Home Tour of a HomeKit enabled house with dozens of accessories.

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by OCDMacGeek, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #1
    I’m a huge fan of Apple, and a big fan of the concept of home automation. Naturally, I was excited when Apple announced HomeKit, and the first HomeKit enabled accessories started rolling out. I am an early adopter, to put it lightly. I have a home built around 1870, and have outfitted it with an extraordinary amount of HomeKit devices, making pretty much the entire home controllable via HomeKit and Siri.

    I wanted to provide a tour of my HomeKit-enabled home not only because its cool to control your home with Siri voice control, but also because I wanted to demonstrate some of the practical uses of HomeKit to improve your home. I hope you enjoy the video.

    In this video, I discuss the following HomeKit devices in my house:

    Lutron Caseta dimmers and remotes
    Lutron Serena shades
    Phillips Hue bulbs, lightstrips, dimmers, and tap switches
    Ecobee 3 thermostats and sensors
    iHome SmartPlugs

    I also discuss the third party app: Home - Home Automation with HomeKit By Matthias Hochgatterer.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/home-home-automation-homekit/id995994352?mt=8

    By my estimation, this is the best HomeKit app so far.

    I have gone through a lot of time setting up these devices, troubleshooting problems, and resolving them. In another video or post I'll discuss some of the common problems you can run into with HomeKit setups.

    If you have any HomeKit questions or comments, let me know.

     
  2. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #2
    I watched your video end-to-end and enjoyed it. Thanks for the time you put into the explanation. I have been curious about home automation and wondered what people were using it for. I had the concept but its nice to see it in a practical example. I'm going to look into the thermostats first. My home is fairly new with light switches at each entryway so I don't have that problem to solve but in the future I will consider replacing switches. I can already imagine switches for outside lights that I can activate without having to run inside and turn them on. Garage lights, both standard lights and my hanging florescent work lighting. If I were to ask any question, what has your cost been to this point. You don't have to give exact, you can give a ballpark for a category or however you like. I can look for pricing on the devices you have listed but curious what to expect until I have time to look into this more.
     
  3. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #3
    I'm really glad you liked the video, and thanks for your post! I'm glad to give you some ideas for improvements on your own home.

    The cost has been quite high, as you might expect. The largest expense is the shades. They have great energy efficiency savings because they are lined with aluminum and that gives it a good "R" value, but the shades are about $400 each. It is a bit of an investment that could pay off in energy savings, but adds up very quickly up front.

    Each of the Lutron switches is approximately $50, but that includes the pico remote control with it. So as you can see, that also adds up very quickly. Hue dimmer switches are about $25 each, and basic Hue lightbulbs are $19 each.

    While most people are not going to swap out every single light switch, hopefully this gives you some ideas on the ones you might want to actually change out.
     
  4. wepiii macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #4
    Awesome! Thanks for the video! Do you have any idea if that app will work with insteon devices running through an insteon hub?
     
  5. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #5
    The HomeKit enabled Insteon hub doesn't work with all Insteon devices and it has also gotten pretty bad reviews. If you haven't already invested in Insteon I don't think any of the compatible ones offer anything that Lutron and Hue can't offer. (Although Insteon has cool cameras, they don't work with the HomeKit Insteon hub.) But all that being said, the HomeKit Insteon devices would definitely work with the Home app.
     
  6. wargamer6 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #6
    Neat. Do you have all Hue bulbs? I have a mix of Hue and Cree.
     
  7. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #7
    Yeah, I have all Hue bulbs -- a mix of color and white bulbs. I did get some GE Link bulbs initially but then I began hearing reports that these bulbs had frequent drop outs with the Hue bridge.
     
  8. wargamer6 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #8
    I heard similar things too, but my Crees have been rock solid so far.
     
  9. wepiii macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #9

    How would I know if they were home kit insteon devices or not? Thanks for the help!
     
  10. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #10
    At The bottom of this website, they list the ones that will work:

    http://www.insteon.com/insteon-hub-homekit/
     
  11. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a

    gixxerfool

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #11
    Do you think this could foray into location awareness?

    In other words, pull into your garage and the lights turn on until you enter your home where it will turn your lights off in the garage and turn on the lights in the room you entered all by proximity. They would be great for efficiency.
     
  12. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #12
    You can do this with Triggers in HomeKit (there is no garage door opener for HomeKit just yet) but you can set location aware triggers. The only problem is that they are a bit spotty. They "live" on the iPhone and aren't perfect.
     
  13. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a

    gixxerfool

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #13
    Oh neat. The possibilities are endless as long as the support is there. Can you schedule events to happen? For your blinds say, to open to a certain angle for a certain time of day to allow sunlight in and then correct as the sun moves? You could heat a room pretty well and then close the blind when the sun is passing in order to keep the heat in.
     
  14. rmadrid20 macrumors newbie

    rmadrid20

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    #14
    Any hub that it's compatible with HomeKit and allow zwave devices to be control by it?
     
  15. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    perhaps that's what the rumored Apple Ring is for.
     
  16. rmadrid20 macrumors newbie

    rmadrid20

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    #16
    Any hub compatible with HomeKit and zwave devices?
     
  17. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #17
    Nice video.

    Am I able to have smart light switches if I only have two wires at the (current old) switch?
    Am I able to have smart power outlets?

    Do you have different main ducts running to different areas of the house? I see you have multiple thermostats.

    Are you running this on your main WiFi network or you have one dedicated for this?
     
  18. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #18
    Yes, Lutron only needs two wires, which is awesome for old houses like mine. So far there are no HomeKit smart outlets that wire right in to the wall, but some were just announced. These should only need two wires but I guess we don't know for sure. I have plug in smart outlets.

    Yes, my house was zoned and had multiple "dumb" thermostats, so I just replaced them all since I wanted to retain their zoning.

    I am running this on my main WiFi network, because to function your phone has to be on the same network.
     
  19. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #19
    May I ask which Lurton light switch? Can I power up a plain light?

    I'm ok w plug in smart outlets.
     
  20. BradWould macrumors 6502

    BradWould

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    #20
    You are my HomeKit idol. I have just recently started my HomeKit home project. I have a mixture of white and color hue bulbs with the 2.0 bridge. The downstairs lights are completely converted and a few upstairs. I just keep adding bulbs every once in a while. I actually ordered the ecobee3 from Apple today so that will be a project for next weekend when it arrives. Setup can be time consuming, but its a hobby. The set up is half the fun. I need to invest in some of the dimmers and switches you use. The window shades are amazing. One thing I noticed in your video is when you say "set the scene good morning" isn't it possible to just say good morning? With my set up (mind you it's less complex with just lights) I have a scene created called good morning and good night and all I have to say is that command without the "set the scene" part. I use the iDevices connected app for my zones, rooms, and scenes. Again excellent video!
     
  21. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #21
    If you have time would you be able to provide some more info to get started?

    1. Barebones you need atv
    2. To have smart switch you need abc
    3. To have dimmeable smart switch you need this
    4. To have smart switch controlled with remote switch you need blah blah blah


    My thermostat has 6 wires (4 connected). Am I good to go for ecobee?
    I would like to keep fan only on off as a option. With this thermostat can I schedule fan only for certain time?

    Big thank You.
     
  22. Beerstalker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    #22
    Have you tried the first alert thermostat or smoke/co detectors yet?
     
  23. BradWould macrumors 6502

    BradWould

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    #23
    He's got a review of the smoke detectors on his YouTube channel. Initial review was good. But he ended up smashing one to get it to turn off And returned them all. Haha. I'm a HomeKit fanatic as well and I went with the Nest Protect
     
  24. Beerstalker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    #24
    I usually only get on here at work, and don't have access to youtube. I might have to check it out when I get home.

    I've currently got 2 Nest Protect 1st Gen at my home, and installed 4 of them at my parents. I've had a couple false alarms at my house, and my parents have had a bunch. I haven't tried contacting Nest about them yet, but I need to.

    I have never been sold on the Nest thermostat though as I prefer to just set the schedule myself for the most part. The first alert thermostat has me interested, and if I go with that I would probably lean toward switching over to the first alert detectors as well.
     
  25. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #25
    Yep, I hated to do that, but I really couldn't risk it. I really didn't trust the alarms anymore, and I have two young kids, and it terrified them to have the alarm go off in the middle of the night. For the first one that went bad, it was a complete device malfunction. For the second one, it said the device reached the end of it's life after only two months.

    I have a theory, which is the FirstAlert did not contemplate having the devices' status being checked constantly. That may cause the 10 year battery to be prematurely drained. It's not like I'm sitting there checking all day long for smoker, but since it is part of my home to configuration, every time I open the Home app, it polls the device for the status.

    After I had to smash the darn thing, I saw that it has two very small Li-ion batteries.

    Here is the video of that unfortunate incident:

     

Share This Page