HomeKit is a compact home automation solution with a combination of the Apple ecosystem and decent third-party software apps. The role of Homebridge is most important when it comes to HomeKit. Hence, it gives a way to connect those devices that may never add official support.
- What is Homebridge?
- What the Homebridge plugin?
- How does Homebridge work?
- How to control devices using Homebridge?
- Why Homebridge is needed?
- Limitation of Homebridge
- Which computer should we run Homebridge?
- How to connect incompatible accessories to Homekit?
- How to install Homebridge?
- How to Uninstall Homebridge?
- What are the Homebridge financial services?
- Best Homebridge compatible product
- Price and Brand Comparison of Homebridge compatible devices
What is Homebridge?
In simple terms, Homebridge is a bridge between smart home devices and the Apple Homekit. It is a lightweight Node JS server. We can integrate our smart home devices using Homebridge that don’t support HomeKit. Also, its user interface is very familiar to us. So, you can manage your plugins, accessories, and configurations easily using this UI.
Also, HomeKit is a smart home platform introduced by Apple in 2014. It offers Apple users to control any home devices easily and securely with an Apple HomeKit badge like door locks, lights, outlets, etc.
You can control your Homebridge accessories and set up automation using your iPhone, Apple iWatch, iPad, and Mac. Also, you can create secure control and powerful automation with addition to the home hub (HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad) even when you're not at home. It is easy to run on any computer practically.
Although Apple HomeKit provides both some powerful automation and voice control, it is limited to hardware support. For instance, you unable to find any Ring or Nest support for the platform. Also, they aren't compatible with other big brands like Sons, Arlo, and a lot more. That’s why Homebridge is very important to us. It solves all problems easily.
Moreover, the official Reddit community and Homebridge Discord server are two of the Homekit communities. You can discuss about it and ask for help using their community. Also, these communities can be found on both Reddit and Discord.
What are the Homebridge plugins?
Homebridge offers extensible device support through its plugins. These plugins are established by the 3rd party developers. So, you want to install each plugin into your Homebridge and configured it.
There are many plugins available to support a variety of smart accessories such as Ring, Nest, Hue, and UniFi protect. Here are some examples of the best plugins.
- Tuya Homebridge Plugin
It is a custom plugin for Tuya devices in HomeKit. It is based on the Tuya Open API. The Tuya Developer Team is officially maintaining this plugin.
There are several types of Tuya devices. It can support this plugin such as lights, outlet, Smoke Sensor, Switch, Heater, Fan, and Garage Door.
It is a Homebridge plugin from Xiaomi sensors as Homekit accessories. It is for exposing measured humidity and temperature. It also supported E-link sensors, E-link clock, and Hygrothermography 2.
This plugin exposes Zigbee devices. It is connected to TI’s CC253X wireless SoC to Apple’s Homekit. It uses Zigbee-hersman-converters and zigbee-herdsman under the hood.
All supported devices are mapped in this converter technically. You have to implement a new HomeKit Device class to enable a new device and register it. Also, it supports Philips, IKEA, Xiami, Tuya Innr, LinkIn devices.
Efergy-Ego is one of the smart outlets. It can communicate over WiFi. Also, this plugin allows you to control through Homekit devices.
- Homebridge RPi
It is a Homebridge plugin for Raspberry. It exposes to HomeKit Raspberry Pi devices and computers and connected to Pi’s GPIO-pins. Also, it can monitor temperature, frequency, and voltage from the Homkit of the Pi’s CPU.
It can monitor HomeKit input and output devices connected to the Pi’s GPIO pins such as buttons, contact sensors, Relays, Servo mortars, etc. It is not like other Raspberry Pi plugins. Also, it can run any of the regular Homebridge setups.
How does Homebridge work?
Homebridge acts as a bridge between non-supported smart home devices and Apple HomeKit. It converts APIs from Apple HomeKit into smart device comprehensible API and vice versa. It also controls by emulating the iOS HomeKit API using plugins.
Furthermore, they have user-contributed components. Well-known brands have their plugin to add into the Homebridge such as WeMo, Demotics, and Netatmo. Both plugins and Homebridge can be configured as global NPM modules from a command-line prompt. They are also friendly with both the Raspberry Pi system and Linux.
How to control devices using Homebridge?
Firstly, you want to power Homebridge devices and setup for your iPad, Apple iWatch, iPhone, and Mac. It is needed to utilize the Eve for HomeKit, Apple Home App, or any other third-party HomeKit software to regulate your computer.
Also, you can control your accessories using your voice through Siri voice assistant once your devices have been added to HomeKit. Siri is a cloud service. So, iOS takes some time to synchronize your device figures with iCloud.
“Siri, Turn on the fan in the dining room”
“Siri, Set the temperature to 50 degrees”
“Siri, Are the lights off upstairs?”
Why Homebridge is needed?
When we consider automation and voice management, Apple HomeKit is a great device. However, it has several limitations when considering hardware support. For instance, there isn’t Nest support or Sons compatibility on the network. It serves as a link between the computer and the HomeKit. Also, it can operate on any machine.
Limitation of Homebridge
Due to the HomeKit limit, one bridge is able to expose only 150 accessories. However, you can run your plugins as a Child Bridge or run Multiple Homebridge Instances.
An accessory has been added to the Home app once, changing its name through Homebridge won't be automatically reproduced in iOS. You must have changed it through the Home app as well.
Which computer should we run Homebridge?
Homebridge supports Windows, Linux, and Raspberry Pi. There is an important thing to remember. It is necessary to be turned on all of the time to work whatever device you install it on. According to that, it can install it on a Raspberry Pi. Also, the small computer takes little power to run.
Sometimes, you don't have a Raspberry Pi. But you want to try out this system on several types of computers. Firstly, you want to download and install the newest version of Node.js. It is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.
How to connect incompatible accessories to Homekit?
Have you ever tried to connect your favorite accessories to Homekit? Here are some options that may be able to help you.
You can be able to bring your Nest thermostat or Ring doorbell into the Home app with proper hardware or software. You can put them right alongside the best Homekit cameras, door locks, and many more. There are few things to connect incompatible devices to your Homekit.
- Before getting start
Before you get started, there are few things to consider. Homekit-enabled products go through rounds of difficult testing and adhere to strict security guidelines. It is different for non-HomeKit-enabled products. If you have decided to follow this option, you can proceed with attention and be mindful of what you select to install in your home.
Also, some advanced configuration might be required. Sometimes, you feel uncomfortable with plugging in some code here. You may want to stick to the best HomeKit accessories with a few clicks.
- Adding Nest accessories
Starling Home Hub is the best option for you to start with Nest Thermostat. It is a small hub device that bridges select Nest devices to HomeKit over a simple browser interface. This Starling Home Hub can support several Nest accessories such as Google Nest Thermostat, Nest Yale lock, Nest Protect, Nest Learning Thermostat, and Nest Cam Outdoor.
It takes a few minutes to set up the starling Home Hub with the bulk of the process. Then you can log in to your account. Next, you want to add the hub to your HomeKit home the same way that you set up your HomeKit accessories by scanning a QR code through the Home app.
- SmartThing, Ring, and more
Homebridge is one of the alternatives for connecting your smart accessories with your HomeKit. It is with a fully-assembled Raspberry Pi and server pre-installed microSD card. Also, you are able to connect a variety of popular non-HomeKit-enabled accessories to your Homekit through the plugin. It supports smart home accessories manufacturers such as Ring, SmartThing, Wink, Nest, and MyQ.
Also, it only requires a few clicks to install and configure a plugin. Some of the plugins may not work properly since HOOBS runs an improved version of Homebridge.
- Running your server
It is easy to set up your server. Also, the newest version of Homebridge is now available freely. It also can run on different platforms such as Windows, Linux, and macOS. It needs Node.js and a few terminal commands to install on this platform. After all of the steps, you need to install plugins and manage your smart home via a clean web interface.
The Homebridge team offers a smart image file. Also, you can flash to a microSD directly for use with Raspberry. After you flash your Homebridge to your memory card, you are able to boot it into Homebridge. It is necessary to have a local IP address through your browser.
How to install Homebridge?
- Mac OS
Before installing Homebridge on macOS, you have to make sure that you have a computer with a recent version of macOS, terminal app, Apple Silicon/M1 devices. Also, you have to ensure that you don't yet have it on your system.
Step 1: Install Node.JS
You have to install Node.js. So, download the latest version of Node.js and run the installer with the default option.
Step 2: Install Homebridge and Homebridge UI
You have to use “sudo npm install -g --unsafe-perm homebridge homebridge-config-ui-x” command and “sudo hb-service install” command to install Homebridge and Homebridge UI.
Step 3: Log in to the Homebridge UI
This interface will let you install, update and remove plugins and also modify the Homebridge config.json and manage other things.
- Windows 10
Before getting started to install, You have to make sure that you have a computer with the latest version of Windows 10 and an account with administrator privilege.
Step 1: Install Node.js
You have to download the latest version of Node.js and the installer with the default option selected. Then open a new Node.js command prompt window as administration.
Step 2: Install Homebridge
You can use this command to install Homebridge UI . npm install -g --unsafe-perm homebridge homebridge-config-ui-x.
Step 3: Setup Homebridge as a server
Use the hb-service command delivered by the Homebridge UI plugin. hb-service install.
- Raspberry Pi OS
Official Homebridge Raspberry Pi image set up instruction
Before getting started to set up Homebridge Raspberry Pi Image, you want to make sure that you have one of the supported Raspberry Pi Model, a larger SD card, or a 4 GB SD card. Also, you want to have a Windows, macOS, or Linux computer with an SD card reader.
Step 1: Download and Flash to SD card
It is completely free. You can install the latest version of Raspberry Pi image to your SD card.
Step 2: Connect to Network
You can connect Raspberry Pi using Ethernet or WiFi connection.
Step 3: Manage your Homebridge
This UI allows you to install, update, remove, and modify the Homebridge.
Step 4: Connect to Homekit
You can open the Home app on your device and then tap add accessories.
Step 5: Install and Configure plugins
Using this UI, select the plugins and it allows you to configure the plugin from GUI. Then you can go to the config tab and edit the Homebridge config.json file.
Install Homebridge on Raspbian
Before getting started to install, you have to make sure you have a Ubuntu, Debian, or Raspbian Linux machined, desktop terminal app and ensure that you don't have Homebridge or Node.js on your system.
Step 1: Install Node j.s
You want to install the LTS version of Node.js and additional dependencies from the authorized repository.
Step 2: Install Homebridge and Homebridge User Interface using their commands.
Step 3: Log in to the Homebridge UI
How to Uninstall Homebridge?
If you want to remove your Homebridge service run, use this command.
sudo hb-service uninstall
After then, you can remove Homebridge and the Homebridge UI run using this command.
sudo npm uninstall -g homebridge homebridge-config-ui-x
What are the Homebridge financial services?
Homebridge Financial Services Inc. is a non-bank lender. They provide different types of home loans for everyone from first-time home customers to refinancers.
They have established their branches in almost 49 states. Before completing an application, they encourage a discussion with a loan officer. Also, it has a wide range of mortgage types and products. But, they don’t publish interest rates on their website. They give homebuyers access to a variety of lending options both in-person and online.
According to Christine, Homebridge’s loans are about a 50/50 mix of government-backed and conventional mortgage products. This comprises jumbo mortgages for borrowers with higher income and FHS loans for low to moderate-income borrowers.
There are also loans for home improvements which are renovation loans. It is to wrap financing home enhancement into the mortgage.
There are several refinance or purchase loans. It can be used for home repair and upgrades. FHA 203(k) loans, FHA 203(h) loans, and HomeStyle loans are three of FHA loans that offer by Homebridge.
Best Homebridge compatible product
Many smart home accessories don’t work with Apple HomeKit. However, you can easily make work those accessories with Apple Homekit.
- Logitech Harmony Hub
Logitech Harmony Hub is a small hub with eight remotes. You can control your television, fans, sound system, and Sonos speaker using this hub. It also can be worked with Amazon Alexa. You can be able to control the Harmony Hub with your voice, a Home app for iOS using Siri when paired with Homebridge. This plugin converts Harmony Hub activities into HomeKit-enabled switches.
- Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini
Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is plug from TP-link with a compact and reliable design. It is the cheapest device. It also worked with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This can easily be linked with Homebridge. Also, you can able to toggle the power for TP-link’s smart plugs when paired with Homebridge.
- Nest product
Due to a lack of support for HomeKit, Nest products are a little bit infamous among HomeKit enthusiasts. But using the Homebridge plugin, you can easily plugin your Nest Thermostat, Nest protects smoke, and cameras using this.
- WeMo product
You can now buy WeMo Bridge to add HomeKit support to your WeMo gadgets. You can use this freely available Homebridge to do this. Many WeMo accessories can load using this plugin for Wemo such as the Wemo switch, Wemo bulb, and Wemo dimmer.
Price and Brand Comparison of Homebridge compatible devices
Wemo Mini Smart Plug
Logittech Harmony Hub
Kasa Smart H5 IOS Mini WiFi Smart Plug
Alexa-enabled, Google Assistant
Alexa-enabled, Google Assistant
AppleHomeKit, Android and iOS
Apple HomeKit, Android and iOS
Apple HomeKit, Android and iOS
Don't worry anymore. You can easily control your smart home devices that don't support HomeKit using Homebridge. Configuring a user name and password, adding devices, and connecting the computer to HomeKit are all covered by the wizard. So you can make it run on Wi-Fi after you have set it up. Also, you can easily connect your Homebridge to your iPhone.