Home HomeKit devices, set up, and experiences.

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by OCDMacGeek, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #1
    I suppose this is the correct forum to post about Apple services like HomeKit, even though it only "lives" on iOS devices. There's no other forum that seems to be set up for this topic.

    As someone who has been interested in home automation for some time, and been disappointed by Insteon technology, Z-wave, and even the latest platforms like SmartThings, I was very excited to hear about HomeKit. Now, the accessories are finally rolling out, and I have purchased and installed many of them. I would be glad to answer questions, and discuss experiences of others with their HomeKit setup.

    I would certainly like to avoid protracted discussions about whether or not home automation is necessary. I would appreciate if this thread could be used for detailed discussions about HomeKit accessories, how they function, and troubleshooting problems.

    I have the Lutron Caseta SmartBridge along with about a dozen in wall dimmer switches and pico remotes installed. These are used to control the lighting in many rooms. I have also installed several iHome SmartPlugs to automate the control of several devices around the house. I also installed a couple of the Elgato Eve devices.

    I am using this specific apps provided by the companies that manufacture those products, but I am also using a third-party app that works very well to piece all of the devices together into one HomeKit configuration -- the real beauty of this technology. The app is Home - Smart Home Automation by Matthias Hochgatterer
    https://appsto.re/us/WRAx7.i

    I have been amazed by how quick Siri works to control these lights and outlets under iOS 9 beta 5 (which I'm using). To control lighting, outlets, and entire scenes through voice command really feels like the future. When zones are set up properly, you can state commands like "turn off all my upstairs lights." And it works perfectly.

    I am having one issue: I have one main iPhone on which I have configured my HomeKit configuration. On other devices that are signed into the same iCloud account, The configuration does not seem to be shared perfectly. Not all devices show up, and zones and rooms are not exactly the same on these other devices. The problem could be that the other devices are on iOS 8, while I have set up everything on an iOS 9 device.

    If you have questions or experiences to share, please do so!
     
  2. ZolakJHS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Wake Forest, NC
    #2
    I just had a Schlage Sense deadbolt installed in my house as my first home kit device. I love the lock, but am underwhelmed with home kit. If I'm within 10 feet of the lock everything works great. From upstairs, it takes FOREVER to find my lock, and sometimes times out, and I can't get it to work at all remotely. I've tried resetting everything, signing into and out of my Apple TV (3rd generation)... nothing seems to work. I checked my router and it is seeing my Apple TV no problem on the network. I'm not sure how my phone is "phoning home" to the Apple TV from outside my house though. Something seems to be going wrong and I can't find any information on how to troubleshoot other than reset and pray it works this time.
     
  3. sigftw macrumors member

    sigftw

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Location:
    Crystal Palace, London, England
    #3
    I am just getting into Homekit now and only currently have to Hue bulbs with Hue Bridge 2.0 in my bedroom with more to follow. I am wanting to buy a Homekit enabled plug for the UK to add to a heater (plugged into the mains) to my trigger via the Home Automation App you had mentioned but havent been able to find anything during my research.

    Any tips? Also, I would like to turn on my television and switch different outputs via siri commands and add those commands to triggers. Is there a way of doing this?

    Thanks in advance for any advise.
     
  4. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #4
    The Elgato Eve Energy device seems to not only read energy usage but also be a smart plug. I believe its Bluetooth though, not WiFi, so worse range.

    https://www.elgato.com/en/eve/eve-energy

    There are more options that this for smart switches that work with U.S. shaped switches. The iHome SmartPlug and the iDevices Switch are two that I have.
     
  5. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #5
    I agree that the limited range of Bluetooth HomeKit devices make them far less useful than the WiFi counterparts. But as far as I know this is sometimes necessary because WiFi consumes too much energy for some smaller devices that are not connected to power. As far as remote access -- I too have problems with this. While many users can, I can't get mine working through Apple TV 4th Gen (or the 3rd Gen). But I haven't even tried extensively because the devices I want to control the most have their own relay mechanisms: Ecobee thermostats and Lutron lights work through their own apps because they have their own way of relaying signals.
     
  6. sigftw macrumors member

    sigftw

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Location:
    Crystal Palace, London, England
    #6
    Thanks OCDMacGeek your house tour video was one of the reasons that pushed me into this project. Hoping iDevice switches make it across the pond soon.

    Happy so far but will add more lights until they become available. It has to be said though, whilst this is simple for me to work out so far, I don't think this implementation of home automation will crack the mainstream like I was hoping. This still seems to be way to involving for the common person. Loving it though :)
     
  7. ZolakJHS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Wake Forest, NC
    #7
    I am going to keep playing with it. When outside in my neighborhood yesterday I was having all sorts of problems getting remote access to work, but today from the office (30 miles away) I was able to launch the sense app and get a status for my lock.
     
  8. arijaycomet macrumors member

    arijaycomet

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio - USA
    #8
    When are we going to get our own HomeKit sub-forum? :D
     
  9. brianbunge macrumors 6502

    brianbunge

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Location:
    Kennesaw, GA
    #9
    I've recently setup some Hue white bulbs (7 to be exact) in my living and dining rooms and master bedroom. I also have two Hue Blooms in the living room. I don't see much need to spend the extra money on colored bulbs for day to day use. I will keep the colored bulbs and other devices for the living room. For instance, I will probably add the Hue LED light strips under my entertainment cabinet and may also use them to make a back light behind my projection screen.

    I'm also looking at possibly adding some home security devices as they become available. I would think the Elgato Eve door and window sensors could be used for this. We just need what, a HomeKit enabled keypad and siren to move forward?
     
  10. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    #10
    That Home app is beautiful (functionally, not literally - it's sort of an ugly app aesthetically). Works very well in conjunction with the manufacturer apps.

    By the way, how much work was involved in installing the Lutron in-wall switches? I'm nowhere near an electrician or a DIY guy. Don't want to end up electrocuting myself or spending hours upon hours to install them..... but seeing as how many of the lights in my house are controlled by wall switches, it'd be great to have those things replaced with homeKit switches.
     
  11. brianbunge macrumors 6502

    brianbunge

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Location:
    Kennesaw, GA
    #11
    If they're anything like the WeMo (or any other light switch) you just need to be able to turn off a circuit breaker and be able to connect 3 or 4 color-coded wires together.
     
  12. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #12
    Unfortunately there is no true security system yet for HomeKit, and I am still waiting for one. I don't think the Elgato Door sensors are suite what we're looking for yet. I don't think the battery life is good enough, and it would be way too much work to set up triggers for notifications this way. We need a security bridge...
    --- Post Merged, Jan 6, 2016 ---
    I'm not a big DIY guy usually either, but its totally easy. You just turn off the breaker, unscrew the existing switch, and use the "wire nuts" to screw together the existing wires to the Lutron switch. It only gets all all tricky when doing a three way switch, but that also isn't too bad if you read up a bit in the instructions.
     

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