HomeKit is Apple's attempt to bring all your smart devices together into a single connected ecosystem. In Apple's vision of the home of the future your smart door-lock will talk to your smart lights, and your smart thermostat will be able to work seamlessly with your smart ceiling fan.
Since iOS 10, Apple has allowed you to control all your HomeKit-supported devices through a single app, and the ecosystem of products it supports is rapidly growing.
Of course any smart home ecosystem is only as good as the devices that support it, so without further ado, here's our pick of the most interesting gear that currently works (or plans to work) with HomeKit.
HomeKit Smart speakers
Smart speakers are the element of the smart home that seem to be getting the fastest integration into people's everyday lives, and are often the element that unifies a smart home, allowing you to talk to your digital assistant and request a light dimmed, a radiator heated or a door locked.
Unsurprisingly, there's only one smart speaker that is going to be compatible with HomeKit and it's Apple's own HomePod. It does look like it's going to be a major contender in the arena, but it's also likely to be one of the priciest.
Smart internet connected thermostats were one of the first areas in which the connected home began to take hold, but unfortunately the market leader, Nest, has not announced HomeKit support.
Whether this will arrive at a later date, or whether Google's ownership of the company will prevent it permanently is unclear, but thankfully there are a number of other HomeKit enabled thermostats that are still very much worth your consideration.
One of the biggest names in smart heating, Honeywell has a whole range of thermostats that are compatible with HomeKit, including Honeywell Lyric T5, Lyric T6 (both Smart and Pro versions) and the Lyric Round (second generation). The Honeywell Evohome system with its individual radiator controls doesn't support HomeKit and at the moment it doesn't look like it's going to.
Not to be outdone, Ecobee also offers a range of thermostats that will work with your HomeKit setup. The Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 lite both work with individual temperature sensors for different rooms, and the Ecobee4 works with HomeKit, but also works as a standalone Alexa speaker (sorry Siri).
Tado offers both its Smart Thermostat and Smart Radiator Thermostats with HomeKit integration. Individual radiator controls are becoming more common in smart heating setups, but you'd be hard pushed to find more attractive ones.
Other thermostats worth considering
- Netatmo - UK exclusive
- Elgato Eve Thermo - connected radiator valve
- iDevices Thermostat - US exclusive
HomeKit light bulbs
With the ability to change color, turn on and off with a pre-planned schedule, and even dim to suit your mood, smart lightbulbs are an essential part of any self-respecting smart home setup.
There's something immensely satisfying about turning your lights off with your voice, you can use them as a burglary deterrent by having them come on while you're away, and you get the added benefit of never having to worry if you've left a light on.
There are quite a number of smart lightbulbs on the market now, with more getting added to the list of HomeKit connected products regularly. Below are just a few of the ones that we think it's worth you knowing about.
Just make sure that you buy the correct light fitting for your region.
Philips has invested heavily in its Hue series of smart light bulbs. It offers a variety of models from light strips to standard white bulbs to colored bulbs, and so long as you have the square-type hub then they'll all work with HomeKit. If you've got one of the older round Hue bridges then you'll have to upgrade to get into Apple's ecosystem.
Read our full review: Philips Hue
While there are a large number of lightbulbs that have HomeKit integration coming soon, Koogeek is one of the few that already supports it. It's no slouch in the lighting department either, offering up to 16 million colors through the Koogeek Home app.
Nanoleaf is definitely the lighting choice for someone looking for a less conventional method of lighting their home. Made up of a number of triangular panels, the limits for how you arrange it are your imagination. What's more, this modular lighting kit can accompany your music with a complimentary light show.
Other bulbs to consider / coming soon:
- iDevices Socket - converts your light fittings to 'smart' fittings so you can still use standard bulbs
- Lifx - one of the most reliable innovators in the field, the bulbs also integrate with other smart home ecosystems
- C-sleep - provides different types of light at night and in the morning to compliment your sleep cycle
If you want to make your lighting smart without changing all of your bulbs, you can change your light switches for smart switches, and then control your lights from your phone, or with your voice.
What's more, because all of your devices are connected using HomeKit, you can program your switches so they control far more than just your lights.
The Logitech Pop looks nothing like a normal switch, and that's part of its charm. Because it's battery powered and wireless, you can keep it within easy reach of the couch or your bed, and with multiple different commands, you can control numerous devices with a couple of taps.
Koogeek offers a range of different Wi-Fi enabled smart switches, that (surprisingly) are only available in the US, Canada and Japan at present. Right now, the only ones that support HomeKit are Switch CN, but more are on the way.
The Elgato Eve Light Switch connects directly to your phone or tablet using bluetooth low energy, meaning that it doesn't need to be connected via a bridge or hub.