HomeKit: guide for new users

HomeKit is a function of your iOS device so you can connect together all kinds of devices at home and can operate with Siri. Think of lights, door locks, plugs, and your heating. This guide tells you all about what you need to deal with HomeKit and how to setup to start.

HomeKit Guide: What is HomeKit?

Thanks to HomeKit, you can operate a variety of devices, regardless of brand, via your iPhone or iPad. For example, special HomeKit apps are available that lets you control all HomeKit devices (more on that later). Siri also plays an important role in HomeKit: ask her to turn on the lights and the rest is easy. Read more about what exactly HomeKit is in our extensive dossier.

Setup HomeKit: this is what you need

To HomeKit to use, you need at least:

  • iPhone (iPhone 4S or later), iPad (3rd generation or later) or iPod touch (5th generation or newer) with at least iOS 8.1
  • A HomeKit accessory for the home and the associated app
  • A HomeKit app for setting up rooms and areas
  • A home Wi-Fi network

Step 1: code scanning app

To activate HomeKit and put into use, you must install a HomeKit accessory according to the steps of the manufacturer. In this step, we start with the latest Philips Hue Bridge, through which you can control your lights through your voice. This system is the most accessible and best available HomeKit accessory and is, therefore, a good step to start with.

Homekit code

Related product

After setting the latest Philips Hue Bridge via the official Philips Hue app, it asks if you want to turn on Siri voice control for your Hue lights. Then you scan the code behind the Philips Hue Bridge so the Hue system is linked to HomeKit. You can also enter the code manually.

Step 2: Set Siri names

In the Hue app, you give the different lamps their own name, so you can operate them with Siri. Give a lamp a logical name that Siri can recognize well such as bedroom or dining table.

In the case of Philips Hue, you can set scenes and activate using Siri. By setting scenes and mounting the lights there, you can turn on all the lights at once and in a certain color. Tell Siri activate [scene name] and all connected lights turns on.

Step 3: Set zones, rooms, and triggers

Apart from naming individual lights and scenes, you can put all your accessories also grouped into zones and rooms. However, this is not going through the app of the HomeKit accessory, but via separate HomeKit apps. Apple has not (yet) its own HomeKit app, but there are several apps in the App Store available that all do the same.

Two of these apps are Insteon+ and Home. The apps do exactly the same but both have a slightly different look. By creating rooms, for example, you can turn on or off with Siri commands all the lights in a particular room without activating all the lights in the house. A zone is a larger part of the house where you can add rooms to. Think of the first floor. With triggers, you can automatically activate scenes, for example, based on time or location. You can set a group of lights automatically switched on or off when entering or leaving a specific area.

Setting up rooms, zones, and triggers speak fairly for itself: download one of the available HomeKit apps and follow the instructions in these apps. You can provide rooms with many of these apps with an image so you can see immediately in which room it is.

Step 4: HomeKit operated from outside

To control HomeKit via Siri, you must be connected to your own Wi-Fi network. However, you can also control your accessories from outdoors, but there is an extra accessory needed for this: Apple TV. Log in to an Apple TV 3rd generation or newer with your iCloud account, so you can also use Siri commands when you’re not at home.

Step 5: Invite other people and other options

If you are not home alone, then it is so convenient to also give the co-residents access to your HomeKit accessories. In the settings of iOS, it is possible to invite other people so that they can, for example, turn the lights. The person who set HomeKit, however, remains the administrator. The administrator is the only person who can add and remove accessories.

More about how to grant other people access to your HomeKit accessories, look in tip below. We also have a separate tip for how to remove HomeKit accessories and blocking access.

Step 6: Ready!

Congratulations, you are now all set to make full use of your HomeKit accessory. Now you can use Siri to you to turn on lights, to change color, to open doors, to operate your thermostat and to link it all together. Have you bought a new HomeKit accessory, then you add these with same steps as above.

You can now control your equipment to your heart through your voice. Hold the button on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and hold to activate Siri and you can use the following commands:

  • “Turn on the lights on above.”
  • “Turn the light off of Benjamin.”
  • “Turn on the light in the kitchen.”
  • “Dim the light in the dining room up to 50 percent.”
  • ‘Colour light blue in the living room. “
  • “Leave the lights on in the living room at its brightest.”
  • “Set the house Tahoe at 22 degrees.”
  • ‘Turn the thermostat down to 21 degrees. “
  • “Turn on the printer in the office.”
  • “Good night.”
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