Device Detection Testing My Patience

Thanks for the replies @kevin1

As it turns out, I don’t think NDI was a factor here… But maybe you could confirm when I explain what I discovered…

So after my post, I decided to turn on the television by itself (without using the universal remote that I use to turn everything on in rapid sequence)… The device identified as “TV” yesterday was NOT detected… Then I turned on my AV Receiver (with the television still turned on) and Sense detected the “TV” device. I turned them off, and Sense recognized the “TV” was off.

Then, I tried the reverse… I first turned the AV receiver on, and the device was NOT detected… And then I turned on the television and the “TV” device was still NOT detected.

So it seems that the ON-SEQUENCE does matter…and that the device detected by Sense is a combination of my TV and AV Receiver… And while the order matters, apparently the timing does not… My smart remote usually turns my AV components on in rapid succession (almost turning them on at the same time)… But the test of turning on the TV first, and then the receiver easily had a minute or two between my manually turning them on…

1 Like

One thing to consider. Is the TV plugged directly in an outlet or to a UPS? From my experience, none of my UPS-powered devices (computers+TVs) have been identified thus far. I have smart plugs before the UPSs.

1 Like

Sense has found nothing I have on a UPS (dozens of devices), because the UPS totally masks the turn on and turn off signatures Sense depends on. Too bad they never mention this in their marketing. I’ve added HS110s in front of UPS’s, which does give me some monitoring of those devices, but of course I didn’t need Sense for that.

I do have a WELServer which monitors my larger devices (also needs a separate module in front of each device, but at least those are 240v capable…which Sense hasn’t figured out yet.

@drjb @andy

Yeah… Makes perfect sense why devices that have a UPS between Sense and the device itself would be undetectable… That’s the whole purpose of the UPS, right? The grid charges the UPS…the UPS powers the devices… So I expect these devices would/should be completely invisible to Sense…


Not to distract from the original topic, but I think UPS’s are often used as the scapegoat to things not being detected.

Unless you are using an online-UPS, the UPS itself should not be altering the signal from devices plugged in behind it. The exception being if you have really cruddy power at home and the UPS is having to use AVR frequently. But unless you have manually adjusted the AVR margins for your home, I think you actually don’t see it all that much.

More often than not, the kinds of devices people have plugged into a UPS are the kinds of devices that generally speaking, Sense is never going to find, or have a very hard time finding. Computers, monitors, tvs etc… With exceptions (I’m looking at you pool pumps), Sense does a decent job of detecting things that have a clear, short, start up signature, and a relatively constant amount of power or variable power, but in a predicable pattern.

Computers, TV’s , sound systems do not fall into that category as the power consumption varies wildly based on what you are doing at any given moment.
Since we were talking about TV’s - bright scene? Dark Scene? OLED TV? 4 zone dimming? 12 zone dimming etc… My OLED used between 140w and about 390w depending on the content displayed.

While Sense does use NDI for a few models of TV, I believe there is a thread from a few years ago that basically states that the Sense knows a few specific TV’s, and when detected, uses a stock wattage for them. So its not really tracking the TV usage. More it knows “Hey, a Sony model E900 just told the network its on, and I know what an E900 is and on paper it uses 150w, I’ll report that” and continues to do so until the TV turns off and broadcasts the “i’m off” packets on the network.

I think its a little more complicated than that, but thats the general gist as I remember it.

Anyway, I’m not saying that UPS’s don’t get in the way, but unless I’m totally off base (highly possible), a standard Line Interactive UPS is not doing all that much during normal times.


@ben … I guess it all depends on how the specific UPS works. I’ve had UPS from Costco, Belkin, and few others. Based on all I’ve seen, there are two modes of operation:

  1. The device plugged in the UPS gets its power from the wall, unless there is interruption then the UPS kicks in
  2. The device gets its power from the UPS’s internal battery, and such battery is constantly charging/discharging (like the battery in your car)

The technology might have evolved and my understanding might not be up-to-date … I’ve been using UPS’s for 15+ years. Though, based on options 1 & 2 above, I suspect Sense would be able to detect devices in 1, but not a chance for 2.


Correct. That was the “unless you are using an online-UPS” in my response.

The first type of UPS you describe is a Line Interactive UPS
The second is an Online UPS.

I would feel pretty good saying that 98% of residential users are using line interactive UPS’s. They are significantly cheaper than an Online UPS. You will be pretty hard pressed to find a non rackmount UPS that offers “Online” protection.

1 Like

Now I’m getting curious … and this hobby always raises very interesting questions. I’m no expert on UPSs, but like the majority of ‘consumers’, I compare few options then pick what works for me, based on reliability, wattage, store’s policy, etc …

So now, based on your explanation and Google’s help, it appears those I’m using (3×) and I got from Costco are the Line Interactive type (exactly as you predicted) … that means they only kick in when needed, and this could explain why the internal batteries have a tendency to last longer (side comment). Incidentally, the devices they are feeding have not been detected by Sense. It could also be because

  1. Each UPS is feeding multiple devices (TV, Router, NAS, media server, … )
  2. Those UPS’s have built-in surge suppression (think of it as a low-pass filter that smooths the current/voltage signature)
  3. There is no true on/off as the attached devices are constantly drawing power (e.g. router and NAS)

As a new user and reading through this thread provided as part of the response to my question elsewhere, the explanations here do not align with the claims made for Sense on the website. The graphics even include bubbles for items such as lights which not not seem to be detected! And it claims to provide “a whole house view” which it cannot do if it is never going to detect most items. And it still isn’t clear to me how I tell Sense what something is when I know it has turned on, and can see it on the power meter.
Yes, I am learning quite a lot and working to save electricity, but I wouldn’t say I was satisfied that I got what I thought I was paying for…

Please share specifics here @ajax010 - our goal is to not misinform users on our website and we’ve made a conscious effort to adjust our language on our website over the last year.

CFLs and other inefficient types of bulbs are often detected. We have an integration with Phillips Hue bulbs that allows you to instantly connect your Phillips Hue bulbs to track in Sense.

The only bulbs we don’t typically detect are non-smart LED bulbs. Are you suggesting we remove the “Light” bubble from the website?

A “whole-house” view means we can see your entire home via monitoring the mains in your panel. We also offer several integrations with smart plugs and Philips Hue and additional features, including Dedicated Circuit Monitoring, allowing instantaneous detection of devices.

In my home, and many others, Sense has detected a “majority” of devices. I’ve had Sense for a year and have 21 devices detected in a small apartment. I have two smart plug strips and a few Hue bulbs to help with the things that weren’t being detected.

If you’re not happy with Sense, we offer a 120-day return window on purchases directly through our site (amazon purchases are subject to their separate return policy.)

I agree the info on the website and provided by other “promoters” such as this old house was misleading. Then again, Sense’s forums are very open and I saw the negative comments. I was impressed Sense left the comments there and addressed the concerns. They do not seem to shy away from feedback I never realized how complex device detection was, With my units, I know exactly what comes on and when. (except for things that draw 10 watts or less (like LED bulbs) . Prior to purchasing 2 Devices, I did do a lot of research and read a lot of the online comments. Some were very positive and some very negative I decided to go ahead anyway. As much as I do not appreciate the marketing associated with this product, It does do the core things I wanted. Monitor solar production/total consumption and major energy users. I hope the power quality/notifications are enhanced and made more proactive.

1 Like

The marketing successfully “oversells” and “over reaches” what reality is… But that’s what a successful marketing campaign should do… I don’t fault Sense for that at all… The vision is a great one… And it largely does exactly what they say it will do… But it does falls short of the perceived promise…

My perception going into this was that other solutions were too complicated and inaccurate… But that Sense took the complexity out of energy monitoring… No need for numerous CTs or a complicated electric panel installation… Just install a couple of CT clamps and power it with a spare breaker and let machine learning do all the heavy lifting!

Honestly, it’s a great promise…

As of today, little has changed from the date I started this thread in December 2020. If you follow my posts in this thread, I did have my gas clothes dryer and my OLED television set detected in January… But since then, nothing has been detected since then (in the last two months)…

Again, if you read my posts, I am neither upset or hyper critical… I am absolutely getting the main benefit from Sense that I was looking for… The overall power meter, and the comparative metrics for consumption and solar production is really all I need…and it does this very well…

However, if my main use case was to have comprehensive and complete device-level consumption details, I would likely be left disappointed…


@Mars - Just checking…can I read and interpret this literally? You have almost all of your devices and appliances (that consume more than 10 watts) recognized as devices by Sense and can tell exactly when they come on and off??? That’s pretty impressive…

So far, I only have the following (since installing in October):

  • Coffee Maker (which often gets confused with other kitchen appliances)
  • Gas Dryer
  • Refrigerator (Freezer Light, Fridge Light, Defroster, Compressor)
  • Garage Door Opener
  • Paper Shredder
  • One of my Television/AV systems

Any tips on what you did to accelerate device recognition?

Great promise indeed, but also a complete failure to deliver on the promise!

You could have gotten a power meter and solar metrics (plus\t LOTS of other good stuff) for MUCH less money with WelServer. I have both, because Sense claimed it could monitor individual devices. It sort of can, but also can’t in far too many situations.

As I said, if device consumption was my expected outcome, I would probably be sorely disappointed…

But truth be told, the “super app” for me is the realtime household metering and the temporal trending of consumption and solar production…

I kept my Sense online for about 100 days… I bought on Amazon in mid-October and had until the end of January to return it (because of the holiday return policy)… And I decided to keep it because I can’t imagine losing visibility to my realtime household energy metering… Well worth the price admission for my needs…

1 Like

Ah… Thanks for the info… I have never heard of WelServer before… I’ll have to look that up!

So far TV, Geo furnace, Heat pump, well pump, micro, oven, cooktop, some CFL lights, Hot water tank, halogen lights

All my LEDs are not being picked up, nor my toaster and dryer. There are a few things which rarely or have not come on since I installed so I would not expect sense to grab those, heater cable and my back up heating elements in the Geo and Heat pump… I have 2 sense units, 1 on each of my 200A panels and each have solar, I should add I have 3 garage door opens used daily and those have yet to be detected.

You’ve done very well, far better than many of us. Congratulations.

Definitely was hoping for more. Overall i say it is what i expected after reading the feedback on this forum