Cyber Monday 2019: Best HomeKit home automation deals
Cyber Monday is home to some great deals on HomeKit peripherals. Here are the best deals we've found so far on highly-rated accessories — and everything you need for a complete home automation system.
Best HomeKit lighting deals
A staple of HomeKit setups, and the best way to learn about the technology is to start simple with a light bulb or two. Beyond simple bulbs, though, there are color-changing bulbs, panel systems, and more.
A simple start can be had with something like the Lifx A19 Mini lightbulb. The bulb is dimmable, and isn't color-changing, but it is inexpensive. The bulb retails for $19.99, but is on sale for $13.73. A color-changing bulb 1100-lumen bulb can be had for $39.98, on sale from the regular retail price of $59.99
In regard to those panel systems, Nanoleaf has a variety of kits on sale through Cyber Monday. While prices range a great deal, the sale includes large discounts off normal MSRP.
For instance, a pair of Nanoleaf Triangle 9-panel packs is marked down to $299.99, a $100 discount off the normal $399.98 retail price.
Best HomeKit light switch deals
If you're the only person in your home, it's easy enough to control everything on your phone. But you may have children or others in your house who prefer light switches. There are some complications in older homes that lack a neutral wire for powering a HomeKit light switch, but there are technological ways around that.
Essentially, if your home was built after 1990 or so, you probably have that neutral wire. If you do, you can use the less expensive switches, like the iDevices dimmer switch. Normally $89.99, it is presently on sale for $39.99 straight from the vendor. You can also use the Wemo three-way switch two-pack for $60, instead of the retail $89.99 price.
If you don't have that neutral wire, you're in the same boat as most of the AppleInsider staff. Lutron Caseta is a system that uses a hub that maintains switch settings, bundled in a starter kit. A starter kit that includes one dimmer switch, the Smart Bridge, and a wall-mounted Pico remote retails for $99.99 and is on sale for $79.95 right now. After you get one Smart Hub, you can just add switches after that.
Best HomeKit thermostat deals
Thermostats were some of the first devices to embrace the digital age with touchscreens and on-device timings. With the advent of HomeKit and similar home automation systems, there are no limits to what you can schedule on the device in response to myriad inputs.
Honeywell's Lyric Round is a no-frills HomeKit-compatible thermostat to see if you want to get something more full-featured — and more expensive. It is on sale for $98.99, as compared to the regular retail price of $139.99.
The Ecobee3 Lite is also good thermostat to get started with. The Lite features the same 3.5-inch color touchscreen and platform support, including HomeKit, Amazon Echo, Wink, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings — but lacks direct support for environmental sensors. It can also be controlled with apps for iOS, Android, and the Apple Watch. It is on sale for $139, instead of the $169 retail price.
The new Ecobee SmartThermostat is an upgraded smart home thermostat that takes aim at the premium market with speed, better design, improved audio, and much more. The full Ecobee Smart Thermostat can be had for $199, a $50 discount.
Best HomeKit environment sensor deals
While a thermostat is an environment sensor, there are other options. HomeKit automations can be scheduled and triggered by any one of a number of parameters beyond just temperature, including motion, air quality, and more.
The Onelink Safe & Sound is a combo device acts as a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector. It builds in a speaker, that works with smart home platforms such as HomeKit, AirPlay 2, and Amazon's Alexa. Normally, the Onelink Safe & Sound retails for $249, but it is on sale for $149.25 right now. Don't bother with the two-pack if you need more than one, as the single-unit pricing is better!
If you don't need the speaker but simply want a HomeKit-connected sensor then opt for the OneLink Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector. It comes in hardwired ($99.99) and battery-powered versions ($83.22).
Many people already are set up with a Philips Hue lighting system, but it is lesser-known that the Hue sensors are also HomeKit-capable. There is an indoor sensor capable of detecting motion, light, and temperature (on Amazon for $39.95). Hue-maker Signify also launched the only outdoor HomeKit environmental sensor that can be used to trigger any of your scenes or accessories via outdoor motion, which we went hands-on with earlier this year. The outdoor sensor can currently be had for $49.97 on Amazon.
Outside of Hue, we have a few other dedicated sensors we've relied on. There is the excellent and recently revamped Eve Room 2 which has a new modern design and, as we touched on in our review, monitors air quality, temperature, and humidity with a gorgeous e-ink display. Amazon currently has it on sale for $77.99.
Finally, we have the well-reviewed Fibaro motion sensor. It doesn't just track motion though, it also monitors for light and the temperature. Temperature sensors can be used to drive a HomeKit thermostat and the light sensor could allow you to create more complicated scenes such as only turn on the lights when motion is detected if the room is too dark. Nab it on Amazon for $65.
Best HomeKit camera deals
A more recent addition to HomeKit are cameras. Using a HomeKit camera, you can surveil the inside and outside of your home securely, without concerns that others are watching in on your video feed.
In the case of security cameras, footage is first sent to a host device like an iPad, Apple TV or HomePod for on-site analysis like people recognition and activity alerts. The image data is then encrypted, sent to iCloud and stored for later viewing and sharing.
Apple allows up to 10 days' worth of recordings to remain in iCloud without the cache counting against storage allotments. Single camera support is offered for iCloud customers subscribed to a 200GB iCloud storage plan, while a 2TB plan nets support for up to five cameras.
The Arlo Pro 2 was one of the first cameras to get HomeKit support. It isn't an inexpensive system, but it is a very solid one. A kit including everything you need to get it started and two cameras normally retails for $479.99, but is on sale for $269.99.
The Netatmo Welcome is an indoor camera that the company intends as a device to point at your front door to see who's coming and going. We've seen it in use as a baby monitor, and other interior uses as well. It normally retails for $199, but is available for $159 right now.
The Netatmo Presence outdoor camera replaces any existing outdoor light fixture, has an integrated floodlight, and has no subscription fees. It retails for $299.99, but is on sale for $229.95.
Don't forget a HomeKit hub for control outside the house!
Without using an Apple TV or an iPad as a HomeKit Hub, you can organize devices together in a room, control accessories, and create a scene to control multiple accessories with a single tap when you're in range of your wireless network. Just using an iPhone will also allow you to control these devices, rooms, or scenes with Siri.
But, if you want to activate or monitor your devices manually outside of the home, share access to your HomeKit setup to other users, or set up a series of HomeKit responses to do something at a certain time of day or in response to a stimulus from a sensor — you need an Apple device in the home to serve as a HomeKit Hub.
If you need a home hub for HomeKit, the third-generation Apple TV or fourth-generation iPad is a good place to start, but with severe limitations. Anything newer than a first-generation iPad Air, Apple TV HD, Apple TV 4K, or HomePod are better choices.
- 2019 iPad (32GB, Wi-Fi): $218.49 @ Target for RedCard holders ($110.50 off)
- 2019 iPad (32GB, Wi-Fi): $249.99 @ Amazon ($80 off)
- 2019 iPad (128GB, Wi-Fi): $329 ($100 off)
- 11" iPad Pro (256GB, Wi-Fi): $799* @ Amazon ($150 off) *Look for the green bonus savings message on the Amazon product page. Plus dozens more promotions in our Apple iPad Price Guide...
Apple TV savings