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HomeKit Weekly

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework. 

HomeKit Weekly: Aqara brings HomeKit Secure Video to a battery-powered doorbell for the first time

Aqara Video Doorbell G4

Smart doorbells have become a popular option for homeowners who want to keep an eye on their front door while also triggering some HomeKit automation as well. Battery-powered doorbells are easy to install and offer a range of features that make them an excellent alternative to traditional wired doorbells. In this week’s HomeKit Weekly, we’ll look at the benefits of battery-powered doorbells and review the Aqara G4 video doorbell, a wireless smart doorbell that offers a range of features and benefits for folks looking for an easy-to-install HomeKit doorbell.

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HomeKit Weekly: This one HomeKit item might save you thousands of dollars

FIBARO water leak sensor

I’ve always been paranoid about water damage in my home. We have hardwood floors throughout our home. If you’re a homeowner, you know the cost of repairing them if you have water damage. A slow drip from a leaky sink can turn into thousands of dollars in repair costs. Thankfully, with a HomeKit-enabled flood sensor from FIBARO, you can easily know when there’s water where there shouldn’t be before it turns into a major issue. Read on to learn why the FIBARO water leak sensor is the ideal option to use under all of your sinks.

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HomeKit Weekly: Onvis’s Thread-enabled HomeKit door sensor unlocks multiple automations

Onvis CT3 door/window sensor

Onvis has recently updated its door/window contact sensor, the CT3, to incorporate Thread technology. With this update, the Onvis CT3 contact sensor is now able to seamlessly integrate with HomeKit Over Thread for a more reliable experience via Siri and the home app. This contact sensor is designed to keep you informed of when doors and windows open and close as well as trigger automations.

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HomeKit Weekly: Does Home Key support make the Level Lock+ the best smart lock?

Level Lock+

I’ve tried a number of smart locks over the years. I’ve typically always landed on the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock as my go-to recommendation because it was easy to install, didn’t require you to use a new key, and also let the outside deadbolt remain the same to fit in with the exterior of your home. I recently installed the Level Lock+ with Home Key support – keep reading to learn if it’s the best smart lock on the market.

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HomeKit Weekly: XOME Homebridge adds 3000+ compatible accessories to HomeKit


Homebridge is an open-source platform that allows you to control and automate your home using Apple’s HomeKit technology, even if the devices don’t support it natively. While it can be run on countless devices for free, there are times when you want a plug-and-play solution that’s low-powered and can be tucked out of the way. This problem is exactly what the IONEXX XOME Homebridge for HomeKit aims to solve.

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HomeKit Weekly: A review of the HomeKit-compatible SmartWings shades

SmartWings HomeKit Shade

One of the hardest things to balance when it comes to technology in the home is striking the happy medium between stylish and functional. Shades are a perfect example of that. Every technology person wants the latest bells and whistles, while someone who cares about design wants something that looks like it contains no technology. I recently installed a couple of the HomeKit-compatible SmartWings shades, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite smart home products. In this week’s HomeKit Weekly, we will be taking a closer look at the SmartWing HomeKit shade, diving into its features, benefits, and why they are designer-approved.

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HomeKit Weekly: Why the Google Nest doorbell might be the best HomeKit doorbell available

Google Nest Doorbell

As I was building my new house, I found myself struggling with the decision of which doorbell to go with. I have always been a fan of the privacy and security offered by HomeKit Secure Video, but I was also looking for a doorbell with 24/7 recording. I found myself torn between my love for the privacy of HomeKit and the need for 24/7 recording. After much research, I ended up on Google’s Nest Doorbell. It offered the 24/7 recording feature I was looking for, but I was hesitant about the lack of end-to-end encryption. But ultimately, I decided to go with the Nest doorbell because it’s not a camera inside my home, and the benefits of the 24/7 recording feature outweighed the concern about the encryption.

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HomeKit Weekly: VOCOlinc smart LED floor lamp offers a modern way to light up a bedroom or office

VOCOlinc Smart LED floor lamp

VOCOlinc, a highly underrated HomeKit manufacturer, released a new addition to its portfolio in 2022 that I am excited to review: a smart LED floor lamp. This lamp is not just any ordinary floor lamp, it comes with HomeKit integration, making it a powerful tool for enhancing your smart home setup. In this post, I’ll take a closer look at the design and features of the VOCOlinc Smart LED Floor Lamp, how to add it to HomeKit, and potential use cases.

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HomeKit Weekly: Kasa EP40A sports double outdoor outlets with long-range Wi-Fi connectivity

Kasa EP40A

TP-Link is one of those brands that when you run across one of their product lines, you know you can count on it. I’ve used their switches in my home for as long as I can remember, and it’s as rock solid as you’d imagine. They’ve quietly been building out the Kasa product line, and in my experience, they’ve followed the same dependability as the networking hardware. The brand-new Kasa EP40A brings robust HomeKit control to outdoor outlets, giving you more control over how you use your outdoor lights and appliances than ever before.

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HomeKit Weekly: Wemo Smart Plug with Thread might be the best value for smart outlet adaptors

Wemo Smart Plug With Thread

Smart outlet adaptors, like the Wemo Smart Plug with Thread, are a great smart home device for newcomers looking to bing some basic home automation to into their lives. Wemo is Belkin’s smart home brand, and they’re actually the very first smart home product I bought nearly ten years ago. Version 4 builds upon previous versions, but brings a HomeKit only focus to the device. Smart outlet adaptors are great devices to have in every room in your home, and here’s three reasons why:

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HomeKit Weekly: The current state of HomeKit door locks

HomeKit Door Lock

Are you tired of fumbling with keys every time you want to enter your home? Do you worry about the security of traditional locks, especially when you’re away from home? If so, it might be time to consider a HomeKit door lock. HomeKit door locks are smart locks that can be controlled and monitored through your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch. With HomeKit, you can unlock your door with the tap of a button, or even just by using your voice. You can also set up automation rules to unlock your door at certain times of day, or when certain events occur, such as your arrival home.

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HomeKit Weekly: A beginner’s guide to your Apple smart home


Are you new to using HomeKit, Apple’s smart home platform, thanks to a well-timed Christmas gift? So, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll be sharing some tips and tricks to help you get started with HomeKit and make the most of your smart home setup. From setting up your first HomeKit-compatible device to creating automations and using the Home app, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started with HomeKit. We’ll also delve into some of the more advanced features of the platform, such as setting up HomeKit secure video and using the HomePod as a hub. Whether you’re a seasoned smart home user or new to the game, these tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your HomeKit setup.

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HomeKit Weekly: Why 2023 is the time for Apple to release its own smart home products


Google, Apple, and Amazon are three of the biggest technology companies in the world, and both have a strong presence in the smart home market. However, their approaches to this market differ in some key ways. After spending years fully in the camp of HomeKit, I’ve spent the last few weeks with some first-party Google products, and I think it’s worth asking the question: Why doesn’t Apple make its own smart home products?

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HomeKit Weekly: HOOBS Pro looks to simplify the multi-platform smart home in 2023


One of the key themes we’re seeing with smart homes is compatibility. Matter technology aims to bridge the gap between the various smart home platforms. Outside of Matter, HOOBS is one of my favorite products to extend the usefulness of HomeKit. It’s built on top of Homebridge as a commercial product that’s well supported. In early 2023, HOOBS Pro looks like a heavy hitter for building the best smart home system.

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HomeKit Weekly: Using Google Nest Camera with Floodlight shows a glaring weakness in HomeKit Secure Video

Google Nest Cam with Floodlights

I mentioned a few months ago that I planned to use the Google Nest Cam with Floodlight at my new house because it offered 24/7 recording. For my outdoor cameras, it’s something I really wanted going forward. We’ve been in the house a few weeks, so I wanted to report what I’ve learned about the devices, how it compares to HomeKit cameras, and how it works with Starling Home Hub for bridging it to HomeKit. 

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HomeKit Weekly: YEELIGHT lamp with wireless charger is the perfect option for a kid’s bedroom

Yeelight Lamp HomeKit

YEELIGHT’s lamp with wireless charging is the perfect option for a kid’s bedroom. In a simple design that includes a touch sensor and HomeKit support, it strikes the perfect balance between form and function; it won’t break the bank, either! If you stop reading here, you need to know two things about it:

  1. It supports HomeKit
  2. It includes a built-in wireless charger
  3. It’s right around $50 depending on if its on sale or not

If that looks like something you want, you’ll love this lamp.

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HomeKit Weekly: The best HomeKit gift ideas for a smart home Christmas

Best HomeKit and Smart Home Gifts

The Christmas shopping season has officially begun, and since it’s time for HomeKit Weekly, I thought I’d take the time to provide an update on my top HomeKit devices that would be the perfect gift under the Christmas tree for a smart home enthusiast. I’ve been doing these articles for a few years now, and in that time I’ve seen so many great HomeKit products from a variety of manufacturers. With the rollout of Matter and Thread, it’s never been a better time to start building your perfect smart home on the foundation of HomeKit!

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HomeKit Weekly: Aqara releases a new smart pet feeder that can be used with HomeKit automations

Aqara Smart Pet Feeder

Aqara is back with another great release ahead of the Christmas season, and while it’s not fully compatible HomeKit, because it’s tightly integrated with the entire Aqara ecosystem, it’s something I want to look at from a HomeKit perspective. Let’s take a look at the brand new Aqara Smart Pet Feeder.

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HomeKit Weekly: Meross Smart Dimmer Plug is the perfect way to control outdoor Christmas lights

Meross Outdoor Plug

It’s officially Christmas decoration season, and if you’re looking for a smart plug so your Christmas lights can be controlled from your iPhone, iPad Apple Watch, or from Siri (even remotely), the Meross Smart Dimmer Plug is a great option. It’s easy to set up and works with HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant as well. The plug itself is designed with a sleek, compact design and has an LED indicator light that will let you know when it’s powered on. You can also use customize the schedule in the Home app so it automatically turns on at different times of the day. Let’s look at the Meross Outdoor Plug with HomeKit.

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HomeKit Weekly: Meross water leak sensor provides a low-cost way to gain protection against water damage

Meross Water Leak Sensor

The Meross Water Leak Sensor MS400H is a HomeKit-compatible leak sensor that can connect to your Wi-Fi network. The unit has three parts: the sensor itself, a new Meross hub, and the power adapter for the sensor. The sensor itself is about two inches long by one inch wide and just under an inch deep, so it should fit into most places where you want to place it. It has three prongs on the underside, which is how it detects water leaks. The prongs are also part of the pairing process with onboarding into Homekit, and I’ll cover the weirdness of that later.

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HomeKit Weekly: LIFX Mini White is a great budget option for a hub-free HomeKit bulb

LIFX Mini White

The LIFX Mini White is one of the lowest costs HomeKit bulbs on the market today, with a price tag under just $20. It’s compatible with Apple’s HomeKit and doesn’t require a hub to connect to your Wi-Fi network. At that price point, it’s hard not to be tempted by this smart light if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to try out some Internet-connected lighting in your home. But as with any budget product, there are sacrifices made in order to meet such a low price point, especially when it comes to color options.

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HomeKit Weekly: Meross Smart WiFi Essential Oil Diffuser with HomeKit preps your home for the holidays

Meross Wi-Fi oil diffuser

I’ve been a fan of Meross since they first came out with their early HomeKit products. They’re low cost, spread across a variety of product types, and generally work well. Meross recently released a new look Wi-Fi oil diffuser with HomeKit support, and it’s a great way to start getting your home ready for fall weather and soon – the Christmas holiday season. 

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HomeKit Weekly: Minoston Outdoor Smart Plug unlocks control of outdoor outlets over Siri and the Home app

Minoston Outdoor Smart Plug

As I’ve been building a new home, one of the things I’ve had in the back of my mind is avoiding the permanent installation of as many things as possible that’ll be outdated as Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth networks evolve. Just in the past few years, we’re seeing Matter and Thread become a key part of the smart home of the future as well. When I was meeting with my builder and electrician, we talked about what kind of outlets we wanted. They asked if I wanted to use some that had various smart home technologies built in like HomeKit or Alexa, and I said, no, give me “dumb outlets.” I really like using add-on adapters so I can easily upgrade them in the future. In preparation for our new outdoor patio, I picked up the Minoston Outdoor Smart Plug to handle automating the outdoor outlets.

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HomeKit Weekly: The current state of HomeKit doorbells

HomeKit doorbells

When Apple announced HomeKit Secure Video, one of the first products to be desired by customers was a doorbell. Ring doorbells had become very popular, but customers wanted an option that integrated nicely with HomeKit and Apple products and provided an end-to-end encryption option for recording. The idea that a smart doorbell would be able to show you who was at your front door before even opening it up seemed like something out of a science-fiction novel a few decades ago, but now, there are multiple products and platforms that offer this service. Today, I want to look at the current state of HomeKit doorbells, and what Apple should do to build out the category.

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