In 2012, Philips got in front of smart home lighting with their Hue brand, a series of LED lights that can be controlled using a smartphone. Since then, Philips has spun off their lighting business into a separate company called Philips Lighting, with Hue at the forefront. Usually, we hear about new forms of lighting from Philips, but this year they’ve got something else in mind — making control even easier.
Today, they’re announcing the Philips Hue motion sensor, which can turn Hue bulbs off and on automatically by detecting the presence of people in the room. There’s nothing new about that — there have been motion sensor lighting controls for years — but this is the first sensor that works with the Hue lighting system without any help from third party programs. The motion sensors can be connected wirelessly to Hue bridge units, which can then be configured and paired up with lights in the home using the Hue app. Up to 12 sensors can be connected to a single bridge unit.
Previously, Hue lights could only be used with other connected motion sensors by using the IFTTT app — an app that allows users to create commands linking multiple connected home devices. The Belkin WeMo Motion detector, for example, could be paired with Hue lighting to turn lights on when someone comes into a room or turn them off when no one is detected. The Philips Hue motion sensor works in the same way, but cuts out the need for the IFTTT app. That app is still a little obscure, and for anyone who wants something that just works without having to learn anything new, the Philips Hue motion sensor looks like the right choice.
It helps that the Philips Hue motion sensor will be priced similar to those other motion detectors, too. It’ll be available for $40 from MeetHue.com, Amazon, and Best Buy on October 4.