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I have a bunch of Homekit devices (some plugs and lightbulbs), and they're all happily configured in the Home app on my iPhone (14.1). Periodically (daily), some of them will stop being responsive in Home and just say "Not Responding". This will happen on multiple iPhones in the house, not just mine. Typically it'll clear up later in the day several hours later.

However, the devices are always just fine using either the vendor app on the same iPhone, or using the Home app on my Mac.

I've tried killing the app to make it refresh, to no avail.

All devices have been upgraded to latest firmware. All iOS and macOS devices are on the latest OS releases.

Devices are:

Yeelight bulbs Wemo plugs VOCOlinc plugs

Wifi signal in the areas they're in is strong, and they're controllable just fine if I don't use the Home app, so it's not a signal issue either.

Any other tips or tricks?

It's pretty irritating to have scenes only half work when a bunch of the devices just fail to respond.

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  • Whatkind of devices are we talking about specifically? - Is it Ikea Tradfri? (known problems)
    – jksoegaard
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 9:30
  • @jksoegaard - good question, and I added them to the question
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 13:33

1 Answer 1

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The solution is to get a device to act as a HomeKit Hub like a spare iPad, an AppleTV or a HomePod speaker.

I was experiencing this same issue until I got an AppleTV and used that as my Hub. Once that device was on the network continually "talking" to the devices, they never "stopped responding" again. I'm using more "mainstream" devices like Leviton, Lutron, GE, and Phillips. I even had some of the newer brands like Weemo and Yeelight as you did, but found them even more flaky. I have Ikea in the house, none of it has an electrical cord (there's only so much compromise I'm going to make and devices with 120V of mains current running through it isn't one of them).

It's not how strong or weak your WiFi is nor is how often you refresh your apps - it's how frequent (infrequent actually) it sends out traffic to update the Apps. If you're app on your phone misses it, it see's it as not responding. I could usually fix it by issuing a command, having it fail, wait a couple minutes and the device would then become responsive. When I put the first AppleTV in, the issue completely went away.

My advice is two fold:

  • Implement a Hub device
  • Stick to more conventional brands.

iPad 3rd Gen or later, iPad Air or later, iPad mini or later, AppleTV HD or 4K, or HomePod is required to act as a home hub.

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  • Ah, great, thank you. I bought some Lutron switches, but was holding off installing them, as that's a bit of work if they end up being so flaky. And, I'm waiting on a Homepod Mini to act as a hub.
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 19:38
  • My wireless is pretty strong everywhere, I have a bunch of Ubiqiti APs around the house, no issues there.
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 19:42
  • Wemo is Belkin - they're pretty big, and the Yeelight were wirecutter's recommendation (and I generally trust WC totally). With electronics I typically trust the higher-tech brands above the typical old-school electrical brands. Electronics vs Electrics here.
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 19:43
  • Same here. Ubiquiti and pfSense. For the HomeKit it's Leviton and Lutron (mostly) with some GE sprinkled in. I just started with some Phillips Hue and I find that they work best with their hubs directly wired in. I used to be a fan of Belink..then they went too cheap (IMO) to increase profits. Plus, I have this thing with companies and their "skill set" in a market. Leviton makes electrical switches where Belkin makes cheap accessories. Who do I want controlling the electrical switches in my house?
    – Allan
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 19:43
  • FWIW, adding this in case - the Yeelight bulbs would never stay connecting to HomeKit for more than 24hours. The Wemo and Vocolinc bulbs and plugs work very well.
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 3:28

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