The holidays are upon us, and as usual, improving my home with HomeKit is always on my mind. One of the things I love about HomeKit is that it’s not just about making your life more comfortable to use or more fun, it can undoubtedly improve security as well. As you think about the best HomeKit gifts for 2020, here are some essential items to keep your home secure before and after the holiday season.
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abode security system
I’ve had abode’s security system in my house for almost a year now, and it was one of my first smart home projects in 2020. I have three doors, four windows, two motion sensors, two smoke monitors, and a keypad in my home. I am using the premium version of the monitoring that includes LTE backup if the internet is out and 24/7 monitoring by a UL certified monitoring station. One of my favorite features of the solution is how it auto-enables/disables based on location, so even though I have a keypad, we rarely use it.
Most of the abode’s sensors are exposed in HomeKit, so it becomes an automation trigger for your other HomeKit devices. I have an automation in my home to turn on outdoor lights if a door is opened after sunset and turn on indoor lights if a motion sensor detects motion after 5:00 am.
While there are third-party door and motion sensors that can do the same thing, abode allows me to serve two purposes: monitor security and HomeKit automations. The entire system can be installed in under an hour, so if you’re using an older security system, upgrading to abode is highly recommended if you only pick up one item on our best HomeKit gifts list. You can read my entire review here.
If you’re wanting something that doesn’t require a monthly fee, you can look at something like the Aqara Smart Starter kit. If HomeKit support isn’t a requirement, you can always check out eufy’s security system.
eufyCam HomeKit cameras
If you want a wireless camera solution that has long-lasting batteries, doesn’t require monthly fees, and works with HomeKit; eufy is my recommendation. eufy does support HomeKit Secure Video, which will have an additional cost from Apple if you aren’t already a paid iCloud subscriber, but even if you don’t want to use HKSV, eufy can still be used in HomeKit as a motion sensor. The idea behind using a camera as a motion sensor is that you can use it to trigger other devices like outdoor floor lights when they detect motion after a certain time.
My wife’s favorite HomeKit accessory is our August lock, and I can’t say that I disagree with her. Unlocking and locking our doors remotely or having it auto-unlock as we walk up has been a great feature. One of the underrated aspects is giving someone temporary access to unlock your door for some time. An example might be that if you have someone house-sitting for you while you’re away, you can invite them to control your lock via the August app and then revoke permissions when you return. You’ll be able to keep track of when they’ve unlocked your door as well.
August has great integration with HomeKit, and you can design automations to trigger certain lights when the door is unlocked.
OneLink Smoke and Carbon Monoxide monitors
I have two OneLink products in my house, and I’ve been quite pleased with all of them. The first is the ‘Safe and Sound’ product that is a traditional smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and an AirPlay speaker. The second is the standard OneLink smoke and carbon monoxide detector. While it does support HomeKit, it doesn’t include the AirPlay 2 speaker. If you’re going to replace your existing smoke detector, both OneLink products are easy drop-in replacements; you’ll just want to decide if you want AirPlay 2 support or not. Quality-wise, it’s nowhere near HomePod level, but it’s comparable to an Amazon Echo Dot.
Wrap-up on best HomeKit gifts for 2020
These are some of the best HomeKit gifts in 2020 for safety and security. Because HomeKit is a platform that other products can tie into, I love how products from all different manufacturers can be linked together to create one cohesive ecosystem that works together to keep my home safe and secure before, during, and after the holidays.
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