What are the sensors for a smart home

Smart home today is not only about burglar alarms and lighting control. It also includes climate control, fire alarms, control of the state of utilities, energy saving and control of home multimedia systems. The functionality of smart homes is constantly growing due to the growing variety of different sensors.

Smart home structure
One of the reasons for the popularity of smart home is its open structure. A system that started with one smart motion sensor can eventually grow into a full-fledged smart home with dozens of sensors and actuators. At the moment, several ways of building such systems have been formed.

First, these are autonomous smart sensors. They connect to the Internet via home Wi-Fi, transfer information to the cloud service of the sensor manufacturer, then information about the status of the sensor enters the user’s mobile application.

Such a system is easy to install and highly reliable – failure of any element will not affect the operation of other sensors in any way.

But autonomous sensors have enough disadvantages:

Each manufacturer promotes its own mobile application, therefore, having bought several sensors from different manufacturers, you will have to supply several applications to control them.
All sensors must be in an area of ​​reliable Wi-Fi reception.
The range of stand-alone sensors is small.
Mobile applications of autonomous sensors are simple; it will not be possible to create a complex control system based on them.
Standalone sensors are more expensive.
Secondly, these are smart home systems with a separate control center, built on one of the specialized data exchange standards: ZigBee, Z-wave, Thread, etc.

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In such a system, all sensors are connected to the control center, and it already transmits the collected data via Wi-Fi. Livicom Livi Smart Hub 2G smart home control center

These systems are more difficult to install and configure, but provide the user with much more options:

A single mobile application for the entire system.
It is possible to create complex algorithms for controlling smart devices.
In the area of ​​reliable Wi-Fi reception, there should only be a control center, the smart home has its own network that does not load home Wi-Fi.
Large assortment of sensors.
However, for such systems, the problem of device compatibility is relevant – not every sensor can be connected to an existing control center. This problem is not only for Z-wave devices – they are all compatible with each other, regardless of the manufacturer.

Motion sensor Fibaro FGMS-001 ZW5 RU

In shops: tomorrow (from 20:00)
But sensors that work according to other protocols should only be purchased that are compatible with the already installed system.

In stores: 66 stores
There is also a third, mixed, option – when several sensors are autonomous and can access the Internet themselves, and the rest of the sensors are connected to autonomous ones, using them as routers. Such, for example, are Rubetek sensors: models with the Smart Link function can transmit via Wi-Fi not only “their” information, but also other Rubetek sensors connected to them.

Rubetek RS-3201 motion sensor

The disadvantages are the same as those of stand-alone sensors – binding to one manufacturer, small assortment, etc. The only difference is that now it is not necessary that all the sensors are in the Wi-Fi reception area, it is enough that there are “routers” in it.

Motion Sensor
Motion sensors emit a beam of infrared rays and detect their reflections from surrounding objects. When several beams are sequentially interrupted, the sensor is triggered.

Regardless of whether they are mounted on a ceiling or on a wall, motion sensors monitor a specific sector of 90–180 ° and have a specific range of sensing distances – usually 5–10 m, up to a maximum of 20 m.

Irbis IRHMS10 motion sensor

Motion sensors are commonly used for signaling and lighting control. Smart home systems allow you to process the signal from motion sensors in different ways: in the security mode, the response of the sensor will trigger the corresponding scenario, as a result of which the siren will turn on or an automatic call of the non-departmental security will occur. When the security mode is removed, the smart home will turn on the lighting in those rooms where movement is detected, and turn it off – in those where there has been no movement for a long time.

Vibration sensor
The vibration (shock) sensor contains accelerometers – electronic components that respond to changes in acceleration. Depending on the number of accelerometers in the sensor, they can distinguish between vibrations, shocks and tilts.

Usually installed on glass and doors for burglary signaling.

The smoke detector contains a pair of LED + photosensor and reacts to changes in the transparency of the air. Therefore, false alarms of the sensor to dust and steam are possible – keep this in mind when choosing an installation location.

Smoke detectors are used as a fire alarm element. Their actuation, in addition to the standard notification to the user, can give a command to start fire extinguishing modules and call the fire department. Smoke detectors are often equipped with local audible and visual alarms to draw attention to what has happened as soon as possible.

Smoke detector Livicom Livi FS Climatic sensors
The climate sensor (thermo-hygrometer) transmits information about the temperature and humidity at the installation site. However, separate temperature or humidity sensors are rare. With the help of thermo-hygrometers, climatic conditions are monitored in different parts of the house.

These sensors help save energy and improve the comfort of your home by maintaining the right temperature and humidity where you need it and when you need it.

Temperature and humidity sensor Rubetek RC-3602 The sensor measures the light level at the installation site and is usually used to control luminaires. Through the smart home system, the sensor can control the dimmer to maintain a constant light level in the room regardless of the brightness of the ambient light.

Smart dimmer switch Philips Hue DIM Switch RUS white

Such sensors allow you to save energy by turning on / off the lighting depending on the time of day. Light Sensor Xiaomi Mi Light Detection Sensor YTC4043GL

Light sensors are often used in conjunction with motion sensors, while the signal to turn on the lamps when movement occurs in the controlled area is given only at night. Some motion sensors already contain a light sensor.

Opening sensor
The opening sensor consists of two parts that fit tightly together. When spaced apart for some distance, the sensor is triggered, transmitting a signal to the control center.

Typically, opening sensors are used in alarm systems to monitor the opening of doors and windows. It is also common to use a window opening sensor to block the inclusion of an air conditioner.

Opening sensor AQARA MCCGQ11LM The leak sensor contains a pair of exposed contacts at the bottom. When water gets inside the sensor, a current begins to flow between the contacts, causing it to operate. Leakage sensor Geozon Sharing with smart sockets will allow, when a sensor is triggered, to turn off the washing machine or turn off the pumping station by stopping the water supply.

A more reliable option for stopping the water supply when the leakage sensor is triggered is to use an electric tap. When installed to supply water to an apartment and connected to a single smart home system, a leakage sensor will prevent flooding, regardless of where and how the water hit the floor.

Crane with electric drive Hiper Power IOT VALVE 1/2

The sensor reacts to the presence of hazardous gases in the air – combustible (methane, propane) or carbon monoxide.

Depending on the configuration of the smart home system, the gas pipe can be shut off, the hood turned on, or the emergency service is called.

Gas leak detector Rubetek KR-GD13 Such sensors are often equipped with sirens and light alarms to speed up the detection of gas leaks.

Other elements of a smart home
A smart home does not consist of sensors alone – otherwise, all its functions will be reduced only to control. To control lighting, air conditioning and water supply systems, actuators are also needed – smart sockets , switches , universal IR remotes , curtain drives , electric cranes , etc.

It is also important to initially choose the right smart home system itself – it is necessary that it support various options for smart devices and be powerful and flexible enough for their full sharing. Only in this case the potential for expanding the capabilities of your smart home will be truly endless.