What are smart motion sensors?

Close-up of Hive Window or Door Sensor attached to a bright red door with a white painted wall adjacent to the door on the left

When reading up on smart home tech, it’s easy to focus on the big hitters like smart thermostats and smart alarms. As a result, products like smart motion sensors often get overlooked. But this multi-talented marvel is at the heart of so much of what a smart home can do. Just as smart speakers are often referred to as the ears of a smart home, motion detectors are the eyes – connecting your tech together so it can work seamlessly around you.

So, in this article we’re going to lift the lid on smart motion sensors, and give them the attention they deserve.

How do smart motion sensors work?

A smart motion sensor lets you know when there’s movement in your home. Using infrared technology, it monitors the surroundings and sends a notification to your smartphone when motion is detected.

How much do smart motion detectors cost?

One of the great things about smart movement sensors is their price. Different brands obviously charge slightly different amounts but generally they’re a low-cost way to build up your smart home.

How is a smart motion sensor installed?

Another thing we love about smart motion sensors is they’re super easy to set up.

With a Hive Motion Sensor, you place it on a surface or stick it to the wall with the adhesive tape supplied. Pair it with the Hive Hub, add it to the Hive app and you’re all set. It’s compact, wireless and has a long-lasting battery.

What are the benefits of using smart motion sensors?

There are lots of great benefits to using movement sensors around the home.

1. Get your home working seamlessly around you

Sensors make your other smart tech even smarter: you can link up a motion sensor for lights, heating or plugs and suddenly things start working automatically.

Connecting your sensor to your other smart devices is easy to do. In Hive’s case, it’s all done through Hive Actions in the Hive app.

For example, you could set up an action so that when you leave in the morning, your heating and lights will automatically turn off.

2. A smart way to beef up your home security

Smart motion sensors are also a really simple way to improve your home security, giving you extra peace of mind when you’re out.

Attach a sensor to common entry points around your home, like the back door and hallway. Set up a schedule using your smart home app so they’ll only turn on when you’re out. Then if it picks up on any movement, you’ll get an alert straight away.

3. Know what’s happening at home

Keeping you in the know about what’s happening at home is also really useful for everyday things. Like making sure the kids are home from school on time. Or the dog walker has arrived.

4. Save energy

Smart motion sensors are also a simple way to save on your energy bills as they make it really easy to make sure devices are only on when they’re in use.

For instance, if your children are prone to leaving their bedroom lights on you can pop a sensor in their doorway and it will automatically turn the lights off as they leave.

What are the different types of smart motion sensors?

The most common type of sensor is a smart motion sensor (or WiFi motion sensor, as they’re also known). These can be used anywhere in your home. But there are also a few other types of smart sensor it’s worth exploring.

Firstly, a window and door sensor which fixes straight onto your window or door. No surprises there. They’re great for security as you’ll get an instant alert if one of them is opened. But it’s also a time saver. For instance, before you head out you can quickly check all your windows are closed from the app on your phone, rather than dashing about checking each individual one.

How do motion sensors work with other smart home devices?

One of the best things about motion sensors is that it’s really easy to link them up to other smart home devices and get your home working seamlessly around you (which is a fancy way of saying it can do lots of little jobs, leaving you more time to get on with the good stuff).

In Hive’s case, this is all done through Hive Actions in the Hive app. All you need to do is tell it the ‘when’, the ‘while’ and the ‘then’. For example, when I walk into the sitting room, while it’s dark outside, then turn on the lights and adjust the heating.

It doesn’t cost anything and it’s easy to set up.

What are the best spots for a smart motion sensor in the home?

With so many different uses there are lots of different spots for sensors. Here are some of our favourites.

1. The hallway

A sensor positioned by the front door is useful for security. But it’s also a great way to get things exactly how you like them as soon as you’re home.

So when you walk in from work, you could program it to turn on certain lights around the house and your smart thermostat to adjust the temperature by a few degrees.

2. The sitting room

A motion sensor in your sitting room is really handy if you want greater control over how you heat the room.

If you link it to your smart thermostat, next time you’re having a quiet night-in the sensor will pick this up and the heating will continue to run until you’ve left the room.

3. The kitchen

A sensor positioned by the kitchen door is a great way to cut down on some of those everyday chores.

Schedule a sensor to trigger the smart plug on your coffee maker each morning and you’ll have freshly brewed coffee without having to lift a finger.

You could even get it to turn on your oven (just remember you still need to put your food in it!)

4. The landing

If you, or your children, often wake up at night needing the loo, then a smart sensor outside the bedroom could avoid all that fumbling for the light switch.

Link it to a smart light in the bathroom. Programme the light to a dim glow at night and it should help everyone get back to bed with minimum disruption.

Find out more about the benefits of smart home technology at Discover Hive.

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