Indeed, HomeKit certified devices have not been always very affordable compared to their Google Assistant / Alexa counterparts, but I would argue that you can now find some HomeKit devices with excellent price-value ratio. Here are three examples of devices that I own and that I would put in this category.
1. Thermostat – Ecobee
Price: $165-$250 (depends on the model)
I think the thermostat is a home automation device that beginners should look into first. The entry cost of $165+ is not exactly a bargain, but you need to do the math of how much saving you will get our of smart thermostat vs. your current device. Ecobee claims that their smart thermostats can save you up to 23% of your energy bill (in my experience, it is closer to 10-12%, it all depends on how aggressive your settings are) which is not insignificant. You can also get a new thermostat at a significant discount if your local utility provider partners with Ecobee (partner utilities are listed here).
Many automations such as smart home/away and humidity temperature adjustment are enabled out-of-the-box using Ecobee’s eco+ program. Ecobee can even pre-heat and pre-cool your house when electricity is less expensive. It will also learn from your habits and suggest additional improvements over time. You can also link Ecobee pretty much to every other home automation platform and set up other rules such as:
- Checking weather forecast in the morning and adjusting target indoor temperature based on forecasted daily high temperature
- Pausing heating and cooling when windows and doors are open
- Tracking your location and starting your home program when you get close to your home
I have been using Ecobee for 3+ years and it has paid for itself many times. It has also been really stable on my network, so I pretty much just set it up and forget it.