With the help of Home Assistant, you have extensive local control and automation power
Home Assistant has the advantage of not being an all-or-nothing affair. You can utilize it to construct your own dashboard and eliminate the large tech corporations from your smart home. However, you can also use it as a bridge between a miscellaneous collection of devices that aren’t HomeKit compatible and Apple’s Home system. For more control or simpler access, you can alternate between the two.
You need first set up Home Assistant and connect it to your gadgets. Then, you may add as many of your home’s appliances and services (referred to in Home Assistant as “Integrations”) as you want to have access from your speakers or phones. The Home Assistant subreddit, forum, and Discord are useful places to go for troubleshooting advice if you run into a brick wall. I also learned a lot of advice from Kiril Peyanski’s site.
Consider installing the Home Assistant Community Store (HACS), an unofficial community-maintained collection of integrations and other add-ons, if you have searched Home Assistant and are unable to discover an integration for one of your devices. To check if your device or brand is available, use the search (located in the top-right corner of the HACS page).
The configuration of some HACS integrations might take additional time. In order to access a friend’s Home Assistant setup and his Ring pathway lights, I had to put up a Mosquitto messaging broker. On the developer portal of a little-known manufacturer, you might register for an API key for some devices (often the less expensive, off-brand type). You can choose if having fast, pull-down access to these devices on your phone is worth the extra steps.
Once your devices are added to Home Assistant, go to Settings, select Devices & Services, and then click “Add Integration.” Add it by doing a search for “HomeKit”. The question of which domains you want to have included in your HomeKit integration is presented to you. Don’t just click through; uncheck the boxes next to the controls you don’t actually need HomeKit to have access to. I don’t require scenes, scripts, media players (Home can’t do much with my speakers), device trackers (Tiles, AirTags), outdoor climate data, or scenes and scripts in HomeKit. Thermometers, switches, buttons, and lights are things I do want. After making your own selections, press “Submit.”
You’re done with this stage after you decide where the bridge resides (which doesn’t really matter). Find your new HomeKit pairing code in the Notifications section of your Home Assistant app or online panel. Type or scan that code to launch the Home app. You’ll be informed that this bridge is a “Uncertified Accessory,” but you can still add it by selecting “Add Anyway.” possibly too many.
A reminder will appear on the My Home page until all devices are named and assigned to rooms, according to the Home app (at least in iOS 15). In the same way, missing or non-responsive devices are also considered to be missing.
You receive the reward after all that difficult setup: many devices inside HomeKit that Apple would never have permitted. With the addition of small or large Lock Screen widgets, some of your home functions will be accessible on your lock screen in iOS 16, making the hassle of setting up HomeKit even more worthwhile.
It communicates with your non-HomeKit gadgets as long as your Home Assistant instance is active. You can utilize your illegal, “Uncertified” equipment with Siri, HomeKit automations, iOS shortcuts, and other Apple-compatible programs. You’ll still need to set up an iPad, HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV as another HomeKit hub if you want access to anything while you’re away from home.