Philips Hue Motion Sensor (Indoor) Review 2021


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For your interior motion sensor lights, the Philips Hue Compatible Smart motion sensor is one of the interesting picks to turn on your indoor motion lights automatically when movement is detected. In addition to being a wireless and battery-powered motion sensor, the Philips Hue motion sensor is also a ZigBee certified device. It joins the list of ZigBee technology put into smart home devices.

It is a compact device, which can be placed or mounted on any stable solid surface.

It has a particular uniqueness because it can be also positioned on any magnetic surface using its magnetic screw knob. The magnetic mount means that you can be more precise on the angle you want to position it. The use of the knob or wall mount is optional as you can simply set the sensor on any stable surface as well and it will work just fine.

The accompanying Philips Hue app offers many functionalities, which allows you to customize the sensor according to your needs. For instance, you can choose which room or rooms to be activated when motion is detected. You can specify what actions to be taken and at what time the sensor should be active. If more than one room is programmed, different actions can be taken for each of them. There are also daytime and nighttime customization as well as the sensitivity of daylight motion.

The Philips Hue Motion Sensor is only compatible with Hue light bulbs and has to be connected to the Hue Bridge/Hub for it to function appropriately.

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Unboxing the Philips Hue Motion Sensor

Philips Hue Motion Sensor box contents

User Manual In the package is a multi-language user manual and details on how to set up the sensor. A second manual has warnings and cautions regarding the product.  

Fixtures Included in the box are some fixtures for mounting the motion sensor to the wall. There is also a very strong magnet and if you just put the screw fixtures directly through, it will fit on the wall. Then you can get your sensor and it will just hold on to it. The magnet is really good, it does not drop it in any way and you can angle it slightly if you need to.  

Motion Sensor In terms of size, the motion sensor comes in just under 5 1/2 cm, either way, thickness wise it is 2cm. It looks nice and compact. On it, we have a light sensor, a PIR motion sensor, and an LED light. There is a setup button behind the sensor if you need to reset it. In doing this, just stick a pin into the tiny hole there to reset the sensor. At the back of the sensor is a screw that you can loosen to open the back of the sensor, revealing the batteries, which you can change as needed. The sensor also has a plastic covering, which if you pull out, the battery comes alive and then you can set it up.  

Features of the Philips Hue Compatible Motion Sensor

ZigBee Certified: With the use of ZigBee, you do not need the aid of WiFi or Bluetooth for the motion sensor to connect to its hub and work. ZigBee certification of this device puts it up with the other ZigBee certified products in the market, which is a plus in smart home devices.

Batteries: The Philips hue compatible motion sensor is powered by two AAA batteries. The included batteries can last for two to three years.   

Size: The Philips hue compatible motion sensor is pretty compact. This feature is key because, for a device that is made to detect motion, it should be small to fit in strategic spots without appearing to disorganize the look of a room.  

Philips Hue sensor

Motion Sensor Range and Sensitivity

The Philips Hue motion sensor has a motion sensitivity of about 16.4 feet (5 meters). There are two sensors on the front of the device. One sensor is for detecting motion and the second is for detecting how much light is in a room (brightness). For instance, if it is a really bright day, you can set the sensitivity not to turn on your light bulb when it is bright.

Note that the Philips Hue motion sensor uses infrared so it does rely on the amount of light in the room to be effective.

The motion sensor has a view angle of 100 degrees. Included in the box are two screws and an anchor. This is available just in case you want to wall-knot it and depending on where you want to put it. For this purpose, the bracket to which it attaches is magnetic.

Philips Hue sensor screws

The bracket is magnetic for two reasons. First, it is really convenient when you want to attach it to something like your fridge. The second is the ability to adjust it almost anywhere you want. Essentially, you have a lot of freedom to adjust as you want and there is no fear of it falling at all. I think this is a really simple but genius idea by Philips.

The Philips Hue App

The Philips Hue App is where you set up everything. Here, you can control and make adjustments. The features are more than you might expect for a simple device. You can rename the device, you can pair it with any Philips light bulb you want, you can decide what time of the day it should begin to detect motion and you can decide what color output of the bulb or maybe the brightness output.

Pairing and Installation of the Hue Compatible Motion Sensor From your Android phone or iPhone, activate the hue app. Select “Settings” and choose “Accessories set up”. Select the “Add accessories” option and choose “Hue motion sensor”. The app will then search for your motion sensor. Ensure you have placed the battery properly into the device; the blinking light indicates functionality. Allow the search to be completed and your app and sensor are paired.

Setting and Customization of the Hue App

Once your sensor has paired with the app, you can make changes to areas such as the room where the motion sensor will be used and its settings. You can rename the sensor, change the room it is associated with and carry out other customizations according to your preference.

The first thing you need to do after paring the app and the sensor is to create a room for the sensor, which you do by clicking on the “Create room” button.

Next name the room, e.g. Bedroom. You will also need to select an icon for the room you created. Thereafter, choose the lights that you want to control in a room. The app selects all light by default. Click the arrow on the top right corner to save your changes and the room is created.

To make further customization, click on the room you want to reconfigure. Looking down you can see “Day behavior”.

There is an option, which says “Between and after.” Here, you indicate how you want the motion sensor to behave during the specified time. For instance, you may want the light to be bright and to switch off after 10 minutes. You have the freedom to set the timing as you wish.

There is “Night Behavior” as well with which you can instruct the sensor on how to behave during the specified nighttime, e.g. from 10 pm to 6 am. For instance, you might specify the time you want a room to be dimmed and how long the light in a room should be on before the sensor switches it off. These functionalities give you a lot of control in deciding how you want to use the sensor.

Further down, there is the “Advanced settings” option, which you use to customize your sensor further.

Daylight sensitivity: Based on your current measure of daylight, you can adjust this setting so that motion will not trigger the light in the room.

Motion sensitivity: If your lights turn on too easily you can lower the sensitivity. If your lights do not turn on easily enough, you can raise the sensitivity. The “Enable Sensor” option allows you to disable it when you have to reset. There is also a delete option.

The app has the same options for iPhones. The configuration method follows exactly the same way to set up as well. There is no difference from the Android app, so you can follow these same steps. However, you need a Philips hue hub/bridge and a light bulb for it to work.


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Pros of the Philips Hue Compatible Motion Sensor

Let us now consider some of the features of the Philips Hue sensor motion that makes it a great choice for many homes.

Compact: The motion sensor build is nice and strong, and the size is just cute. Its compact nature is quite nice, which means it is neither intrusive nor detracts from the decor.

Magnetic adjustable base: The base for adjustment of the position of the motion sensor is quite cool. It is a simple and smart concept. You would not have to worry that the joint areas may become stiff or break off one day. This is because there are no joints, just a magnet.

Easy to set up: Setting up the hue compatible motion sensor is quite straightforward and simple. Just pair it with the app. Many options are available for use to fit your preference.

Range: The 16.4 feet (5 meters) range is a very good range of sensitivity. To detect movement from that distance can only be a plus.

Battery life: Two to three years is a significant time to use a motion sensor battery. This keeps you off the thought of having to worry about battery changes at intervals.

Allows light sensitivity adjustments: The motion sensor light sensitivity adjustment is a good one too. In certain weather, seasons and even periods of the day, it comes in quite handy.

Allow motion sensitivity adjustments: The motion sensitivity is quick and responsive.

Cons of the Philips Hue Compatible Motion Sensor

A major gripe about Philips Hue motion sensor is that it cannot turn off until 30 seconds of no motion. Though it may seem a bit insignificant, as it does not affect the performance of this device in any way, a shorter turn off time would have been a simply good addition to it.

Only works with hue bulbs: This makes it a bit limited. For a motion sensor, being able to use it with other light bulbs would have made it more flexible.

No bracket to a narrow view of sensor: Due to the detection sensitivity range, it can pick up things around the perimeter that are not intended to pick up. If a bracket were created to block off those areas that do not need to be scanned, it would be nice.

Other Hue Compatible Motion Sensors

One of the very few Hue compatible motion sensors is the Ikea Trådfri motion sensor, which will work on a Hue bridge. However, you need to know that there is no possibility to configure the Ikea Motion sensor because it does not appear on the hue app when it is connected to the Hue Bridge. This means that you cannot make any sort of change to the light colors, daylight sensitivity and all. Customization remains very limited. So, the simplest step to handle this would be to go ahead and buy a Philips Hue motion sensor.