Why push a button when your lighting can work completely automatically? One way to achieve this with smart lighting is with a motion sensor. Philips provide one in their Hue range, and we've now installed one into our Kitchen. Read on for how we got on with setup!
Motion sensors can be a great way to deliver automation, especially as part of a smart home. For smart lighting, the advantage is obvious; lights that come on automatically when you walk into a room, or area of your home.
Philips have their own motion sensor that is part of the Hue range, and after unboxing it in my previous article 'Philips Hue to the Kitchen & Beyond', we now have it setup in the Kitchen.
Setup was a snap. First, we chose a location for the sensor in the corner of the room, and screwed the magnetic bumper into the end of a cupboard located there. You can then magnetically attach the sensor. Due to the magnetic nature of the attachment mechanism, you can easily adjust the angle the sensor 'sits' on the bumper. This lets you aim the sensor into your room, and is superior in this regard to using a sticky pad.
To configure, you first launch the Hue app, go to the accessories screen under settings, and tap the 'plus' icon to add an accessory. Choose Hue Motion Sensor, and let the app walk you through detection and setup. Once the motion sensor has been discovered, you're free to set your configuration (all of which can be changed later of course). Here, Philips Hue have thought things through nicely, and you have various useful settings to choose from;
Two Different time slots: You might want a different reaction to motion during different times. At night for example you might want the lighting to come on at a lower level. So, two slots can be configured. Just set the times, and the scenes. There's even a 'do nothing' option if you want.
Auto Off: You can configure the lights to go back off again after a time period from between 1 and 60 minutes. There's a 'do nothing' option here if you'd prefer to turn lights off manually.
Daylight sensitivity: If you'd prefer the lights didn't come on if there's already plenty of light coming through the window, you can configure daylight sensitivity via a slider.
Motion sensitivity: Want to adjust motion sensitivity? You can choose Low, Medium, or High.
There are even more options available thanks to a variety of recipes on Hue Labs. You can link sensors together, add a third time slot, and more. I may cover off some of this in a future post.
The sensor works really well. The field of detection appears to be nice and broad, and picks up motion the moment we enter our kitchen, switching the lights on for us. The auto-off feature works as advertised, and the default daylight sensitivity works well for us.
I already find this whole setup useful. If you're walking into the kitchen after dark, and have your hands full with plates, having the lights come on automatically is rather helpful! So far the sensor has been reliable, and I can confidently state that it seems to fall under the 'it just works' category.
I'll report back on our experience with this over time. One thing I'm keen to let you know is how long the battery lasts. For now though, I'm glad we chose to get one, it's been a good addition to our setup.