Review: Philips Hue Motion Sensor
Are you "all-in" on Philips Hue smart LED lighting? The new Hue Motion Sensor lets you activate and control Philips Hue lighting in new and unexpected ways.
The Hue Motion Sensor is a tiny, battery-operated device that communicates back to the Philips Hue Bridge via the ZigBee protocol. It has an ambient light sensor on-board to prevent activation of lights during times when additional light is not needed, and you can adjust its sensitivity via the Hue app in addition to the sensitivity of the motion sensor. The sensor detects motion in a 100 degree field-of-view at a range of up to approximately 16 feet.
The sensor can be placed on any flat surface, attached to a wall or metal surfaces via the included magnetic mounting kit. And, while we had a bit of fun in imagining just where you could place Hue Motion Sensor, it truly can be located just about anywhere! ;-)
An update to the official Hue app debuts new functionality for the sensor, and setup is very easy. Once connected to your Philips Hue Bridge, you can adjust all of the parameters of the motion sensor, including time-out when no motion is detected and whether to shut lights off at that point or to "do nothing."
Two time periods for "Day" and "Night" are available that allow you to customize the behavior of what the Hue Motion Sensor does. In combination with setting the correct ambient light sensitivity (referred to as Daylight Sensitivity in the app), these two periods let you add more light to your home when you need it, and prevent stumbling around in the dark if you wake up in the middle of the night.
Each Hue Motion Sensor supports control of up to 3 rooms of Hue lighting, with independent activation of a scene per room. Up to 12 "control accessories", such as, such as Hue Tap and the Hue Dimmer Switch, and including the Hue Motion Sensor, can be connected to a single Philips Hue Bridge. Two AAA batteries are included with the motion sensor and are user-replaceable, with an approximate 3-year life according to Philips. The sensor is not specifically made for outdoor use, but it is rated IP 42, which can withstand dripping water but not necessarily extreme temperatures. Use outdoors with care.
Currently, with the current firmware release, the Hue Motion Sensor will only activate lights connected to the Philips Hue Bridge. We tried to extend a scene with HomeKit and add more "things" to it elsewhere, but when the scene was activated via motion detection, only the lights connected to the Hue bridge responded. Also, the sensor cannot currently act as a security device to alert a user of activity at one's home while they are away. While the Philips Hue ecosystem of devices can be updated via the app, there's no indication of future functionality additions for the Hue Motion Sensor at this time.
Our verdict: The Hue Motion Sensor is a great addition to any Philips Hue system, but especially for those who have made it a large part of their smarter home. It is very fast to respond, easy to place nearly anywhere and can be updated via the app in the future for potential new functionality.
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Disclosure: Philips provided the Hue Motion Sensor to Smarter Home Life for this review.