552: HomeKit in 2020, with Mikah Sargent

It was a lot of fun to have Mikah on. Few have covered the HomeKit beat like he has.

Oooh, y’all talk about cameras! I look forward to that discussion. I am in the market for a baby monitor (looking forward to December for our first!) and it seems like all the best solutions are not HomeKit compatible. :cry:


Unbelievably great timing! I’m moving into a new place next month, and I’ve been needing an excuse to buy more HomeKit stuff :slight_smile:

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Another Mac Power Users episode that deducts way too much money from my wallet. :slight_smile:
Thanks guys.


@MacSparky - At the end of the episode you had asked Mikah about Homebridge stability. Assuming that you are running Homebridge on an ‘always-on’ Mac, when it gets ‘glitchy’ and needs a reboot (very infrequently these days, admittedly), you can create a Keyboard Maestro macro with a ‘remote web trigger’ that will restart the homebridge server. That way you can reboot Homebridge even when away from home. If needed, I can recommend a great field guide for help setting the macro up :smiley: :smiley:

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@pricemi115 Thanks for the update.

I ran Homebridge a few years ago and it was flakey. That’s what led me to just start buying products compatible with HomeKit baked in. I still have a few non HK items though. Maybe time to reinstall Homebridge.

I’m behind on my podcasts but I need to listen to this one. Just made an offer on a house and need some automation in it. I had used Z-wave for years but left that equipment in the house I sold a year ago. Planning to go with just HomeKit in the new house. On the plus side I will have access to Cox Gigablast internet. After suffering with 20/5 internet for 4 years I may get spoiled.

Regarding lightstrips, i have tried the Lifx ones and can not recommend them. I have two and both are very flaky and keep loosing their connection to homekit.

Hue also just announced segmented light strips as well, probably right after the show was recorded.

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Great episode, thanks!

I’ve gone all in on Philips Hue, and with the automation based on sunset and sunrise, coupled with some timed automations, the house almost runs itself.

I have a few sensors, too, but most of them are set up using the Hue-app, because some of the Hue-Lab-features give more granular control. Once it’s set up, though, it runs through the Home app.

It really does feel like living in the future when the living room lights turn on just when I think it’s becoming a bit dark out.

Also, with Home Kit, my lock support geo-fencing, so when I drive up in the afternoon, my watch asks me if I want to unlock the door, so when I have parked the car, the front door is unlocked!

I have a problem in that I have HomeKit set to switch on a couple of lights at sunset, but it always switches it on about 30 minutes after I would.

I wish there were modifiers in that I could switch it on 30 minutes before Sunset

Listened to the episode today and wanted to comment on two topics, door locks and garage door openers. I’ve used keypad door locks for a number of years and really like them. I’ve only used them on deadbolts. Very handy for giving others access when needed.

Chamberlain makes a door opener that automatically closes the door if left open for more than 10 minutes. If nothing has tripped the light beam for 10 minutes, it starts beeping then closes. You can reset the timer by just tripping the beam. Never have to wonder if I left the door open.

There are different modifiers in the automation tab. If you tab the (i) next to Sunset, it is possible to choose more options. 30 minutes, 45 minutes, etc.

(With Philips Hue Sensors it can also be determined on the level of light. So if it’s overcast it will trigger earlier than if it’s a sunny day.)

Thank you @chMohn I didn’t see this when I set it up. Fantastic.

Any thoughts on EveCam? / Eve home?

Looks cool?

I loved Logitech circle for basic 2/3 cam system But running into issues where it started loosing connection 4 no apparent reason

@mikah YES alton brown is against unitaskers

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Did they skip over HomeKit switches or did I miss something? Recommendation? Still haven’t pulled the trigger.

Thanks for the nice review of HomeKit. It’s inspired me to try HomeBridge again, so I’ve ordered HOOBS.

I may also have to get the Hue Play Sync box.

Another expensive episode. :wink:

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There was a quick mention of iDevices outdoor switch. I have 2 that I use. My truck is to have the close to a hub so that they stay connected.

I also use wall switches from Caséta by Lutron and still use my old Wemo switches with a hub. Both in HomeKit.

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Superb episode, and got me thinking about Homebridge again. I was shocked at how much easier it is thanks to the UI version you can run in Safari. I really appreciate the HOOBS plug as I haven’t heard of it before. Before I went that far, I set up the server on my MacBook and disabled sleep when it is plugged in since it doesn’t move usually.

I didn’t think I needed Homebridge, but in a few short hours I had 9 plugins running and 29 accessories added. Once I started thinking about everything that connects to the Internet, my list sort of snowballed. Here’s what I’m excited about:

  1. LG TVs with no plans for homekit (added some light and blind automations when they turn on and off).

  2. FrontPoint (Alarm.com) security system. Finally, I can arm from within Homekit and automate when everyone leaves the house. Better yet I’m seeing all of my motion and door contact sensors in Homekit.

  3. Thermador appliances through HomeConnect - Could be better, but I can turn on my hood lights/fan through Siri and I can start a dishwasher program in Homekit.

  4. Arlo - The cameras are already homekit compatible, but now I can arm/disarm the system from Homekit and automate some things. I don’t like the indoor cameras to be activated when I’m not asleep for the night. Now my goodnight routine turns off lights, locks doors, arms Arlo, and arms our security system all in one go.

I also ordered this https://bondhome.io device which is compatible with several MinkaAire ceiling fans that we have. It’s irked me for a while that I can’t control these via Homekit so I am excited to try it out.

All is going well so far, so I am likely to move all of this over to a HOOBS and give my Mac a break from always on.

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I should also plug my new favorite smart lock. This is far better than my August Lock or Kwikset Keypad and you wouldn’t even know it is there: https://level.co