After over a year of waiting, Chamberlain has finally released their HomeKit companion for their MyQ garage door opener system. Additionally, Fibaro has released an updated version of their water/flood sensor that also works with HomeKit. With these items, I’m finally able to consolidate my smart home a little bit more!
For the past year or more I’ve had a few smart home platforms running in tandem. Beyond my preferred HomeKit core, I’ve had a Wink Hub running, plus some Amazon Echo hardware. In this post I’m looking at two specific new pieces of hardware, that will help slim the platforms down, creating more integration.
Firstly, there is a Fibaro FGBHFS-001 Flood Sensor, which will replace the old Z-wave unit I had been using with my Wink setup. second is a not-so-new Chamberlain MYQ-G0201 MyQ which had graced my home in the past. This will replace the Linear GD00Z-4 Z-Wave Garage Door Opener that had integrated with the Wink Home Hub . Thanks to their new Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge, in tandem with the MyQ system, I’m able to use Siri voice controls for my garage status, and so forth; and to eliminate Wink altogether.
Sidebar: If I weren’t such a hard core Apple user, and so set on making HoneKit my platform of choice, my #2 pick remains the Wink Home Hub. It works really nicely, has some of the best aggregation of its competitors, and is cost effective.
FIBARO FLOOD SENSOR
Over the past few years I’ve played around with a couple different water sensing units. And the best, most stand-out of the bunch has always been the ones from Fibaro. With their new Fibaro FGBHFS-001 Flood Sensor, they’ve added HomeKit compatibility so that you can ask Siri to check the temperature or water/leak status all by your voice. This is most enjoyable for the former, since I didn’t have a temp sensor in my basement prior.
Setup is straightforward, with a recently updated app that allows for full HomeKit views and manipulations. Like the prior unit, the Fibaro has tamper sensors, so that if someone moves the unit it makes an audible alert, and a push notification to follow. Another great feature that comes by way of the HomeKit is that I share my home with my wife. She gets the same door unlock/lock alerts from our Schlage Sense hardware, and now with the Fibaro Flood Sensor, she’ll see the same alerts I do there. Sharing alerts and features like this was feasible with the Wink Hub, but with HomeKit just works easier and more seamlessly.
Like other smart home platforms, HomeKit allows you to use the water/leak sensor as a trigger. This means turning on lights, unlocking doors, and other responses to the sensor. None of this is cutting edge or new here, save for the fact that this support of Apple’s platform is helpful to its continued growth. And for me, this meant no longer needed the Wink Hub for us.
Chamberlain Home Bridge
Still only available on Chamberlain’s own website for early order, the Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge sits as a connection between your home, and your already existing MyQ hardware. That is to say it alone won’t work, you still need a Chamberlain MYQ-G0201 MyQ or otherwise compatible garage door opener. Since my home has an older garage door unit, I had to go back to my MYQ-G0201 device here.
Setup of that device and other discussions can be found on my prior blog post HERE, and nothing has really changed. There is the added step here of adding the Home Bridge, which is all done through the existing/same app you already use for the MyQ. Like all other HomeKit accessories, you use your iPhone camera to snap a picture of the unique ID/code for that device. Only tricky part here was the wifi re-learn on the old MyQ, but the app does a great job stepping you through it all and I have NO issues at all during my setup. Voila!
As you can see in the final photo above, I can now open/close my garage door via Siri. Even better, it allows me to ask siri “is my garage door open?” and get back a response that can help me determine if I should send an open/close request. But the best part is that the garage door opening/closing now also sends HomeKit alerts, which can also (like the Fibaro above) work as a trigger. Now, when the Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge has an opening occur, and the time is after sunset for example, lights can turn on if you want. Granted I do think the arriving home geofencing works better for this, but some people prefer a more dynamic operation like this.
In the future I hope that Chamberlain offers a single new MyQ as they said they eventually would, because right now having two black boxes is a bit of an eye sore. Also doesn’t help that I installed the 2nd one crooked hahaha!
HomeKit is a great platform, and allows virtually all of the same functionality as even the most aggressive competitor. Two of the bigger competitors are the Wink Hub and SmartThings hub, both which do a great job. But if you’re an avid Apple fan-boy like me, HomeKit makes great sense, and the hardware options are growing quickly!