The Best Motion Sensors of 2019

Table of Contents

Whether you’re building your smart security system or enhancing your smart lighting, motion sensors are part and parcel of your smart home, making it more convenient than ever. As relationship to security, motion sensors are essential for detecting activity when there should be none, a useful sign of a potential intrusion. For lighting, motion sensors allow your smart lights to follow you throughout your house, turning on when you enter a room and turning off when you exit. It’s a great way not only to make your life more seamless, but also save energy, as we’ve all had that experience of leaving the lights on when no one is home. 

This review combines smart security and smart lighting to show you the best motion sensors in the marketplace today in terms of features, design, pricing, installation, monitoring options, and of course, mobile applications. Let’s get started!

Best Motion Sensors

Editor’s Pick
Kangaroo Security Sensors
Kangaroo Security Sensors
Kangaroo Security Sensors

Integrated with Amazon Alexa, Kangaroo's security sensors can either be self-monitored through the highly-rated Kangaroo app or, for maximum coverage, professionally monitored 24/7. 

Doesn't expire

Top Contender
Philips Hue Motion Sensor For Smart Lights
Philips Hue Motion Sensor For Smart Lights
Philips Hue Motion Sensor For Smart Lights

If your home is already filled with Philips Hue smart lighting, make it even smarter with their motion sensor, which will turn your lights off and on based on motion. 

Doesn't expire

Best For Lights
Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor
Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor
Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor

Perfect for those already in the Amazon ecosystem, this sensor has lights turn off and on based on movement, saving you energy and money. 

Doesn't expire

Best Value
Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch
Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch
Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch

With motion sensing technology, the Lutron Maestro will never leave you in the dark (pun intended). 

Doesn't expire

Editors Pick

Kangaroo Motion Sensor

Kangaroo Security Sensors

Our overall favorite motion sensor of 2019 is the Kangaroo motion and entry sensor pack, available for only $30. While motion sensors can detect any motion in a room, entry sensors detect whenever a door or window has been opened or closed.

Pros: You’ll be notified whenever your sensors go off through the Kangaroo: Simple Home Security app, which has a four star rating on the Google Play store and a nearly perfect 4.9 from the Apple store. If you want to add extra sets of eyes to your home’s security, you can sign up for 24/7 professional monitoring, which means that someone can contact emergency services for you if need be. Kangaroo only charges $9 a month or $60 a year for this service, which are among the most affordable prices I’ve seen in the entire home security market. With professional monitoring, you’ll also get text and voice call notifications, a homeowner’s insurance discount of up to 20% off, plus an integration with (who else?) Amazon Alexa. 

Cons: Kangaroo doesn’t offer any cellular backup. That means that if your power goes out, your security sensors may have trouble connecting with your app. 

To learn more, read our full review of the Kangaroo security sensors

Shop Amazon
Kangaroo Security Sensors
Kangaroo Security Sensors
Kangaroo Security Sensors

Integrated with Amazon Alexa, Kangaroo's security sensors can either be self-monitored through the highly-rated Kangaroo app or, for maximum coverage, professionally monitored 24/7. 

Top Contender

Philips Hue Motion Sensor For Smart Lights

Philips Hue Motion Sensor For Smart Lights

Now, you can control your Philips Hue lighting just by walking in and out of rooms. Battery-powered, this wireless sensor detects your motion and adjusts your lighting accordingly, taking into account any natural daylight that comes in as well. 

Pros: The Philips Hue motion sensor works with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit, allowing for voice commands. You can either screw it into a wall or place it on a flat surface for super easy installation. Plus, Philips Hue has a feature that makes light gentle at night, perfect for relaxing before a well-deserved rest. 

Cons: The Philips Hue motion sensor requires a Philips Hue Hub, which costs an additional $42.77. I also wish the app had higher ratings, with only a 3.3 from the Google Play store and a 2.5 from the Apple store.  

Shop Amazon
Philips Hue Motion Sensor For Smart Lights
Philips Hue Motion Sensor For Smart Lights
Philips Hue Motion Sensor For Smart Lights

If your home is already filled with Philips Hue smart lighting, make it even smarter with their motion sensor, which will turn your lights off and on based on motion. 

Best For Lights

Samsung SmartThingsMotion Sensor

Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor

If you’re already in the SmartThings ecosystem, then you’ll love controlling your lights with minimal effort with their motion sensor. Just walk in a room and have your lights turn on— it’s that simple. 

Pros: This motion sensor works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, making it a wonderful choice for those in either smart home ecosystem. At only $19.99, it’s definitely an affordable way to up your smart home game. Plus, you can adjust the sensor on its magnetic ball mount to take advantage of its 15-foot range as precisely as possible. 

Cons: You’ll need the SmartThings Hub to use the SmartThings motion sensor. If you don’t already have it, this extra $67.56 is a pretty big drawback.  

Shop Amazon
Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor
Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor
Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor

Perfect for those already in the Amazon ecosystem, this sensor has lights turn off and on based on movement, saving you energy and money. 

Best Value

Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch

Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch

Nothing’s worse than a motion sensor for lighting that shuts off every time you sit still. Fortunately the Lutron Maestro has XCT sensing technology for fine motion, so you’ll never have to worry about your lighting again. 

Pros: Aside from being extremely affordable at only $19, the Lutron Maestro has amazing technical capabilities. For example, it can take daylight into account so it doesn’t waste energy turning your lights on. You can set the lights to time out in one, five, 15 or 30 minutes, plus, it works with any kind of light bulb. And the fact that it’s available in over 25 colors is just an added bonus! 

Cons: You will need a ground wire to install the Lutron Maestro. Plus, the Lutron Caséta & RA2 Select app for iPhones isn’t as highly-rated as I’d like at 3.3 

Shop Amazon
Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch
Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch
Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch

With motion sensing technology, the Lutron Maestro will never leave you in the dark (pun intended). 

Best For Security

Wyze Sense
Wyze Sense

Wyze Sense

Since bursting into the smart home market earlier this year, Wyze has proved to be a game changer not only in terms of pricing, but also features. If you already have the Wyze Cam or the Wyze Cam PanWyze Sense, which consists of two entry sensors, a motion sensor, and a bridge for the back of the camera, will take your home’s security to the next level.

Pros: Installation is easy DIY, the sensors work with IFTTT products, and the Wyze app is highly-rated by iPhone and Android users alike. Plus, Wyze Sense is only only $20, Wyze Sense is a fantastic and affordable addition to your home security system. In our experience, it is very easy to set up and use, taking less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

Cons: Wyze doesn’t offer 24/7 professional monitoring or cellular backup. That means that if your power goes down, so will your security system.

Motion Sensor Methodology

Motion Sensor Methodology
Motion Sensor Methodology

When reviewing motion sensors, we are looking for a few key features: 

  • Installation: Most sensors are peel-and-stick with an adhesive on the back, which makes for the easiest installation. There are also options that sit on a flat surface or screw in. All in all, we’re looking for motion sensors that only take a few minutes to set up and don’t require any technical know-how. Ideally, the sensor does not require an additional hub or bridge to work, as this can up the cost significantly. 
  • Features: We’re looking for smart motion sensors that show little delay in detecting movement. Extra points if they integrate with any smart home platforms like Amazon Echo! 
  • Monitoring: For security sensors, the option to purchase 24/7 professional monitoring and/ or cellular backup is a huge advantage. We prefer monitoring plans that offer a flexible, monthly option in addition to a reduced cost yearly option. 
  • App: Since you’ll be controlling and monitoring your sensors through an app, it’s important that the app is user-friendly. Not only do we test out the apps ourselves, but we also look at customer reviews from the Google Play and Apple stores. 
  • Price: Sensors tend to fall around $27 on average, so that should be used as a barometer for value.

Of course, we’re also looking for helpful extra features, like the XCT sensing technology of the Lutron Maestro or the gentle night light of the Philips Hue motion sensor.

Security Baron Tips For Motion Sensors

Need help buying or using a motion sensor? Here are a couple hints:

  • Consider the ecosystem: If you’re already in a smart home ecosystem from Amazon, Google, Apple or Microsoft, then you’ll want motion sensors that are integrated with your existing smart home platform.
  • Don’t forget the app: The app is where you’ll control and monitor your motion sensors, so make sure it has high ratings on your respective mobile device before you buy.

Recap Of The Best Motion Sensors of 2019

Now you know everything there is to know about 2019’s top motion sensors for both home security and smart lighting. With so many motion sensors available, it can be hard to know where to start. Hopefully this review helped, but if you are still left with additional questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment below. And remember— be secure!

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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