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Devices for Your Goals Smart Sensors

A smart motion sensor against a white wall.

What It Is

Smart sensors (also called detectors) include:

  • Motion sensors
  • Sound sensors
  • Temperature sensors
  • Contact sensors for doors and windows
  • Sensors/detectors for moisture, smoke, carbon monoxide, and other hazards

Some sensors are sold on their own, others are included in a package (such as a home security system), and others are built into other devices (such as smart cameras with motion sensors and smart speakers with sound sensors).

How It Helps

A smart sensor can make it possible to detect happenings in and around your home, from the opening of a door to the presence of smoke. Here are some examples of what you may be able to do with a smart sensor:

  • Receive an alert on your smartphone every time the front door opens.
  • Detect sounds in your home when you’re away and send you an alert that there may be suspicious activity.
  • Detect the temperature in your house and whether someone is home.
    Set the thermostat to adjust to a comfortable temperature when someone is present, and to a lower, energy-saving temperature when no one is around.
  • Detect motion or geolocation of your smartphone near your garage door.
    Set your smart garage door to open when you pull up the driveway.
  • Detect a water leak, or health hazard such as smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide, and send an alert to your smartphone, sound an alarm, and/or flash a warning light.
    If you’re concerned you’ll miss the alert or won’t be able to hear the alarm, pair one of these detectors with a smart plug where a lamp is connected and set it to turn the lamp on if the detector is triggered.
  • Detect motion outside your home.
    Pair a smart doorbell that has motion detection with a smart light bulb so that when someone is outside your door, the light turns green, alerting you that you have a visitor.

Learn more about how to automate one or more events with one or more devices.

Smart Sensors
Success Stories
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Josh uses a smart security system and smart speakers and displays to live independently with safety and security.

Read More About Josh’s Smart Home
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Suria integrates numerous smart devices for independence, safety, and convenience at home.

Read More About Suria’s Smart Home

Choosing Your Device

Choosing the right device for you depends on many factors, including:

  • What you want to do with the device
  • How you want to do it
  • Your accessibility needs
  • The layout of your home
  • Your internet connection
  • What devices you would like to integrate together

Use our self-assessment to review your unique situation and needs, then read our top tips on how to choose your smart home technology.

Product Reviews

Once you have a good idea of what you want and need, research which products can help. Reviews can be very useful to understand each product’s strengths and limitations.

The following guides from Wirecutter review a number of smart home devices, including smart sensors:

Below are some of our favorite review websites. Many of them have “best of” lists for smart devices, as well as in-depth reviews of specific products. Try performing a search online using the name of the website plus the device type and the year. For example: CNET best smart motion sensor 2021.

Fund Your Smart Home

Know what device you want but not sure how to fund it? Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) can help.

Learn About Funding