Controlling 220V Power & Light with HomeKit

HomeKit smart power plugs - Elgato Eve Energy EU, Koogeek P1, Elgato Eve Energy US, and Incipio CommandKit Smart Outlet (from left to right)

Selecting HomeKit devices that control the power, whether they be power plugs/outlets or light switches, is a bit tricky when you're living in a country with 220V mains power. This is because much of them are made to serve the U.S. market, which uses 120V. If they are designed for dual voltage it wouldn't be a big issue, but some devices don't list this capability. A Philips Hue light bulb has 110-130V printed on the U.S. version and 220-240V on the Korean version, but they all support 110 to 240V.

The list of devices that are specifically tailored towards the 220V market is growing, but still sparse. Thus, I sought and picked out the ones that were definitely 220V compatible. In the case of power plugs, products from Elgato, Koogeek, and Incipio fit the bill. Power plug solutions from iDevices are listed and confirmed as 120V only.

Despite the shapes, the smart power plugs shown above all have dual voltage support. Interestingly, the EU version of the Elgato Eve Energy is the smallest and won't block an adjacent outlet, while the US version of the device and the Koogeek P1 are larger and may block an outlet below or above. Incipio's CommandKit Wireless Smart Outlet with Metering is much larger and and longer than the competition, just like its full name. I should also note that only the Incipio devices had a problem with HomeKit pairing, where the process would succeed only on the second try, and leave a phantom entry in the device search screen that won't go away until the iPhone reboots.

Elgato Eve Energy plugs replaced the SKT Smart Home plugs in the distribution board

Elgato's Eve Energy smart power plugs have the most regionally varied line-up, with US, EU, UK, and AU versions, all having 100-240V, 50/60Hz support. The energy monitoring function in the app is also one of the the most sophisticated in the market. So I went primarily with these plugs in my house. I bought the EU version from Germany, but since I order a lot of things from the U.S., there are some US version plugs in the house as well.
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Philips Hue adds light to the HomeKit setup

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit (left) and Dimmer Switch (center)

Lighting is one of the first things to be considered for being controlled in a smart home because it's an essential part of a house, and the light bulbs can be replaced relatively easily. Therefore the solutions are abundant, and even in Korea where HomeKit-compatible devices are practically non-existent in the market, Philips Hue series of smart lighting stand out as the rare exception. Only a subset are officially imported, but the available ones are priced lower than the overseas market, so I was quite happy to buy them locally. To start things off, I bought a Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit and a Dimmer Switch four months ago.

This Starter Kit contained three light bulbs and a Hue Bridge, all 2nd generation

The kit contained three 2nd generation Hue White and Color Ambiance light bulbs and a HomeKit-compatible Hue Bridge. Buying them individually would be noticeably more expensive, so it's indeed a good value. I should note that 3rd generation bulbs with richer colours in the green spectrum were already available in overseas markets, but they have yet to be officially available in Korea even at the time of this writing. In my experience, it's not a critical difference and the 2nd generation ones hold up just fine.
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