If you’re working on building out your smart home, you might consider including a motion sensor. These fun sensors are perfect for keeping track of activities within your home when you’re not there. They can also monitor different aspects of your home, including water leaks, smoke alarms, temperature, and many others.
If one of these sensors are tripped, they can send a smart notification to your phone, so you know exactly what is going on. Typically, a smart home sensor is simple to install and easy to configure. While the Notion Home Sensor is a pleasantly designed device, it does fall short in some areas, which we’ll get into shortly.
There’s no shortage of ways you can use a smart home motion sensor. Let’s take a closer look at the one that Notion has to offer.
Features and Design
The Notion Home Sensor kit includes three sensors and a bridge. However, if you feel like you’ll need more sensors, you can order a kit that has five at an additional cost. If you need more than that, you can purchase individual packs as well. You can also buy another bridge if you happen to need one.
Each bridge can connect to a total of fifteen sensors if you want that many sensors in your home. The bridge itself measures 2.9” by 1.9” x 1.6” (HWD). It will plug into the nearest outlet, and offers a two-pronged plug on its backside. On top of the bridge is an LED indicator. This lets you know the status of the device depending on the color.
Green means everything is running properly, while blue means it is searching for your wifi network. The Notion Home bridge will blink red and green if its firmware is updating, and it will blink red if the device cannot find and connect to your network. Built into the Notion Home bridge is an 802.11n wifi radio which connects to your wifi network.
The sensors themselves come in the shape of hockey pucks. They are 0.8 inches deep and 2.2 inches across. These devices use two AAA batteries which are easily replaceable. Of course, these gadgets contain the necessary intelligence to detect physical motion, along with an accelerometer which tells the device if it has been moved.
These devices can also sense water, sound, light, and ambient temperature. Located on each sensor is an LED indicator that will flash blue if the device is searching for a bridge. Once the sensor connects to the bridge, it will quickly flash green. Otherwise, it stays unlit during its typical operations. It will, however, flash red if it cannot locate a bridge or if it’s in the process of updating its firmware.
Every Notion Home sensor has the ability to be assigned specific tasks. When you set up and configure each sensor you can select a location. Options include bedroom, bathroom, entrance, dining room, hallway, kitchen, laundry room, garage, or other. Once you choose the location, each sensor can handle up to three tasks.
For instance, you can set the device to sense when doors open and close. So if you want to monitor your garage door, windows, safes, or exterior doors, you can. The Notion Home sensors can also detect leaks, smoke alarms, and temperature changes. So if you need to keep a close eye on that trouble spot in your basement, just place a Nation Home sensor nearby and have it notify you if or when it detects a leak.
The Notion mobile application is available on both iOS and Android markplaces. Once you have the app installed and launch it, the home screen will show all of your currently installed sensors along with the tasks assigned to each. You’ll see statuses such as leak detection, window or door movement, and temperature indicator.
If you tap on the temperature indicator, you can view the history of the temperature for the life of the device. It also gives you the option to set cold and hot thresholds. If any thresholds are crossed, the device automatically sends a notification to your phone.
Selecting the door or window disply will let you view a timeline of movement that has been detected since the device first connected to the bridge. Similarly, you can view the history of smoke alarm or water leak detection by clicking on their respective icons.
Your Home/Away status setting is located in the upper right hand corner of the app’s home screen. If you’re in Home mode, the app won’t send you notifications, which seems like a bit of a drawback since you can’t be everywhere in your home at once. You can use geolocation to automatically have you phone determine when you’re at home and when you’re away.
Located toward the bottom of the home screen is an icon which takes you into account administration. In this area you can change your temperature or time formats if needed. You can also setup or change your email and password information in this section.
The System icon shows your location while providing quick access to your local Police, Fire, and Medical emergency numbers. In this part of the app, you can also determine the Bridge and Sensor signal strength while editing and viewing the tasks assigned to every sensor. You can also change the location of the sensor in the System menu.
Last but not least is a gear icon which launches your Settings menu. Here you can turn on and off your notifications and alerts, as well as configure your sensors to interact with Nest thermostats.
The Notion Home sensor does integrate with Works With Nest devices. This means you can control your Nest Thermostat or determine the average temperature in your home by pairing the Notion Home Sensor with your Nest Thermostat.
Unfortunately, the Notion Home sensor does not work with the Nest cameras. This is a huge missed opportunity on the part of Notion, as it would be great to have the ability to put the two devices to provide great motion detection coverage for your home.
Additionally, when compared with other smart home motion detectors, the Notion Home sensor lags a little behind since it doesn’t support smart devices that its competitors do. It also doesn’t support or integrate with IFTTT devices.
Performance and Installation
Setting up the Notion Home sensor is simple and easy. After you download and isntall the smartphone app, it will walk you through creating an account. Once you have an account created, you can plug in the bridge and follow the instructions in the app to get things going.
Name the system, then continue along in the process. Within a few seconds, the system will identify the bridge. Now just wait while the bridge looks for an connects to your wifi network. It only takes about half a minute for it to connect. Validate that everything is working properly, then hit the Done button to finish and exit setup.
You’ll be taken back to the app’s Home screen where you can begin to add your sensors. You’ll be instructed to remove the plastic battery tab, then knock twice on the sensor to take it out of sleep mode. Scan the QR code located on the back of the Nation Home sensor, select which location the device will reside in, and choose which tasks it will perform.
Now you can place the sensors exactly where you want them. If you want one on the living room window, just attach it and wait for a few seconds while it calibrates. You can do this for each sensor you connect to your Notion Home bridge.
Keep in mind that the sensors use a strong adhesive backing to stay in place. If you’re not careful, this adhesive can remove the finish from any surface if or when you try to move the devices.
Once everything is setup and behaving properly, you’ll receive push notifications anytime one of the sensors are triggered. Whether it’s a door opening and closing or a temperature threshold being met, the Notion Home sensor will alert you to what’s going on.
Pros and Cons
All devices have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of the Notion Home Sensor.
- Quick and easy to set up
- No monthly fees required
- Every sensor can handle mutliple tasks
- Bridge can support up to 15 sensors
- Geolocation works for Home and Away settings
- Does not integrate with IFTTT
- Cannot work with smart home assistants
- Does not send notifications if you’re in Home mode
Is the Notion Home Sensor Worth It?
The Notion Home sensor is a simple and stylish way to keep an eye on certain areas and activities throughout your home. Whether its basement leaks, garage door openings, room temperature settings, or smoke detector alarms, the Notion Home Sensor will alert you if it’s triggered by sending you a push notification.
Unfortunately, the devices do not offer support for other smart enabled components like lights or cameras, and it does not integrate with IFTTT. Having even a few of these capabilities would make the Notion Home sensor much more valuable in comparison to other smart home sensors.
The sensors themselves provide notifications without issue, but they just aren’t quite up to snuff when compared to other smart home sensor devices. Other devices integrate well with IFTTT along with other technologies like Z-Wave and Zigbee. For your money, you might consider an alternative option if you’re in the market for a smart home sensor.