Hue sensor connect via Hue Bridge or direct to HE

I've recently got a Hue bridge and a few Hue bulbs & dimmers, and am very impressed with its speed. So far I've just paired everything with the Hue Hub and then used the HE Hue interface to connect to the Hue which has worked perfectly.

I've now ordered a couple of Hue Sensors to try and I'm wondering what is the best way to connect them? Does the HE interface recognise them if I pair them to the Hue Bridge as with my bulbs? If so, is there any lag in Motion detection, as I know the Hub only polls every minute by default. Or am I better off connecting them direct to HE? I've read of a few issues with the driver for these sensors. Any tips as the best way to go?

Only lights are seen by HE, Dimmers and Sensors not.

I have 10 ikea GU10s in the kitchen and two Dimmers controlling them, the bulbs grouped etc, I have no issue with them, although not as fast as my Dimmers connected directly to Hue, but then there are 10.

I have 1 Sensor, its not as fast as my Xiaomi's IMO, although I've never had it connected to Hue directly so have no real comparison on that one.

But they do play nicely connected to HE.

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I have one of the hue motion sensors and I use the Hue Motion Sensor Driver and it works just fine. The only thing I don't like is that it is not on the bridge so therefore it cannot have it's firmware upgraded at least through the bridge anyway. I don't know if there is a way to upgrade the firmware if they are not connected to the bridge.

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Thanks guys. As I need to control some Zwave stuff with them, if HE only sees them when they are connected direct, I'll do that then. What is the battery life on them like? All my other sensors are Aoetec Multisensor 6s connected to USB power but I have a couple of locations where that just isn't feasible hence me giving these a try.

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I have one Hue motion sensor. Have tried multiple times, on multiple occasions, including with custom drivers to get it to work with HE directly. I can get it to pair, but never a response. I've given up and put it back on the Hue Bridge permanently. They're expensive and slow sensors. Even if their batteries do last long, that's not a good enough in my opinion.

I also own a Centralite (Sylvania Lightify), and while these are very good motion sensors, I now prefer the Xiaomi Aqara. They're fast, very small and just like the Hue, they measure illuminance. They don't measure temperature, but I have enough other ways around the house to measure temp. I don't need this feature in a motion sensor. You just have to add compatible repeaters to keep the Xiaomi stable. This is now simple and inexpensive thanks to the IKEA Trådfri outlets.

I personally don't think the Hue motion sensors are worth the money when you're an HE owner and have so many better and less expensive motion sensors to choose from.

I've had mine for almost two years. Its still on the same batteries.

My hue motion sensor is very fast. In fact it is faster than any other brand I have. What I like about it the most is that it will report luminance independently of motion. Some motion/light sensors have to be tripped in order to send the light levels along with motion but the hue can and is very quick to change. The battery has lasted for close to 8 mo now and still at 100%. I have read that people have these still reporting 100% after a year or more. For me they report temp, light, motion accurately.

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So then the speed must be a Hue Bridge thing. Mine is noticeably slow. I'll never find out how fast my Hue motion sensor could be though, because it refuses to work with anything other than the Hue Bridge.

That is very strange. Not to change this post but I thought I would ask if you had the same results using the Hue Motion Sensor driver?

I get no response regardless of the driver. It will pair, but I get no output. Are you in the UK or Europe?

Mine did take a few minutes before the child devices came in after I changed the driver. I think the light level was the last to come in.

I am in the USA

Another thing I remember is that before I scanned for devices in HE I held the button in until it turned green and release and then it should blink orange and then I started the scan.

Messed with it for hours each of the three times I tried. Pain to then fix my setup in the Hue bridge when I put it back. I'm done trying personally. Appreciate the tips though. Maybe they'll help someone else get it working.

At roughly $36 US per sensor for the Hue motion sensors, I think the Sylvania Lightly are a much better value at just $25 US each right now, and guaranteed to work with HE. Very fast too. Close second to the Xiaomi in terms of speed. No ambient light measurement in the Sylvania though, but they do measure temperature if you want that.

[Edit] I neglected to mention the new Smart Things motion sensors are just $25 regular price right now too. Don't have one, but they look nice :grin:

@SmartHomePrimer Im curious about your Xiaomi Aqara motion sensor. Would you mind answering some questions?

  • Is that paired direct to HE? Or do you need their hub as a go between?
  • Do you have it in connected direct to homekit or would it be via HomeBridge?
  • Is the ZigBee mesh not good enough to not need a repeater? What repeater do you have
  • How long do the batteries last for you generally?
  • Are you using the drivers from [Release] Xiaomi / Aqara device drivers
  • Does the light sensor need movement to track changes in light levels?

Is this the sensor that you have - 100% Xiaomi Aqara Human Body Sensor ZigBee Movement Motion Security Wireless Connection Light Intensity Gateway 2 Mi home APP s-in Smart Remote Control from Consumer Electronics on | Alibaba Group

Sorry for the barrage of questions - Im always curious about new kit

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Sure, no problem.

Directly connected, but I do use two of the IKEA Trådfri outlets as repeaters

I run Homebridge, so the sensor status is available in HomeKit. You could use it in HomeKit Automations as well if you wanted, but I only use HomeKit for presence detection, device status, and a very occasional device operation. Outside of location, HomeKit automations have not reliable for me. YMMV

They seem to work fine if they're less than 20 feet from the hub, and would very seldom drop off, but have now been 100% stable with the addition of my two IKEA Trådfri outlets to repeat their signal. If they drop now, it's because something major has gone wrong with code I'm messing about with, and it's messed up other things as well.

I'm still on the original batteries. The first one I bought, arrived mid June, 2018. All the batteries still read 100% in the driver. Not sure if it's accurate or not, but they're all still working great.


Not that I have noticed. I don't use the illuminance measurement. It seems to be a bit coarse. All of them are in high traffic areas, so it's not something I've paid attention to closely. @veeceeoh can certainly answer that question though.

Yes, that's the one. Two I ordered came with the mount (which I'm not using anyway) and one did not.

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If it helps James, I find these sensors much quicker than my Hue, not to mention so much cheaper too :wink:


Another great option for UK residents. There's also a version 2 available. I'm not certain about that one. Might be a different manufacturer since Centralite has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so they're going under. I have their version 1 and it's for sure Centralite. Very fast and sensative. Does not have light sensing, but measures temp.


@Royski and @SmartHomePrimer thank you for your answers and info - seems like these Xaimo sensors are something to definetly have a look into as long as @veeceeoh can confirm motion isnt required for the sensors to update lux levels (for my setup, I have the hue sensors recording lux levels to a global variable when the lights arent on so need something that records light level changes especially when there is no motion - that way if someone goes into a room and the lux level is say 5, the light coming on doesnt mean lux goes over the rule value of light on when lux is less than 10 and therefore switch the light on for the 1 minute time out and back off because overall the room is now at lux 60 and therefore conditions are false).
A sensor that is faster than Hue sensors would be great :slight_smile:

Looking at my events, it certainly doesn't seem periodic like my Hue.
It does appear like its motion connected, when reported.

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Yeah and the Xiaomi are half the cost of the Lightify. But you can't be in a rush. Takes between 2 weeks, to a month to get them from China.

You have to pay a lot for smart home stuff in the UK. I'm not charged tax or duty when I've ordered from Gearbest, so even with shipping, you're paying 6 quid more than I am for the same sensor.

Unfortunately, the Brexit blunder is going to make things much worse for you I'm afraid (all of us actually). Here's hoping she swallows that false sense of pride and manages to rejoin the EU before it's too late.

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Motion IS required for the lux level to be updated and then reported to the hub.