Smart technology does not just end at our smartphones and portable tablets anymore. In our modern age, even everyday technology like fridges, televisions, and light bulbs feature a bevy of smart functions that allow them to function in a more effective way.
However, easily the best way to enjoy smart home technology is to have them all connected in some way, allowing you to gain complete control over your home.
Many people make use of smart assistants like Alexa, Google Nest, or Apple Siri, however easily one of the best ways to control and connect all of your smart devices is to use HomeKit!
However, the trouble with HomeKit is that it is an application that is designed entirely for use on Apple products like iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. Kind of like Apple’s version of Home Assistant.
That being said – there is a way to use Homebridge outside of the Apple ecosystem and I’d say you’ve already guessed this – but it is with the power of your Raspberry Pi!
What Is Homebridge?
Before we find out how to access HomeKit via a Raspberry Pi, it is worth looking at what Homebridge is, and how its services tie in with HomeKit.
Put simply, Homebridge is a private server that can be used on devices that aren’t produced by Apple and emulates the infrastructure of the iOS operating system to allow users to connect to HomeKit, to allow them to control their smart appliances from devices like a Raspberry Pi.
How Do You Install Homebridge On Raspberry Pi?
Before we take a look at how exactly to install Homebridge onto your Raspberry Pi device, we will need to make sure that we have everything that we need in order to do it all correctly.
First, you will want to make sure that you have your Raspberry Pi computer close at hand.
Preferably, you will want to make sure that you have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ or better, as such versions of the device will be able to better process your commands.
You will also want to make sure that you have access to a MicroSD card with plenty of space, as this is where you will be installing the application to be used by the device.
Don’t worry too much though, as the application does not take up too much space, and does not require too much processing power.
You will also need the official Homebridge image to be installed on Raspberry Pi, as well as a program like the Raspberry Pi Imager that allows you to convert the images into executable applications.
Make sure you also have access to a computer that is connected to the internet to help you to carry everything out correctly.
Step 1 – Prep Your Raspberry Pi
Whenever you plan to install new software on your Raspberry Pi device, you should always make a point of updating the device first, to ensure that it is ready. Head to the command terminal and type in:
Hit enter on the keyboard, and then restart the Raspberry Pi to update it.
Step 2 – Download The Image
Head to your computer, and download the Homebridge Raspberry Pi image from the Homebridge official website.
Once you have downloaded the imager, grab your MicroSD card, insert it into your computer, and then head to your chosen imager. We recommend making use of the Raspberry Pi Imager.
Follow the instructions on the imager and set the image to install to the MicroSD card.
Step 3 – Open Your Raspberry Pi
Now that you have installed the application onto your MicroSD card, simply insert it back into the Raspberry Pi, and activate the device.
Step 4 – Get Started With Homebridge
Now that you have Homebridge installed on your Raspberry Pi, you will want to head to your computer to start customizing your experience with Homebridge.
Head to the Homebridge page at ‘homebridge.local’ on your web browser. You may be prompted to log in, which can be done by using the username ‘admin’, and the password ‘admin’.
Feel free to change your login details for the application using this web page.
Step 5 – Use Plugins
Look toward the top of the Homebridge webpage, and you should notice a number of buttons to choose from. Click the ‘Plugins’ option amongst those.
Plugins are what Homebridge uses to bridge all of your smart devices together. Each of the plugins can be individually searched for by using the search bar at the top of the plugin page.
Plugins are created by other Homebridge users, and as such, some are better than others.
Thus, when searching amongst the plugins, make sure to look for those that have been verified, as they have been personally reviewed by the Homebridge team for quality assurance.
Installing plugins from this menu is very easy, and while each plugin may have specific requirements for installation, most are very simple by following the on-screen instructions.
Each plugin can also be looked further into by clicking on the wrench icon beside each one, which allows you to look at specific information about each plugin and change certain settings.
Step 6 – Connect Homebridge To HomeKit
Head to your iOS device, and open up the HomeKit app. From here, you can tap the ‘Add accessory’ button, and then scan the QR code that shows up on the Homebridge homepage on your computer.
This will cause the two applications to automatically be linked.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Raspberry Pi Enough For Homebridge?
Absolutely. The application requires little processing power, and will not cause a Raspberry Pi computer to strain.
Does Homebridge Cost Money?
No. Homebridge is an entirely free platform to use.
What Is The Best Raspberry Pi For Homebridge?
The best Raspberry Pi to use with Homebridge, generally, is the latest model, the Raspberry Pi 4.
To Wrap Up
There we have it. Installing Homebridge onto the Raspberry Pi is not a difficult procedure at all, and can be done easily by following our guide!
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