Apple HomeKit is booming. The Cupertino company has made it easier than ever for smart home companies to get their products working with HomeKit in newer versions of iOS, and the list of compatible devices is growing fast.
It's the tech in the background that lets all of your gadgets talk to each other, and everything is controlled from one place: Home, a dedicated app that arrived with iOS 10, making it easier than ever to get started.
And what's more, changes made back in iOS 11.3 mean there could be even more HomeKit devices on the way, as backwards compatibility becomes an option for companies with existing products.
How to choose HomeKit devices
If you're an existing Apple user who wants to be part of the HomeKit smart home revolution, you'll need to know what works and what doesn't.
HomeKit accessories and devices are sold with a 'Works with Apple HomeKit' badge. Some older devices that rely on Apple's old hardware-based HomeKit capability also use 'HomeKit edition' as an identifier, while newer products are getting software updates and, as such, might not even mention HomeKit on the box. What's more, you'll need an Apple HomeKit hub for full functionality β more on that in our explainer.
All of this can make jumping into HomeKit a bit of work. For some help with getting started, check out our list below of the best Apple HomeKit devices β and we'll keep things updated as time goes on.
If you're looking for a HomeKit-compatible smart speaker, there really is no alternative but Apple's own HomePod. Siri hosts proceedings, allowing you to control your other HomeKit devices and better leverage Apple Music to play your tunes. It also works as a HomeKit hub - something you'll want to have if you're serious about building a HomeKit house. A hub isn't strictly essential, but it means you can control devices remotely.
There's no doubt that the Cupertino giant has created a fantastic sounding speaker, but it's still pretty half-baked as a smart speaker. Siri isn't a patch on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in terms of features and performance, but that doesn't mean it will always lag behind. If you're an Apple fan looking to build out a HomeKit ecosystem, it's your only choice β you'll just need to strap yourself in for the ride.
The Apple TV is a great streaming box, yes, but it also works as a HomeKit hub. And as we've mentioned twice already, a hub is key to the full HomeKit experience. Only the 4th-gen and 4K versions of Apple TV are HomeKit-ready - so make sure you have the right one.
Alongside this you've got a great little streamer, especially if you go for the 4K model. Apple's TV box is well fed with all the major services and the biggest library of Dolby-supported movies right now.
Lighting is a good place to start in any smart home and Apple HomeKit works with smart bulb systems like Philips Hue and Lifx, as well as some smaller names.
Why would you want purple lighting in the bedroom and fuchsia in the living room? Because you can, of course. Colours and brightness can now be controlled within the Apple ecosystem through Siri and, if you're an existing Hue user, it's simple to port all the info needed from your old bridge.
If you're already got Hue, you'll need to pick up the new HomeKit Upgrade bridge, otherwise go for the HomeKit compatible starter kit. Then you can also add a Lightstrip Plus, Downlight or Hue Go to the mix.
If you've wanted to jump into smart lights but didn't want to deal with hubs or pay for Philips Hue, until now you were pretty much out of luck. Thankfully, Lifx's bulbs come with with HomeKit support, so you can control them from Siri or the dedicated Home app.
You won't have to buy any of the new bulbs, either, as this is all done via software update. You can check out Lifx's complete lineup of compatible bulbs on its website, which include the Ambient-recommended Lifx Mini.
Nanoleaf Light Panels is a modular smart lighting system that you can stick to your walls and windows to make beautiful designs. It comes as a set of triangles which will glow and/or flash whatever colours you wish and, just to top it all off, it's entirely voice controlled. Buy a starter kit and add panels as you go. Not a fan of triangles? The most recent Nanoleaf Canvas offers square panelling instead.
Here's where the HomeKit bit comes in: you can use Siri (or Alexa) to control your lights with your voice, plus its new dodecahedron Remote can be used with Nanoleaf lighting and other HomeKit gadgets. And the new Rhythm module, which senses music playing in the room and then puts on a show to match, is HomeKit-friendly too.
With Ecobee, Honeywell and Tado thermostats on board with HomeKit, the big omission here is Nest, and unfortunately that's not likely to change soon, as Nest and Google smart home kit get closer in order to rival Amazon and Apple.
The Ecobee4 should be your first option if you're in the market for a HomeKit thermostat. It does everything you'd expect from a smart thermostat, including syncing with the weather and scheduling. It knows when you're home and when you're away to maximize your energy use, and it also comes with a room sensor that can be used to detect and optimize the temperature in specific locations.
Similarly, it can pair up with motion sensors to "follow" you around your home, optimizing the temperature to how you like it wherever you go. On top of all that, it has Alexa built in.
Honeywell Lyric Round
The Lyric Round is identical to previous models but adds HomeKit support β you can set the temperature from your iPhone, get alerts when it needs maintenance and there's also geofencing so the Lyric will know when you enter and leave your house. The cheaper Lyric T5 and T6 also work with HomeKit.
These can be integrated with other HomeKit devices, such as Honeywell's Lyric smart cameras and security systems, plus the smart thermostat is compatible with Samsung's SmartThings and Alexa too. This is your answer if you like the look of Nest but you're sure you want a HomeKit home.
Tado Smart Thermostat
Tado's Smart Thermostat, its wireless receiver and its Smart Radiator Thermostats all work with Apple HomeKit. The additional radiator valves mean you can set up zones around your house and Tado puts a big emphasis on geo-location so that as you get closer to home, its system starts to warm your home up so it's ready. This works well, but is a problem if you're staying local.
The app is clean and easy, the set-up can also control your hot water and Tado is ecosystem agnostic, so pretty future-proof, too.
Netatmo has a HomeKit edition of its smart thermostat, so look out for that label specifically. This allows for remote control of your heating via iPhone/iPad both at home and away.
The Auto Adapt program is designed to learn your habits by predicting when you'll turn the heating on β we haven't tested this yet but look out for a review soon. The design is quite funky (thanks Starck), you get an Energy Savings report and it's on the cheaper end of connected HomeKit thermostats. HomeKit friendly radiator valves are on their way.
HomeKit-compatible smart cameras
Still a fair few gaps in the HomeKit list when it comes to smart security cameras β Netatmo, D-Link and Logitech are all present and correct but Nest, Canary and Somfy are missing.
HomeKit is still starving for smart security cameras, so it's good news that the Circle 2 is available with HomeKit support. Logitech's versatile, weatherproof camera can work indoors and out, with wired and wireless options, and can stick on all manner of walls and surfaces. However, only the wired version is HomeKit compatible.
You'll be able to use its motion sensing powers to trigger home automation, tell Siri what to show you and even control it from your Apple Watch. There's also a $99.99-per-month subscription that gives you person detection and activity zones. The Circle 2 works seamlessly though the accessories do jack up the price.
Netatmo Presence Outdoor
There's no denying that Netatmo's outdoor security cam looks the part. And by that we mean it looks ugly as sin but should deter any wrong'uns about the place. The biggest plus here is that there are no costly subscriptions to pay for β you can record to an SD card, Dropbox or a server. The Full HD camera also has a built-in floodlight which you can remotely control via the app or set up to come on if it detects motion.
Netatmo's other trick comes via its person detection algorithms which can distinguish between a person, animal and car and ping an alert to your phone to keep you informed.
D-Link Omna 180
One of the first HomeKit friendly gadgets, the D-Link Omna isn't as fully featured as some smart home cameras but it is on the affordable side. It records in 1080p and has a 180-degree lens, as the name suggests, with extras like night vision, two-way talk as well as a microSD slot.
HomeKit support means you can view your D-Link feed and control the camera away from home via the Apple Home app on your iPhone or iPad (once you've set up an iPad or Apple TV as a home hub that is).
HomeKit-compatible switches and plugs
There are plenty of single purpose smart home devices that are compatible with Apple HomeKit, plus some wider systems of sensors and physical controllers too. With that said, here's a selection of some switches and plugs, followed by the best of the rest.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug
Wemo's Mini Smart Plug is one of the few devices to get updated with HomeKit support via software, and we couldn't be happier. The Smart Plug also works with Google Assistant and Alexa.
Naturally, you'll be able to control your device from anywhere, and even use your voice assistant should you not want to pull out that Home app. If you've got Nest, it'll also pair with that and automate your devices when it senses that you're away from home.
The best feature, however, may be how small it is. The Mini Smart Plug doesn't take up much space, so you won't have a problem slipping it behind couches or whatever else you put in front of your wall outlets. And bonus: it's small enough to not block the second outlet.
Ecobee's smart switch is crammed with so many features, it can be overwhelming. But we mean that mostly in a good way. Its big thing is that it comes with Alexa built in, but it also has full HomeKit integration. So you have a choice, or hey, maybe you want to use both side by side - that works too. Google Assistant is an option too, but it's not built in like Alexa is.
The Ecobee Switch+ is one of the more expensive options, but you're getting some great features for the price, including a motion sensor that turns lights on when you enter a room, and off when you leave. Just be aware that it won't work with a three-way switch β single switch setups only.
Logitech Pop Home Switch
Smart home control buttons are becoming ever more prevalent. The Logitech Pop Home Switch went live back in August 2017, but it's only more recently that HomeKit compatibility has been added.
The Pop jumps onboard your smart home's Wi-Fi and scans for compatible devices it can control. You then just configure the scenes you want it to perform β turning down the lights to get ready for bed, opening your smart blinds in the morning and so on. There's a starter kit which comes with two Pop Home Switches and a hub and you can add on extra Pop buttons too.
iDevices is one of the companies that's led the way in HomeKit-compatible smart plugs. The iDevices Switch offers the complete set of smart plug features, with control, scheduling and energy reporting all thrown into the mix. Of course, you can control the iDevices Switch via Siri, but also set up schedules and add it to your scenes.
With UK and US versions available, the Eve Energy is a top pick for our HomeKit-enabled smart plugs. The units, which connect up into the Eve app, and work via Wi-Fi, so there's no actual need to go out and buy the Eve hub. You get Siri and schedule control of the plug itself, and there's energy monitoring built in as well.
Lutron Caseta Dimmer
This HomeKit-enabled Dimmer Kit lets you chat to Siri to control your smart bulbs, and we think it's one of the best dimmer switches out there.
It's not the most aesthetically pleasing, granted, but there are lots of features: automatic scenes and schedules, geofencing when you leave and enter the house. And the Caseta line works with just about everything: HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest, Logitech remotes and Honeywell thermostats, so you don't need to worry about locking yourself in with a smart home system.
Eve Light Switch
One of the newest options on the list, the Eve Light Switch, is not the most unique light switch on the planet, but if you're hunting for a HomeKit compatible light switch it's a solid bet. It doesn't require a hub and you'll get a good number of features, from using Siri and the Home app to setting schedules, scenes and more.
First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound
The Safe & Sound is First Alert's latest smart smoke and CO detector, and it's also the smartest. Not only does it have HomeKit support, but it's also got Alexa built in should you want to sport two digital assistants. There's also a groovy night light that lights your way in the dark, plus a loud speaker for playing some music.
Its main job, however, is to replace your wired smoke detector and alert you with notifications in the event of a smoke or carbon monoxide emergency. The HomeKit support is largely for running tests and controlling that light.
August's famous smart lock has become even more clever. The Smart Lock Pro still uses a Bluetooth connection to your device to open up as you approach, but now it comes with a bridge that lets you control your lock from anywhere. It's also got a new feature called DoorSense that checks if your door is actually closed before auto-locking.
Smarter alerts will tell you if your door has been opened for a longer time, too. And of course, it also works with a key, if your phone runs out of battery. iPhone owners can use Siri to lock and unlock doors using voice commands.
Hunter Symphony and Signal
Hunter's Wi-Fi enabled Symphony and Signal ceiling fans work with Apple HomeKit too. That means Siri control, as ever, and integration with other HomeKit products for creating scenes for fans and smart bulbs as you move from room to room.
iDevices Outdoor Switch
Your friends might be on top of home automation behind closed doors but what about outside? This is the first rain-tight smart plug to give options for those who want to have Siri-controlled lights, or maybe get the outdoor party started while still plating up in the kitchen. The rest of the iDevices HomeKit line-up is rounded out by a smart bulb socket and a regular smart plug.
Eve Room 2
The second-generation Eve Room air quality monitor comes with an all-new aluminum design and a 1.54-inch E-Ink display, and it's keeping that sweet HomeKit support too. That display will tell you the temperature, air quality and humidity.
It can work with its rechargeable battery, or you can just plug it in and leave it in a select room and never worry about it again. There are touch controls on the device, but you can also simply rely on Siri to find out your air quality.
The Rachio 3 has been out for a while now, but it's only recently got around to adding HomeKit support. The smart sprinkler control system will let you manage your home irrigation in two versions: 8 zones and 16 zones.
You'll be able to set your own watering schedules, and it'll also link up with local weather reports to make sure your lawn gets fed the right amount of water. If you're looking to install the Rachio 3 controller outdoors, you'll need to buy a $30 waterproof enclosure too.
Fibaro Motion Sensor
Looking, creepily, a heck of lot like the Eye of Sauron, Fibaro's top motion sensor detects movement and also doubles up as temperature sensor that is also capable of registering light-readings.
Alerts will pop up on your iPhone when motion is detected and you can also integrate motion detection into HomeKit automations as well.