Homekit & Homebridge -- Do I need or want it?

I have a nice 4k Apple TV sitting in my living room disappointed that he/she is not participating in my growing home automation empire. For those of you who include Homekit/Homebridge functionality, what are the benefits? What devices work better? My Ecobee thermostat showed up on the Homekit app but I already do all I need to do using the HE Ecobee app.

And for full disclosure, I am definitely anti-Apple. I have never nor will I ever own an iPhone or a Mac computer. However, my wife does have an iPhone and we got the Apple TV for free when signing up for DirecTV Now.

Repeat after me... “happy wife, happy life” women love Apple stuff. Install Homebridge and be happy. It will allow your wife to talk to Siri to control your smart home from her phone, her car via CarPlay, and wherever else Tm Cook roams.

You can happily ignore it but it will make your wife happy if she has an iPhone.


And it’s fast, local control if using the Home app, right? At least with my setup it responds much faster than the Alexa app, so I am assuming it’s local if not using Siri.
There is also the ability to use Homekit presence which works very well and won’t kill her battery (another plus for WAF).

Yup - it’s all pretty snappy if you install it all local as I have done. Even in the cloud it is pretty fast which is how I have it set up on my ST hub.

I may have to add it to SmartThings as well. I’ve been thinking about it since I have Echo Speaks on SmartThings to keep my 2 HEs happy.

@kewashi Fortunately, my wife never uses Siri. She only tolerated my home automation exploration until our first child was born 2 1/2 years ago and she was able to turn on/off lights hands-free. I already got the dirty look when I replaced the 7 bulbs in our bathroom vanity with these Ecosmart ones when the existing bulbs are only about 2 months old. And, about 15 minutes ago, she questioned why I put the Ecosmart remote right next to the dumb switch for the vanity lights and I had to explain why you can never again use the dumb switch because Alexa will not be able to control the bulbs then.

@Ken_Fraleigh I do like the thought of using Homekit presence. I currently use 2 different geofences for each of us. One for HSM and one for our HVAC. On her iPhone, I use Locative & Alexa but I would love to get rid of Alexa. On mine, I use the HE native presence and then one using Tasker.

I hated Alexa presence. It was very hit or miss when I used it. I also quit using HE for presence because it is so flakey. I’m using SmartThings and homekit presence on mine and just Homekit on my wifes and can’t see a difference between the two iPhones. I also use WiFi presence as a backup arrival only sensor and the combined presence app to integrate everything. I haven’t had any issues with this setup.

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It seems Presence in general is so flaky for everyone no matter what method you are using. There was another post in the last couple of days where the guy was ready to throw away the HE because of it. You are happy with SmartThings and I had a terrible time with it for both my Android and my wife's iPhone. The HE for presence has worked great for me as has Tasker. Alexa & Locative have worked great so far for my wife's phone. I haven't utilized Wifi presence yet because I want modes to change before I get in the door and my Wifi barely gets outside of my house.

I got my Hubitat about 3-4 days before @Cobra locked down his site and will be grabbing his Combined Presence app as soon as it opens back up soon. I was only able to get his Super Tiles app before full lock-down.

Working on it as fast as we can, to get it back online :+1:

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I know you guys are. Thanks.

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@jwetzel1492 has a combined presence app I have been using without issue. https://raw.githubusercontent.com/joelwetzel/Hubitat-Combined-Presence/master/combinedPresence.groovy

Answered your own question. Don’t bother with HomeKit if you don’t want an iOS device.

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I have to side with your wife on this one... I never put smart bulbs where there is a wall switch because state management becomes problematic. Instead, I use in-wall smart switches which look and work like old-school analog switches but also work with smart ecosystems like Hubitat, SmartThings, and/or Alexa.

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After trying all sorts of things, I ended up settling on Life360 for presence. It isn't perfect but it gives me other location info too which is nice.

@kewashi I remember when I used to like you! hahaha

This was a strange case scenario and not something I had any intention of doing. Home Depot was selling discontinued Zigbee CT bulbs $4.88/1-in-a-box that included a remote so I bought enough for the 7 bulbs in bathroom vanity. I am not sure how I could have achieve anything close to this with in-wall switches & bulbs that wouldn't have cost A LOT more. And, rumor has it that ST engineer is about to release a DTH that will hopefully allow remotes to control anything (thru HubConnect).

For 2 of my ceiling fans, I added RF remotes and simply removed dumb switch and wired the load to the line behind the faceplate. Then put a remote that attaches to the faceplate in it's place. The remotes aren't Picos but Pico-like.

I knew I wasn't going to buy any Apple products. I was more curious if there were any non-Apple devices that work better with Homekit than HE.

If you only needed to replace one in wall switch, the GE Zigbee in-wall dimmer or the switch is within a few dollars of 7 bulbs at $4.88ea and are reliable. If you needed more than one, then yes it would be more.

The iDevice products are nice, but better? I cannot think of one. The worst part of iDevices is they are HomeKit only. Maybe this new [partnership] between Google, Amazon, Apple and Zigbee Alliance will change things?

I like messing with home automation stuff so much, that none of the technologies are off limits for me. I just make choices like everybody else, ya know? :wink:
A large part of my setup is HomeKit via Xiaomi. Why? Simple, it was a very cheap answer to a problem I had, and it came out of a want to just play with this stuff. Solved the Xiaomi connection to Hubitat problem for me and it was the cost of a color Hue lightbulb since I already had all the Apple stuff you need. :grinning:

That's true but buying the GE switch doesn't make the dumb bulbs I had in my vanity smart Zigbee Color Temperature adjustable bulbs like the ones I bought from HD. Also, the GE Switch wouldn't give me any additional functionality other than not having another "switch" on the wall in my bathroom. In the setup I just implemented, I can control the on/off; dimming; & color temperature with the remote as well as thru HE.

Also, I thought you weren't supposed to use smart switches on smart bulbs. I can't remember exactly where I read it but I am pretty sure I have read that here a few times.

I forgot those were temp adjustable bulbs so you did get that along with individual bulb control if you need it. The in wall dimmer would not add that but would give you dimming and HE control (just not individual). Also, you are correct, you don't want to put smart bulbs on a smart dimmer but that wasn't what I was suggesting.