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Christmas Gift Guide

Last week, Apple released iOS 10. Included in the update was a new app called Home, which finally gave Apple's fractured HomeKit platform a central, unifying interface.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

So we took the last week to integrate Home with over 50 accessories at the CNET Smart Home, set up and test over a dozen automations and scenes, and generally turn this beautiful space "smart."

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The first task was integrating Home with window shades.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The CNET Smart Home has a lot of open spaces with good natural light, so we installed 12 smart shades to control with Home.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

These smart shades from Lutron can cooperate with any other devices connected to Home. For instance, I connected one smart switch to all the shades, so I could open all the shades upstairs with one button press.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You can also control the shades using Siri. That includes specific commands, and using them as part of larger scenes.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The next project was connecting all of our lights to HomeKit via the Home app.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Because there were so many light fixtures in the home, we relied heavily on smart switches to control standard bulbs.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET

With 23 connected Lutron in-wall switches and remotes so far, both installing and connecting lights to the Home app definitely took the most time.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

We've also used a couple smart plugs, like the iDevices Switch, for lamps with particular stylized bulbs.

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Finally, we've installed 10 Philips Hue bulbs so far -- four white light and six color-changing. These are great fits for lamps and rooms where changing colors or color temperatures are a cool extra feature.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

We also installed the new Apple TV in the living room. It allows for remote Siri control of the house -- so I can lock the doors while I'm driving to the office if I forgot to do it before leaving.

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You can also control any of the Home-connected devices through Siri on the Apple TV. Just hold the remote to your mouth and talk to her like usual.

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We also connected this recent addition to the smart home: the Beddi Smart Alarm Clock.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET

The scenes you set up in the Home app can be toggled with single button presses on the device. That means at bedtime, punching a single button could lock your doors, turn off all the lights, and close your shades.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET

Finally, we've installed three August Smart Locks at the CNET Smart Home -- and connected all three to Home. Now you can lock and unlock the doors with simple voice commands.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

One cool feature with August control is that you still have to authenticate yourself on the iPhone before Siri will control your locks for you. It's a nice added safety feature.

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With over 50 gadgets connected to Apple's Home, we're just getting started. Check out our thoughts on the process of setting up all these gadgets.

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