Homekit recommendations

neoprema

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Jan 12, 2016
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Can anyone recommend brands (available locally) that work with Apple HomeKit? (no i don't want to hear about why I should switch to Alexa or Google etc lol)

I'm looking particularly for;
-Light bulbs 220V pref without bridge, but if not possible...
-Smart switches 220V
-Garage door controllers (for Digidoor III)

I know there's Aqara but looking for other options too.
 

Speedster

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Have you considered running Home Assistant? This will allow you to pull virtually any smart device into homekit.

 

SauRoNZA

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Run Home Assistant and make your life a whole lot simpler.

I actually haven’t ever seen a HomeKit product in SA.

The only one I have is one LifeX bulb and it’s actually quite unreliable.
 

rafiqs

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Light bulbs without bridge - your best bet is Yeelight. They operate over wifi and I would say their 1S and filament bulbs are 99% reliable. Their light strip that is locally available also work with Homekit but isn't that reliable, after +- 4 days I keep getting a "No Response" for it in the Home app. This is only fixed by cutting power to the light strip and then plugging it back in. Word of caution when buying Yeelight is not all their products have Homekit support so double check this.

Smart switches - Aqara wireless relay is solid. An excellent alternative is the Shelly 1 and Shelly 1PM relays that can be updated with Mongoose OS based Homekit firmware https://github.com/mongoose-os-apps/shelly-homekit

Garage door controllers - I haven't managed to find anything locally with official support. I'm currently using a Shelly 1 with the Homekit firmware and it has been solid.

Aqara, Yeelight and Shelly are all available on Takealot.

I also just want to add that I'm very impressed with Aqara. I'm using their motion sensors, buttons, switches and wireless relays to complement a mix of Yeelight and Philips Hue bulbs and they have been 100% solid.
 

neoprema

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Light bulbs without bridge - your best bet is Yeelight. They operate over wifi and I would say their 1S and filament bulbs are 99% reliable. Their light strip that is locally available also work with Homekit but isn't that reliable, after +- 4 days I keep getting a "No Response" for it in the Home app. This is only fixed by cutting power to the light strip and then plugging it back in. Word of caution when buying Yeelight is not all their products have Homekit support so double check this.

Smart switches - Aqara wireless relay is solid. An excellent alternative is the Shelly 1 and Shelly 1PM relays that can be updated with Mongoose OS based Homekit firmware https://github.com/mongoose-os-apps/shelly-homekit

Garage door controllers - I haven't managed to find anything locally with official support. I'm currently using a Shelly 1 with the Homekit firmware and it has been solid.

Aqara, Yeelight and Shelly are all available on Takealot.

I also just want to add that I'm very impressed with Aqara. I'm using their motion sensors, buttons, switches and wireless relays to complement a mix of Yeelight and Philips Hue bulbs and they have been 100% solid.
Where did you get your Hue? I had an old one and since then wanted to buy new but it seems they did finally move from 100-240V to only 110V on the US products.
 

neoprema

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Run Home Assistant and make your life a whole lot simpler.

I actually haven’t ever seen a HomeKit product in SA.

The only one I have is one LifeX bulb and it’s actually quite unreliable.
What exactly does it do for Homekit? expose non homekit devices as homekit ones so they can be loaded? I read the website but it looked like it was a whole new home management system on its own. I've got a few Pi's lying around so i'll try it anyway
 

SauRoNZA

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What exactly does it do for Homekit? expose non homekit devices as homekit ones so they can be loaded? I read the website but it looked like it was a whole new home management system on its own. I've got a few Pi's lying around so i'll try it anyway

It is a whole management system on it’s own yes, but exposes a bridge to HomeKit and as you suspected all devices published there are are exported to it.

I was all about that HomeKit life in the beginning as well, even with HA in place but over time it’s more about the wife-approval and use case than mine personally.

Automations are too limited and notifications also too predefined.

It works nicely as a remote connection option though when you can’t set that up due to your network or not bothered to.

Bear in mind you need an Apple TV, iPad or HomePod inside your house to make use of HomeKit.

710a04cd2226122097a5e5c336f39a70.jpg


I have more than these per room but most frequently used options. The one not responding is because it’s power supply died.
 

neoprema

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It is a whole management system on it’s own yes, but exposes a bridge to HomeKit and as you suspected all devices published there are are exported to it.

I was all about that HomeKit life in the beginning as well, even with HA in place but over time it’s more about the wife-approval and use case than mine personally.

Automations are too limited and notifications also too predefined.

It works nicely as a remote connection option though when you can’t set that up due to your network or not bothered to.

Bear in mind you need an Apple TV, iPad or HomePod inside your house to make use of HomeKit.

710a04cd2226122097a5e5c336f39a70.jpg


I have more than these per room but most frequently used options. The one not responding is because it’s power supply died.
Very nice. i'll set it up now in a VM and play with it so at least I know how to use it in the new place.
 

SauRoNZA

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Very nice. i'll set it up now in a VM and play with it so at least I know how to use it in the new place.

There is a massive thread here dedicated to it so help is only a post or two away.

But it’s become very mature and can do everything in the GUI these days.

I have mostly Sonoff devices flashed with Tasmota and then Xiaomi/Yeelights for bedside and LED strips.

Wyze cameras with RTSP enabled as well feed into HomeKit and the summary view does the job, the live feed I rather switch to their own app.
 

SauRoNZA

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Light bulbs without bridge - your best bet is Yeelight. They operate over wifi and I would say their 1S and filament bulbs are 99% reliable. Their light strip that is locally available also work with Homekit but isn't that reliable, after +- 4 days I keep getting a "No Response" for it in the Home app. This is only fixed by cutting power to the light strip and then plugging it back in. Word of caution when buying Yeelight is not all their products have Homekit support so double check this.

Smart switches - Aqara wireless relay is solid. An excellent alternative is the Shelly 1 and Shelly 1PM relays that can be updated with Mongoose OS based Homekit firmware https://github.com/mongoose-os-apps/shelly-homekit

Garage door controllers - I haven't managed to find anything locally with official support. I'm currently using a Shelly 1 with the Homekit firmware and it has been solid.

Aqara, Yeelight and Shelly are all available on Takealot.

I also just want to add that I'm very impressed with Aqara. I'm using their motion sensors, buttons, switches and wireless relays to complement a mix of Yeelight and Philips Hue bulbs and they have been 100% solid.

Isn’t Aqara also just part of Xiaomi like Yeelight? And isn’t it just zigbee stuff?

Interesting you have that issue with the lights, I have the same thing with the LIFX.

Oddly my non-HomeKit bedside lights from Yeelight never have an issue passed through from Home Assistant, but the strips will maybe once a month need a similar reboot.

Didn’t know about the Shelly third party firmware. Does it also still support MQTT because then it could work nicely for both platforms.

Where do you get the Yeelights locally?
 

rafiqs

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Isn’t Aqara also just part of Xiaomi like Yeelight? And isn’t it just zigbee stuff?

Interesting you have that issue with the lights, I have the same thing with the LIFX.

Oddly my non-HomeKit bedside lights from Yeelight never have an issue passed through from Home Assistant, but the strips will maybe once a month need a similar reboot.

Didn’t know about the Shelly third party firmware. Does it also still support MQTT because then it could work nicely for both platforms.

Where do you get the Yeelights locally?
Aqara do release their products as part of the Xiaomi stable. Their current products work best with their own app but are still supported in the Mi Home app. I think they're trying to create a more recognisable brand for themselves.

For Shelly, if you're using HA then it is probably best to stick with their standard firmware (or one that works better with HA) and then expose it to Homekit via HA. If you flash the Homekit firmware I **think** you lose MQTT support but there is an easy option to revert back to standard firmware.

For Yeelight there is a great selection on Takealot https://www.takealot.com/all?filter=Brand:Yeelight. I think it is the same importer that brings in the Aqara products.
 

rafiqs

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Wyze cameras with RTSP enabled as well feed into HomeKit and the summary view does the job, the live feed I rather switch to their own app.

If anyone is looking for locally available Homekit Secure Video camera's you can check out the Aqara G2H indoor camera that also doubles as an Aqara hub - https://www.takealot.com/aqara-came...it-secure-video-night-vision-zig/PLID71644615

For outside there is the pricey Eufy camera - https://www.takealot.com/eufy-security-eufycam-2-pro-2-cameras-homebase-kit-2k/PLID72022067
 

rafiqs

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I was all about that HomeKit life in the beginning as well, even with HA in place but over time it’s more about the wife-approval and use case than mine personally.

Automations are too limited and notifications also too predefined.

I would say that if you're happy with the limited set of automations in Homekit but still want to connect non-Homekit supported devices, and have a Raspberry Pi lying around, then Homebridge is the easiest way to get started. There is practically no learning curve with Homebridge and all it really does is act as a bridge between a non-supported device and Homekit.

I'm currently using Homebridge mainly to connect my DSC alarm via the rather pricey Envisalink hardware connector module. I use the plugin Homebridge-Envisalink that I contributed some code to in order to get it working better and in the way that I wanted it to work. Apart from being able to set and disarm the security with a tap (or Siri) the biggest benefit is getting access to all the motion sensors. These can then be used as triggers to turn on lights etc.

IMG_7638.jpeg
 

neoprema

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ok i'm confused. I installed Home Assistant and wanted to test it on one my existing lightbulbs that Alexa was using.

So i unpaired it from alexa, and put it into reset mode (turning on and off a few times). However to add it to my wifi network I have to use the "Smart Life" app to actually find the lightbulb and connect it to my Wifi but then its paired to this "Smart Life" app and never shows up in Home Assistant as a device?
 

neoprema

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ok nvm i answered my own question. Smart Life falls under "tuya" devices you add the Tuya integration then sign in to Smart Life.
Now I just need to figure out why it keeps saying "Aborted: Failed to connect" on signin...
 

neoprema

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Seems according to the HA forums it’s a bug in the Tuya auth system that sometimes works, other times it doesn’t :(
 
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