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Amazon’s Prime Day has arrived, and with it, some great deals on Apple gear and accessories. The Prime Day sale is an especially great time to pick up new home automation gadgets since these get some pretty deep discounts, and chances are you might want to buy more than one if you’re looking to go all-in on HomeKit.
Despite the singular name, Prime Day is actually a two-day sale that started at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) this morning and runs through until midnight PT tomorrow night. Most sales are available throughout the entire 48-hour period — while supplies last, of course — but you’ll also find some “Lightning Deals” that you’ll have to act quickly on.
Of course, as the name does imply, you have to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of these sales — you won’t even see them without one — but Amazon is pretty flexible about letting you sign up for that at any time, and the best part is that the free trial membership still counts.
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If you’re looking to expand your HomeKit setup, we’ve rounded up some of the best deals you’ll find on home automation gear this Prime Day.
Sensibo Air Pro AC Controller
The dog days of summer are upon us, and while central air conditioning is nice, it’s a luxury not everyone can afford. Thankfully, you don’t need a sophisticated HVAC system to tie a portable, window, or split unit air conditioner into Apple’s Home app.
As long as your unit uses an infrared remote control — and most do — Sensibo’s Air Pro AC controller can give you access to turn your AC on and adjust the temperature from anywhere, thus ensuring that our house is nice and cool when you get home without wasting tremendous energy by leaving the AC on all day long.
Thanks to its built-in temperature and humidity sensor, you can also tell when the room is cool enough to shut the AC off or when things are getting too and you need to cool it down. These readings can be checked manually from Apple’s Home app or the Sensibo companion app, or you can set up a HomeKit automation routine to turn the AC on and off automatically at certain times or temperature thresholds.
Sensibo’s app also lets you remotely control other AC unit features like lighting and swing movement, and the Air Pro can even provide air quality information, reporting total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) and CO2 levels, although sadly these features aren’t available to HomeKit due to limitations on Apple’s side.
Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Siri Built-In
Ecobee remains one of the best thermostats on the market, and that’s even more true when it comes to Apple support, where it’s led the way in embracing features like HomeKit and Siri for years.
Ecobee’s higher-end voice-capable thermostats were the first to embrace third-party Siri support when Apple added that capability in iOS 15. This lets you call up Siri directly from the thermostat without the need to drop a HomePod mini into the same room.
That’s not just for adjusting the temperature, either. All of the usual Siri commands are available, and you can even play Spotify through its built-in speaker.
Naturally, there’s full HomeKit support here, with the ability to create routines that adjust your heating and central air conditioning based on just about anything else you can monitor, from the time of day and room conditions to your location.
Ecobee Premium also includes an integrated air quality monitor, built-in occupancy detection, and a smart sensor to monitor the temperature in another room so you can keep things balanced at a comfortable level throughout your home. If you don’t need the extra sensor or air quality monitoring, you can save a few bucks by going with the older Ecobee with Voice Control for $170 (down from $220), which still offers built-in Siri support and all of the other great smart thermostat features.
Lutron Caséta Deluxe Starter Kit
I can tell you from personal experience that Lutron’s Caséta smart dimmers and switches are by far the most reliable and bulletproof way to add automation to the lighting throughout your home, and Prime Day is a great time to get started, with an incredible 50% off deal on a starter kit that includes two dimmers, the necessary Smart Hub, and a pair of wireless remotes.
Lutron’s Caséta has the solid reputation of being created by the company that basically invented the solid-state dimmer several decades ago. However, what makes this system particularly great is that it doesn’t rely on traditional Wi-Fi to communicate with your devices, so you won’t need to worry about cluttering your network or dealing with lights not turning on or off due to range or interference issues. Instead, Lutron has its own proprietary protocol to link everything up to the Smart Bridge that plugs into your home router over a wired Ethernet connection.
Of course, you’ll need to be comfortable replacing light switches to get started with the Caséta system, as these are in-wall dimmers that need to be installed. However, the beauty of this is that they can be used with nearly any light fixture that uses an incandescent or dimmable LED bulb, and unlike using smart bulbs, you won’t have to worry about losing access because somebody turned off the light switch.
Lutron also has a wide array of other switches available to handle non-dimmable LED and fluorescent lights, fans, and even plug-in lamp modules for floor and table lamps, so you can grow your home automation system by adding additional pieces as needed.
Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
In-wall switches and dimmers may be the most reliable way to control your home lighting, but they’re not always the most fun. Plus, if you’re like me, you likely have more than a few table and desk lamps that don’t tie into traditional wall switches.
That’s where Philips’ Hue lighting comes in. If you’re into home automation at all, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Hue’s product lineup already, which now includes a broad array of solutions, but it all began with the humble light bulb, and that’s where its greatest strength still lies.
Hue’s bulbs don’t just turn on and off; they can also be set to any one of 16 million color combinations and temperatures, with presets in the app and within HomeKit for the entire spectrum of white lighting. Plus, they support the cool adaptive lighting feature that Apple rolled out three years ago in iOS 14, letting them automatically adjust their color temperature throughout the day.
If you’ve been looking to jump into Hue lighting, or simply want to expand your existing system, Prime Day is a great time for it, with a three-pack of Hue’s classic white and color ambiance bulbs on sale for nearly 50% off. If you’re new to Hue, you’ll also need a bridge to get started, but Amazon also has the latest Hue Bridge on sale now for 28% off its normal price at only $43.
Philips Hue Play Gradient TV Light Strip
Speaking of the Philips Hue lineup, the company also offers a variety of smart light strips, including one that’s custom-designed to fit behind your flat-screen TV, providing ambient mood lighting for your room.
The Hue Play light strip is marketed as a companion for the Hue Play HDMI Sync box, which allows it to match the ambient lighting to whatever is on your TV. While that’s a lot of fun, the Play Sync box doesn’t come cheap, and it rarely seems to be on sale. Plus, it won’t work if you watch content on your smart TV’s built-in apps; you need to be using an Apple TV or something like a Fire TV stick so there’s an HDMI connection for it to intercept.
Fortunately, just like any other Hue light, the light strip can also be controlled manually with a standard Hue Bridge and the Hue app or Apple’s Home app. In that case, it’s not different from other light strips, except that it’s designed to fit around your TV — something that can be challenging with generic strips — and you have the option of adding a Play Sync box later on if you want to spice things up a bit.
Meross Smart Plugs and Switches
Meross is a smaller accessory brand that’s made a name for itself over the past few years with a series of affordable HomeKit-compatible plugs and switches, and this Prime Day, you can get them even cheaper than ever.
This includes a four-pack of Meross Wi-Fi mini smart plugs for only $32 that are small enough to drop in just about anywhere without worrying about blocking more than a single outlet, plus a two-pack of Wi-Fi Smart Dimmers to upgrade your standard light switches or home automation.
Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug
Whether it’s patio lights for those warm summer nights or an outdoor heater for the cooler fall, an outdoor smart plug can be a great way to switch these things on and off without needing to traipse outside.
Kasa is a relatively new home automation brand from TP-Link, which is probably best known for its lineup of affordable Wi-Fi routers. The company has leveraged its networking experience to build reliable Wi-Fi smart home accessories that offer excellent range, which is especially important for an outdoor smart plug that could end up some distance away from your home router.
This outdoor smart plug is properly protected against the elements with IP64 weather resistance and includes two outlets that can be independently controlled through HomeKit — something that not all combo smart plugs offer.
Wemo Stage Scene Controller
While it’s very cool to control your home with your voice or an iPhone app, sometimes you just want to flick a switch, and that’s where Wemo’s Stage Scene Controller comes in.
Supporting the new Thread protocol for fast and reliable connectivity, you can mount this anywhere you need a switch — no wires required — and can be detached to use as a remote control. For instance, you can mount it near your bedroom entrance to control your table lamps and detach it to drop on your bedside table before you turn in for the night.
Three distinct buttons offer single, double, and long-press, letting you trigger up to nine different devices or HomeKit scenes, and it uses NFC for nearly-effortless pairing with HomeKit.