During that time, we monitored the reliability of the sensors in triggering routines, the response times, and whether pets triggered the motion sensors. Hopefully HomeKit and the Home app will open up more in coming updates. We especially like its wide field of view and long range, the best of any of the models we tested (120 degrees and 15 feet, respectively), which allowed it to cover a whole room and then some—plus, it also detects temperature. Our favorite automation for contact sensors is for turning on lights, as they work more immediately than a motion sensor does when a person walks through a door. Most other contact sensors we tested were large and bulky, making it difficult to fit them in more unusual spots (inside drawers or on blinds). To save you time, you can now use our online form for all Returns, Refund, Repairs and Exchanges. Offering faster speed, longer range, and mesh-networking capabilities (which means the devices share and extend one another’s range), it could transform the effectiveness of HomeKit in larger homes. (One workaround is to set up a routine in which Alexa announces a trigger instead, such as “The front door has opened.”), Christian Taubman, director of Alexa Smart Home, phone interview, May 29, 2019. All the contact sensors we tested performed well, but we liked Fibaro’s low-profile housing the best, and its included LED light that flashes discreetly when it’s activated is a good visual indicator that the sensor is working. (We also don’t love the Ring logo displayed so prominently on all its sensors.) You can’t access this feature in the Home app, but you can in the devices’ apps. Shop Cygnett Smart Home online. For example, you might have the shades lower only if it’s after sunset, or you might personalize which lights turn on based on who arrives home and when (which your HomeKit system detects based on the presence of their smartphone). We set up similar Alexa Routines and actions for each device and went about daily life with a family of four people and two pets. We like the Fibaro Motion Sensor because it’s small, customizable, and, unlike competing models, also capable of detecting temperature, light, and vibration—for some people it may be able to do the work of multiple sensors all at once. It also includes temperature monitoring, a useful extra feature that enables even more potential interactions with other connected smart devices. For this guide we tested the contact and motion sensors that come with Ring and Abode’s respective basic security packages to see how the integrations worked. In our experience the Fibaro Motion Sensor worked flawlessly at triggering the scene, but although you can set an automation to occur only during a set time in the Home app, you can’t tell it to do so only once, which is a problem—it will keep retriggering the scene every time the motion sensor detects movement. Unlike with other smart-home platforms, sensors designed for use with HomeKit rely on Bluetooth wireless, which has some benefits but in some houses can cause communication problems. A contact sensor on an exterior door can send an alert when your Airbnb tenant arrives. Please note that installations are not included as part of the delivery price. The Onvis Motion Sensor is the least expensive HomeKit-compatible motion sensor available without a hub, and because it is a Bluetooth 5.0 device it responds really quickly, even at a distance. We found that the motion sensors always picked up the 25-pound and 60-pound canines in our household. These features are standard in competing smart-home ecosystems such as SmartThings and HomeKit. Smart sensors let you run your smart home on autopilot. Only a few options are available so far, but we think the Fibaro Motion Sensor, the Fibaro Door/Window Sensor, and the Eve Degree temperature sensor work well and look good, too. Installation or The Eve Motion Sensor’s obvious downside is how big it is, making it hard to put somewhere discreetly. †Prices displayed inclusive of discount. To use sensors with Apple HomeKit, you need an iPhone updated to iOS 10 or later, or a Mac running Mojave, and a HomePod, an Apple TV (tvOS 11 or later), or an iPad (iOS 11 or later) to act as a home hub (for more details, see the full list of requirements). When you use them with Apple’s HomeKit platform, they can detect when changes occur—motion, temperature, or opening and closing doors or windows—and then trigger other connected devices such as lights, locks, and thermostats. It also detects temperature, but Alexa isn’t able to recognize its built-in ambient-light sensor, so if you want to use it to control Hue lighting, you can pair it with its own hub for more features (and it will still show up as a sensor in Alexa). As with the Fibaro sensor, you can access additional features, such as an activity log, in the KooGeek app. Another model we like is the Philips Hue Motion Sensor (Zigbee), which can now pair directly to an Echo Plus or Echo Show (2nd Gen) without needing a Philips Hue Smart Hub. It’s also IPX3 waterproof, so you can use it outside. It’ll also notify you when it detects movement in your home. Please set your preferred store The Nest E is simple to install and use, and lets you keep tabs on your home when you’re away. Temperature sensors can also alert you to an exterior door that someone has left open, or they can monitor a space that needs to be climate-controlled (a baby’s room, a wine cellar, or an artist’s studio). Although a sensor may advertise compatibility with Alexa, if it’s not certified under Works with Alexa, you can’t be sure that it has the ability to trigger Alexa Routines.
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