New here and for homekit / automation in general - you have some basic questions

Cupertino, November 22, 2021

Hello everyone, I decided to enter the world of home automation and I just bought my first smart sockets (4 pcs. Meross Smartplug mini for 40 USD), which were easy to configure and now I am intrigued. Since I want to keep it in an ecosystem that works with Apple products, HomeKit seems to be the way to go. As for the hubs, I have prepared that Apple TV is a solution, but other articles that say that it would be better to go with Aqara sensors, which require an Aqara hub that then interfaces with HomeKit. I don't currently have an Apple TV, but I wouldn't like to take one for other purposes. But I'm trying to figure out if this is necessary if I end up with a different sensor hub. AKA trying to save me some $$$ if I don't have to have both. My questions are: 1) If I go the route of the Aqara hub / sensors, do I still need the Apple TV to function as a hub ??? Or will the Aqara hub talk to the sensors and then the Aqara hub talk directly to my iPhone (via WiFi)? At the moment I have the 4 smart sockets. My goal here is to create a little home automation, so if I walk in the garage door after I get home, I'd assume a door sensor would trigger the automation to turn on some lights. The door sensor could also work as a means of notifying me if m 4 years leave that door in the garage, etc. 2) What equipment would I need to do this? Is the above scenario quite simple to do? 3) How about setting up time-based scenarios? that is, it is 5 in the morning on a working day and the alarm on my iPhone goes out (which I use to wake up every day) and that alarm triggers a series of events in the house, such as turning on certain lights, allowing the socket for the coffee pot (in reality I already have it on an automatic start timer, but conceptually it is what I mean here) etc. 4) How about other timer-related automations? How is this done? 5) I currently have a garage door opener compatible with Chamberlain MyQ, which has worked flawlessly since I installed it. It also does a great job with notifications if it has been left open for too long or when opening / closing etc. It has a standalone application for this, which is looking for ways / options to integrate into the homekit. Again, maybe another "I'm at home" automation that is triggered by the garage door opener. I will stop here and appreciate any contribution / guidance I receive. Thanks!!

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