Smart outdoor lighting with HF sensors  

Smart outdoor lighting with HF sensors

Outdoor lighting in your garden not only looks good, but it helps you to find your way around and secure your property. Finding a method to control outdoor lighting efficiently is a common problem. It must either be manually controlled by switches or set with a timer. High-frequency sensors can help you to reduce your bills by only switching on the lights you need when you need them.

In this guide, we’ll explain how high-frequency sensors (HF sensors) work and how to use them to create a smart outdoor lighting solution.

What is HF sensor technology?

HF technology uses electromagnetic waves. It has many applications in broadcasting, smartphone technology, radar devices and remote controls.

High-frequency sensors offer long-range motion detection which makes them perfect for outdoor lighting. You don’t see the sensors as they fit neatly into luminaires or behind a suspended ceiling. The emitted microwaves can penetrate glass, plastic and even thin walls. With high-quality HF sensors blinds spots are a thing of the past, and a complete detection is always guaranteed.

HF sensors for outdoor use

HF sensors were originally designed for indoor use, as the technology reacts to even the smallest movements. However, this made it unsuitable for outdoor use as it would activate with each passing leaf. Thanks to the further development of intelligent HF technology (iHF), we can now enjoy the benefits outside. iHF can reliably distinguish between moving people and other objects, like animals or shrubs blowing in the wind. The sensor recognises and ignores activity like falling leaves, rain, wind and snow.

How HF technology works

Here’s how a luminaire with HF technology works:

  1. The iHF sensor emits high-frequency electromagnetic waves (5.8 GHz) and receives the echo.
  2. When a person moves within the detection range of the luminaire, the sensor detects a change in the echo.
  3. A microprocessor then triggers the command “Switch on light”, and the light turns on.

Brilliant lighting concepts in every room

HF sensors are reliable and luminaires easy to retrofit. The E27 lamps from Müller Licht are great for this. The lights switch on automatically when motion is detected and stay on for 3 minutes. They provide a large energy-saving of up to 80% and emit full brightness immediately after switching on.

If you want to rely on HF sensors for outdoor lighting right from the start, Steinel wall luminaires are a good choice. Depending on the application, the luminaires are available as combined uplight and downlight or just downlight. The high-frequency power of the iHF sensor is only approx 1 mW. That is a thousandth of the transmission power of a mobile phone or a conventional microwave. The angle of detection of 160° turns the lighting on at an early stage. A practical feature of these luminaires is the soft light start function.

Smart Lighting with HF technology

If you want to use lighting with HF sensors in the future, you should consider network solutions like those from OSRAM. The lamps use the ZigBee LL 2.0 protocol and are compatible with many existing smart light systems, e.g. Amazon Alexa, Philips Hue, and many more.

The flexible luminaire chain from Osram is controlled wirelessly through SMART+ Switch or SMART+ Switch mini. Installation is simple. You can either use a self-adhesive or the skewers and screws supplied. This luminaire offers adjustment options for colour, colour temperature and brightness (infinitely dimmable). A connection to a compatible gateway and the corresponding app round off the range of functions.

Steinel also offers a luminaire for the Smart Home, equipped with an HF sensor. Networking takes place via Z-Wave. It’s compatible with Smart Friends and integrates into a complete Smart Home system. Read more about this in our Smart Friends section.

Cover image: /Geraldas


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