Questions Getting Started

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by vp719, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. vp719, Jul 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016

    vp719 macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2007
    I'm looking to get started with HomeKit and just have a few questions. I've read through as many threads as I can, reddit, and the MR "Getting Started" article, but still have a couple questions I was hoping someone could help me out with. I have been using SmartThings for a couple years, but want to shift everything over to HomeKit now. As of now, I have the Phillips Hue basestation and colored lights, a couple iDevice switches, and an Ecobee3. My questions for expansion are:

    - Is there a good security camera for HomeKit? I see Canary on Apple's site, but it doesn't look like it has HomeKit integration until this fall's update. Should I wait?

    - I've read a lot of people using iBeacons to trigger scenes or actions, but can't find any instruction on how this works. I remember Apple discussion iBeacons at a keynote years ago, but haven't seen anything about them since. Do HomeKit products have iBeacon built in, or is that something separate I have to purchase?

    - Where is the best place to learn about HomeKit products and processes? This forum? Apple's site seems fairly lacking, imo.

    - Is there a way to get GE Link bulbs to trigger via HomeKit, or some IFTTT command linked w/ other devices?

    Unfortunately I have no experience with Raspberry Pi, so working with HomeBridge is probably out of my ballpark for right now. Someday I would like to learn, but probably not today.

  2. shaneakus macrumors member


    Aug 18, 2010
    I would recommend buying products that support more than one platform so you're not locked into homekit. This stuff is pricey and it's still pretty early on in this new generation of home automation products.

    As for home bridge, you can run it on a mac. It's installed on my mac mini which is on 24x7, no problems here.
  3. Otto Pilot macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2016
    Yes, Homebridge is remarkably easy to set up...I have exactly ZERO coding/programming experience and got it up and running in a couple of hours. I did switch it from the RPi to a Mac Mini as well, as I was not having any luck gettingthe automatic startup script running on the Pi, whereas the Mac Mini now automatically logs in and starts Homebridge with no action required by me. The smartthings and GE Link should both be supported through Homebridge if you want to keep them in the new setup.

    Official camera support was only introduced in IOS 10, so I don't think any camera you can buy supports it officially yet. Based on experience with promised compatibility (Looking at you, Chamberlain), I would probably hold off on a camera until something hits the street with HomeKit support. You can get the Nest Cam working through Homebridge in theory, but this is one I have not been able to successfully integrate yet.

    I would also like to learn a bit more about IBeacons. One of (actually the) biggest complaint I have with HomeKit as it currently stands is the inability to set geo triggers based on multiple phones...this makes them functionally useless for dealing with both my wife and I (and her not particularly appreciating the lights turning off when I have the hose). I wonder if iBeacons could help fix that.
  4. vp719 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2007
    Thank you both for your help. I may try Homebridge, I just need to find a cheap Mini to run it on. I assume whatever it runs on has to stay in the house and running at all times?

    I'll hold off on the camera for now then, hopefully Canary's HomeKit one comes out early this fall. It would be really nice if Apple significantly updates their guides and instructions for HomeKit & iBeacons w/ iOS 10

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