In the coming weeks, Philips Hue will introduce its own contact sensor. From a purely technical point of view, I expect a very classic design, similar to the Eve Door & Window, for example. You can see the HomeKit sensor in the cover image above.
Unsurprisingly, Philips Hue will use ZigBee as the radio standard for its contact sensor. This is not a technical marvel either, some other manufacturers already offer corresponding products. But of course they are not compatible with the Philips Hue Bridge.
What can you do with a contact sensor and Philips Hue?
Home monitoring is likely to be the focus of Philips Hue in the near future. The contact sensor should complement the existing light and the new cameras.
The basic idea should also be quickly explained here: a door or window is opened, which is detected by the contact sensor, whereupon a light is switched on. It is possible that Philips Hue will even offer us something like an alarm scene with the new security system.
It can also be assumed that Philips Hue will send you alarm messages via push notifications if an intruder is detected by a contact sensor. This is also known from other smart home systems.
The advantages and disadvantages of a contact sensor
A contact sensor usually consists of two parts. The sensor with the integrated radio module and a battery itself and a small magnet, the counterpart.
The biggest advantage is also the biggest weakness of the sensor: it only triggers when the door or window really moves. False triggers, for example by pets, are not possible, in contrast to a classic Hue motion detector. Unless your dog or cat can open doors…
At the same time, a status can only be detected if the magnet has direct contact with the sensor. If, for example, the door to the storage room equipped with a contact sensor is not completely closed again, the principle does not work. Similarly, a contact sensor will not be able to detect the ambient brightness, as is the case with the Hue motion sensor.
How would you use a contact sensor?
A very classic application in the Smart Home for a contact sensor is the interaction with a heating system: as soon as a window is opened, the heating is switched off. Such a scenario is of course out of the question with Philips Hue.
How would you use a Philips Hue contact sensor? A very funny idea: Equip the letterbox with a sensor and let a lamp light up as soon as the flap is opened – this way you will never forget a letter again.
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