Philips have expanded their Hue Smartlight system with a new motion sensor and software set up. The new sensor is battery powered and Philips claim a two to three-year life from a pair of AAA batteries. The unit talks to the household's Hue Bridge and uses Philips Hue commands to adjust the lighting, depending on activity near the sensor and the time of day. As the unit is battery powered, it's designed to be positioned in a hallway, bathroom or garage or in other places where it would be difficult or expensive to wire the unit in, and where it might be awkward for you to reach for your smartphone in order to turn the lights on or off.
Although a simple product, Philips Hue have given the motion sensor a magnetic back so that it can be mounted on magnetic surfaces without any adhesives or screws. The viewing angle can be adjusted up to 30 degrees in either the horizontal or vertical plane and the sensor triggers are adjustable. The unit and accompanying software can be adjusted depending on specific scenes for both the day and the night with configurable daylight threshold to keep the lights off when you don't need them. The motion sensitivity can also be adjusted: it could be adjusted down if you don't necessarily want to illuminate the corridor for your cat stretching at night but do want it to turn the lights on when you get up in the morning. These configuration changes are all adjusted from the Hue configuration app installed onto your smartphone or tablet.
The new motion sensor costs $39.95. Philips have accompanied its release with improvements to the rest of the Philips Hue range. There are two new light bulb forms for the "White Ambiance" bulbs: the new BR30 and GU10 light bulb models are designed to fit above a bathroom mirror or in recessed ceiling mounts. Furthermore, Philips Hue have also released an update to their flagship “White and Color Ambiance” A19 bulbs. This updates gives the bulbs richer colors with enhancements to the blue and green light that the bulbs can emit. From a technical perspective, it's difficult to produce blues and greens from white bulbs so should you wish to color your rooms these ways, the updated A19 bulbs will help.