663: HomeKit Check-In

I like the LIFX bulbs because they don’t need a hub to operate. Unfortunately twice we’ve had power cuts which have rendered half of my bulbs as “Not responding” and I’ve had to reset them back to factory and setup again (which was a complete pain in the arse) including configuring, naming, adding to scenes and automations,

that’s not great, I wonder there is any way or app that can backup the settings and restore them. May be there is a niche for a new app :joy:

I’ve got one set of Aqara’s switches downstairs and they’ve worked flawlessly for over a year. This is in Thailand, so the same electricity as the UK (near enough).
If the hub or wifi don’t work, the switches still work as normal wall switches, which is great.

I will probably buy more at some point for other spots in the house.

I just bought the Aqara M2 Hub with a motion sensor and a bunch of water sensors on the most recent Amazon Prime Day sale.

@MacSparky, have you had success using the aqara motion sensor in a HomeKit automation? I have the sensor turning on a hue light if it is triggered in the am, but the HomeKit automation only works about 50% of the time. meanwhile, through the native aqara app, the notifications are rock solid.

Does anyone know if you can use the Aqara mini switches to control non Aqara accessories, e.g. Homekit bulbs from other manufacturers?

in this post, @rob mentioend that he connects everything via Homey. I am starting to look into Homey myself. Not sure this helps

Oh no, definitely not everything…

Luckily, I already had the Homey for other purposes (it’s rather expensive); as far as HomeKit is concerned I only use it to add some Aqara (Zigbee) door/vibration sensors.

Most of my devices are native HomeKit and I have one more device I add via Homebridge (via my own private/home-brew plugin).

sorry I misquote, but why not if you have Homey. Why not consoliate everything into one hub and use flow to control them. I thought flow is more capable than the automation in native Apple Home and Homebridge, then again, I am still discovering Homey

I think I can answer my own question. Homey does not have access to Homekit-only devices such as those by Eve Energy. Hope Matter is going to change all that

I considered that when Homey introduced Avanced Flow.

Advanced Flow is nice, but I quickly discovered that Athom uses polling for Hue motion sensor “triggers”, with a 2 seconds interval, which is just too slow for some of my use cases (turning on lights on a staircase).

Are you referring to the Aqara buttons? If so I use one to control several Hue bulbs in our bedroom and it works great!

That’s one of the sensors I was looking at.

Had a question caused by this episode… I’m looking at the Aqara E1 Shade Driver, but it’s not released in the US. I reached out to tech support and they said that because it’s not in the servers in the US the app won’t work with it. That sounds almost true enough… but I work in IT so I keep digging. @MacSparky mentioned that he bought something off alibaba that wasn’t released in the US. Does anyone know if the E1 shade driver works here? I’ve got quite a few shades in the room I want to start using this stuff in.

Thanks all.

What do you mean by “if only the device is not sold in the US”?

I’m using different devices from you, but this is how it works for me.

I have some devices that are released in Thailand, and others that are not released in Thailand, but were released in mainland China.

When you go to connect the device the first time, the app Looks in its database of products and if it can’t find the one you are connecting in the database then you cannot connect.

So, to manage some of my devices, I have to tell the app I am located in Thailand, and to manage others I need to switch my location in the app to mainland China. This is a bit of a pain, but it works.
One set up, everything seems to work in HomeKit just fine.

Do you have 1 hub or 2?

Yes. I one for my garage doors. One tap opens the left door, two taps open the right door and long press closes then both. Works flawlessly.

just wondering if you guys have looked into Home Assistant. I only just installed the service on a Raspberry Pi a few days ago (after listening to the podcast that @MacSparky mentioned he bought the yellow box). The community behind Home Assistant is great. It seems that HA has a lot of compatibiility to a lot of devices from different brands. May be check out their forum

We’re gonna get into it once Sparks has more time with it.

Just one Hub for me.