In the past few years of building up my collection of HomeKit products, I would tell people that the value of HomeKit is the ability to bring multiple products from multiple manufacturers into a single application that makes it easy to use. After installing my abode alarm system a few weeks back, something clicked for me. As I was settings up my automations, it clicked in my brain that the true benefit of HomeKit is to leverage automations from all of the devices exposed in your HomeKit ecosystem.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips, and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.


Automations

For many years, my HomeKit setup consisted of mostly smart outlets connected to our lamps. Because our schedule often varies, I didn’t set them on automatic timers based on the time of day. I used the Home app to turn on multiple lamps at once.

When I started expanding my HomeKit lineup with items August Door Lock, Fibaro Water Sensor, abode alarm system, and Eufy cameras, I started to realize the value of automations. For example. I use the motion sensor in the abode alarm to bring up my Hue lightbulbs to 30% brightness when it detects motion between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM when I get up to make my first cup of coffee. Prior to having the ability to program this automation, I would have to come out of my bedroom, shut the door back, open the Home app, and turn on a lamp. Now, it just happens automatically.

Philips Hue white bulb

Another way I am leveraging the benefits of HomeKit automations is how I handle my motion sensor lights on the outdoors. I am using my Eufy cameras to detect motion on the front porch. When it does detect motion at night, it turns on my Hue floodlights for a few minutes. In the back yard, I am doing something similar, but it’s using the backdoor contact sensor from abode as the trigger. It’s set up to the only turn on the backyard floodlights after 6:00 PM and before 7:00 AM.

Wrap-up on the benefits of HomeKit

I give you those examples to show the real benefits of HomeKit. It’s not just about having “everything Apple.” It’s not just about being able to ditch the manufacturer’s applications. The real benefit of HomeKit is not being limited to automations from a single manufacturer.

It’s about being able to create anything you want to create using the products you have. It doesn’t matter that Philips doesn’t offer a door contact sensor to trigger their floodlights. It doesn’t matter that Eufy doesn’t make a HomeKit compatible floodlight. With both of them having HomeKit support, it doesn’t matter what they can do apart. With HomeKit, it’s about what they can do together, and that is the real benefit of HomeKit and building your smart home around a platform instead of just individual devices.

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