Sensors are a basic platform component in Home Assistant. They monitor the states and conditions of a variety of entities. An entity can be many things. This can include a physical device like a motion sensor that reports the battery level, a web service that retrieves the weather temperature, a built-in function that calculates the sun’s elevation relative to your GPS position, or even a custom sensor you may have created to report the free space on your laptop. These are all things reporting different types of information.

Some of these sensors are built-in to Home Assistant, some are created automatically when you add an integration (see this list), and some can be created manually. The Statistics and Template sensors are two examples of the last case.

Device Class

The type of data a sensor returns impacts how it is displayed in the frontend. This is controlled by the sensor’s device class designation. Built-in sensors and many created from an integration will have this designation predefined. Those can be modified in the customize section. When manually creating a new sensor the device class may be optionally assigned. A full list of available sensor device classes is below:

  • None: Generic sensor. This is the default and doesn’t need to be set.
  • battery: Percentage of battery that is left.
  • current: Current in A.
  • energy: Energy in Wh or kWh.
  • humidity: Percentage of humidity in the air.
  • illuminance: The current light level in lx or lm.
  • signal_strength: Signal strength in dB or dBm.
  • temperature: Temperature in °C or °F.
  • power: Power in W or kW.
  • power_factor: Power factor in %.
  • pressure: Pressure in hPa or mbar.
  • timestamp: Datetime object or timestamp string (ISO 8601).
  • voltage: Voltage in V.
  • carbon_monoxide: Carbon Monoxide in CO (Gas CNG/LPG)
  • carbon_dioxide: Carbon Dioxide in CO2 (Smoke)

Example of various device class icons for sensors.