Review: Easily plug into HomeKit with Eve Energy
If you've wanted to dip your toe into smart home automation with HomeKit, Eve Energy is the perfect place to start.
Apple's home automation service, HomeKit, has made controlling your home's devices from your iPhone or iPad easier than ever. One of our favorite HomeKit-enabled smart plugs is Eve Energy. It's a simple plug that you can plug into the wall, set up in seconds, and then plug in your light or appliance of choice. Eve Energy boasts a host of features that belie its simplicity.
Turn on or off the power with a tap on your iPhone/iPad or a command to Siri. Set up scenes and automations so your Eve Energy smart plug goes on and off according to your schedule. Just set it and forget it.
Bottom line: This simple smart plug and power meter is perfect for any iPhone or iPad user's home.
- Easy to use
- Monitors electricity usage
- Supports Bluetooth and Thread
- Not super cheap
- Need a home hub
Eve Energy: Price and availability
Eve Energy retails for $40 and can be found at Amazon, Apple, B&H, and other online and in-person retailers. While it's not available at Best Buy as of this writing, it can usually be found there.
Eve Energy: What's good
Eve Energy is easy to set up and get started with home automation. Whether it's your first HomeKit-enabled device or your fifteenth, you'll love being able to control your home appliances with your voice or a tap on your mobile device. If you prefer, you can press the button to operate Eve Energy manually. This button can even be child safety locked. Best of all, you can set Eve Energy up to turn on and off according to the schedule you set, so you don't even have to think about it. Plus, it monitors your electricity usage, which can save you money in the long run.
I plugged a floor lamp into my Eve Energy and set it to turn on and off at certain times in the evening. This way, we don't accidentally leave our dog home alone in the dark when we're out (that happened once or twice before I got Eve Energy, and we felt terribly guilty). Also, it's harder for potential burglars to tell if we are out of town. There are plenty of other potential uses for Eve Energy, making it worth buying several of them. For example, you could plug your coffee maker or bread machine into Eve Energy, so you can wake up to fresh, hot coffee and/or breakfast. Plugin your fan or humidifier and come home to the perfect climate. Set a nighttime scene for your child with fairy lights and lullabies or a coming home scene for yourself with desk lamps and strip lights.
Dive right into using HomeKit with this easy-to-use and robust smart plug
Eve Energy supports both Bluetooth, making it more power-efficient. It also supports Thread. Thread technology was developed for smart homes, and it increases connectivity between devices. Thread creates a mesh network, so the more Thread accessories you own, the more robust your network becomes.
You don't need to buy a special Eve bridge or hub, but you do need to set up a HomeKit hub such as an Apple TV 4K or a HomePod mini to use most of the features. In addition to Apple's Home app, you'll also need to download Eve for HomeKit to set up Eve Energy and access all the features. Eve for HomeKit allows you to control Eve Energy, set more specific schedules, enable the child safety lock, monitor energy, adjust the status LED, and install firmware updates. Apple's Home app allows you to control Eve Energy, set up basic schedules, and configure guest access.
Eve for HomeKit
You'll need this app to set up Eve Energy. Plus, it lets you access specific features that aren't available within Apple's Home app.
Eve Energy: What's not good
Eve Energy isn't the cheapest smart plug you can find. However, if you plan to buy several to use around your home, the cost can really add up.
I did try using Eve Energy without a home hub. It does work, but you can't do much, like setting up schedules or turning it on and off while you're away from home. So I caved and bought a HomePod mini (which is a pretty cool little device anyway) to get full use out of my HomeKit devices.
Eve Energy: Competition
Belkin's Wemo is a similarly-sized smart plug that costs a bit less than Eve Energy and works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as well as HomeKit. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer energy monitoring as Eve Energy does, and it's not quite easy to set up.
To save even more, check out the bargain-priced Meross or VOCOlinc brand smart plugs from our roundup of the best HomeKit-enabled smart plugs. You won't get the energy monitoring, but if you're planning to place smart plugs all over the home, you'll appreciate the lower price point.
Eve Energy: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want to control a power outlet via HomeKit
- You want to set up automations or scenes for your appliance of choice
- You want to monitor your plug's energy usage
You shouldn't buy this if...
- It's out of your price range
- You don't want to automate your home
- You don't want to deal with a home hub
If you want to finally try out HomeKit or expand your HomeKit use, Eve Energy is just the right product. It's great if you want to set up automations or scenes for any appliance or device that you can plug into a wall outlet. This is also the smart plug to buy if you want to monitor your energy usage. However, this is not the product for you if you're really not interested in HomeKit or buying a home hub like a HomePod mini or Apple TV. It's also not for you if the price tag seems too steep.
While I've certainly dabbled in home automation, Eve Energy was my first HomeKit-enabled product, and I love it. It does exactly what I need it to do. I've plugged a floor lamp into my Eve Energy smart plug and set it to turn on and off at specific times. It just works. While I'm not a compulsive energy consumption checker, it's nice to know that I can do so at any time. While I was "forced" (twist my arm, ok?) to buy a HomePod mini to use Eve Energy as it was intended, the whole setup was straightforward, and I've found it to be quite robust.
Bottom line: Dive right into using HomeKit with this easy-to-use and robust smart plug.