New to Sense will it discover


Hey guys,
I have a few questions for you about specific items being detected. From what I understand Sense needs to see lots of on/off cycles of a device to learn what the device is. That doesn’t mean that it needs to see my particular device cycle on/off lots and lots of times if it’s already seen it in the community or does it? It will need time to match it and pull it out of all the other electrical noise that’s going on.
Will the following ever get detected?:

  • laptops & cell phones charging
  • motion battery powered night lights (
  • lights ie hall lights
  • heating pad
  • gas furnace (fan)
  • bathroom fans
  • desktop computer (shut down everyday)
  • battery chargers (cordless tools, AA/AAA charger, cordless dyson)
  • christmas lights that are connected to a wifi smart plug

Another question if sense learns a device that’s plugged in like a space heater and I move it to another room will it still detect it? Or is it linked to the receptacle that it was plugged into?

WIll the “other” bucket disappear at some point? Or will there always be items that it can’t recognize?

Can I make the “always on” bucket smaller with use of timer/wifi plugs turning items off and on?

Thanks in advance


I’m a year in and most but not all major appliances have been detected along with a few smaller ones.

The stubbornly undetected are:

  • All lighting (currently about 80% LED, 19% compact fluorescent, and single incandescent dimmable touch lamp with three 15 watt bulbs)
  • chargers (computers, phones, cordless tools, Roomba, generator battery, etc.)
  • battery and oil filter heater for Generac generator (yes, sense is connected in a manner that they would be measured)

I’m almost certain that if a plugged in device such as your space heater is moved from room to room but happens to be on the same 120 volt leg it will remain detected. I’d love to hear from RyanAtSense if this still remains the case if the device is moved from one 120 volt leg to the other.


All of those will hopefully eventually be detected, but I wouldn’t count on them being detected anytime soon as:

  1. Their energy consumptions are typically small (< 10W)
  2. Their energy signatures are complicated, lots of different patterns, etc. for the same device.

Unfortunately this means they tend to get lost in the “noise” of the bigger items in your house. That said as the ML models get more and more refined, they’ll be more accurately able to identify those bigger items and “filter” their signatures out more exactly so that the smaller patters become “easier” to identify by the ML models.

I’ve had my Sense since September last year and the only 2 lights that have been detected in my house are the lights in each of my refrigerators oddly enough. None of my 40+ Smart LED bulbs have been detected (besides the Hue ones through the Hue integration). Neither have my computer, or bathroom fans, or any of our phone chargers. None of the 11 Google Home Speakers have been detected either. The only reason my Christmas lights were “detected” is because I had them plugged into a TP-Link HS110 smart plug but otherwise I doubt they would have been detected.


Original post deleted as I must have hit some keyboard shortcut which hit submit.

Based on personal experience and from reading these forums

  • laptops &amp; cell phones charging**

Doubtful, but possible. Just haven’t seen it and I think often the charging patters are so variable. Are you using the laptop or phone while it is charging? Is it getting notifications in the background etc…

*motion battery powered night lights

Similarly, I sort of doubt it. Partially due to their low wattage, and also partially because I sort of guess they don’t have a regular usage / charge pattern.

  • lights ie hall lights

What kind of bulb, and are they on a dimmer. If on a dimmer, I’d say unlikely. If on a switch and incandescent, chances are higher.

  • heating pad

I’d say a decent chance depending on how it works. If you can, try to find a “quiet” moment in the house when other things aren’t turning on / off and turn it on for 15 minutes and then post a screen shot of your power meter.

  • gas furnace (fan)

these seem to be hit or me. 2 years in for me and no detection, but others have had luck,

  • bathroom fans

Once would think these should be easy, but again, based on my experience, they haven’t been seen. but I often wonder if the “on” signature gets blurred as often the bath fan kicks on as other switches are hit “simultaneously” in the bathroom.

  • desktop computer (shut down everyday)

based on forum history, i’d say not. Computers have a very variable power signature. Everything you do causes the processor to do different things which means more or less power. Bright web page? Webpage with Flash vs HTML 5. Netflix video. Computer game etc… all change the signature. If you want to track a desktop computer, I’d say your best bet is getting a Smart Plug (TP-Link HS110 or Wemo Insight)

  • battery chargers (cordless tools, AA/AAA charger, cordless Dyson)

i think it depends on the battery charging tech, but some people have reported tool chargers being detected. My Dyson cordless has not been detected.

  • Christmas lights that are connected to a wifi smart plug

I think it probably depends on their power draw and if its enough to trigger as a device. Some on the forum have reported devices as low as 5-10w being detected as a device, but I also feel that at some point, Sense has to sort of ignore that tiny changes and look for a more significant power on spike.

As far as the Space heater. I think your mileage will vary. I had a dehumidifier. I move it between two plugs on the same ultimate circuit and it was detected. Brought it to another room where I knew the plug was on the other half of the panel, and it wasn’t detected. But again, someone else on the forum said they can move their vacuum around and it gets picked up, so you never know. I think things will only improve with time.

Also as for as the “on/off” needing to be seen multiple times. I think it is a combination of both. Sense seeing a device many many times in your house, but then also even more samples from all users. You and I could buy the exact same refrigerator, but it could look different to Sense in your house vs my house. So they need to see it multiple times in your house to then go “hey, that looks a lot like what we call a fridge. its probably a fridge”.

Ultimately, the devices that I said won’t be detected, I don’t think they will be in the short term. Sense is ever improving and gets better all the time. There are certain things I think they will never get (devices that fall into Always On), but I’m hoping to be proven wrong.