Home Assistant and HomeKit

Home Assistant

Today was a Well-Being Day at LinkedIn. We got a nice day off from work so that we could relax and decompress. My project for today? Home Assistant as suggested by my buddy Jon who has been a big proponent of me giving Home Assistant a try.

My house started off as a Google smart home, but it all got moved to Amazon Alexa a year ago. Alexa works great and has a plethora of integrations with third party services (“Alexa, ask Toyota how much fuel I have in my Camry"). I have recently started to play with Apple’s HomeKit and running that along side Amazon Alexa – especially since Apple released the HomePod Minis, making it cheaper to have Siri devices around the house.

I like that HomeKit runs locally allowing things to happen if/when the internet connection is down. The privacy aspects of HomeKit was also a big draw – especially for my son who is very privacy conscious. Most of my smart home gear supports HomeKit. Most of my lighting, switches and motion sensors are Hue, except for two Lifx bulbs. I have an ecobee Smart Thermostat with voice control and ecobee temperature sensors throughout the house. The stuff in my garage are all the odd ball stuff that was not HomeKit native.

My plan for today was to get Home Assistant running, get non-HomeKit gear in Home Assistant and then get Home Assistant into my HomeKit setup.

I have a Roku TV (supported by HomeKit); two Kasa plugs that are not supported by HomeKit which I use to control a light and a fan; and one Wiz bulb that is not support by HomeKit in the garage. When I run each day, I have an Alexa routine that I use to turn all of that gear on (“Alexa, I’m running”). That way I get my breeze from the fan, I get my YouTube on the TV and I have lighting. But, with HomeKit none of that worked… Until now.

I got the Kasa plugs and Wiz bulb working in Home Assistant today. I got Home Assistant setup as a bridge in HomeKit. And I now have a scene named “I’m Running” in HomeKit. So, tomorrow when I got for a run on the treadmill, all I have to say is “Hey Siri, I’m running.”

Home Assistant looks to have way more depth to it and I’ll explore it more in the future. But for today, I’m going to take what I did as a win.


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