Tips, Tricks & Trends

What Is HomeLink?

As automotive technology grows more sophisticated, myriad other tech features integrate with it. Consumers with smart home systems want to connect their houses to their cars to make their lives even easier. One system allows you to do that easily. It comes built into vehicles from hundreds of automakers, including Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota. It’s also available as an aftermarket accessory.

It’s called HomeLink. The system has been around for decades, but not everyone knows what it is or how to use it. By utilizing it, you can access almost any smart home feature by pushing a button in your vehicle.

What exactly is HomeLink?

HomeLink is a wireless system that allows you to control various network items from your automobile. Using the HomeLink app, you can configure your home’s automated network and connect its features to integrated buttons found in the vehicle. By utilizing radio frequency (RF) and cloud-based technology, HomeLink allows you to remotely access your home’s smart systems. Much like accessing your iPhone while you drive, HomeLink taps into your home’s automation devices while you’re in the car.

One system you can integrate into your vehicle is your home’s security setup. If you’re away from your house and realize you forgot to turn on the alarm, you can easily do that from your car instead of returning home to do it manually. The same goes for interior and exterior lighting. When you arrive in the dark, you can turn on your lights before you even pull into your garage.

You can also set your HomeLink app to open and close your garage door when you’re leaving or coming home. The app can connect to almost all of the home’s smart systems of your choice to integrate into your automobile. HomeLink gives you three buttons, so you can program up to three devices to access remotely.

How does it work?

First, you have to program whichever devices you want to connect to from your vehicle. The HomeLink access buttons are located in one of three places, depending on your vehicle. Some automakers include the system’s controls in mid-to-higher-level trims. You can find HomeLink buttons in the rearview mirror, within a module located in the center ceiling console, or on the driver’s visor.

The system works with several automated devices in your home. Besides controlling the garage door and lights, you can also turn off appliances you might’ve forgotten you left on before leaving. And if your home or community has a gate, you can open and close it without getting out of your vehicle. Basically, the HomeLink system can access any RF-controlled equipment.

When you arrive home, you can push whichever buttons you need on the HomeLink control panel in your car. Those devices will automatically turn on or open as if you had used a remote control unit on them. You can then close or turn off the items when you no longer need them.

Where can you get HomeLink technology?

HomeLink says the system is located in “hundreds of vehicles.” So, you should be able to find many models with this technology.

One of the most popular vehicle brands out there is Chevrolet. If you search for these automobiles, you’ll find HomeLink in several model years of the Chevy Equinox, Corvette, and Silverado, to name just a few. You can also find it in older models if you’re shopping for a used vehicle.

Ford is another automotive company that’s popular among car, SUV, and truck consumers. You’ll be happy to know HomeLink is available in many of its vehicles, ranging from 2007 models all the way up to 2022. You’ll find it in the Edge, Expedition, Focus, Mustang, Taurus, and the perennially popular F-150 pickup.

It doesn’t stop with American-made vehicles either. The Japanese-based Toyota offers several models with the technology. You can get it with the Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Sienna, Tacoma, 4Runner, and even the Land Cruiser.

And if you want to add HomeLink to your existing car, you can purchase aftermarket modules or rearview mirrors for installation.

HomeLink technology offers a seamless way to integrate your home’s automated systems into your vehicle. You can quickly access your garage door opener, lighting, and even security system by pushing the corresponding button on your visor, console module, or rearview mirror.