Aqara, one of the best ways to build a HomeKit powered smart home for low cost has a new way to get started for even less upfront expense. The new Aqara E1 hub features a compact design with high installation flexibility and can be bridged to HomeKit.

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

Using its USB-A plug, the E1 hub can be powered by wall outlets with built-in USB plugs, power strips, media servers, or a Wi-Fi router that has built-in USB.

I’ve been a big fan of all Aqara products since discovering them. While the individual devices cannot directly connect to HomeKit, the Aqara hubs can bridge them to HomeKit. For example, the Aqara water sensor can generally be found for less than $20, and once it’s installed, it shows up inside of the Home app. We had a spill in our kitchen a few weeks back, and HomeKit immediately flagged my home as soon as water was detected. I have Aqara’s water sensors under every sink in our house as well as in front of my dishwasher and refrigerator. Aqara also has a low-cost temperature sensor and motion sensor that we have in our home, and I use them almost daily.

If you have an existing Aqara network, the new E1 hub can serve as a repeater to enable more Aqara devices on your network. The E1 hub supports a wide range of smart home protocols, including Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and more, so it’s extremely flexible if you have a mix of devices in your home.

Because Aqara bridges all of its devices to HomeKit, you can mix and match automations using different vendors. One use case might be using an Aqara door sensor to turn on a lamp connected to a Wemo plug. Especially with Christmas approaching, it’s time to start considering how you want to integrate your decorations into HomeKit so you can have a festive environment controlled by the Home app or from Siri using your new HomePod mini.

Use code USCAE1E1 to save 10% on the hub, and start building your low-cost HomeKit smart home today with the new Aqara E1 hub.

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About the Author

Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.

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