What are Smart Sensors in the Home and Why Do they Matter?

Smart sensors are important to control various clever applications around your home
Aqara Smart sensors
Published: 4th Nov 2022
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By SHN Team

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Smart sensors can make all the difference. These safety devices help avoid property damage from various sources and generally represent quality of life improvements.

As a leader in the smart device industry, Aqara understands that to make the most of the modern technology you need to learn about its features and benefits. That’s why this article will explain what smart sensors are and why their role in a household can be crucial. Finally, you’ll get a concise guide of the essential sensors that will allow you to build a genuine smart home.

What Are Smart Sensors?

Smart sensors are incredibly useful devices for any home. However, they represent more than handy gadgets – smart sensors are one of the building blocks of the latest industrial revolution.

Let’s flesh out that notion with a short historical overview.

You probably know about the industrial revolution that introduced mechanization powered by water and steam. That was the first leap forward, but definitely not the last.

The second industrial revolution involved mass-produced electricity, and the third took it a step further with robotics and computer technologies. All of which brought us to modern times and the fourth revolution.

That’s where smart technologies and the Internet of Things come in. Of course, smart sensors are an important component here. But did you ever stop to think what makes such devices “smart”? Why is a smart sensor different from a basic device that can pick up movement or temperature changes?

The answer is that a smart sensor doesn’t only function on a physical level. Rather than simply detecting changes in the environment, a smart sensor takes it to the next level by:

  • Converting the received data
  • Processing the information digitally
  • Communicating the data to other devices
  • Sending the information to the Cloud

This advanced functionality is possible due to how smart sensors are built. These devices consist of several crucial components:

  1. The base sensor that detects changes in the environment
  2. A microprocessor, responsible for converting and processing the data
  3. The memory module that allows the sensor to store crucial information
  4. A two-way communication module which can send and receive data

Why Are Smart Sensors Important?

Simply put, a smart device – for instance, a temperature sensor – can do more than detect a change in your home and set off an alarm. It can tell you crucial information like a precise temperature measurement and time and duration of the change. Then, the sensor can send you a detailed notification and communicate with other devices to regulate the temperature back to normal.

In other words, smart sensors don’t just detect change – they react to it. This ability makes them essential in modern households, especially in terms of home security.

Smart sensors are also more reliable than basic devices. They can self-assess and, if needed, self-calibrate. A sensor usually has internal components that allow it to detect issues like open coils, switch failures, and contamination.

Translated into practical use, this means that a smart sensor will perform its function ideally for as long as it works properly. If something in the sensor malfunctions, the device will detect the issue and notify the user about it. That way, the sensor can be repaired or replaced in short notice.

The advanced functionality along with connectivity make smart sensors versatile, dependable, and extremely efficient. Of course, these advantages are vital for different industries and businesses. But one of the most important roles that smart sensors can play is in home security.

Benefits of Using Smart Sensors in Your Home

A suite of smart sensors brings many benefits to a household. Some are straightforward, such as the security features of a smart home camera. However, there are other advantages that might come as a pleasant surprise. Let’s summarize the greatest strong points of smart sensor home use:

  1. Appliance safety
  2. Motion detection
  3. Health tracking
  4. Customization
  5. Ease of use
  6. Leak and flood detection
  7. Advanced video analytics
  8. Utility management
  9. Real-time home security
  10. Remote monitoring
  11. Interconnectivity
  12. Automatic video activation

It should go without saying that you can’t get all of these benefits by installing a single sensor. Different devices turn your home into an actual smart home and start making the most out of this modern technology.

Build a Truly Smart Home With These Smart Sensors

You can take your household to the next level using no more than six types of smart sensors:

  1. Motion sensor
  2. Contact sensor
  3. Temperature and humidity sensor
  4. Water sensor
  5. Vibration sensor
  6. Air quality sensor

1. Motion sensor – Aqara Motion Sensor P1

Being able to detect any motion in your home is a powerful security feature. That’s precisely what a smart motion sensor allows you to do. Aqara’s model has plenty of additional functions that make the sensor more than a security feature.

For instance, you can set the sensor up to be more or less sensitive in terms of detection distance. The device can also detect different light levels, allowing for precise light control. For instance, if the P1 detects motion in a dark environment, it will turn the lights on.

2. Contact sensor – Aqara Door and Window Sensor

A contact sensor will detect whether doors or windows are open. This sensor can communicate such changes to the main hub, putting different automated processes in action.

When the Aqara sensor detects the door opening during nighttime, it will signal your smart switch to turn on the lights in the corresponding room. Plus, the sensor will send an alarm to your phone if any potential entry points are left open when you’re not at home.

3. Temperature and humidity sensor – Aqara Temperature and Humidity Sensor

humidity sensor

This sensor displays the current temperature and humidity info via an app in your phone. If it detects extreme changes, the device will send out an alert. It can also activate a humidifier if your home is equipped with a smart plug or communicates with the AC unit to regulate the conditions.

4. Water sensor – Aqara Water Leak Sensor

Designed to function in humid environments, a water sensor detects leaks and can warn you about them in time to prevent flooding. But the Aqara Water Leak Sensor can do even more. If you have solenoid water valves connected to a smart plug, the sensor can signal the plug to shut off the water. This way, the leak won’t get out of hand even if you’re away.

5. Vibration sensor – Aqara Vibration Sensor

Vibration sensors might be the most versatile pieces of smart home equipment. These devices can detect any vibrations, including when an object is tilted or dropped. As soon as the sensor detects such changes, it will notify you via the app and sound the alarm.

Since you can attach the Aqara Vibration Sensor to almost any surface, it will act as an excellent safeguard for precious items. For instance, you could place it on a drawer lid to get notified whenever that drawer is opened.

6. Air quality sensor – Aqara TVOC Air Quality Monitor

TVOC stands for Total Volatile Organic Compounds. These compounds may reduce the air quality in the room and they come from different household products like air fresheners, cleaners, pesticides, paints, disinfectants, and solvents.

With Aqara’s TVOC Air Quality Monitor, you’ll be notified immediately if the concentration of those compounds becomes too high. The sensor uses sophisticated technology to track changes and can document air quality data for long-term tracking.

With these six sensors activated and interconnected, your household will become a true smart home, safer and more convenient for everyday life.