer.
Recommendation: Elgato Eve sensors are particularly versatile in use
In the evening, when watching TV, you can regulate the living room temperature from your iPhone, switch on the kitchen lighting via an intelligent power socket, if you don’t have a free hand when cooking, or you can have the humidity in the bathroom displayed in between to prevent the formation of mildew, all this can be done conveniently with Elgato Eve. Elgato Eve is an intelligent system consisting of modular components that do not require the laying of cables or the complex coupling of individual systems.
On the positive side, Eve does not require a hub, i.e. a central control point. This makes installation and operation of the products easier.
In addition to voice and app use, Fibaro even enables gesture control.
More communication is not possible. At Fibaro, everything revolves around interaction between people and the smart home. So it’s no wonder that the product portfolio includes numerous HomeKit-compatible sensors. For example, the following:
Fibaro Door/Window Sensor
Fibaro Flood Sensor
Fibaro Motion Sensor
Fibaro CO Sensor
Summary of compatible Apple HomeKit devices
The HomeKit devices in our summary are already available or will be available soon. Many companies will continue to support Apple’s HomeKit in the future, as Apple’s user base can strongly influence the smart home market.
More information about HomeKit devices can also be found in the Apple compatibility list or directly on the manufacturer’s page of the respective product as well as in our comparison.