Philips Hue announces a $40 motion sensor to automagically turn your lights on

Philips Hue is expanding its line up of smart light devices with a motion sensor. This one is pretty straightforward — when you walk in front of the sensor, your Hue lights will turn on.

What’s different from other motion sensors? It works on battery, so you can put it anywhere around your home, such as the corner of a hallway, a bathroom or a garage. Philips says the device is supposed to work for two to three years with two AAA batteries. It costs $39.95.

Then, it connects to your Hue Bridge and executes a Philips Hue command. It can even detect whether it’s nighttime so that it doesn’t turn on all the lights during the day. And you can choose a specific scene in the Hue app and pair it with the sensor.

Based on the configuration screens in the Philips Hue app, the motion sensor is highly configurable. You can set up specific scenes for daytime and nighttime, you can adjust the daylight threshold and you can set different levels of motion sensitivity.

The back of the device is magnetic and you can adjust the viewing angle up to 30 degrees horizontally and vertically. That’s about it. A pretty simple device that could be quite useful if you don’t want to take out your phone to turn on the lights.

Also new today, Philips is introducing two new form factors for its light bulbs with different shades of white lights (“White Ambiance” bulbs). Given that these cheaper lights can be useful in a bathroom or a hallway, the new BR30 and GU10 form factors will work well above your bathroom mirror in those pesky recessed ceiling lights.

The flagship “White and Color Ambiance” A19 bulbs are also receiving yet another update with richer colors. It’s somewhat difficult to emit blue and green lights using LEDs. With this minor revision, Philips has improved the color spectrum for blues and greens. I’ve never thought “what if I filled my room with green light,” but if that’s your thing, these new bulbs will do a better job.

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