HomeKit accessories

Make your light switches more useful with Wemo Smart Dimmer [Review] ★★★★★

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Wemo Smart Dimmer with Thread review★★★★★
Your smart home needs smart switches, and Wemo's latest looks good, is highly configurable and works reliably.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Wemo Smart Dimmer with Thread is a new version of Belkin’s HomeKit-compatible wall switch. It can be controlled with the press of a finger or from anywhere – across the room or across the country.

Putting “with Thread” in the name isn’t some odd reference to sewing. The switch uses a new form of mesh networking to provide fast, reliable connections to your home-automation system.

I was able to install the latest Wemo Smart Dimmer in my home because it doesn’t require a neutral wire. Here’s what it’s like to use everyday.

Upgrade your HomeKit setup with this Thread-compatible smart plug [Review]

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Wemo Smart Plug with Thread
The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread is both simple and advanced, offering home automation with mesh networking.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Insert the Wemo Smart Plug with Thread into any wall socket and you can use HomeKit to control any plug-in appliance with your iPhone. It’s easy. Plus, this gadget (obviously) offers Thread mesh networking, the future of smart home tech.

I tested in my own home. Here’s why there’s a lot to like.

Wemo’s latest HomeKit smart plug uses Thread for fast, reliable connections

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Wemo’s latest HomeKit smart plug uses Thread for fast, reliable connections
The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread offers simple and inexpensive home automation.
Photo: Wemo/Belkin

The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread simplifies controlling lamps, fans, and other appliances with an iPhone or Siri. Anything that plugs into a standard wall outlet can be turned on or off.

Rather than Wi-Fi, the HomeKit accessory communicates with other accessories over Thread, a mesh networking standard.

HomeKit shakes things up at CES 2022

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HomeKit was a stand-out star at CES 2022
CES 2022 brought daily announcements of new devices with Apple’s HomeKit home-automation system.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There is a lot to get HomeKit fans excited at this year’s CES tech showcase in Las Vegas. Quite a few companies announced products that will support Apple’s home-automation system, including lights, door cameras and more.

Glitzy projects like concept cars get more attention, but HomeKit accessories are more likely to make people’s lives better.

Aura Air purifier gets smarter with HomeKit [Updated]

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Aura Air purifier gets smarter with HomeKit
Aura Air just became a better option for Apple users looking for professional-grade air filtration.
Photo: Aura

The Aura Air cleanses and disinfects indoor air, getting rid of viruses, bacteria and mold. And the professional system will soon be upgraded to support Apple’s HomeKit automation system.

TP-Link’s extensive new Tapo lineup of smart plugs, lights and sensors support Apple HomeKit

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TP-Link’s extensive new Tapo lineup of smart plugs, lights and sensors support Apple HomeKit
The Tapo S500D Smart Dimmer Switch and Tapo L535 Multicolor Smart WiFi Light Bulb are two of the HomeKit-compatible accessories TP-Link just unveiled.
Photo: TP-Link

TP-Link unveiled a collection of HomeKit-compatible smart home accessories at CES 2022. It includes smart plugs, switches smart lighting and more.

With nine new products coming out this year, it’s a big push into supporting Apple’s HomeKit home automation system.

Take push-button control of HomeKit accessories with Belkin remote [Review]

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Belkin Wemo Stage Scene Controller review
Press any of the three buttons on Belkin’s Wemo Stage Scene Controller to activate HomeKit accessories.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You can activate up to six preprogrammed HomeKit scenes or accessories with the push of a button on Belkin’s Wemo Stage Scene Controller. The palm-size remote sits on a table or hangs on a wall, and lets you easily control HomeKit accessories all over your home. No wiring involved.

I’m fully committed to Apple’s home-automation system, and Belkin’s latest HomeKit gadget fit neatly into my setup. Here’s why.

Belkin’s new remote puts HomeKit at your fingertips

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Belkin Wemo Stage Scene Controller remote puts HomeKit at your fingertips
The Belkin Wemo Stage Scene Controller replaces light switches with a much more powerful option.
Photo: Belkin

A wall switch can turn on a light or two, but the Wemo Stage Scene Controller from Belkin can activate an entire scene, controlling lights, thermostats, music and other devices all around the house.

It ties into Apple’s HomeKit home automation system allowing someone to press a single button to launch their movie night scene, or wake their house up in the morning, for example.

Logitech Circle View Doorbell joins short list of HomeKit doorbells

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Logitech Circle View Doorbell: A HomeKit doorbell with a modern look.
The Logitech Circle View Doorbell wouldn't look out of place on a modern home like this.
Photo: Naomi Ellsworth/Unsplash CC

Logitech unveiled the Circle View Doorbell on Tuesday, calling it “the first wired video doorbell developed exclusively for Apple HomeKit.”

The $199.99 accessory features Face Recognition and Logitech TrueView video, and works with most wired doorbell systems, Logitech said.

Meross dual-plug smart outlet offers easy and affordable HomeKit automation [Review]

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug review: Easily affordable HomeKit automation
The Meross Smart WiFi Plug is unobtrusive but very functional. Just what your want.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug lets you control two lights, fans or other appliances from your iPhone or iPad. And because it’s a simple plugin unit, it brings the convenience of Apple’s HomeKit home automation with minimal hassle.

After extensive testing, here’s how this accessory stood up to regular use.

Tiny WeMo smart plug makes trying HomeKit so easy [Review]

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Belkin Wemo WiFi Smart Plug review
The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug can be your ticket to easy home automation.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Home automation is convenient and even kind of fun. And a smart plug is the easiest way to get started. The redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug from Belkin lets you find out if you really want to be able to control your lights or other appliances from your iPhone, without making a big investment.

A couple of weeks of testing this pint-size HomeKit accessory went into this review. Here’s what I found out.

Belkin’s smallest Wemo HomeKit smart plug hits store shelves

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Wemo WiFi Smart Plug hardly takes up any room.
A redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug brings HomeKit support to regular appliances.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin on Monday began offering a much smaller version of its Wemo WiFi Smart Plug. Like the original, it supports Apple’s HomeKit home automation system. But the updated version of this smart outlet doesn’t crowd the wall socket nearly so much.

Easily control outdoor lights with Meross waterproof HomeKit outlet [Review]

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Meross Smart WiFi Indoor/Outdoor Plug review
Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night bothers this Meross smart outlet.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Add Siri voice control to your outside spotlights with the Meross Smart WiFi Indoor/Outdoor Plug. It’s waterproof and actually offers two plugs, each separately controllable with Apple’s HomeKit.

I tested this home-automation accessory around my house. Here’s how well it lives up to regular use.

Wemo’s mini HomeKit smart plug is right around the corner

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Wemo WiFi Smart Plug hardly takes up any room.
A redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug brings HomeKit support to regular appliances later in July.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin began taking pre-orders on Monday for a much smaller version of the Wemo WiFi Smart Plug. Like the original, it supports Apple’s HomeKit home automation system. But in a design that doesn’t crowd the wall socket.

Easily control Abode’s DIY security system with iPhone and HomeKit [Review]

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Abode Iota review
Abode Iota includes a camera, motion sensor and supports HomeKit home automation.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Abode Iota is a do-it-yourself security system that’s one of the very few with support for Apple’s HomeKit home-automation platform. That means it’s a breeze to control from your iPhone. It includes a camera, motion detector and windows/door sensor. Additional sensors can be added.

I installed the Iota Starter Kit and have extensively tested it. Read on to see whether it’s the right solution to secure your home or business.

Meross smart plug makes HomeKit home automation easy and cheap [Review]

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini review
Insert the Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini into a wall socket and you can control it from anywhere in the world.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini is an inexpensive and easy-to-install way to get started in home automation. This smart plug lets you control a lamp, fan or other appliance without needing to touch it. Support for Apple’s HomeKit and Amazon Alexa means voice commands, or automated schedules, are all that’s necessary.

I tested a pair of these accessories for a week, and can report on how they perform in daily use.

Meross HomeKit-compatible smart plug adds home automation on the cheap

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini comes in 2-packs
The Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini can be controlled or scheduled through Apple’s Home app.
Photo: Meross

A HomeKit-compatible smart plug is an easy way to try home automation. And the Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini is an especially inexpensive option. It enables a lamp or other simple electrical device to be remotely controlled from an iPhone using Siri voice commands.

Abode’s cheap DIY home security kit adds HomeKit

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Abode Smart Security Kit gets you started
The starter Abode Smart Security Kit now works with Apple’s home-automation system.
Photo: Abode

Abode’s do-it-yourself home security system just gained support for Apple HomeKit. With this software update, the Smart Security Kit can be controlled via Siri commands, and an iPhone or other Apple device will be notified when sensors detect a window or door is opened, or there’s movement in the house.

Robin ProLine video doorbell is first with HomeKit Secure Video

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The industrial finish on the ProLine HomeKit video doorbell looks gorgeous.
The Robin ProLine Video Doorbell now securely stores and transmits its video recordings.
Photo: Robin Telecom Development

Support for Apple’s new HomeKit Secure Video system has been added to the Robin ProLine Video Doorbell. With this combination, users can see who is at their door while staying assured that this information is kept private.

Wemo WiFi Smart Plug with HomeKit is Belkin’s smallest yet

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The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug both support HomeKit
The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug and Wemo Stage were both unveiled at CES 2020.
Photo: Belkin

CES 2020Belkin’s latest version of its Wemo smart plug with HomeKit support is significantly smaller than its predecessor, making it less obtrusive on wall sockets.

The company also unveiled at CES 2020 the Wemo Stage, a remote than can be used to launch HomeKit scenes with the punch of a button.

Sengled smart bulbs get even smarter with Apple’s HomeKit automation system

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Sengled Smart Hub now has HomeKit support
With HomeKit support, give Siri commands to the Sengled Smart Hub to pass on to smart bulbs.
Photo: Sengled

CES 2020Accessory maker Sengled added support for Apple’s HomeKit to its smart home hub. This enables iPhone users to control Sengled’s smart bulbs through Siri commands.

The company also added to its lineup of smart home products with new lights and a smart plug.