While it may be confusing at first, finding what devices are Homekit Compatible is not that difficult. There should be, clearly marked on the side of the packaging an orange icon that says “Works with Apple Home”. If the product you are wondering about has this printed on it, you can be guaranteed that it will easily work with Apple HomeKit.
If you are searching on-line for home Automation devices it may be difficult to see the packaging. Additionally the listing for the item may or might not be clear on if it really is HomeKit Compatible. I know that I’ve had that issue before.
But there is a great solution.
As of this article there are hundreds of different items from dozens of manufacturers that are compatible with Apple HomeKit. Instead of listing all the different brands (they are changing and growing all the time, I prefer to think about the different devices that can be controlled by home automation.
- Air Conditioners
- Air Purifiers
- Garage Doors
Some of the different devices are easier and more suited to beginners just entering the Home Automation world. Thinks like Lights, cameras, and Thermostats are the most common entry points for a home DIYer, or hobbyist. These are also great gifts for anyone who is thinking about automating their home.
I personally prefer to use devices that don’t require a lot of extra “stuff” to work. Additional hubs or bridges or apps complicate things and confuse me.
Sure some of the different items need a bridge. Specifically the Lutron Caseta Lightswitches I use have a bridge that sits next to (and plugs into) my WiFi Router in my electronics closet. To me this is different than a Homebridge that is required to make the device work.
Let’s talk a bit more about some of the more common questions I get about Homekit devices specifically:
What TVs work with HomeKit
Really it isn’t the TV that works with HomeKit, but instead the AppleTV 4K. TVs are simply monitors that display content in a HD or other format. You need some other device to connect it to HomeKit, and in this case it is the Apple TV 4K.
When connected to Apple TV, you get so much more than the ability to say “Hey Siri, play Spiderman on the Living Room TV“. Your Apple TV becomes a Hub for Homekit which allows you to be able to control any automated device on your WiFi network from anywhere in the world.
Plus you can play music, look at photos, and do much much more with Apple TV.
For me, it was the 2nd device that I got when I started my network. You can read about the first device that started me on my home automation journey in this article.
Can I control my TV with HomeKit?
Yes you can control your TV with HomeKit. It doesn’t matter what brand TV you have, as long as you have an Apple TV 4K connected to it. You can change channels, turn the volume up and down, play movies, and even mirror your computer or iPhone screen with it.
Can you use Alexa with HomeKit?
This is a very common question, and the answer is yes, sometimes. Alexa is in the Amazon Ecosystem, and HomeKit is in the Apple Ecosystem. So whenever you have two different systems some things will work and others won’t.
When I got started I used Alexa to control my lights and some of the basic controls on my TV. I could say “Alexa, turn on the dining room chandelier” and it would via my Lutron Caseta switch. But as I added more and more devices, compatibility became an issue, so I eventually replaced my Amazon Echo devices with HomePod Mini’s and I haven’t looked back yet.
Is Zigbee compatible with HomeKit?
Zigbee is a protocol (language) that home automation devices use. A few years ago there were some compatibility issues however now that we have Zigbee 3.0 there aren’t as many issues.
I guess what I am saying is that Zigbee is not natively compatible with Homekit. Some devices may work right out of the box, and some might not. You have to check on a case by case basis.
For me, the easiest way to find out if a device is truly compatible with Apple HomeKit is to visit the Apple website that lists all the compatible devices. This is truly the final word and most up to date resource for all the different products that are designed to work natively with Homekit.