9 Sensors Every Smart Home Needs
MARCH 21, 2019
Today’s homeowners know how important it is to protect their investments, whether from intrusion, fire, earthquake or flood. But you can’t always be at home and every second matters when things go wrong. Smart home devices and sensors can make the difference for time-sensitive emergencies by saving you time, protecting your possessions and preventing anxiety.
The marketplace is saturated with dozens of smart home sensors, which provide a wealth of real-time information to homeowners by sensing weather conditions, temperature, movement, moisture levels, and more. We’re here to help you sift through the noise with a list of nine smart sensors every smart homeowner needs.
1. Temperature Sensors & Smart Thermostats
Smart home temperature sensors constantly measure the temperature within your home and make adjustment recommendations to your smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can turn themselves down in the winter when you’re away and re-adjust just before you get home. Some smart thermostats can also adjust individual room temperatures based on the current activity in that room. These smart features may help to save energy and ensure constant comfort levels.
2. Light Sensors
Light sensing smart devices can turn off the light switch when you don’t remember to and smart bulbs let you set lighting schedules. So, even if you forget to turn the basement light off, a light sensor will do it for you. If you’re on vacation, you can set smart bulb timers to go off and on to give the impression someone is home. Or, you can control them manually with your smartphone. You can also set times to adjust their brightness — dimmer during the day and brighter at night. These settings may help you save hundreds of dollars over the entire year.
3. Motion Sensors
When a motion sensor detects movement, it sends a signal to your phone or other devices like cameras, lights or alarms. You can combine motion sensors with other devices to solve a variety of problems. For safety, use a motion detector to send you a notice if there’s movement by your swimming pool. This can help protect small children playing in the area. Or you can connect a motion sensor to a smart security video camera at your door to notify you when there is movement. This is a great way to be aware of package deliveries and help catch intruders.
4. Water Leak/Freeze Sensors
Water leak sensors can save you money on monthly bills and repairs from water damage. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. Smart homeowners use leak detectors around vulnerable areas of their home where water leaks are a risk. For example, place them near your hot water tank, under your sink, or around exposed water pipes. After a water sensor alerts you to leaking pipes and appliances, you can rush home to take care of the problem or phone a plumber before more costly damage occurs. An alternative is to install an automatic shut off valve, that gets notified of leaks from the leak sensors and can turn off your home’s water supply when a leak is detected. This can also save you time and costly damage in case you’re not close by.
5. Window and Door Sensors
Alerts for open windows and doors are another indispensable sensor that can save you money and keep you safe. Smart garage door openers will warn you if someone’s forgotten to shut the garage door. Smart window locks will sound an alarm and notify you if an intruder opens or breaks a window. Door sensors can also save energy when you connect them to smart lighting, which can turn the lights on and off when someone enters or exits a room.
6. Video Doorbell
Smart video doorbells trigger when motion is detected at your front door. They’re equipped with video cameras that take wide-angle HD images. Even if you’re not home, you can view a live video stream of an intruder, package delivery or visitor. Some doorbells can even learn individual faces and announce the visitor’s name when they arrive.
7. Weather Sensors
Weather sensors are like temperature sensors but for exterior conditions. Use them with your smart lawn sprinklers to base your watering schedule on the chances of rain. If the temperature suddenly drops or a thunderstorm hits, a weather sensor connected to your window sensors could tell you which windows are open and need to be closed to protect from rain damage.
8. Smart Smoke and CO Sensors
In addition to smoke and carbon monoxide, smart smoke sensors can also monitor the air quality in your home for pollen, dust or other particulates. Some smart smoke detector models can even differentiate between burnt toast and an actual house fire, giving you a chance to cancel the alarm before it goes off.
The future of smart home sensors is moving to develop better ways to integrate all of your devices. Major tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple are developing their assistants as control hubs for many of these smart devices. As these technologies progress, it’s expected that homeowners will use them to manage and optimize their energy consumption. Home safety will continue to be a priority, as mobile devices become the central hub into the status of our homes while we're away at work or on vacation.