Top-rated HomeKit motion sensor

Cupertino, December 2, 2023

Having widely embraced HomeKit starting in 2022 and testing several motion sensors in the intervening months, my recommendation for the best HomeKit motion sensor is the Eve Motion. The Eve Motion sensor connects directly to the Home app on your iPhone, activates HomeKit automations quickly in response to motion events, and has a very reliable connection, as I've found after many months of real-world use. Decent motion detection range According to the official technical specifications, the Eve Motion sensor can detect motion with a 120-degree field of view, up to 9 meters away. Achieving the theoretical maximum range likely depends on your environment. I placed mine on the floor, hidden under a cupboard, facing out into the room. I find that I get a reliable detection radius at about 5 meters away, which I think is fine for most home needs and comparable to other infrared motion sensors I've tested.

The big win over the competition is speed; Via Thread, Eve Motion reports motion events almost instantly. I note that we are on the cusp of ultra-wideband motion sensors coming to market, which can detect much smaller amounts of motion at much greater distances, but a full-featured, independent UWB HomeKit sensor just isn't readily available yet. If you're interested and adventurous, check out the Aqara range.

Bonus Light Sensor As a good HomeKit citizen, you can set up and use the Eve Motion in the Apple Home app, completely ignoring Eve's own app. But if you have the Eve app installed, you can configure some additional settings (motion sensitivity/duration) and view a historical graph of tracked sensor events over time. In addition to motion, the accessory also reports light levels in lux, also exposed to HomeKit.

Solid Bluetooth and Thread connectivity options Eve Motion supports the Thread network protocol, the future-proof recommended standard for smart home accessory communications via HomeKit or Matter. By default, Eve Motion can communicate motion events to HomeKit via Bluetooth. But if you have a modern Apple TV or HomePod with a Thread radio in it, it will use that automatically. You can theoretically only use an Eve Motion with your iPhone, but that is a lot less reliable (as is the case with almost every Bluetooth HomeKit accessory). It works best when the sensor is static and within range of a HomeKit hub, such as an Apple TV or HomePod. In that configuration, the motion detection status will be displayed in the Home app within a few hundred milliseconds of the motion.

Long battery life Eve Motion is powered by two internal AAA batteries. But the best part is that you don't have to worry about changing the batteries often. So far, my primary Eve Motion has been running in the home kitchen for about a year, detecting human presence several times a day. It shows no signs of running out of juice and currently reports that the battery is still at 90%. I wouldn't be so bold as to suggest that this means it will last ten years on one set of batteries, but the battery life is clearly more than fit for purpose. Eve Motion is my recommendation So if you're looking for a HomeKit motion sensor, these factors make Eve Motion my recommendation. Thanks to the mounting hook and IPX8 water resistance, it can even be used outdoors. The real question before you buy is: Do you even have a use case for a motion-activated smart home? If you just want to get a banner notification on your phone when someone enters a room, the Eve Motion can do that. But its real value comes into its own when it is used in automations in combination with other smart home accessories, such as the ability to turn on the lights for you. Getting them to sing also runs into some limitations of HomeKit itself, so you'll need to be prepared to dive deep if you want to maximize their usefulness.

Runner up: Philips Hue motion sensor Philips Hue motion sensor (left) is noticeably smaller than the Eve Motion. The Philips Hue motion sensor is a good alternative. It's even slightly smaller than the Eve Motion and integrates a magnetic mounting system, so it can probably be placed even more discreetly in a room. It responds quickly to input, if not as quickly as Eve over Thread, and has a relatively long battery life. However, the major disadvantage of the Hue sensor is that it is not an independent accessory. To connect to HomeKit, it must be connected to a Phillips Hue bridge hub. If you already have an ecosystem of Hue devices in your home, go for it. But if you don't, it's just not worth the extra effort and expense. FTC: We use monetized auto-affiliate links. More.

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