Ishara Fernando

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HomeKit is a compact home automation solution that combines the Apple ecosystem with decent third-party software apps. When it comes to HomeKit, Homebridge plays a key role. Thus, it allows for the connection of devices that might never be officially supported.

What is Homebridge?

Homebridge is a bridge between smart home devices and Apple's Homekit. Homebridge uses a lightweight NodeJS server. Homebridge allows us to connect smart home devices that do not support HomeKit. Its user interface is also very familiar to us. Therefore, you can easily manage your plugins, accessories, and configurations through this UI.

HomeKit is another smart home platform that Apple introduced in 2014. Apple HomeKit allows Apple users to remotely control any home device, such as door locks, lights, outlets, etc., with ease and security.

You can control your Homebridge accessories and set up automation with your Apple iWatch, iPad, and Mac. You can also create secure control and powerful automation using the home hub (HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad) even when you're not at home. It can be run on practically any computer.

Apple HomeKit provides some powerful automation and voice control, but it is limited to hardware. The platform does not support Ring or Nest devices. Also, they aren't compatible with other big brands such as Sons, Arlo, and others. That's why Homebridge is so important to us. We can solve all of our problems with it. Additionally, the official Reddit community and Homebridge Discord server are both Homekit communities.

You can use their community to talk about it and ask for support. These groups can also be found on both Reddit and Discord. Homebridge has a number of apps available, including Homemanger, Eve, and others. Let's have a look at the Homebridge plugins.

What are the Homebridge plugins?

Homebridge's plugins enable it to support a wide range of devices. Third-party developers are the ones who create these plugins. So you'll need to install and set up each plugin on your Homebridge.

Many plugins are available to support a wide range of smart devices, including Ring, Nest, Hue, and UniFi protect. Here are some of the most useful plugins.

  • Tuya Homebridge Plugin

It's a HomeKit custom plugin for Tuya devices. It's built on top of the Tuya Open API. This plugin is officially maintained by the Tuya Developer Team.

Tuya devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This plugin can control lights, outlets, smoke sensors, switches, heaters, fans, and garage doors.

  • Homebridge-mi-hygrothermograph

It's a Xiaomi sensors-as-Homekit-accessories Homebridge plugin. It's for exposing humidity and temperature readings. E-link sensors, E-link clock, and Hygrothermography 2 were also supported.

  • homebridge-zigbee-nt

This plugin makes Zigbee devices visible. It's connected to Apple's Homekit through TI's CC253X wireless SoC. Under the hood, it uses Zigbee-hersman-converters and zigbee-herdsman.

Technically, this converter maps all available devices. To enable and register a new device, you must create a new HomeKit Device class. It also works with Philips, IKEA, Xiami, Tuya Innr, and LinkIn products.

  • Homebridge-efergy-ego

One of the smart outlets is Efergy-Ego. It has the ability to communicate over WiFi. This plugin also allows you to control your devices using Homekit.

  • Homebridge RPi

It's a Raspberry Pi Homebridge plugin. It connects to the GPIO pins of the Raspberry Pi and exposes them to HomeKit devices and computers. It can also monitor temperature, frequency, and voltage from the Pi's CPU's Homkit.

It can track HomeKit input and output devices such as buttons, touch sensors, relays, and servo mortars that are connected to the Pi's GPIO pins. It differs from other Raspberry Pi add-ons. It can also run any of the standard Homebridge configurations.

How does Homebridge work?

Homebridge serves as a link between non-Apple HomeKit-compatible smart home products and Apple HomeKit. It translates Apple HomeKit APIs into smart device-friendly APIs and vice versa. It also has control via utilizing plugins to emulate the iOS HomeKit API.

They also include user-contributed elements. WeMo, Demotics, and Netatmo are just a few of the well-known firms that provide plugins for Homebridge. From a command-line prompt, both plugins and Homebridge can be configured as global NPM modules. They're also compatible with both the Raspberry Pi and Linux systems.

How to control devices using Homebridge?

To begin, power your Homebridge devices and configure them for your iPad, Apple iWatch, iPhone, and Mac. To control your computer, you must use Eve for HomeKit, Apple Home App, or any other third-party HomeKit software.

Once your gadgets have been connected to HomeKit, you may also control them with your voice using Siri's voice assistant. Siri is a cloud-based application. As a result, synchronizing your device figures with iCloud takes some time on iOS.

“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?

Apple HomeKit is a fantastic product when it comes to automation and voice control. When it comes to hardware support, however, it has a few drawbacks. On the network, for example, there is no Nest support or Sons compatibility. It acts as a conduit between the PC and HomeKit. It can also be used on any machine.

Limitation of Homebridge

One bridge can only expose 150 accessories due to the HomeKit limit. You can, however, use a Child Bridge or many Homebridge Instances to run your plugins.

Once an accessory has been added to the Home app, updating its name via Homebridge will not be replicated in iOS. You must have also modified it via the Home app.

Which computer should we run Homebridge?

Windows, Linux, and the Raspberry Pi are all supported by Homebridge. There is one thing to keep in mind. To work on whichever device you put it on, it must be turned on all of the time. It can be installed on a Raspberry Pi, according to that. Furthermore, the little computer consumes very little electricity to operate.

You may not always have access to a Raspberry Pi. However, you wish to test this system on a variety of PCs. To begin, download and install the most recent version of Node.js. It's compatible with Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

The Final Word

Homebridge, Homebridge HomeKit, Homebridge Ring, Homebridge Nest, HomeBridge Plugins, Homebridge Raspberry Pi, and more were covered in this post. Don't be concerned. Using Homebridge, you can effortlessly operate your smart home gadgets that don't support HomeKit. The wizard walks you through setting up a user name and password, adding devices, and connecting your computer to HomeKit. After you've set it up, you may make it run on Wi-Fi. You can also easily connect your iPhone to your Homebridge.

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Los Banos, CA

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