Why might you need HomeBridge?

HomeBridge is important as not all smart devices are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem. In fact, a simple search on Amazon for smart light bulbs will list hundreds of devices, however only a handful will be compatible with HomeKit.

Whilst you can limit your purchases to approved HomeKit devices, HomeBridge enables many non-compatible devices to connect to HomeKit.

If you want to know more about Apple HomeKit, read our post here https://which-tech.co.uk/what-is-apple-homekit/

What is HomeBridge?

Homebridge is an open-source software that acts as a bridge between non-HomeKit enabled smart devices and Apple’s HomeKit framework. This allows you to use these devices with the Home app on your iOS device and control them with Siri voice commands.

Homebridge allows you to add support for many devices that are not natively supported by HomeKit. It uses plugins, which are developed by the community, to communicate with these devices. These plugins interpret the communication protocol of the device and translate it into a language that HomeKit can understand.

Homebridge can be installed on a variety of platforms, including a Raspberry Pi. This makes it a low-cost solution for adding HomeKit support to a wide range of devices.

It’s important to note that Homebridge is not developed or endorsed by Apple, and as such, it may not be as stable or secure as using a device with native HomeKit support. However, it is a popular option for those who have devices that are not compatible with HomeKit and want to integrate them into their smart home ecosystem.

Getting Started

If your ultimate aim is to use HomeBridge to connect to devices not supported by HomeKit directly, you need to install HomeBridge on a device that is always on and connected to your network. This can be a device like a MacBook but Raspberry Pi is a great low cost alternative. The device can be purchased cheaply and has a very low power consumption.

Raspberry Pi HomeBridge

A number of Raspberry Pi devices exist but for HomeBridge you only need a very basis low spec one. More information on these devices can be found here, https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/

If you just want to test it out initially to check how your devices will work you can install HomeBridge on most types of devices. This includes PC’s and Mac’s. There is a guide to install on each device which can be found here https://github.com/homebridge/homebridge/wiki

The Results

I installed HomeBridge initially on a Mac and following the guide above took 10 minutes. Although most of my devices were already HomeKit enabled HomeBridge came in handy for one particular device, Nest. Previously I was able to communicate with my Nest heating from the Nest App and Alexa. With HomeBridge I finally had Nest controls within my Apple ecosystem.


Of course Nest is just one example. There are a number of light bulbs, plugs, blinds and other smart devices that don’t offer native HomeKit support. Whether you have chosen to purchase alternatives due to price or just have a mismatch of devices that has grown over the years, HomeBridge may be the solution for you.

By Matt

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