How reliable is HomeKit?

Cupertino, April 12, 2020

I live in Thailand, where the voltage is 220, and the number of available HomeKit devices is quite limited. My LAN router is an AirPort Extreme. My home is small and I have excellent WiFi connectivity throughout my home and yard.

I started my adventure with a KanKun smart connector that needed Homebridge to connect to HomeKit.

Soon after, KooGeek devices began to become available. I replaced the KanKun jack with a KooGeek P2. This was largely a disaster, as it continued to lose its connection to HomeKit (Update -> Unanswered). I replaced it with a well-functioning P1. Strangely enough, I moved P2 to another location, where it is now working fine.

I have several other P1 sockets that sometimes work and sometimes don't. It's a craps solution.

Then I bought a KooGeek lamp. This worked well for a period, except that, after a power outage, it was always on by default. OK if you're home, but if you're gone, the light bulb will turn on until you get home and turn it off. (In fact, I set up an automation that turned off the bulb every hour just to make sure it wouldn't turn on after the power failure.) Eventually, the KooGeek bulb will become completely unresponsive after a power outage and should to be deleted from HomeKit. and re-added. It's not bad if you have a few power outages, but we have a lot.

I replaced the KooGeek bulb with one from Yeelight (Xiaomei). At first, the light bulb would connect to HomeKit, but not to the Yeelight app. I reset it again, to no avail. Eventually I changed the region from the Yeelight app in Asia (where I live) to mainland China. After that, the light bulb immediately connected to the Yeelight app.

The Yeelight app worked fine one day. Then there was a lack of automation, but it was still accessible from both HomeKit and Yeelight. Then, it became accessible only from the Home app on the iPhone, but not from the Home app on the iPad. Then it became accessible from nowhere.

I tried cycling to the light bulb and it started working again. But what benefit is a home automation system where you have to intervene manually to make things work properly? I'm far from home. I want things to continue to work when I'm gone. Right now, I have zero confidence that it will happen.

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