What is HomeKit? | The basics of building a smart home with Apple’s HomeKit

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Today we're gonna be talking about the
very basics of home kit what it is and how to get started using it to build
your smart home in 2019. What's up guys I'm Shane and on this channel I'm
building an affordable smart home using home kit so be sure to subscribe check
that Bell icon so you get notified when I post future videos. So in this video
we're gonna talk about what exactly is home kit and how it works, how to set up
a home kit hub so you can control your smart devices from anywhere in the world,
the different types of devices that you can connect such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,
bridges, and then just some practical tips that will hopefully help you if
you're just getting started.

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So what is home kit and why did I choose it for my
smart home? HomeKit is Apple's smart home system that allows you to control
all of your smart home devices all in one place. The Home app comes installed
on the iPhone iPad Apple watch Mac computers you can control your devices
from the home pod. A big selling point for me was that you can control all your
devices made by different manufacturers all in one place using this home app and
that's something that was really appealing to me. Home Kit also gives you
the ability to set up automation so for example a good night scene could close
the blinds turn off the lights lock the door and adjust your thermostat all with
the press of a button or using a Siri command. So it's hard to talk about home
kit and smart home stuff without briefly discussing privacy I believe that home
kit is one of the most secure and private smart home platforms that you
can use so all of the communication is encrypted and sent only between your
personal Apple device and the device is controlling your home meaning that
there's no need for these devices to touch the cloud just to communicate
and to do things like turn off your lights all of your data is private
encrypted and stored on your personal Apple devices meaning Apple doesn't have
access to look at your cameras your locks or no when you're turning on and
off lights easy well you can use homekit enabled devices right out of the box say
smart lightbulbs or a smart thermostat in order for you to be able to control
that while you're anywhere in the world you're gonna need to set up a home kit
hub the home kit hub can be an Apple TV a home pod or even an iPad that stays in
your house connected to the network regardless of what device you're using
you should be able to just find the home or home kit settings inside your
Settings app and find use this device as a home kit hub and once you do that
you'll be all to it so let's talk about the different kind of devices that you
can connect to your smart home in my mind there's really three types there's
Bluetooth Wi-Fi and devices that require an additional bridge Bluetooth devices
will need to be within Bluetooth range of your hub so they'll connect over
bluetooth now the downside to that is that they have to be within Bluetooth
range of your hub so you can start having issues if you get outside of that
Bluetooth range the upside is that if your Wi-Fi goes down these devices will
still work next we have devices that connect directly to Wi-Fi the upside to
these is that they'll have better range than Bluetooth devices however they are
at the mercy of your Wi-Fi so it's a really good idea to make sure you have
solid Wi-Fi speeds and coverage before you get too deep into your smart home
setup and then there are devices that require an additional bridge so we can
use the very popular Phillips hue as an example if you get a Philips hue light
bulb you need to get the Philips hue bridge that bridge will connect to your
router and then all the accessories you purchase will connect directly
to the bridge using a wireless technology that's different than Wi-Fi
so the upside to this is that if you get a whole bunch of these light bulbs and
light strips they're gonna connect to that bridge versus directly to Wi-Fi
meaning you're not going to be bogging down your Wi-Fi whereas if you get some
of these other light strips or light bulbs yeah they may be cheaper but if
you get a whole bunch of them eventually they may start bogging down your Wi-Fi
network plus another thing is if you're having issues it's a lot easier to
troubleshoot just that one bridge versus 50 light bulbs that connect individually
you just may have more issues there if you're doing say a bunch of light bulbs
and light switches and things that connect directly to Wi-Fi I have found
that devices requiring a bridge are extremely reliable and fast another
upside to getting the bridge devices versus you know directly to Wi-Fi is
that if you ever change your Wi-Fi password get a new router or even move
it's a lot easier to switch over just that one bridge then say 50 individual
light bulbs that all connect directly to that white Apple has made it incredibly
easy to start adding devices to your home kit smart home but where to start
for me like many people it was smart lights I
purchased the philips hue starter pack to be exact I wanted to connect my
kitchen and living room lights so I can use automations and things the problem
with that is that these lights also have a wall switch and the issue there is
that if somebody flips that light switch my smart lights are no longer connected
yeah so you have to keep that light switch on all the time in order for
you to be able to control these smart lights using your phone or other devices
that kind of becomes a problem obviously if you live in a house with kids or a
spouse or whoever that still uses the light switch so what I would recommend
if you're getting started consider looking at some smart wall switches
instead of actual light bulbs for these kinds of fixtures if you have lights
that you want to connect a home kit that have a wall switch it makes more sense
to change the light switch to be smart that way you and your family can still
use that light switch as well as using home kit without having any connection
issues I did this I actually use the Lutron to SATA switches and these things
have been great they do require a bridge but they've been extremely reliable and
and fast and they just work great you can even use them in in three or
four-way switch setup so I definitely recommend checking out those if you're
just getting started and want to add some smart lights now if you're looking
at just lamps and other kinds of light fixtures that don't have a wall switch
then then the smart lightbulbs are are a great way to go another great way to get
started is smart plugs because they're really inexpensive and you can do a
whole lot with them basically any device that has you know an on/off toggle you
can use so my wife can never remember if she turned off her hair straightener
which is not good so I actually just got one of these cheap little smart plugs
and use that to plug in and now we can always tell if it's on or off no matter
where we're at so once you have some devices set up you can start taking full
advantage of the power of home kit you can control your devices from anywhere
in the world and another great thing about home kit is that you can set up
automations and the home app and this is personally one of my favorite things
about building a smart home you can have devices come on and off at certain times
you can trigger devices when people are when certain people leave you can even
have certain devices come on or off when other devices are triggered for example
if I unlocked my front door I can have the thermostat change and the lights
come on well I've got some very basic automation set up so like my outdoor
lights will come on in the evening when the Sun Goes Down and they'll go off in
the morning when the Sun comes up I just set it and forget it and I'll never have
to think about it I also have some some automations
in my around my house with certain lights that will come on automatically
when either my wife or I arrive home and then all those lights will turn off
automatically when we both leave there's a whole lot that you can do with
automation so play around with it and have fun you know setting up your smart
home that's the fun part but that's it for today I hope this video was helpful
and in sort of explaining what exactly homekit is and how to get started if I
left anything out or if you have any questions at all feel free to drop a
comment down below if you're just getting started using home kit consider
subscribing I'm currently in the process of building an affordable smart home
here and I'm documenting the process along the way so if that's something
you're into please subscribe click the bell icon so you get notified when I
post new videos again I'm Shane and until the next time see y'all later

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