Smart Home

Review: Philips Hue Motion Sensor, a motion sensor for your lamps

Review: Philips Hue Motion Sensor is a useful addition to the Philips Hue system, it is easy to mount and set up.

Review: Philips Hue Motion Sensor – With the Philips Hue Motion Sensor you can automatically switch your Philips Hue lights on and off when there is movement. We have tested this sensor, which is available for 40 euros.

With the Philips Hue Motion Sensor, Philips wants to make the normal light switch redundant. The motion sensor ensures that the Hue lights automatically turn on when you enter the room and turn off again if no movement is detected for a longer period of time.

Philips Hue Motion Sensor

Hue Motion Sensor switches the lights on automatically

There were already several ways to have your Hue lights turn on automatically. We ourselves use geofencing for this : when we get close to home, the lights come on. You can arrange this with Nest, IFTTT and all kinds of other forms of automation. But that only works when you’re out and then come home. If you walk from one room to another, location determination is not yet accurate enough to automatically switch the lights on and off, unless you are going to work with complicated solutions such as beacons. This is still too cumbersome for home. That is why the motion sensor comes into play as a simple solution to this problem: when you walk into a room, the lamp switches on.

Motion detection is actually nothing new
Actually it is not even that new, a sensor that detects movement. My parents used to have a simple motion sensor in the toilet, with which the light turned on automatically. In the bathroom, we also have a motion sensor for the HomeWizard system , which can automatically switch your lamps or other connected devices on and off.

What does this Philips Hue motion sensor add? Well, there is more to it than just on or off. You can activate certain scenes and also ensure that the lighting does not light up super bright at night when you have to get out of bed, but is set to 10% so that you are not immediately blinded and can still find your way to the toilet.

Philips Hue Motion Sensor


The Philips Hue Motion Sensor costs € 40 and that is not too bad for a Hue product. After all, a single lamp costs more than € 50. Because this accessory is only suitable for Hue lamps, you should have it too. The cheapest option is a starter pack with two Hue White lamps and a € 80 Bridge. So you have to spend at least € 120 to use this motion sensor. Nevertheless, we think that the Motion Sensor will mainly appeal to existing users of Hue lamps and that € 40 will hurt your wallet less.

You do have to take your space into account. We have a fairly large open kitchen with living room and in that case you should actually have two motion sensors. If you put the sensor in the living room, the lights will go out when you are alone in the kitchen. The same goes the other way around. In such a case, the price can quickly increase. The Motion Sensor is therefore especially suitable for demarcated areas, such as a bathroom or hall.

Design and appearance

The Philips Hue Motion Sensor is a white block measuring 6 × 6 cm. In the middle is the spherical motion sensor, with a light sensor above it and a status light below. Philips supplies the sensor with a magnetic wall holder, which you can attach to the wall with one screw. Because the block is square, we found it easier to simply place it on a cupboard.

The question is: where? It would make the most sense in the hall when you enter. But if you then sit in the living room and no longer regularly walk down the hall, the lights will still go out. If you only use the sensor for lighting in the hall, then it is of course fine to use. You could also place the sensor out of sight, for example under the plinth of the kitchen cupboards, but then you have to walk through the kitchen regularly to ensure that the lights stay on.

In terms of placement, you also have to take into account that the Hue Motion Sensor has a viewing angle of 100 degrees. A somewhat damp room such as a bathroom is no problem, thanks to the IP42 dust and water resistance rating. Placing it outdoors in the rain is obviously not the intention

Philips Hue Motion Sensor

Installation and commissioning

If you are going to put the Motion Sensor on the cabinet, you will be ready in a few minutes. Pull out the transparent tab to activate the batteries (2x AAA) and the sensor is ready in setup mode for pairing via the app.

You can also use the supplied magnetic wall mount. You fix it with a single screw, after which you click the block on it. You cannot place the sensor completely flat against the wall, but you have to choose an angle of 0 or 30 degrees.

The batteries last 2 to 3 years according to the manufacturer. To change the batteries you will have to unscrew the box, but that does not seem so problematic to us.

Linking and setting is done via the app. To do this, go to Settings> Accessory Configuration , then press the plus sign to add a new accessory.

Setup is very easy. Once the orange LED flashes, the sensor is ready to pair. You can then choose from a day and night program. We found that night mode in particular very useful. For example, you can set this to 1:00 AM to 7:30 AM. If movement is detected during that time period, the lamps will give a little light so you can see where you are walking. You can set other scenes for during the day, for example bright light in the office and dimmed light in the sitting area.

We have set the night mode to 1:00 am to 6:30 pm. That seems a bit long, but that has to do with the fact that the Motion Sensor also has a light sensor. If there is enough light in the room, the lamps do not have to be switched on, so that you save energy. So the lighting only switches on when it is really necessary. In the app you not only adjust the light sensitivity, but also the movement sensitivity. This way you ensure that the lights switch on when the slightest movement is detected, or only when you walk back and forth and wave your arms.

User experience

As already indicated, you have to think about the correct placement of the sensor at the beginning. In a small space such as a toilet, this may cause the least headaches, but in a living room where you sometimes slouch on the couch, you don’t want the lights to suddenly go out halfway through watching a movie. The light switches off automatically if there is no movement for a longer period of time. The sensor is therefore actually a bit more convenient for areas where you are only for a short time, for example the hall at the front door or the hall near the bedrooms.

If you have pets that regularly walk around, the Hue Motion Sensor may be less useful because the lights always turn on. Even if a dog or cat walks around the house at night.

We also noticed that initially it takes a while to properly adjust the light and movement sensitivity. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and it is not complicated either. There is a test mode with which you can set the sensitivity to movement.

In practice, the Hue Motion Sensor works very well. As soon as the sensor detects movement, the lamps switch on within a second. The viewing angle of the sensor is large enough. He does sometimes have trouble with the maximum distance of 5 meters, especially in our open kitchen where you can also stand 10 meters away. In such a case, you would have to purchase an extra sensor.

Since October 2017, the Hue Motion Sensor works with HomeKit like other Hue accessories . The only downside is that you always need a Hue bridge to use the sensor. It is therefore not a completely separate motion sensor, such as the Eve Motion.


The Motion Sensor is the third replacement for the traditional light button released by Philips. Previously they already had the Hue Tap (for switching on multiple scenes) and the Hue Dimmer (with which you can also switch your lights on and off). Both accessories were intended for situations when you do not have your smartphone at hand, or simply prefer to press a button. Thanks to the Hue Motion Sensor, these physical light buttons become redundant, although you can of course continue to use them next to the motion sensor. For example, to turn the lights back on if you haven’t moved enough.

Philips Hue Motion Sensor

Nevertheless, this Motion Sensor is of course not the innovation of the century. Motion sensors have been around for much longer, including as part of home automation. What Philips adds to it is the possibility to choose different scenes, prevent the lamp from turning on when it is light enough and a handy night mode so that you do not have to grope around the house. If you are looking for a simple solution for a toilet, garage or shed, a much cheaper light sensor from the hardware store will suffice. You cannot program it, but all you want is for the lamp to switch on when you have to be in the room for a while. What the Hue Motion Sensor adds in such a case is a little more comfort, because the sensor takes day and night into account.

If you do not only want to connect lamps but also other devices to the motion sensor, it is better to have the previously mentioned KlikAanKlikUit sensor of the HomeWizard system .

If you are considering filling your home with motion sensors and Hue lamps, it is important to know that from October 2016 IKEA will start a pilot in Belgium, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Italy with the sale of Home Smart lamps. They will be available in the Netherlands from April 2017. These are reading lamps, light panels and light doors that you can dim and switch from warm to cold light with a remote control.

Philips Hue Motion Sensor

onclusion Philips Hue Motion Sensor review

The Motion Sensor is a useful addition to the Philips Hue system, it is easy to mount and set up. For 40 euros you have a motion sensor that automatically switches the lights on and off, takes daylight into account and has a night mode. You buy a ready-to-use solution for your lamps, which requires hardly any extra work and which is more user-friendly than the HomeWizard system. Those who want to do odd jobs themselves are cheaper with a sensor that often looks a little less beautiful. The biggest drawback we find that the sensor requires the Hue bridge to function. While it does work with HomeKit , it’s not a completely stand-alone motion sensor.

BENEFITS+ of Philips Hue Motion Sensor

  • Easy in use
  • Small and inconspicuous to place
  • Flexible choice of scenes for day and night
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to assemble
  • Sensor usually responds quickly

CONS- of Philips Hue Motion Sensor

  • Only works with Philips Hue
  • Wall bracket has limited tilt adjustment
  • Not suitable for open spaces
  • Not suitable for pets