Getting Tapo Smart Plug to work on Apple Home and Siri (non-Matter version)
One of the easiest way to upgrade your home devices to be smart is to get a bunch of Wifi smart plugs to be able to remotely control them. I’ve used TP-Link’s Kasa as they are relative cheap and have proven to be quite reliable. Recently, TP-Link seems to have shifted the smart devices focus to the Tapo brand instead. The Kasa series is quite hard to find in Singapore now. Of course I have to get the TP-Link Tapo smart plug to work on Apple Home and Siri as well!
Wait. TP-Link has recently started to support Matter as well. So why get the non-matter versions? For one, I can’t seem to find the Matter versions where I live as of today. Also, I’ve already been using Homebridge to support all sorts of non-Apple HomeKit devices to work with Apple Home. Thus, why go for something more expensive when the cheaper non-Matter ones.🙂
First, set up the Tapo Smart Plug on the Tapo app
Setting up the TP-Link Tapo Smart Plugs are relatively easy. Just plug them into the socket and then follow the instructions on the Tapo app. When setting up the Tapo app, it will ask you to create a TP-Link account. Unfortunately this account is required. Tip: To protect yourself, you can use Apple iCloud+ Hide My Email feature when creating this account.
Once you set it up, go to the device settings and grab the IP addresses of the smart plugs. We will need it to setup the Tapo smart plugs to work on Apple Home via Homebridge.
Use Homebridge to get the Tapo Smart Plug to work on Apple Home
Homebridge is the way to get all this working. I’ve used Homebridge support the TP-Link Kasa smart plugs, some cheap Orvibo smart plugs, and also running custom command scripts to turn on my Media PC. I run my Homebridge server on a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. The requirements for Homebridge is relatively low so even the older Raspberry Pi 2 would suffice. The easiest way to get this up and running is to get the official Homebridge image for Raspeberry Pi.
Once you have Hombridge running, click on the Plugins section and search for the “Tapo” plugin. You should find one that is a Homebridge Verified plugin called TPLink Tapo. Install that plugin.
Once installed, click on the SETTINGS link of the plugin to configure it. The configuration is self-explanatory as you can see from the screenshot below.
Once configured, you just need to restart Homebridge by clicking on the icon that looks like a power button on the top right of the GUI. As soon as it’s restarted, Homebridge will login to the Tapo servers and retrieve the smart plug details as required to allow it to control it on the Home app. You should also find the new smart plugs as you’ve named it on the Tapo app on the list of devices on Homebridge.
Tapo Smart Plugs on Apple Home
If you have the Tapo smart plugs working on Homebridge, it’s practically done and should already be showing up on your Apple Home app.
By default, the smart plug will first show up on the Apple Home app as a Switch. You can change it from the Accessory Details screen and change it to show itself as a Lamp, Fan or remain as a Power Point.
And if it’s on Apple Home app, it will now work with Apple Siri across the whole Apple ecosystem, including your Macs and HomePods. This is a much better way to get it working compared to the Apple Shortcuts approach which is localised to where the Tapo app is installed.
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