Review: iDevices' Switches and Outlets Bring HomeKit to Your Existing Lights and Home Appliances

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    iDevices was one of the first companies to announce plans for producing HomeKit-compatible products, focusing primarily on switches and outlets but also branching out a bit with a thermostat. Earlier this year, iDevices was acquired by major electrical equipment manufacturer Hubbell, but the iDevices brand and product lineup lives on.

    I've been using a number of iDevices products, including the recently launched Wall Switch and Wall Outlet, as well as the Switch and Outdoor Switch that launched some time ago, and I've gotten a pretty good idea of how well these accessories fit into my home and integrate with other HomeKit devices through HomeKit. All of the devices are also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but for my purposes I focused on HomeKit.

    Wall Switch and Wall Outlet

    iDevices' Wall Switch and Wall Outlet are the latest additions to the company's HomeKit family, and they're the most complicated to install since they require in-wall installation. It's a little bit of a hassle and some users such as renters may not be able take advantage of them, but installation is a pretty straightforward project and they provide a much cleaner and more integrated look to your HomeKit system.

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    As with any other time you're performing electrical work, you should turn off power at the circuit breaker and make sure electricity isn't flowing to the circuits where you're working. iDevices includes step-by-step instructions to walk you through the entire installation process and also includes some helpful videos on its YouTube channel.


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    Article Link: Review: iDevices' Switches and Outlets Bring HomeKit to Your Existing Lights and Home Appliances
     
  2. iGeneo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #2
    Not dimmable it appears?

    That's a bummer.... I suppose I'll need to stick with the Lutron Caseta with the hub. I was hoping to ditch the hub requirement.
     
  3. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Any UK outlet versions?

    Ours, and other British related / Commonwealth countries, use completely different looking wall sockets, you see.
     
  4. VforVelveta macrumors regular

    VforVelveta

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #4
    For those that find the iDevices wall switch too expensive, Leviton makes something similar for $50 that’s also dimmable, and one without dimming for even less. I’ve had mine for a few months and never had a problem with it.
     
  5. Romey-Rome macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2012
  6. CarlJ macrumors 68020

    CarlJ

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    #6
    Their current in-wall switches/outlets appear not to be dimmable. They've got a dimmable in-wall switch "coming soon" on their website (I don't know why they didn't just go with that initially). I've got a couple of their original standalone "iDevices Switch" adaptors (at the time I got them, they were one of few solid choices for HomeKit use), and they work quite well (they let me use Siri to turn on/off two LED panel lights in my living room that are far brighter than my Hue lights, for those occasions when I want the room really bright - a task that had been previously filled by an aging halogen torchiere).

    I've also got an iDevices Socket, which is dimmable, and works quite well. For most uses of such a device (in a typical indoor desk/floor lamp), you're better off just using a smart bulb (Hue, etc., which are much less bulky than putting the Socket in between the lamp and bulb), but I have a use case (which I'm sure iDevices would not approve) for which it's ideal - front porch had a photocell-based on/off adaptor that never worked well, and I wanted a string of rope lights around the porch roof. So, I got an iDevices Socket, screwed it in in place of the old bulb-and-photocell, screwed in one of those lightbulb-to-2-pronged-outlet adaptors, plugged in the LED rope light string into that, and built a weatherproof box around the iDevices Socket and porchlight socket. Now I have HomeKit routines to turn the porch light on at dusk, progressively dim it in later hours down to a just a keyhole-finding glow, and then shut the lights off at sunrise. Works great.

    I have Hue bulbs in my living room, and a typical reaction is, "but I don't need to make them all sorts of crazy colors", but it turns out they have a huge advantage over standard bulbs controlled by (smart or old-fashioned) dimmer switches: changing the color temperature of "white" light - I can make the room have bright/harsh daylight "white" light, but also warmer late afternoon-style "white" light, and it really changes the whole feel of the room. It's surprising how much affect it can have on mood.
     
  7. capvideo, Aug 2, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017

    capvideo macrumors member

    capvideo

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    #7
    I'll second the Leviton HomeKit dimmable. I also have an Eve wall switch for HomeKit (not dimmable) installed from before Leviton entered the market. It has worked great, too, and also only costs $50.
     
  8. Caliber26 macrumors 68000

    Caliber26

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #8
    I wish HomeKit would take off like Alexa. I see all these cool things out there ready to work with Alexa but what I’ve seen, so far, for HK is so limited in comparison. I assume this is because Apple hasn’t opened up HK to all these manufacturers, or what’s going on? I’ve come so close to jumping on the Echo/Alexa train but I’m holding off in hopes Apple plays catch up very soon.
     
  9. az431 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    $100 for a light switch is absurd, especially since it's not dimmable.
     
  10. Mizouse macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    #10
    Thanks for the review. Been thinking about their wall switch. But I didn't want to pay the $100.

    I got one of their regular timer/switches on cyber Monday. I use it for a lamp in my living room. I like it.

    I may just wait for this years cyber Monday before buying.
     
  11. DogHouseDub macrumors regular

    DogHouseDub

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    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    SF
    #11
    Having wifi built in is the difference. Being within bluetooth range of an AppleTV isn't always easy.
     
  12. whitete macrumors member

    whitete

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #12
    Great review! Very helpful. I'd love a few outlets, but not at $100 a pop.
     
  13. Peepo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #13
    I think it’s more like that Apple required stricter security standards. This makes it cost more for vendors to support HomeKit.
     
  14. DiscoMcDisco macrumors regular

    DiscoMcDisco

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #14
    Keep your eyes on www.getden.co.uk

    They’re due to launch very soon, couple of months, does the same job but without some of the hassle (just swap out and mains wire still). Added bonus, they physically switch and look exactly like our normal faceplates and stuff.

    The bonus of it switching physically is it can actually turn off your home (keeping only very little going to stay network connected.)

    It’s a very cool set of products, I’ll be using them for everything in my house renovation :)
     
  15. GregA macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #15
    Australian options are also hard to find.

    And yet... our plugs are the same as China. You'd think there'd be some options from China...
     
  16. hagar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #16
    And how much do these toys consume themselves?
     
  17. DiscoMcDisco macrumors regular

    DiscoMcDisco

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #17
    Apple have moved to software certification, so many many more vendors can now jump on board with just a firmware update.

    Previously, hardware was the only way. We should see a big spike in the next few months :)
     
  18. Ed217 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Location:
    Virginia
    #18
    I have a dozen or so of the Switch units and they work well. I think I got most for about $35 each. I also have a software bridge I did that allows control from software on Windows, macOS, and other non iOS platforms.
     
  19. Krayzkat macrumors 6502

    Krayzkat

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    I'm not really sure what you could use the sockets for. Turning a lamp on/off remotely might be fun for a few hours (lol), but what other appliances would you connect up to it?
     
  20. Vasilioskn macrumors regular

    Vasilioskn

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #20
    Cooling Fans, Monitors , portable heaters, air filters , humidifiers , coffee machine , etc. mostly "dumb" appliances that have manual on/off switches
     
  21. Mike Oxard macrumors 6502a

    Mike Oxard

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    #21
    I was waiting for apples response to the echo for home automation, and the homepod made the decision very easy for me, the homepod is 10x the price of the echo dot (when it's on offer). I can't justify one homepod, never mind the 5 I'd need. The dot is affordable and has a much better voice assistant. It's a pity as I thought Apple wanted to be a real player in this market.
     
  22. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a

    imola.zhp

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    #22
    Great review, thanks for posting.

    I have been tempted when they have their sales (usually US holidays) to pick up an indoor and outdoor switch combo pack. I cant remember, 2 or 3 switches and an outdoor switch for a pretty decent price.

    We are still using ETEK City remote outlets and a few cheap timers from the big box stores (and/or amazon) for lamps in the house. We HATE general overhead lighting, I think we have nearly 20 lamps in an 1100 sq ft house; at least one in every room including bathrooms and walk in closets. One benefit to the remote outlets with a remote is not having to wait for Siri to understand you, or to open an app. Just grab a remote and turn on or off whatever you need. A con is the switches are GINORMOUS, often blocking the other outlet.

    Still, given their pro's and con's and the pro's and con's for the homekit setup, I still want the homekit setup. I am very frugal, however, so I will wait and wait and wait until the costs come down considerably.
     
  23. 4ubrey macrumors member

    4ubrey

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #23
    Lutron Caseta is ~$50 a switch, it's dimmable, HomeKit compatible and has been around for a while/well-reviewed.
    Why on earth would you pay $99?
     
  24. ddrulez macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #24
    These switches are still too expensive. I use 2 switches (no HomeKit) for my living room to switch a light under a table and for my subwoofer and led background light of the tv. But I only paid 40€ for 4 of them with a remote control. 50€ for one switch is insane. The cost to build them should be way less. HomeKit is a ripoff.
     
  25. Smith288 macrumors 65816

    Smith288

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #25
    Leviton owner here. Both a dinner one and a normal switch. Only issue I’ve had was my porch switch is a tad far from wifi and has lost its connection from time to time. Might be a problem for me for any HomeKit solution.
     

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