The best Apple HomeKit devices of 2020 – CNET

<pre><pre>The best Apple HomeKit devices of 2020 - CNET

HomeKit is Apple's platform for smart home productsand it's included in every iPhone and iPad the company sells. Download Apple's free home app and combine it with your HomeKit-compatible smart home device of your choice and your Presto: an Apple Smart Home that you can control with just a few taps on your iOS device or with a Siri voice command ,

So what things work with HomeKit? You have many options – lighting. door locks. a stopper. cameras. a thermostat. motion sensors. shadow, You name it – and the home app can do it all in one place. Apple's assistant Siri can dim the lights, start a smart home scene, adjust the air conditioning, lock the door or whatever you expect from your extravagant, voice-activated residence.

The real question is which of these devices are worth the money because many of them are not cheap. There's a growing list of options, but we're here to help you choose the best HomeKit devices for your smart home. Here you will find our top offers for HomeKit households, which are all based on years of testing in the CNET Smart Home.

You can pair Apple HomeKit devices with your iPhone once you've set them up. However, if you want to control products on the go, you need a HomeKit hub. The hub acts as a bouncer for your home's WiFi network. For example, if you try to control a Smart Lock from Apple's home app while you are working, the hub's job is to verify your ID before you enter.

Continue reading: Everything you need to know about Apple HomeKit

Apple doesn't offer a standalone HomeKit hub, but forces you to choose between three high-priced Apple devices that do the job: the HomePod Smart speaker, a third-generation Apple TV, or a dedicated one, always on the iPad.

The $ 300 HomePod is commercially available, but still too expensive for what it is. In the meantime, the iPad route is a bit confusing, especially since it should always be switched on and connected. That's why I would choose Apple TV – best for Apple TV 4K, which David Katzmaier from CNET awards as best streamer available today. At $ 169, it's not cheap, but none of these HomeKit hubs. Not only can you act as a great streamer, you can also access the video feed from compatible HomeKit cameras on your TV with a short voice command on the remote control.

Read the Apple TV 4K review.

Chris Monroe / CNET

There are many interesting options when looking for a smart thermostat on the market, including some thermostats that support Siri control through Apple HomeKit. Of these, we like Ecobee thermostats best. At $ 250, the Ecobee4 thermostat is the latest, but only adds a built-in Alexa speaker to the experience. This isn't the biggest attraction if you anchor your smart home with Apple HomeKit and focus on Siri in voice control.

Continue reading: The best smart thermostats of 2020

For this reason, I think it is wiser to stick to one of the cheaper thermostats from the previous generation from Ecobee. They all work just as well with Apple HomeKit and also support the sophisticated temperature sensors from Ecobee. The Ecobee3 thermostat is listed as sold out on the Ecobee website, but the Ecobee3 Lite thermostat is still available for $ 169 to $ 190. This is the right price for a HomeKit-compatible climate control.

Read the Ecobee3 Lite test.

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For $ 169, buying your August Smart Lock Pro gives you the lock itself and the plug-in WiFi hub you need to sync with HomeKit and an opening / closing sensor for your door. In addition to HomeKit compatibility, it also offers a variety of useful integrations, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, IFTTT and optional Z-Wave support.

Continue reading: The best smart locks of 2020

It's certainly not a cheap smart lock, but it's the best for HomeKit households we've tested so far. I say, wait for a sale and then plunge.

Read the August Smart Lock Pro test.

Chris Monroe / CNET

The Logitech Circle 2 can be used indoors or outdoors for $ 180. When we tested it with Apple HomeKit, it turned out to be reliable and responsive. The wired design means you need to keep it near an electrical outlet, but I actually prefer it over something with batteries that can run flat at inappropriate times. A battery powered version is available for an additional $ 20.

Continue reading: The best surveillance cameras for smart homes of 2020

As soon as you have found and set up a place for it, you can view the feed directly via the home app (or, if you have an Apple TV, directly on your TV). The Circle 2 offers motion sensors, night vision and two-way audio. You'll also get a free, 24-hour event-based backlog of clips, and the option to extend clip history to 14 or 31 days for a monthly fee of $ 4 or $ 10 (subscribers also get access to a motion alarm zone feature). My favorite part may be the wide range of accessories that Logitech sells to help you assemble in smart places. All of this makes for a great little camera that costs less than popular rivals like Arlo and D-Link Omna.

Read the Logitech Circle 2 test.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Smart switches are another great option if you want to automate lighting in your home – especially in places where a single switch controls multiple lamps at the same time. You have several options that work with HomeKit, but our favorite by far is the Lutron Caseta concealed dimmer switch.

Continue reading: Intelligent plugs, lamps and switches: which is right for you?

Why Lutron For starters, Lutron has been in the dimmer switch business for decades, and it's also a reliable smart home. The well-equipped switches are suitable for everything, support three-way setups and look appropriately distinctive without being conspicuous. In addition to a variety of light switches, the Caseta platform also offers special switches for ceiling fans and Sonos speakers as well as luxurious Serena Smart Shades. All communication with the Lutron Bridge is via Lutron's proprietary Clear Connect radio standard, one of the fastest and most reliable standards that we have tested in the CNET Smart Home.

It's a lengthy way to say that these are really, really good, intelligent light switches. At the moment you can buy one with the Lutron Bridge and a bonus pico remote control from Amazon, which you can dock in the wall as a second switch or carry around for a total price of $ 89.

Read the Lutron Caseta In-Wall Smart Dimmer Test.

It may not be intuitive, but Philips Hue is best suited if you skip the colors and focus on the Hue White lamps, which emit intelligent, dimmable light at 2,700K. This is because the best of Hue lamps is not right. The colors at all, but rather the strength of their best platform, which is compatible with everything, fits perfectly with Apple HomeKit and is full of useful functions.

Continue reading: The complete guide to Philips Hue lights

To take advantage of these benefits, you need a Philips Hue starter kit that comes with the important Hue Bridge. The Hue White two-light starter kit, currently available from Amazon for $ 70, is an affordable solution. You can still add color changing lamps to your setup later (best if they go on sale).

Read the Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit review.

Chris Monroe / CNET

If you want particularly good-looking colors for your smart lights, choose Lifx, an Australian startup that has become a major player in smart lighting in recent years. As with Philips Hue, the lamps work with almost anything, including Apple HomeKit, but they also express brighter, better looking colors. In addition, Lifx lamps use a Wi-Fi connection for communication, so they don't need a hub.

Continue reading: The best color-changing smart lights (which cost less than Philips Hue)

Lifx manufactures many different lamps, spotlights, light strips and even tiles for your wall, which you can program, control and plan to your heart's content with the excellent Lifx app. I like the Lifx Mini, which costs less than the comparable Hue bulb. Bonus shoutout for the Lifx Z light strip, with which several colors can be output at the same time. Hue's streak of light still can't.

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

Read the Lifx Mini LED test.

Chris Monroe / CNET

They're not for everyone, but if you want to set up an eye-catching playroom or decorate a kid's room, consider Nanoleaf's color-changing LED wall panels. The nine-panel starter kit is available as a second-generation triangle or square – both cost around $ 200, but I prefer the square Nanoleaf canvas panels because it increases touch sensitivity and gives you more room to expand your setup you should choose to go crazy with things.

Continue reading: The best intelligent lights to cover your walls with color

The panels use Wi-Fi to connect to your router (and HomeKit) so they don't need a hub. Once set up, you can switch between hundreds of custom animated presets, including those that use the built-in microphone to sync color changes with the music or game you're listening to. play again. They not only support Siri voice control, they also work with Alexa, Google and IFTTT.

Bonus points for the optional Nanoleaf remote control, a 12-sided motion-sensitive dodecahedron that you can use to trigger Nanoleaf scenes or HomeKit automation by turning different sides up. The cost of this game is $ 50.

Read the Nanoleaf Canvas review.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Do you just want a connector that you can turn on and off with Siri commands? Opt for the WeMo Mini, which you can get for less than $ 30 each. It was actually the first device that was synchronized with HomeKit via a software protocol, in contrast to an integrated MFi chipset (no WeMo Bridge required). So it is clear that WeMo appreciates a smooth and up-to-date connection to the Apple Cloud. WeMo is a subsidiary of Belkin and can react quickly to platform problems and potential security gaps through regular firmware updates.

Continue reading: The best intelligent plugs and switches of 2020

The downside of WeMo is that the app is a bit buggy than I would like it to be, with occasional delays and pairing issues. But after using WeMo products fairly regularly over the past five years, I haven't noticed the same lag in automation, voice controls, or integrations with third-party services like IFTTT. And once you've synced it with HomeKit, use the Home app, not the WeMo app. Conclusion: If you have a lamp, coffee machine, table fan or something else that you want to automate and that needs to be connected, the WeMo Mini is a great choice.

Read the WeMo Mini Smart Plug Test.

Originally released last year. Updated regularly when we review new products.