Implementing HomeKit on the Cheap, with Koogeek
Today we take a look at one of the more affordable Apple HomeKit-compliant range of devices, by @Koogeek. I was given a sample set by the lovely folks over at Koogeek, although I must confess I have already purchased a few of those devices prior to them contacting me. Anyhow, Koogeek are best-known for making a whole range of really nifty gadgets, such as the Siri-controlled Smart Socket, but in this review, I am going to be taking a look at two distinct and affordable devices, the Wifi-Enabled Smart Plug and Wi-fi-Enabled Smart Socket.
The Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug
First up, the Smart Plug is a gadget that I’ve been using for some time. As a huge HomeKit fan, I’ve been wiring my home with all sorts of gadgets as part of my pet-project, and have already secured my home with Ring for my door bell and camera, to Schlange for the door lock. Inevitably though, there are certain things that are not as straight forward to convert to an iOT device, and one of them is my in-home heating system.
Living in an older home, it would be too costly for me to switch to using Nest, as a pre-1930 home, the next best thing is to have wall-powered oil heaters. This is where the Smart Plug comes in handy, providing an affordable conduit for me at $35 to allow me to control when my heater turns on and for how long.
So in my configuration, I’ve set up two of the Smart Plugs to connect in to my oil heaters, and having them set in my man cave as part of a HomeKit scene along side my other HomeKit devices, such as my desk lamp (which I am using the Koogeek Smart Bulb).
The Koogeek Smart Plug is an affordable HomeKit conduit for appliances that are too expensive or otherwise impossible to bring into the world of IOT. To get it working, you simply plug it in to a wallet socket, scan the individual HomeKit barcode using your iOS Home app, and you are ready to go and plug in any non-smart device right into it. This enables you of course to use Siri to control your appliances. You could also opt to use the very powerful Koogeek Home iOS or Android app.
The real power with enabling intelligent devices in your home is that it makes you way more efficient. For me, being able to create scenes that allow me to orchestrate for my heaters to be turned off when i leave for work in the morning, turn on at specific times and in orchestra with my other nearby home devices.
In addition to also scheduling for specific times for devices to turn on, Koogeek’s app allows you to monitor your power consumption granularly, and believe me, when you have two heaters plugged in, you want to make sure they are only on when they are used.
And there you have it, for such a lowly price, you don’t have to live in a fragmented iOT house, and rather ensure all of your beloved yet older devices get some modern loving. Efficient use of your appliances will ensure you will get your money back in the form of lower PGE bills, so it really is a no-brainer!.
And then there’s the Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Socket
It would be reminisce of me to not mention the other Koogeek gadget ive been playing with, the Wi-fi-Enabled Smart Socket. Wifi-enabled like the Smart Plug, the Smart Socket also is HomeKit compatible and just as easily installable, that is, plug in, scan the barcode in your iOS Home app and let there be light!
Benefiting from being in the Koogeek family, as you do with any other Koogeek device, can create scenes and monitor power consumption.
So in my use-case, I haven’t found any issues setting up and pairing the two accessories, they work just as easily as my Philips devices, but at a fraction of the cost. Being HomeKit compliant, I don’t need to buy an additional Hub as I would have with Philips, and as an added bonus it even works with my Amazon Echo, further extending the reach of ease-of-control.
Where to buy the devices
The best place to buy thees gadgets is on Koogek’s Amazon Store, as you get the best prices but with the protection and warranty of Koogeek and Amazon. The Koogeek Smart Socket is of the time of writing at $39.95 and the Koogeek Smart Plug at the lowly $28.99, both shipped free with Amazon Prime.
So there you have it, a cheap way to introduce your old appliances into your HomeKit ecosystem, saving you having to throw away perfectly good device for HomeKit-compliant ones. Im definitely a fan!