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HomeKit Weekly: Adding a second HomeKit Home at the office is a fun way to brighten your day

One of the significant changes I’ve made to my HomeKit setup this fall is adding a “second home.” No, I didn’t buy a second home, but I added a new home in HomeKit at work. When the HomePod mini was announced, I took my full-size HomePod to work in favor of two of the HomePod minis at home. Once I added that HomePod, I started slowly taking a few HomeKit devices to work, and I have a full-blown HomeKit at work.

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

Adding the HomePod to my office allowed me to set it up as a HomeKit Hub to access everything remotely. After I added a “second home” in the Home app, my first step was to add a few lights. To start, I outfitted my desk with the VOCOlinc light strips. I then added the Meross smart lamp. Both of these lights offer multi-color options, and because they are both HomeKit compatible, I can pair them together in the Home app and keep them in sync together. I can walk into my office and say, “Hey Siri, turn my lights blue,” and both lights will turn blue. People have even joked that I should color code the lights to my mood during the weekday. It’s been a fun way to change up my office during mundane days.

Next, I used a Belkin Wemo to add HomeKit support to my existing lamp. Wemo products are incredibly reliable when it comes to HomeKit usage. Along with the VOCOlinc plug, they are some of the best outlet adaptors for HomeKit. If you’re looking for a way to add HomeKit support to your Christmas tree lights, either of those options will make it easy.

Finally, I am using my Eve button to automate some music listening. When I single press it, it starts playing my New Music Mix playlist. When I double click it, it plays a Jazz Chill Playlist. I also have a HomeKit Scene configured so that when I say, “Hey Siri, I am here,” it turns on my lights and starts playing Apple Music Country Live.

I start every morning with Apple Music Country Live. While some have panned it for straying into pop music on occasion, I have really enjoyed listening to it. The show hosts do a great job of providing context to the music without staying into a situation where it’s more talk than music. It’s exactly what I wanted when I suggested what could be coming next for Apple Music back in June. It’s the perfect background music for my morning. As the day progresses, I will move into other playlists, etc.

Having a HomePod in my office has been a welcome addition. Previously, I would listen to Apple Music using the Mac app, but having a HomePod has led me to interact with Apple Music 100% of the time using Siri while at work. Siri, while not perfect, is a great way to control what’s playing music-wise on a HomePod. I predict that the HomePod Mini will be a significant success for people adding music and smart device control to their home office.

HomePod Mini

Wrap on HomeKit at work

Lastly, I have an automation set up that when I leave work, I say: “Hey Siri, I am leaving,” and everything in my office turns off. Overall, adding a second HomeKit home for my office was a fun and easy project. HomeKit at work been a great way to change up my lights, listen to Apple Music during the workday and find new ways that HomeKit adds even more joy to my life.

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