WiZ’s Smart Lights can now detect your presence without the use of a motion sensor.


We imagined the smart house as having lights that switch on as soon as you enter a room. However, unless you write a routine or a motion sensor around the home to trigger the lights, it hasn’t proven easy to configure. Signify, the company behind WiZ and the Philips Hue smart bulbs has devised a way to turn on lights without requiring this time-consuming setup.

The feature is called SpaceSense, and it will be included in WiZ’s next software version. SpaceSense employs wifi sensing technologies to detect variations in signal strength caused by the movement of people through rooms. It functions similarly to Hex Home Security, a security system I examined last year that calculates movement based on activities within range. SpaceSense does not detect people or places since it does not employ a camera, and no cloud server is required to intercept the data.

WiZ’s wifi detecting capabilities are embedded right into the light bulbs, and SpaceSense uses any existing wifi signals in the room. It, like the Hex security system, relies on at least two compatible lights within range to create a type of digital barrier. According to WiZ’s press release, “by monitoring the minor changes in signal intensity induced by the disruptions, the WiZ lights can discern if there is an item moving in the room.” The sensor technology is omnidirectional, therefore no line of sight is required during installation. Pet owners may also change the sensitivity of SpaceSense to avoid unintentional triggers.

SpaceSense is available for most WiZ devices released after September 2021. Any Connected WiZ device, including Philips Smart LED and other third-party WiZ network participants, can benefit from the technology. It will, however, need an update to the new WiZ app V2, which will be available in late September and was created expressly for this functionality. The software has also been updated to improve the user interface.

Philips Hue will not operate with SpaceSense since it employs a different connection technique than WiZ. However, the capability is interesting given the brand’s low cost and commitment to supporting the impending Matter standard. Most merchants charge roughly $22 for a two-pack of the linked A19 bulbs. That’s all it takes to take advantage of SpaceSense.

Hassan Rajput

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