More than half of 9to5Mac readers responding to a poll last week are using at least a few HomeKit devices. Over a fifth of readers said that they were using ‘lots’ of kit, while more than a third are using ‘a few.’
Almost everyone who isn’t currently using HomeKit plans to at some stage, either soon or eventually. Of those not planning to use it, cost was the biggest barrier cited, with just over half of holdouts stating this as the reason.
Other barriers to usage were being satisfied with existing non-HomeKit smart home setups, not seeing the point in it and problems for others in the home – either lacking iOS devices or considering it too complicated.
One particular issue cited by several was that, unless you use HomeKit wall switches, devices could be rendered useless by someone else in the home switching off the power. Light bulbs, for example, need to be switched on at the wall in order to be controlled through HomeKit.
Most smart bulbs including the Philips Hue lose their settings and revert to the default 100% white setting if switched off at a light switch and of course the Hue cannot turn a traditional manual light switch back on.
Some of those using the platform said that they used bridges to make older kit HomeKit-compatible.
I’ve got round this by using Homebridge. I now have most of the house wired up with LightwaveRF switches and sockets, Chamberlain garage door opener, Nuki smart locks, a handful of older Wemo sockets, and limited control of my tado all through Homekit. It’s fantastic.
Automated scenes were a key draw for many users.
I also have all of my light automatically turn off when no one is home. The downstairs lights automatically turn on when someone arrives home after sunset or when it’s raining outside.
The ability to control multiple lights with a single command or action (scenes and automations) is one of the real powers of a HomeKit setup. For instance, I have three main voice commands that I use when preparing for bed at night. The first one is called Bedtime:
- Verifies that the front door is locked
- Turns off the porch light
- Turns off the entry stair lights
- Turns off the lights in my den
- Turns off the main kitchen lights
- Sets the LED strip lighting in my kitchen from 70% to 15%
- Turns off my ceiling fan
- Turns off my dining room lights
- Turns off my incandescent lamp in the living room
- Sets my Hue LED lights in the living room to 20%
- Turns on the stairway and upstairs hall light going to my bedroom upstairs
- Turns on my master bedroom lamps
- Turns on my master bathroom light
- Turns on my master bedroom entry light
As always, note that our polls are not representative of the Apple-owning population as a whole, and of course reflect the behaviours and views of those who read the articles in question.