HomeKit HomeKit Apt. From Scratch

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by AnthonyCM, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. AnthonyCM macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2007
    I'm about to begin a gut renovation of an apartment. Rewiring, moving walls, etc. I've used Mac products for years, but never got into the smart home movement. I'm thinking that I would like to do that now with this project.

    For those of you who have used HomeKit over the past year or more, what would you have done differently if you were able to build your home from scratch? I'm definitely interested in lighting and shades, but what else can I do? Thermostats are out, as it's an old apartment and there's no central heat/ac.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. wesley96 macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2009
    If I were to build my house from scratch I would make sure to have a neutral wire in every light switch box. Since I didn't use the Lutron solution, I had to add a neutral wire to some of the rooms to get the HomeKit-enabled light switches working.

    Other than that, not much more would have been done, really. Other than the light switches, the HomeKit devices I put into my house were plugged/placed on top of the existing stuff. Light bulbs were basically a drop-in replacement, smart power plugs were, uh, plugged into existing outlets, and sensors were simply placed on shelves and doors with adhesive strips.

    That being said, if there were more choices for the HomeKit-based door locks and doorbell/camera combo, I would have looked into installing them in the house.
  3. scotio200 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2015
    I use the Philips hue light system and thats all I really need for homekit for now.

    I will be looking to add these to most if not all power outlets to my apartment in the future. However they are not cheap. https://www.fibaro.com/en/products/switches/
  4. wesley96 macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2009
    That looks to be a very interesting device. Too bad the Double version has no HomeKit function yet. Cost and mobility wise, I'd just stick to the usual plug-style solution for the time being.
  5. AnthonyCM thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2007
    Appreciate the responses.

    I'm trying to figure out if I "need" something like this:


    I can't think of too many situations in which I would want to turn an outlet on or off w/ voice/phone.

    My Homekit needs would be sort of limited. It's a NYC apt., so I don't have to worry about front door cameras or sprinkler systems. Mainly, I think I'd be using it to control lights and maybe for a door lock.

    What other use-cases do you think would be nice to have?

  6. coreyk macrumors member


    Oct 20, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Apartment Dweller: Philips Hue light bulbs, light strips, and switches; August Smart Lock; Eve Door Sensor; Eve Button; Eve Energy Smart Outlet. All HomeKit enabled.

    Lock automatically unlocks when I come home. Lights automatically turn on when I open the front door. Lock automatically locks behind me after 10 minutes of being unlocked. Lights automatically switch to a warmer hue at sunset but can be any brightness or color, scenes controllable by voice or phone or watch. Button press turns off the lights and locks the front door behind me after I leave. Smart outlet lets me turn on and off my laser printer on the other side of my apartment without having to walk over there.

    Also having an Apple TV or HomePod or iPad at home let’s you control everything remotely. I was able to lock and unlock my front door and operate my lights for my friend a few weeks ago while I was stuck in the hospital and he was picking up sundries for me.
  7. Sndman2004 macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2013
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Trust me when I say do ALL your research before investing in any specific system. I wound up deciding to go with HomeKit controlled switches. I had tried out the Phillips hue lights, only the white ones, at my mom's house before buying my house and having to keep the light switch on and have a separate switch was too confusing for people that were not tech pre-disposed. At the time the only major solution were the insteon switches. First problem, I bought enough to swap out all the switches in my house, and realized half way through installing them that some of the switches in my house did not have neutral wires. The regular switch that they sell requires a neutral wire to function; if you're updating wiring that may not be a problem as I believe code now requires a neutral in the switch box. Just make sure you have a neutral in all the locations you want a HomeKit switch installed or buy the right 2-wire switch. Second problem, Insteon really SUCKS. Once you have everything up and running you are pretty solid, however sometimes it takes days to successfully pair a new switch with the base station. The reason I ultimately stayed with the Insteon was that they offer a decent line of switches, outlets and other systems that are compatible with HomeKit.

    My setup also includes an ecobee 3 with extra sensors in each room, I can use the ecobee sensors as occupancy sensors to turn lights on at night when people walk into a room and then turn them off after a few minutes. There are other sensors you can employ to do the same thing if you do not have a use for a thermostat. The elgato sensors are very good looking in my opinion. I also got a HomeKit fan in my bedroom, I can use the temp sensor to turn the fan on when the room gets a little too warm which is nice. I have the Schilage Sense lock on my front door, I would probably go with another lock if I was to buy another one as it chews through batteries. I also have a garage door so I got the new MyQ controller to integrate the garage door in, however that may not be of interest to you. Overall I can not tell you how nice it is to have my lights turn on when I come home automatically and to have my phone or Apple Watch prompt me to unlock the door when I get home (it will not do it automatically for security reasons, however it will prompt you to unlock). I also have schedules to turn outside lights on and off and have an outlet outside integrated for Christmas lights to plug into that time of year.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 14, 2018 ---
    I forgot to mention too, if you have a radiator for heat elgato has a HomeKit radiator controller too.

Share This Page

6 February 12, 2018