Best Motion Sensors to Optimize Home Light (and Save on the Bill) | Showcase

Our expert has chosen the model Philips Hue as the best motion sensor of the four analyzed for its design and because it offers a very complete user experience.

Although not all homes can afford the installation of advanced home automation systems, there are different devices that are very useful when automating certain types of tasks. This is the case of motion sensors that, thanks to the technology they incorporate, and as their name indicates, they are activated when they detect presence within the space where they have been installed.

One of its possible applications is motion sensors for lights. What they do is that if we, for example, enter a room, the light will turn on automatically and it will turn off in the same way when we leave; they integrate, for this, a time setting. Thus, in addition to saving energy, they help reduce electricity consumption (and with it the bill to pay) especially if we get lost easily and forget to turn off the switch when we no longer need it.

What models have we tested?

A maximum budget of 35 euros has been set. The movement sensors for the chosen light are the following: deleyCON MK897 (8,25), ChiliTec 21251 (7,75), Philips Hue motion sensor (9) and Omeril OMFLZ-LD050-WH (7,25).

When analyzing them, certain considerations have been taken into account, such as the following:

– Materials: The quality and construction of the motion sensor have been considered to ensure the durability of the device and that its performance is not affected.

– Installation and commissioning: if the placement of the sensor and the adjustments it requires to make it operational are more or less easy.

– Performance: if the device meets our needs and the response of the sensor is immediate and effective.

– Others: brightness adjustment, actual sensor activation distance, effectiveness of the incorporated detection angle … One thing is what the manufacturer promises on the technical data sheet of its product and another is what the user finds.

This is how we have tested them

Over the course of several weeks, we have been testing each of these four motion sensors for light in different places in a 90 square meter home. This has allowed us to check how the process turns out for its start-up, its operation, its performance, if the lighting adjustments are simple to carry out, its scope or how the opening angle behaves.

After our tests, any of them is an alternative to consider if one is considering the option of acquiring a device of this type. However, the Philips Hue motion sensor model got the highest score. Not only stands out for its design, but the quality of the finishes seems to us the best. Likewise, the user experience is the most complete and if we take into account all the possibilities that the Philips Hue application for mobile devices provides, they make it a very interesting motion sensor.

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Philips Hue motion sensor – our pick

The best motion sensors to optimize home light (and save on the bill)

Have you heard of Philips Hue? It is a smart lighting system that the Dutch Philips developed a few years ago. In its catalog we find a wide range of compatible proposals, such as different bulbs that are identified with the ‘Hue’ label. We have chosen one of them to test this sensor to which, in addition, we have added the Hue Bridge: this accessory is essential because it acts as an operations center for the Philips Hue system and helps to get the most out of our model.

The next step was to download the Philips Hue app, which is freely available for Android and iOS. Although a priori one has the feeling that pairing our HUE bulb with the motion sensor is somewhat complicated, the opposite happens thanks to the simplicity with which this app guides you step by step.

Datasheet

– Opening angle: 100ª

– Scope: 5 meters

– Application for mobile devices: Philips Hue for Android and iOS. You can organize the lighting by rooms, modify the colors, shades and brightness of the lights, create lighting routines, automatic lights on and off, a timer function that activates the lights when we tell it to.

– Dimensions: 55 x 55 x 20 mm

– Others: Compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice assistants, battery operated, wireless installation, IP42 protection. Requires the Philips Hue Bridge device.

Not only can we set the light in one or another room to turn on as we pass, but also select its degree of light intensity or when we want it to turn off, among other actions. It is, in short, a complete product with a wide number of possibilities as you investigate the app. Can you imagine choosing the color you want your Philips Hue bulbs to light up with? The sensor can even be used with Apple HomeKit, Google Home and Amazon Alexa voice assistants. Finally, comment that its design and materials are the best in the comparison and it is possible to place it in different ways: on any surface, anchored or on top of a magnetic base.

– The best: The user experience and the possibilities offered by the Philips Hue app

– Worst: Requires purchase of Philips Hue Bridge device and HUE bulbs.

– Valuation: Although to use it and get the performance it promises you need to purchase HUE bulbs and the Hue Brigde device separately, all the components together provide an interesting and completely customized lighting ecosystem according to our needs.

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deleyCON MK897: the alternative

The best motion sensors to optimize home light (and save on the bill)

The best motion sensors to optimize home light (and save on the bill)

This proposal, like its opponents, it has been created for interior spaces and shares with some models of its category the degree of protection IP20. We liked the quality of the materials and their finish very much and its recessed mounting in the wall has been easier than expected.

Its performance meets expectations and although we have chosen the version with a single unit, it is possible to choose another that comes with two units and a third with four in case we need several sensors to distribute them throughout the house. As you might expect, works through infrared technology and the integrated sensor quickly recognizes our presence.

Specifically, we are facing a model with a maximum reach range of nine meters and a 160º field of view that is supported (as with the Chilitec 21251) with energy efficient LED lamps. It is possible to adjust the ambient brightness and the time that the light will be on (between ten seconds and seven minutes) through two regulators that work independently, as is usual in this type of proposal.

ChiliTec 21251: best value for money

The best motion sensors to optimize home light (and save on the bill)

The best motion sensors to optimize home light (and save on the bill)

Made of medium quality plastic and with a compact size that perfectly fits the dimensions of the light switch, this proposal is characterized by its simple start-up, since it is enough to replace the model we have at home. In this sense, it is compatible with two-wire installation systems.

One of its most attractive points is that can not only be used with normal bulbs but also with LED type. With regard to its operation, the sensor generally complies with what is expected. Provided with a detection angle of 160º according to its manufacturer (the feeling is that this figure is slightly lower), it provides a maximum range of up to nine meters. It also offers two customizable settings according to our needs: one related to the sensitivity of the light (it is good because depending on the place of the house where it is used we may need more or less luminosity) and another with the time we want it to remain on.

Omeril OMFLZ-LD050-WH

The best motion sensors to optimize home light (and save on the bill)

The best motion sensors to optimize home light (and save on the bill)

This proposal is different when compared to its opponents because its design is not similar to that of any of them: It is a system of 12 LED lights to which its manufacturer has added a motion sensor. The other detail that draws attention, after the first contact with the product, is that is powered by a battery; in fact, in its box we find the microUSB cable that is needed to charge it.

Light in weight and with dimensions that adapt without problems to any space, no tools or screws are required to complete its installation. So it comes with everything we need: a thin sheet of metal, double-sided tape and a magnetic strip with adhesive as well.

Fixing to the wall is perfect, but it is advisable to study the best place to make the most of its 120º angle of movement. Once this has been achieved, we see how the motion sensor does a good job and its performance leaves positive impressions. It is activated once it detects presence at a distance of between two and three meters. Of course, we do not have the option to regulate the level of brightness. For not very large spaces it is an alternative to consider.

WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST ME?

I’ve been in tech journalism for almost two decades. In all this time, I have had the privilege of seeing how technology advances to make everyday life easier and tell about it in different media. Although I have already lost count of how many products have passed through my hands, I confess that the desire and the sensations remain the same. Laptops, tablets, phones, cameras, activity wristbands, smart watches … I don’t limit myself when choosing a device and making the most of its possibilities as a good consumer of technology.

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* All purchase prices included in this article are current as of September 28, 2020.

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