Top tips for using Philips Hue motion sensors

1 September 2023

Fumbling for the bathroom light switch in the middle of the night? Struggling to flick the hallway light on with your elbow while carrying heavy bags of groceries? What if your body was the light switch? 

When you connect your smart lights to Hue motion sensors, they're triggered by your body’s movement. Lights switch on and off automatically as you, your family or your guests move from room to room. As well as convenience, smart lights paired with outdoor motion sensors can also help bring you peace of mind by deterring unwanted guests at night or when you’re away from home.

How to use outdoor motion sensors

Using motion sensors at entrances

Though an entrance is an obvious location for a Hue outdoor sensor, it is an important one. An outdoor motion sensor for a front, back or side door isn't just a way to ward off any suspicious visitors in the night, but it can also make your arrival home a little more comfortable in the evenings. Your guests will also be sure to appreciate a little welcoming light to help guide them to your door on those winter nights. 

People on a patio at night using a Philips Hue outdoor sensor mounted above a door and connected to motion detector lights

Using motion sensors on your driveway

Place an outdoor sensor above the garage or driveway to make it easier to come and go when it’s dark. You can set your outdoor sensor to switch on multiple lights at the same time. Why not connect it to a line of pathway smart lights, as well as wall lights, to help guide you and your car along your driveway? If you access your home through the garage, you can set the sensor to trigger its indoor lighting as well. 

Bright idea: If you feel that the motion sensor is detecting too much movement from a neighbour on the sidewalk, try reducing its motion sensitivity. If that doesn't work, angle the sensor downwards to reduce its range.

A Philips Hue outdoor sensor mounted on a front porch and connected to motion-detector lights.

Using motion sensors when you have pets

Whether it's your pet cat, dog or a hungry hedgehog on a night-time prowl for food, garden animals can accidentally trigger motion-detector lights when they pass an outdoor sensor. 

But you don’t have to be kept awake by your outdoor lights flicking on and off all night.

This issue can be quickly and easily resolved by lowering the sensitivity of the sensor in the Philips Hue app. 

Another way you can stop your pets from triggering outdoor lights is to mount the sensor higher up. The optimum height for mounting a Hue outdoor sensor is between 1.5 and 2.5 metres. And don’t forget, the Hue outdoor sensor is wireless and battery powered, giving you ultimate flexibility. 

How to use indoor motion sensors

Using motion sensors in hallways

A motion sensor placed in the hallway connecting the bedrooms ensures a safer trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If midnight trips around the house extend further than the bathroom, make sure that your motion sensor is set to switch on the lights all the way to the kitchen (if your late-night wanderings end with a late-night snack!). You can also customise the intensity of the lights that are triggered. Late at night, use motion detector lights that are set to a gentle, warm glow to help guide you in the dark.

Floor-level nightlights in child’s bedroom.

Using motion sensors on staircases

A staircase is one of the best places to install a sensor. Journeys up and down the stairs are made much easier when you don't have to worry about switching on the light. This can be especially useful when your hands are full, such as when you’re carrying a load of laundry down from the bedrooms to the washing machine. So, don't forget to use a sensor on your basement or cellar stairs, even if you're not often down there, because those trips usually result in carrying something back up. 

Bright idea: Set the motion sensor to switch on smart lights with the same brightness and colour as your other nightlights so that you have uniform lighting around your home.

Using motion sensors in bathrooms

A motion sensor placed at the entrance of the bathroom not only helps you find your way with the right setting, but it also won't jolt you out of your sleepy state during the middle of the night.

When you connect a motion sensor to a smart bulb, you can choose the sensor to trigger a dim, warm light during the evening and night. To help you feel energised and ready for the day ahead, set your bathroom sensor to trigger a crisp, white light during the morning. 

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and colour ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness