HomeKit Essentials: A 2023 Holiday Gift Guide
Christmas shopping is in full swing, and you’ve got just a few days left to get your online orders in. Otherwise, you’ll be running out to the stores for your last-minute items. HomeKit accessories are some of the best items you can give to an Apple fan because people always need more of them! For this week’s HomeKit Weekly, here is a HomeKit gift guide for 2023.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
Top HomeKit Door Locks
It’s hard to overstate how effective and useful a HomeKit door lock is. From being able to unlock and lock remotely to automatically unlocking as you walk up, it’s a great gift idea for anyone looking to upgrade their smart home. My top door lock at the moment of the Level Lock+. With Home Key support, an appearance that blends in with any decor, and the option to continue using a traditional key, it’s hard to beat. I also love the NFC keys as well. They’re perfect to give to family members who are less technical.
If you want something with a PIN code for entry, check out the Aqara U100. It also includes a fingerprint option as well. Both are fantastic options. I also love the 4th generation August Smart Lock. Although it lacks Home Key support, it does allow you to keep the outside part of your door lock the same as you have now and simply replace the inside. For many people, replacing the outside part of the lock is a non-starter, so it lets you add HomeKit support to your existing one by just replacing the inside part.
Top HomeKit cameras
HomeKit cameras are an awesome gift because you always need “just one more.” Just because a camera supports HomeKit doesn’t mean it supports HomeKit Secure Video (HKSV), though. Every camera that supports HKSV supports HomeKit for automation, though. For interior cameras, I love Eve’s indoor HomeKit camera. It supports (and only supports) HomeKit Secure Video, so there is no “Eve cloud” that also has your footage. You’ll need a Home hub like an Apple TV 4K or HomePod mini to process the footage, but most Apple fans already have them. One of the things I love about this camera is the magnetic base, as it makes for flexible installation options.
For outdoor HomeKit cameras, there are some great options as well. For a flood light replacement, check out Eve’s Outdoor Camera. Because it replaces a floodlight, it will have permanent power while using Wi-Fi for the transmission. Similar to the indoor camera, it works great with HomeKit Secure Video. For a wired outdoor HomeKit camera, check out Logitech Circle View. If you’re looking for a battery-powered outdoor option with local recording, check out the Eufy 2C cameras. The battery life is great (180 days), all the recording goes to an SD record at the base station, and you can add it to HomeKit for automation access as well as viewing on Apple TV, etc.
One of the things I failed to mention is the benefits of HomeKit cameras in your automation. Because the cameras act as motion sensors, they can be used within your automations to turn on other accessories (lights, etc) when they detect motion.
HomeKit gift guide: Top HomeKit light bulbs
HomeKit lighting is one of the best ways to upgrade your home, so it makes for great gift ideas. HomeKit light bulbs typically bring dimming options as well as adding color options. Some of my favorite options are:
There are a wide range of options to pick from here. Having all of your lighting on HomeKit is a major upgrade for any smart home.
Best HomeKit smart plugs
HomeKit outlet adaptors are a great way to automate your “dumb” appliances like lamps, coffee makers, air filters, etc., so they make a perfect addition to my HomeKit gift guide. They plug directly into the wall, and then another device plugs into it. You can easily control the device from your iPhone, Apple Watch, or Siri or create a schedule. These are great devices to use when you’re traveling to simulate lamps going on and off on a schedule, etc. Some of my favorite HomeKit outlet adaptors are:
Wrap up – other misc items
If nothing on my HomeKit gift guide is hitting the spot, here are a few other items I recommend as top HomeKit accessories that didn’t fit in another category.
Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below with your top recommendation for a 2023 HomeKit gift guide item.