This guide will help you set up your PurpleAir sensor. To set up this device, you will need the sensor’s device ID, an email associated with the sensor, a local WiFi network, and a WiFi-enabled device like a phone or computer.
Connect to WiFi
1. Power on your sensor:
Connect your device to power using an available power source. Check your device for a light that has turned on. If you see this light, your device is receiving power.
When the device is plugged in, a blue light will appear for a few moments while the device boots up. For devices with a full-color LED, it will change to the color associated with the current air quality.
If this device has been registered and you do not see a light, the LEDs may have been turned off. Reference this article to change the LED settings on your sensor: Change the LED Settings on your Sensors.
2. Connect to the Sensor’s Hotspot:
Open the network settings on your WiFi-enabled device (phone, computer, etc.) and connect to the sensor’s hotspot. The hotspot’s name will be PurpleAir-**** (the asterisks will be a 2-4 character code determined by the last few characters of the sensor’s device ID).
It may take up to 10 minutes for the PurpleAir-**** network to appear after the device is connected to power.
Depending on the WiFi-enabled device used, a popup may appear. If it does not appear, open a web browser and enter “http://192.168.4.1/config” into the address bar. If it still does not appear, try temporarily pausing or disabling mobile data on your WiFi-enabled device and re-entering the URL above.
If you do not see the sensor’s PurpleAir-**** network, it may already be configured to WiFi. More troubleshooting steps are found here: Can’t See the Sensor's Network.
3. Configure your Sensor to the Local WiFi:
Select the network you are connecting your sensor to in the available list. Enter the password for the local WiFi network and press “Save.”
Your PurpleAir sensor will begin trying to connect to WiFi. This process may take a couple of minutes. Once the WiFi is connected, the message at the top of the page will say, “Looking Good.”
Definitions for the status indicators at the bottom of the article can be found here.
Note: At this time, PurpleAir devices will not display the “Looking Good” message on the configuration page. It will continue to say “Checking Status” even though it may be connected. This is due to PurpleAir sensors no longer reporting to ThingSpeak. We will correct this in a future update.
4. Disconnect from the PurpleAir-**** Network:
Your sensor is now connected to WiFi. You can reconnect your WiFi-enabled device to your local WiFi to regain internet access. The PurpleAir-**** network will become unavailable, providing the sensor has been configured to a network with an internet connection.
If your sensor is not connected, view these ideas for troubleshooting:
- The network does not meet the WiFi requirements: Sensor Won’t Connect to your WiFi Network
- The network has a captive portal, or the hostnames or ports are blocked: Using Captive Portal Networks
- You are using an Eero router: Trouble connecting with an Eero router
Register your Sensor on the Map
To have your sensor appear on the PurpleAir map, it will need to be registered.
PurpleAir sensors are registered at www.purpleair.com/register. Fill out the form using the information from your sensor. To choose your sensor’s map location, drag the red marker to where you want it to appear.
Once the registration form is completely filled out, press “Register” to submit it. A green box will appear near the bottom of the page stating that your sensor has successfully been registered.
If you assigned a map location to your sensor, it will appear on the PurpleAir map within a couple of minutes.
An associated email is needed to register your device. The email used to purchase your device is associated by default. More information on the emails needed for registration is available here: Associated Email vs. Owner's Email.
If there are errors on the registration form, they will be marked with red after pressing “Register.”
View your Sensor’s Data
Instructions on viewing your sensor on the PurpleAir map is available here: View your Sensor on the Map.
Install your Sensor
Ensure that your sensor is installed where it will not be damaged and can maintain its internet connection. Reference these pointers for help with finding a good place:
- Ensure that the sensor is receiving power
- Ensure that the sensor is within range of the local WiFi network
- Ensure that water can not splash up into the underside of your sensor
- View our Sensor Coverage article
- View the first air sensor training video from South Coast AQMD’s Sensor Educational Toolkit
More information is available in our Sensor Installation article.
South Coast AQMD Walkthrough Video
The following video is a product of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, as part of their Sensor Educational Toolkit, “Community in Action: A Comprehensive Educational Toolkit on Air Quality Sensors.” The video, Air Sensor Training #3: PurpleAir PA-II Sensor Installation , will walk through many of the steps we covered in this guide to help you get your PurpleAir sensor running. You can read more about the South Coast AQMD Sensor Educational Toolkit by visiting the topic, “The South Coast AQMD Sensor Educational Toolkit.”
Learn what to do after installation.
Learn more about the power consumption and data usage of PurpleAir sensors.
Learn more about which PurpleAir sensor is best for you.