How to Set Up and Control a HomeKit Enabled Smart Home

The future is now! Apple’s HomeKit is a great way to control all of your smart home accessories from your iDevice. Yes, you read right, you can actually use your iPhone or iPad to control any device that is paired with HomeKit. No more getting up to change the temperature or turn down the kitchen lights; HomeKit will be able to do all of this for you.

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If you want to do this, you will need any iDevice that has iOS 8.1 or later as well as one or more HomeKit-enabled accessories. If you already have the latest iOS update, keep reading to see how you can setup your HomeKit accessories and how you can control your home fixtures from your iPhone or iPad.

How to Setup a Home for Smart Home Accessories

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You must have the necessary app for whatever accessory you are trying to control. For example, if you have the Philips Hue HomeKit lights, you will need to download the associated app from the App Store. The accessory you have will come with a HomeKit setup code that you will need to scan. You can also download a 3rd party app for managing all of your accessories in one app.

The first thing you will need to do is setup a “home for your smart home accessories, to do this simply:

  • Open up the app for your accessory.
  • Allow the app to access your Home Data.
  • In the app, tap on Add Accessory.
  • In the Home app, tap the plus button in the upper right corner.
  • Name your Home.

After you’ve finished setting up your Home, follow the below steps for setting up your accessories.

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  • Hook up your device to an outlet or put in batteries.
  • Connect it to internet via Wi-FI (or with an Ethernet cord).
  • Open the app and follow instructions for setting up your accessory.
  • The app will ask for a HomeKit setup code which is an eight digit code.
  • Viola you’re now connected!

Congrats! You are done! Another cool thing you can do is group accessories in your home, certain rooms, or zones, depending on which app you use for your accessories. This will allow you to control a group of accessories with a single Siri command. You will need to set up these groups within the apps for the HomeKit accessories. Note, not all apps will have this option.

How to Control HomeKit Accessories with Siri

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Once you’ve setup your respective apps, you will need to open up the Siri Integration part of the app and add your devices so Siri can recognize them. Siri will be able to understand custom names for devices, rooms, and zones. Once you’ve named a HomeKit enabled device, you should be able to control it by name, but you may way to setup different rooms and zones.

  • Open up the Siri Integration screen of the HomeKit app you want to control.
  • Tap on Rooms.
  • Tap the plus button to add a new room.
  • Name your room and select the devices you want to control.

You can also do the same things for zones, for example, the rec room or all rooms upstairs.

  • Open up the Siri Integration screen of the HomeKit app you want to control.
  • Tap on Zones.
  • Tap the plus button to add a new zone.
  • Name your zone and select the rooms you want to control.
  • Save.

After you pair up your iOS device you will have the ability to control any HomeKit accessory with Siri. You can say things like “Turn off the lights” or “Set the temperature to 70 degrees.” Neat huh? Just a note you will need to unlock your iDevice for Siri to be able to work. For example, unlocking your door will require your iDevice to be unlocked.

Control HomeKit Accessories When You’re Not Home

You also have the ability to control your HomeKit accessories when you aren’t in the house! If you have a 3rd generation Apple TV or later or iOS 9, you can control your accessories with Siri when you aren’t at home. If you have iOS 9 will be able to securely talk with your HomeKit using HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP) which uses secure networking over iCloud. If you have iOS 8, you will need to make sure you have your iCloud account signed in with the same Apple ID as your Apple TV on your iDevice. You should be able to use Siri as normal to turn off or adjust accessories in certain homes, zones, or rooms.

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