Hubitat + HomeKit + HomeBridge + HomePod Mini = WOW

My current setup is HE (multiple hubs, integrations) + Node-RED (rules/integrations) + HomeBridge. Still testing Apple Home interface - it's nice but very simplistic and appealing to my more Apple-centric clients. I like the Ring plugin for HB - seamlessly shows up alongside my Arlo cameras which are integrated directly into HK.

I have been using Homebridge for a couple of years now. But Apple Watch really takes Siri voice control to the next level. It is more flexible than having tons of home pods all over the house if you set up rooms and zones.
Also if you use virtual switches with Homebridge, you can use the full power of Webcore.

2 Likes

So are you using AppleTV as a hub? Since I was not really in the Apple Echo system all that much I went with the HomePod Mini for HK as it was the least expensive iDevice. It seems nice - I don't really use it for anything else yet.

For HE and Node-RED the integrated and customized voice control of the Amazon Echo is hard to beat.

Both, house has a mix of a dozen HomePod Minis and Apple TVs. They all participate in the Home and Apple manages which one is connected and the rest are standby. The one connected bounces around and I can't tell any different when a HomePod vs. Apple TV is connected as the hub at the moment. Some people online claim they have difference of experience depending on the hub hardware used. The only thing I know for sure, stay away from using an iPad as the HomeKit hub.

I used for 4 years Amazon Echo and Alexa as voice control, it was horrible. Siri with the new HomePod Mini has been amazing, never looking back. Very fast, and also way more flexible in commands that are not spot on what Alexa was expecting.

2 Likes

That is very interesting thanks - will have to explore more..

Currently I have some cool routines in Node-RED that I can distinguish which echo I am talking to and control different devices based on that. I wonder if a similar thing is possible with Siri control. I know I can create some virtual devices and expose them to HomeBridge and use those as a way to communicate between systems.

Can you give me an example of this in use? What is the Alexa command and action on the devices?

This is probably a better example than mine!

I have a good night routine that is keyed off my kitchen Echo. I say "Alexa, good night" and it turns stuff off and locks up. If I say the same thing to the basement Echo nothing will happen. Meanwhile in the basement I can set "LightLock On" to prevent the motion sensors from turning lights off. This does not work in the kitchen.

From the above link I think @royski did his curtains in each room this way but not sure.

2 Likes

I did, I also did all my lights this way, rather than add them to Alexa groups. Also lamps, so I can say "lamps on" or off in any room. All from following the link you posted :+1:

I want to be able to remove all devices in Alexa if I need to, without the need to set up all routines again. This does exactly this for me, to be honest I don't really need any device in Alexa any more :smiley:

1 Like

@lawsonad If you go this route with Node Red, instead of using node-red-contrib-alexa-remote2, use node-red-contrib-alexa-cakebaked instead. Troubles with alexa-remote2 have arisen since I posted on the thread @erktrek shared.

3 Likes

Excellent point!!!!

1 Like

Apple Siri supports adding "in this room" to all commands, so you can control devices only in a single room. It automatically knows which room you are talking about by registering the voice command from the HomePod located in that room. No need for Node Red for that functionality with Apple. I agree there is some stuff listed here that go above and beyond that, but for me this built-in Siri command ability has sufficed for all my use-cases.

2 Likes

Some of my clients might prefer a more apple-centric solution so this is nice info to have - thank you for mentioning it!

1 Like

I've moved all my automations to node-red and with homekit bridge, you can create custom homekit devices. I have my plugs actually show up in HK as plugs and my thermostats as uk thermostats i.e no fan and no cooling.

1 Like

Thanks for this - will have to check it out!

I'm currently using "node-red-contrib-homebridge-automation" to connect to a Homebridge instance. It's nice because HB has a lot of different plugins available like for the Ring etc so configuration and maintenance of exposed devices is relatively easy BUT it's yet another server and all the potential overhead / added complexity all that entails (ymmv!).

What does thread in the HomePod Mini get you? Specifically, I have multiple Nest Protects which are supposed to use thread. If I add a homepod Mini, will they show up in my iOS home app (i.e., does the mini bridge thread to homekit?)? Thanks for any insight you have.

I don’t have a Nest Protect. I did but it’s battery expired.

The HomePod mini supports HomeKit over Thread but I think the devices have to be just that.. HomeKit and Thread enabled. I am using some Eve products and one NanoLeaf bulb and they work well. I suspect the likelihood of a Google product appearing in HomeKit is nil though and the same for Apple expanding HomeKit visibility to others.

The conflict between commercial advantage and ease of use continues as a bain of the industry despite ‘co-operating’

For me it's not necessary right now at least - Homebridge-nest plugin works great. Of course I am still using my original nest account login and did not switch over to my Google account fortunately. Am SO glad I held off.

I switched to a google account a couple of months ago and it is working very well with Homebridge-Nest.

2 Likes

That is good to know - and a bit of a relief as well, thanks for the heads up. Will probably wait until they force me to though - just stubborn I guess.

2 Likes

Yes, I need to probably sort my HomeKit usage (Apple are good at UI stuff) via a Home Assistant intermediary. I’m currently managing via virtual devices but it’s just unnecessary hoops to jump through. It works but when you revisit a year later it’s muddied and easy to break.

Me too

2 Likes

Download the Hubitat app