Philips Hue Motion Sensor Review, Pros & Cons and Specs 2022

Philips Hue Motion Sensor Review, Pros & Cons and Specs 2022

THE BOTTOM LINE For Philips Hue Motion Sensor

Philips Hue Motion Sensor PROS

Easy to install
Controls up to three rooms
Works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant

Philips Hue Motion Sensor CONS

Requires a bridge
Doesn’t trigger Hue Smart Plug

Philips Hue Motion Sensor Review

The Philips Hue motion sensor will turn on the Hue light bulb when it detects motion and works with devices connected to your Alexa, Google, or HomeKit smart home system.

The Philips Hue Motion Sensor ($39.99) is designed for indoor usage and will turn your Hue smart lights on when it detects motion and off after a certain time of inactivity. This small, battery-powered sensor installs in minutes and allows you to control up to three Hue-lit rooms. You’ll need a Hue Bridge to use it and it can only control your Hue lights directly, but you can make routines to work with devices like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant connected to the smart home ecosystem, with functionality beyond just light bulbs.

Small and Easy to Install

The Philips Hue Motion Sensor is a white plastic box that measures 2.1 x 2.1 x 1.1 inches (HWD) and weighs just 0.14 pounds. The front has a circular motion sensor lens, an ambient light sensor, and an LED status indicator that flashes orange during setup, green when the sensor is detected, and a short orange when the battery is low. It flashes and a long time flashes red. Flashing when it loses connection to the bridge. Around the back is a reset button and a circular mounting base.

You can mount the sensor on the wall or place it on any flat surface. It runs on two AAA batteries that can be replaced by unscrewing the screws on the back of the device and opening the back panel. Box includes sensor, 2 pre-installed AAA batteries, installation guide, wall mount and mounting screws.

The Philips Hue Motion Sensor requires a Hue Bridge to control the Hue lights. It uses Zigbee wireless technology to communicate with the bridge, and lights up when turned on. It won’t control third-party devices like cameras and sirens, nor activate Hue smart plugs, but it does work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit automation platforms, so you get sensors that can create routines. Turn on devices connected to one of these services. For example, you can program the sensor to turn on an Alexa-controlled smart plug.

Like all Hue devices, the sensor uses the Hue Mobile app for Android and iOS. The home screen has control panels for all the rooms in your house that use Hue lighting, but you won’t find the sensor here. Alternatively, use the Settings icon at the bottom of the screen and select Set Up Extension from the Settings screen. Here you will find the motion sensor board with the on/off switch and the name of the sensor. Click the panel to assign the sensor to the lights in a specific room (up to three rooms can be selected) or to control all of your Hue lights.

The Daytime Behavior setting can be configured to operate during a specified period of time during daylight hours. If the sensor detects there is enough light, it will not turn on the lights. The Night Behavior setting allows you to specify a period of time during which the sensor will turn on the lights. Both settings allow you to select the color or white temperature the light will use on startup, and you can set each light to automatically turn off or return to its original state and color after a specified period of time. Advanced settings allow you to adjust daylight sensitivity (the amount of light required to operate the high beams) and motion sensitivity (the amount of motion required to operate the sensor).

Fast and Accurate Motion Detection

Setting up the Philips Hue Motion Sensor is easy. I opened the Hue app, tapped Settings at the bottom of the home screen, chose Device Setup, and tapped Add Extensions. I selected the Hue Motion Sensor from the menu and followed the onscreen instructions to remove the plastic battery tab from the device and check that the LED indicator is flashing. Within seconds, the app found the sensor and automatically added it to my list of Hue and Alexa devices. I clicked continue setup to select a room in which the sensor will be installed, placed the sensor on a shelf in the room, and the installation is complete.

In the test, the Philips Hue Motion Sensor performed flawlessly. I set it up to turn on my dining room light when motion was detected and it worked as intended. Then I configured it to turn the light on red and resume its previous setting of white light after three minutes, and that also worked without a hitch.

Using the Alexa mobile app, I created a routine to turn on external smart components for iDevices and tell Alexa to say “welcome home” when motion is detected, and it works every time.

Make Hue Lights Smarter

The Philips Hue motion sensor makes sense for anyone who already uses Hue lights in their smart home. Your lights will flash when it detects motion, and it’s smart enough to know when the lights aren’t going on if there’s enough daylight. And while it doesn’t directly interact with third-party smart home devices like security cameras and smart plugs, you can create actions for Alexa, Google Assistant, or HomeKit that activate products connected to those platforms. So while it’s an acceptable device, it’s easy to recommend if you find its introduction attractive.

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