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Aqara Just Released a New Motion and Light Sensor
Aqara Just Released a New Motion and Light Sensor
Jun 15, 2024 10:44 AM

Aqara makes a lot of smart products, but they made their bones as a brand that produces smart sensors. Their Presence Sensor FP2 was the darling of consumer tech shows in 2023.Aqara remains the go-to for a library of sensors to measure absolutely anything, and they offer sensors no one else does. Today, theyre launching the new Motion and Light Sensor P2, which uses Thread and Matter protocol.

According to the release, the P2 uses an ultra-wide passive infrared sensor and illumination sensor and claims to provide light detection up to 23 feet and 170 degrees horizontally. The P2 can measure light intensity independently of motion detection, which is a new function for these sensors, and each unit has a battery life of two years. The sensitivity of the sensor is finely tunable, but that will require the Aqara app, and a Matter hub for Aqara. Here, Aqara has laid out a blueprint for Matter products: Use a multi-system hub like Google Home for gross functions like "on" and "off," but for customizations of any kind, youll need the Aqara app and hub.Now, here's the weird part: For now, you can pair this to any Matter or Thread hub, but you can't (yet) pair it to the Aqara app itself. That will require the M3 hub, which won't be available until late May. At that point, you'll be able to pair it with the Aqara app and do that fine tuning, which means the P2 release feels a little half-baked, to me.

Motion and light sensors are logical triggers for automations around turning lights on and off, but can also control window coverings, smart doors and windows, and act like a basic security alarm. For instance, you can program a trigger to turn on the coffee machine the moment someone is detected in the office, or send an alert if someone is in the file room.

The P2 connects to any Matter controller with Thread border router functionality, and will work with almost any smart home platform including Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings. In recent months, Aqara has announced or released a number of Thread-based products, including the Smart Lock U100 and the upcoming hub, called the M3. The P2 is available starting today for $33.99. I'll be testing and reviewing both the M3 and the P2 in the coming weeks.

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