Images: Philips

Before the idea of a ‘smart home’ came long, people had to actually walk over to a switch to turn lights on and off—it was barbaric. Now you can illuminate your entire house with just a few taps on a smartphone app, but Philips wants to make life even easier than that with a new motion sensor that automatically turns its Hue lights on and off for you.

Powered by a pair of AAA batteries that will last up to three years (depending on how often it’s used) the Philips Hue Motion Sensor can detect motion from as far away as 16 feet, and will automatically activate individual lights or scenes within the Philips Hue smartphone app. You can customize it to work with individual bulbs, or all the lights in a single room. That’s far more flexibility than with something like a motion-activated flood light in your backyard.

The motion sensor can also turn lights or scenes off after a preset amount of time when movement hasn’t been detected, first dimming them to 50 percent as a heads up that you either need to move, or find yourself in the dark. The motion detector incorporates a light sensor, too, with adjustable sensitivity so that it doesn’t react in the middle of the day when lights aren’t needed. Or you can have it customize the color temperature of the lights depending on the time of day; warm at night to help you sleep, or cool in the day to help keep you alert.

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Availability for the Philips Hue Motion Sensor is expected to be sometime in October with a price tag of $40, and you can install multiple units throughout your home, programming them through the Hue app to trigger different lights. If anything it will certainly help make early morning bathroom breaks a little easier now that you don’t have to stare at your blinding smartphone screen to turn on the lights.

[Philips Hue]