Philips Hue Motion Sensor Review for Stair Lighting Home Automation

Philips hue motion sensor stairs
Picture credit Philips Hue

As soon as the Philips Hue Motion Sensor was announced, we waited patiently for the day we could get our hands on one.

Why? We needed full home automation control of our Hue LED lights, throughout our home and stairs. With 3 small children who struggled to reach a light switch we wanted them to be able to walk to the toilet or kitchen at night, and not get scared of the dark.

Philips Hue Motion Detector review

philips hue stair lighting home automation

This was an amazing product. We had the motion sensor mounted upstairs and at least 15m away from the Hue Bridge 2.0, with no problems with dropouts or disconnects.

It was simple to set up and control all of our room lights that had a mixture of Philip Hue light strips, Globes, Downlights, and my favorite TV back-lit Blooms.

We had it set up to control our Philips Hue Stair Lighting project, and the motion detector was able to activate the light strips within 1/2 second of the motion being detected. This was in the highest motion setting.

stairs motion detector Philips hue review

It correctly kept to the trigger times set up in the Hue app. For example, we didn’t want the lights to come on between 7 am and 7 pm. But you could still override the lights using the Hue App or another 3rd party Google play store app like “Hue Pro.” 

How to Setup Philips Hue Motion Sensor

You must follow these procedures to set Up the Hue Motion detector correctly

Remove the plastic battery tab on the Hue Motion sensor. That engages the battery.  Once that’s done, wait a few seconds and confirm that you see an orange LED slowly blinking. Check if the Orange LED is Blinking. If not press the setup button on the rear for One second. Searching can take up to 3 minutes.

Open the Philips Hue App on Android or IOS Go to Settings by clicking on the settings gear icon in the top-left corner of the screen.

philips hue motion sensor settings

Tapping on the hue settings gear icon in the top-left corner of the screen will bring up your setting screen. Here you can set up items like:

  • Room Setup – Lounge, Dining, Bedrooms, etc
  • Light Setup
  • Accessory Setup like dimmer, motion detectors.
  • Hue Bridges Linked

Select “Accessory Setup for Philip Hue Motion Detector.” Tap on the round plus button down in the bottom-right corner, to add in your new hue motion sensor

philips hue accessory setup

Select “Hue motion sensor”.

Philips hue add accessory motion sensor

Check again if your orange led is still blinking, tap on “LED blinking” at the bottom

philips hue motion sensor setup orange led

Select which room you want to trigger with the motion sensor. You can actually select more than one room, but there’s apparently a maximum of three rooms.

Next, you’ll place the sensor wherever you want in the room, preferably so that the motion sensor portion has a wide view of the room, especially the entrance. Once you have placed or mounted the Hue Motion sensor select the orange “Got It” button.

If placing your motion sensor for stair controlled lighting its best to place the Hue Motion Sensor at the top of the stairs pointed down. This will then activate motion going up and down on the stairs.

On the next screen, it will show the default settings that the motion sensor will use. You can easily change these later. Tap “Done” at the bottom.

Your Philips Hue Motion Sensor will now appear in the list of other Hue accessories. Congratulations you have added the motion sensor.

Advanced Settings Philips Hue Motion Sensor

Daylight Sensitivity

Two time periods for “Day” and “Night” are available that allow you to customize the behavior of what the Hue Motion Sensor does. For example, say you enter the Kitchen during the day, the Hue Motion sensor can activate the lights to a bright cool white. Or set up to never turn on the lights during the day.

On the other hand, say you enter the kitchen after 11 pm you may have set it up to turn on the lights blue but dim to 50%. To not wake other members of the family and to protect your eyes. This is the power of the Philips Hue motion sensor.

The Hue motion-activated light controller has revolutionized how we use our home lighting. No more do we have to fumble around in the dark looking for a light switch. Or stumble down the stairs after turning off the lights.

Motion Sensitivity

Select the advanced settings tab and then select Motion Sensitivity.

This is a live preview where you can walk or try to trigger your sensor. Your app will notify you if a motion event is triggered.

There are 3 options or settings for the Hue Motion Sensor, they are:

  • Low
  • Medium
  • High

You will have to try each one to see what works for you. People with pets may like a low setting so pets don’t trigger the hue sensor.

Smart control of up to 12 “control accessories”, such as, such as the Philips Hue Tap and the Hue Dimmer Switch, including the Hue Motion Sensor, can be connected to a single Philips Hue Bridge. So mix and match or 12 motion sensors it’s up to you. But no more it will cause issues.

Testing the Hue Motion Sensor

Open the Philips Hue app and select “Accessory setup”

Select your Hue sensor, select motion sensitivity, and the Hue App will start the sensor test mode. The test mode allows you to instantly see motion if the sensor detects you by checking the LED indicator on the sensor and/or App screen.

New features and upgrades are continuously added to the Philips Hue system. Updates to both software and firmware are done over the air and seamlessly directed to your Philips Hue product. Your Hue App will notify you when an update is available.

By default, the Hue lights in a room turn off when there is no motion detected for the time-out period defined by your setting in the App per type of room.
This means the Hue lights will dim 30 seconds before the lights turn off. This gradual decrease in lighting lux helps warn you of the lights timing out. Ready to turn off.

You can move your arms if you require the lights to stay on, which will restore the lights to the same setting as before dimming. This will automatically restart the time-out period.

If you have issues with your Philips Hue Bridge dropping out check out our fix.

Thanks to Philips our home lighting is now automated.

Philips Hue Motion Sensor Specs

  • 16-foot sensor range about 5 meters. With 3 sensitivity settings Low, Medium and High
  • Powered by 2 x AAA batteries that should last 2 – 3 years depending on motion detection rates.
  • Approx 100 degrees field of view up and down (vertical-horizontal)
  • Size 2 inches square 1 inch thick (5.5cm x 5.5xm x 2cm) .
  • It can be mounted and angled to just about any location. The sensor can be placed on any flat surface, attached to a wall or metal surface via the included magnetic mounting kit.
  • Daylight lux sensor: Passive Infrared (PIR) with adjustable sensitivity (software)
  • A reaction time of less than 1/2 second.
  • Connection: Zigbee Light Link (ZigBee LL)
  • IP rating: IP42 so inside only.
  •  Download for Hue Motion Sensor User Manual
  • No wires so you can place it anywhere in your home
  • Philips Hue motions sensor warranty:  2 Years if used as directed.

Philips Hue motion sensor price

Philips hue motion sensor mounted on our staris top

The Philips Hue ZigBee motion sensor price is constantly changing and coupon codes are hard to come by as this is a very new product. They rarely go on sale, and they are very popular. It is not a huge expense for a fantastic little gadget. You can currently buy this sensor from Amazon, check out the price below.

Motion detection of your hue lighting is a must in any family home. It integrates seamlessly and you will get a notification if the battery is low to change the AAAs out or recharge them. High-capacity Eneloops are the best for this application. Ikea Ladda AAA battery’s also have been getting a good name lately. There is some talk that they are an Eneloop clone.

How long does a Hue Motion Sensor battery life last?

We get around 1.5 years’ worth of motion battery life out of our Hue sensor. This is with a daily walk-through from a family of five.

So should you get a Philips Hue motion sensor? YES definitely. If you have invested in Hue lighting these are a must.

I have an order for 3 more. They are super useful. They feel like quality and the mounting magnet is very strong. You can really mount these anywhere. With IFTTT these can then be used to trigger events. The possibilities are endless.

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