HomeKit What are some good uses for Homekit?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by steve23094, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. steve23094 macrumors 68020

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #1
    I want to get into using Homekit devices because I love gadgets, but I’m really struggling to think of good use cases. Perhaps it’s just my lack of imagination. I’m thinking the best option for me would be using something like the Eve Energy wall adapter, but what can I plug into it to do some cool and clever stuff?
     
  2. Elmo1938 macrumors member

    Elmo1938

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    I can tell you how I use it:
    • about a dozen electric outlets...setup a room for TV viewing
    • eve aqua for control of outdoor watering system.
     
  3. Debauch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #3
    A few ways I use it:
    • Hey Siri, "bed time" ... upstairs hallway and kids bedroom lights turn on. Send the kids up to get ready for bed (that part is me, not Siri).
    • Hue motion sensor installed outside senses motion and triggers an alert with a photo from a Circle 2 camera. Same motion sensor triggers a Lutron Caseta switch to turn on the outside lights if it detects motion after 11 pm at night.
    • Routine to lock down the house at 10 pm. Locks the front door, and turns off outside lights.
    • Downstairs Ecobee detects motion after 11 pm at night and turns on a Hue light strip to 25% brightness.
    • Lutron Caseta switches to automate outside lights. On at sunset off at whatever time.
    • iDevice switches to sync up landscape lights on different transformers.
    • Hey Siri, "turn of (or off) outside lights". Hey Siri, "Set upstairs temp to 78 degrees". Etc.
    • Hue motion sensor in the garage triggers a hue bulb and a Lutron switch to turn on all lights in the garage.
    • iDevice outlets have a LED light on them that I use as a night light in the kids' bedrooms. On at 8 pm and off at 6 am.
    A ton more ideas out there depending on which products you buy.
     
  4. steve23094 thread starter macrumors 68020

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #4
    Hmmm. I live in a small flat without outdoor space so that stuff with outdoor lights, watering or cameras wouldn’t apply to me. Maybe I can figure out something with light switches, bedside lamps and my TV etc for a ‘bedtime’ command.
     
  5. dbrewood macrumors regular

    dbrewood

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #5
    Similar issues myself.

    We've an Sony Bravia TV linked into a home cinema system via a Harmony remote to a Sky TV box etc. Also lights turning on / off via smart plugs. All works well and controlled via an Amazon Echo. The only issue here is that all the kit was bought before I returned to Apple so none of the kit we have already is Homekit enabled.

    Then we look at night time lighting for the upper rooms etc, and we have no plug sockets on the upstairs landing. So messed up there.

    So no go for us I guess. Sigh.
     
  6. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #6
    All my switches and dimmers are Leviton HomeKit switches/dimmers, Ecobee thermostat, iHome Sensors, etc. Here are some ways I use them...

    -When my alarm goes off in the morning all the lights I'll be using come on. Bedroom, bathroom, etc...
    -When I leave home all the lights and ceiling fans shut off and the thermostat sets itself to Away schedule based on geofencing rules.
    -When I get home specific lights come on (only if its dark) and the thermostat resumes my home schedule.
    -Porch light comes on and off based on sunrise sunset.
    -Bathroom fans (fart fans) shut off when motion isn't detected for 5 minutes. So it gives the fan time to remove smells and steam and shuts off without me needing to get up and go back in there.
    -Sensor in my outside utility room warns me of low temps where water pipe freezing is a concern and will activate a space heater automatically
    -Door unlocks as I walk up too it. VERY convenient if you have your hands full or just want to get in quicker.
    -Security alarm arms and disarms plus alerts me immediately to events.
    -Scenes - "Goodnight, good morning, etc" Ever goto bed, turn off the light, lay down and see light from another room that you forgot and getting up again because the hardest thing you've done all day? "Hey Siri Goodnight" and all the lights turn off.

    Those are just a few things and they are mostly automations. I can activate those things and others remotely via my watch or iPhone if I wanted to make sure a light was on/off, door is locked/unlocked, etc.

    A lot of that stuff would make certain people roll their eyes but its no different then when TV remote controllers were invented. Back then people would scuff at the idea and call people lazy, now the thought of getting up to change the channel is ridiculous. Once you get it set up right you'll grow to rely on it. The power was out the other day when I got home and I was standing in the foyer, in the dark and it felt like someone elses home because mine is always lit for me.
     
  7. Darmok N Jalad, Aug 20, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018

    Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #7
    I’m impressed with the level of automation you both have achieved. I just added an ecobee 4 to the home, and I’ve been thinking of expanding to a few well-placed cameras and timed outlets, maybe even a weather station. It’s amazing what can be done today versus even a few years ago. I was a child of the 80s, so this was the stuff of dreams and James Bond!

    And I can see how some of it may appear to be laziness, but in many cases there are real efficiencies and energy savings to be had. I’ve been debating the merits of the smart thermostat with a friend. He questions that they actually save money, but my argument is that they actually help with comfort. With the ecobee, I’ve been able to add an extra couple HVAC actions that make the home more comfortable all day long, including in the middle of the night when the AC hasn’t activated in hours and the upstairs has gotten stale. With an extra degree cooldown in the middle of the night, we beat that situation without resorting to running the AC at the beginning of the night at a lower temp. A better night’s sleep is worth the expense.
     
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #8
    Yes, its surprising how much energy you can actually save. For example I have HomeKit activate "resume schedule" on my arrival and "away" on my departure. The beauty of this is if I stop by the house in the middle of the day the AC doesn't come on, it resumes my schedule which is still set to 78. This way I don't have the AC run for 5 minutes while I use the bathroom and head back out and not even realize the difference.

    This is another neat function that won't apply to many people but I have a condensing gas furnace located in and outdoor utility room so if the drain line freezes it will shut down. There is a vent out there but because of the freezing I wouldn't run a schedule in the winter because it has frozen so I've left it set to 70+ degrees all the time. But now I have an iHome sensor in that room and if it temp in that room drops to 45 degrees it will just bring on the furnace. So the majority of the time the schedule works fine however on those rare zero degree days it runs and I don't need to worry about it freezing up and not having heat.

    If the drain line wasn't COMPLETELY inaccessible I would use heat tape and a smart plug that would activate at ~40 degrees.
     
  9. x-evil-x macrumors 68040

    x-evil-x

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #9
    I live in an apartment and have a on off switch running outside to a waterproof led light kit.
     

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