How to add Aqara accessories to HomeKit thanks to the Hub E1

You want get started with HomeKit or expand your home automation network without spending a lot of money? Well, we show you how to do it with Aqara and its Hub E1.

Aqara offers us a huge variety of HomeKit accessories at really affordable prices, with the only condition that you have to use one of its Hubs to make them compatible with Apple’s home automation network. Today we explain how to add a plug, a motion sensor, a temperature, humidity and air quality sensor and a configurable button, all through the affordable Hub E1. You will be surprised how easy it is and how little money you will have to invest.

Hub Aqara E1

This little device just a bit bigger than a USB stick is the key to adding all of our Aqara accessories to the HomeKit Home app. Made of white plastic, with a very discreet and articulated design, we can place it in the USB port on the back of our computer, TV or any device that has such a connection. All we need is for you to power it, so we don’t care where that port is. If we don’t have any available, a USB charger is also perfect.

This small receiver uses the Zigbee 3.0 protocol to connect to the rest of Aqara’s accessories, which means that it uses a low power consumption, stable and long range connection. You can link up to 128 Aqara devices to it, and all of them will automatically become compatible with HomeKit (also Google Assistant and Alexa). In addition, the great advantage of using this type of Hub is that by not connecting to your router, you are freeing up your WiFi network for other tasks, something that is always positive. The Hub E1 itself does connect to your WiFi network (2.4GHz) and the configuration process is very simple through the Aqara app (link), where they indicate all the steps not only to add it to the manufacturer’s own application but also to HomeKit. In the video you can see it in detail.

Add other accessories to the Hub E1

Once we have added the Aqara Hub to the Aqara app and HomeKit, we can start adding other Aqara accessories. The binding process is always the same: we must always use the Aqara application to add the accessory to the Hub, and it will automatically appear in HomeKit. In the video you can see how each and every one of the accessories that we analyze in this article is added, and you can verify that it is a very simple procedure in all cases.

Monitor TVOC

It is air quality, temperature and humidity sensor It is a small station that gives us all the necessary information to improve the comfort of our room. Its electronic ink screen is ideal to be able to see the information without having to resort to your mobile with a minimum energy consumption that means that with only two CR2450 batteries (replaceable) you can have more than a year of autonomy. It is so small that we can place it anywhere, and we can attach it to any metal surface thanks to the included magnetic sticker, or use conventional adhesive.

The button on the top of the device allows us to change the information displayed on the screen, there is not much else to control on the device. But the information it offers us is very useful, not only to know it but to be able to create automations based on that information, such as activating an exhaust fan when the air quality decreases in a bathroom, or activating a purifier in a room, etc.

Mini Switch

A home automation switch is a good idea to be able to perform actions without having to use your mobile or a virtual assistant. In this way you can turn on lights, turn them off, or execute other automations with a physical button, something that can be very convenient in certain situations or for those houses in which there are users who do not want or cannot use their mobile to carry out these tasks. Aqara offers us a switch with which you can execute three actions by pressing a simple button.

The Aqara Mini Switch is very small and has the appearance of a conventional switch. A single button is the one that will be in charge of executing the actions that you configure, either from the Aqara app itself or from the Casa app, as I show you in the video. You can configure three actions, depending on whether you press once, twice or three times. A simple CR2032 button battery will give you a range of up to two years (depending on how you use it). An adhesive is included in the box so you can stick it on any surface.

motion sensor P1

Aqara has updated its motion sensor maintaining its design but improving its performance. This new P1 sensor has an autonomy of up to 5 years, so you will completely forget when you put the old battery (2x CR2450) when you have to replace it. Its mission is to detect movements of any kind and execute actions with those movements.. It also includes a light sensor, so you can also use it to turn on the lights when the light in the room is not enough. All these automations can be configured in the Casa app or in the Aqara app, like the rest of the accessories. It is also a very interesting element to create your own alarm system at home.

Motion detection is angle and distance adjustable. We can choose a detection angle of 170º and 2 meters away, or 150º and 7 meters. We can also adjust three degrees of detection (low, medium and high) and we can also configure waiting times before being activated, from 1 to 200 seconds. The design of the sensor allows it to be placed on any surface thanks to the articulating foot that it includes and that we can place on the ceiling, wall or any other flat surface.

smart plug

The last accessory that we are going to add to our Hub E1 is a smart plug, a device that is always essential in any home automation system. A very compact design, adapted to European plugs and with a physical button that allows us to activate or deactivate it manually, this type of home automation accessories are ideal for control the switching on of electrical appliances such as coffee makers, purifiers, lamps, fans or water heaters. We can create automations so that they turn on or off at certain times, or when opening doors or when a detector is activated.

The plug has protection against overheating and overload, and in addition to controlling everything you plug into it, you will be able to know the energy consumption of what you have connected. You can plug in any device with a power of up to 2300W without any problem. It also has an LED on the front that informs you of the status.

Editor’s opinion

Bridges or Hubs are usually an element that users do not like because they represent an additional cost to the accessories that we want to add to our home automation network. Aqara, however, offers us a very affordable Hub with very good features, which also has the advantage that it allows us to add its brand accessories to HomeKit at affordable prices, and all this without saturating the WiFi connections of our router and with the stability and great reach of the Zigbee protocol. You can buy both the Hub E1 and the rest of the accessories on Amazon:

Source: Actualidad iPhone by

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