Apple’s HomeKit Has Its First Light Switch from Elgato

Elgato today launched Eve Light Switch, saying it is the world’s first light switch with Apple’s HomeKit technology, creating a seamless light control experience. The Eve Light Switch transforms any single or multi-bulb setup into a Siri voice controlled lighting system, so you can use your voice to control your existing bulbs regardless of their shape, size or colour.

elegato-light-switch-siri

While a light switch certainly isn’t the most exciting new product, this is a pretty important addition to Apple‘s HomeKit ecosystem. HomeKit has plenty of smart light bulbs, but you’ve pretty much only been able to turn them on and off through an app. For something that’s supposed to be “smart,” that’s pretty inconvenient — sometimes, it’s just much, much easier to flip a light switch on or off.

The simple white wall plate of the Eve Light Switch plays into its modern, elegant aesthetic. While you will likely only use Siri to control your lights from here on out, you also have the option of using the capacitive touch sensor for manual operation. Even if you are not at home, you can still control the smart light switch, as long as you have a fourth-generation Apple TV that is set up as a Home Hub.

“Controlling your light bulbs using Siri is a compelling experience, but up until now, you were out of luck if they were switched off at the wall,” said Markus Fest, General Manager of Elgato. “By integrating Bluetooth low energy technology into the wall switch itself, Eve Light Switch is the first HomeKit-enabled product that provides seamless access to your lights.”

The Eve Light Switch is a flat, touch-sensitive panel, and there’s no on or off position. Users just need to tap the surface, and the switch will turn on and off. Interestingly, the switch does not have Wi-Fi. It only has a Bluetooth LE connection, which means there will need to be some sort of HomeKit hub (whether its an iPad or an iPhone) in order to control lights from outside the home.

Elgato says in its press release, since the switch does not require a gateway or bridge, it is “totally immune to cyber attacks over the internet.”

You can get the Elgato Eve Light Switch from Amazon.ca for $69.95 CAD.

  • Corrode

    Not the first. This is been in the Apple Store for a year: Lutron Caséta Wireless Smart Lighting In-Wall Dimmer Kit (HomeKit-enabled)

    http://store.apple.com/xc/product/HHV62VC/B

  • Z S

    I’m a little confused how this supposed to work with just Bluetooth and not WiFi.

    I get that you’d use Bluetooth for initial setup… but what about after? Does every switch need to be paired to an iPhone or iPad? And when you’re out… does the switch communicate with your Apple TV via Bluetooth? Unless the switch’s BT signal is particularly strong, that could prevent you from using the switch in the far ends of your home, such as a basement.

  • Lutron Caséta wall switches are hard-wired and awesome. Philips Hue wall switches are wireless, and pretty good. Both existed and were available for purchase before this new Elgato switch.

  • Yup, Caséta is definitely the first HomeKit-enabled solution for this, so I think Elgato is being a bit disingenuous here, although it’s fair to say that they’re the first standalone HomeKit-enabled Light Switch option.

    I’m also not sure Philips’ technically counts, though, as the Hue Dimmers are not HomeKit-enabled in any way, and don’t really replace an existing switch.

  • Yes, it connects with your Apple TV via Bluetooth. Bluetooth LE actually has a LOT more range than most people realize, but you’re right that it might cause some problems in a large home.

    That said, however, I have the Elgato Eve Weather and Room sensors in my HomeKit setup, and they work without any problems at opposite ends of my house from where my Apple TV is — a distance of about 40 feet, through several walls (and through an outside wall in the case of Eve Weather).

  • Yup, agreed. I think Elgato is being a bit disingenuous here. It’s fair to say they’re the first standalone HomeKit-enabled switch, and if you wanted to get really technical, I guess they are the first HomeKit-enabled Light Switch in the sense that the HomeKit technology is directly in the switch itself, rather than in the bridge, but that’s splitting hairs as far as I’m concerned.

  • Z S

    Well, good to know. Thanks!

  • johnnygoodface

    I’m a bit confused here: Phillips Hue had one for at least a year

  • Well, to be fair, the Hue Dimmer is not HomeKit enabled at all — it only works within the Hue system, and doesn’t replace a traditional light switch. It can only be used with Hue bulbs and can’t trigger other HomeKit devices.

    That said, Lutron has had their Caseta out for more than a year, so Elgato is being really technical here … this is the first standalone HomeKit switch, which includes support in the switch itself and doesn’t require a bridge, but to me that’s totally splitting hairs as the end result is exactly the same to the user.