Is anyone aware of a HomeKit enabled device which exposes a control element/button in the Home app which allows you to cycle through modes (each click changes a "mode" - whatever mode means for the particular device)? I'm trying to find out whether this kind of button/control exists in HomeKit/Home app to build a device that exposes such a button.


Here is what I am referring to. The image shows 2 controls (a slider and a switch). I require the switch to have more than two states. Does anyone know if there is a device that exposes such a behaviour to Homekit?

enter image description here

  • Welcome to Ask Different. You might need to make this narrower. Ask on a DIY or hardware site and once you have a working kit, then refine here. I could see a general, how can I tell if hardware X works with HomeKit being open here for answers if you don’t have a start yet on which hardware you will choose to work with.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 13:44
  • Ok, I refined the question. Please check, comment and possibly re-open it. I'm faced with kind of a chicken egg problem here. I don't know how the hardware should behave in order for it to appear in Home.
    – orange
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 0:30
  • thanks for sending me in the right direction with your review.
    – orange
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 3:16
  • The only think I know is open source homebridge but then you can do anything - raspberry pi and arduino have relays and all sorts of interfaces. instructables.com/id/… Maybe you’re looking for a commercial product?
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 15:16
  • A homebridge example would be great as their configuration is mimicking an actual HomeKit device. I just need to know the configuration (or an actual device) which exposes such a button (so I know which kind of service/characteristic etc to implement in my custom device).
    – orange
    Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 2:47

2 Answers 2


Not a complete answer, but here's a list of all accessory service types supported in Apple HomeKit. This defines the entire scope of possibilities in the Home app.


The accessory categories are:

  • Light
  • Power and Switches
  • Air Quality and Smoke Detection
  • Temperature and Humidity
  • Windows
  • Water
  • Locks and Openers
  • Safety and Security
  • Video and Audio
  • Information

However, I am not familiar enough with the HomeKit ADK to fully answer your question.

  • Is any of these accessories appearing as a multi state switch in the Home App?
    – orange
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 23:55

In most cases, custom modes in smart home applications are simply linked to the slider position of the fan speed or light brightness, which are then mapped to discrete values for different modes. For instance, you might use a range of 0-10 for mode 1, 11-20 for mode 2, and so on.

As an example, consider a custom vacuum robot plugin in a HomeKit environment. It can utilize a fan accessory where the fan speed slider at zero typically means to turn the vacuum off and instruct the robot to return to its charging station. When the slider is set to 100%, it might activate turbo mode, while 10% could represent a silent mode, and so forth. This mapping of slider positions to different modes provides users with a user-friendly way to control and customize the device's behavior.

Additionally, many smart devices allow you to combine multiple accessory characteristics into a single device, as shown in your screenshot.

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