HomeKit noob question

So, up front, I’m a noob and haven’t even installed OpenHAB yet, but I’ve very interested. But, it wasn’t clear what the capability of the HomeKit binding was, so…

I have a mostly HomeKit enabled smart home (a bunch of Leviton switches, Elgato stuff, Eve stuff, etc.) and a few “other” (Nest, August, etc.). I like the Home app and am mostly happy with it, so using Siri to drive OpenHAB is not particularly interesting (though possibly useful).

But, there are a lot of Automations that are not currently possible within the Home app, and obviously the Home app cannot talk to these non HomeKit devices. So, what I would like to do is build automations within OpenHAB that drive actions on HomeKit Things and control the non-HomeKit Things in concert with these automations. Can this binding do this? I think so, but wanted confirmation. What I mostly see is “Use Siri to drive OpenHAB Things” comments. Thanks.


The homekit binding allows you to map openhab Items to virtual homekit Services. Unfortunately, the list of supported services is very short. It also doesn’t provide any way to control the non-openhab devices. It’s really just a way to allow homekit to control openhab, which isn’t what you want.

The way I got around this was to use NodeRed’s homekit binding instead of OpenHAB’s. It supports many more service types. Of particular note is the ProgramableStatelessSwitch. Homekit sees it as a button, which you can assign automations to. Create bunch, throw them in an unused room, and wire them up. Then when you want to activate those automations, have openhab send a signal to nodered to “push” the virtual button. You can kind of do the same thing without nodered by creating dummy Items, assigning them to homekit switches, and setting up a rule to immediately turn the switch back off when it’s turned on so it acts like a button.

This is all still a one-way flow though. It’ll give you a way to control homekit devices from openhab, but not see their state. I haven’t found a good way around that yet other than moving all devices to openhab and creating virtual copies in nodered for homekit. As someone who’s in the process of doing just that, getting colortemp bulbs working right is the most surprisingly complicated task. Everything else has been straightforward (once you wrap your head around nodered).

Of course if your devices support multiple pairings none of this is necessary. Just pair to both homekit and openhab.

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Bummer. Thanks for the very complete and responsive (and quick) answer!