Setup Guide for PurpleAir Sensors

Information on configuring, registering, and installing your PurpleAir sensor.

Before you begin

We recommend configuring WiFi on your sensor inside, near your computer or where you have a good WiFi signal. You should also check that there is a reasonable WiFi signal where you intend to mount the sensor. This can be done by browsing the internet using WiFi with a phone or computer near the desired location.

PurpleAir PA-II or PA-II-SD Sensor

In the box

  • Sensor
  • Outdoor power supply
  • Optional mounting screw (1 per sensor)
  • Optional mounting zip-ties (3 per sensor includes spares)

Powering your sensor

  1. Plug the Micro USB end of the power supply into the base of the sensor.
  2. Plug the power supply into a functioning wall outlet.
  3. Look for a dim red glow under the sensor housing to confirm the sensor is receiving power.

PurpleAir PA-I Indoor Sensor

In the box

  • Sensor
  • USB power block

Powering your sensor

  1. Plug the USB cable into the power block.
  2. Plug the power block into a functioning wall outlet.
  3. A blue light seen from the top of the sensor indicates the sensor is starting and will begin to glow the current AQI color shortly.

Connecting your PurpleAir sensor to WiFi

Configuring WiFi and registering the sensor on the PurpleAir map is the same for all PurpleAir sensors.

  1. On a WiFi enabled device open the list of available WiFi networks.
  2. Connect to the sensor's network "PurpleAir-xxxx". The xxxx is a 2-4 dight code specific to your sensor.
    Important: If your sensor network name is "AirMonitor_xxxx" you will need to go to www.purpleair.com/configure to configure WiFi on your sensor.
  3. Depending on your operating system or device you may get a pop-up window or a message to sign into the network. If you get a message to sign into the network, press it to make the pop-up window appear.
  4. The pop-up window will list available WiFi networks.
  5. Choose the WiFi network you would like the sensor to use, enter the password, and click save. A hidden WiFi network can be entered by selecting the option at the bottom of the list.
  6. The WiFi status bar will turn green once your PurpleAir sensor is connected to WiFi and transmitting data.

Registering your PurpleAir sensor on the PurpleAir map

Registering your sensor places a sensor icon on the PurpleAir map. You will only need to do this once. If you would like to change any registration details, please complete the registration form again. You will need to use the same "Owner Email" that was used in the first registration to make changes.

  1. Go to www.purpleair.com/register.
  2. Enter the sensor's Device-Id exactly as printed on the sensor's label.
  3. Enter the associated email address which is usually the email that was used to purchase the sensor. If you do not know the correct email address, please contact us for help or to associate a new email address. PurpleAir will need the Device-Id in order to help you.
  4. Complete the rest of the registration form. For additional help you can view a full explanation of registration fields or read our registration tips below.
  5. Click register and look for a green "successful registration" notice. A registration confirmation email is sent to the Associated Email and Owner's Email. This email includes a link to view your sensor on the PurpleAir Map.

Tips on completing the registration form

  1. When choosing a location, enter the location you would like the sensor icon to appear on the PurpleAir Map.
    Pro-Tip: Drag the red icon on the map to set the exact location of the sensor icon on the PurpleAir map.
  2. When entering the sensor owner's information, this should be the person who is hosting the sensor on their WiFi network. The sensor owner may receive notifications on the sensor status or other important information about maintaining the sensor.
  3. If you set your sensor to private you may view it by logging in to the PurpleAir Map using a Gmail address that matches the "Owner Email" in the registration form. Alternatively, you can use the link provided in the registration confirmation email. You may share this link with family and friends.
  4. After a successful registration it only takes a few minutes for the sensor to appear on the map.
  5. Any sensor that has not connected to a WiFi network for one week or so will not be visible on the PurpleAir map.
  6. If you completed the registration form and do not see your sensor on the map or your sensor icon is grey (not reporting data):
    1. Ensure you entered a location on the registration form by looking for the coordinates in the registrations confirmation email.
    2. Check the WiFi connection as per "Connecting your PurpleAir sensor to WiFi" section above.
    3. Or contact us for assistance.

Tips on PA-II and PA-II-SD Installation

  • The housing is designed to protect the device from the elements while allowing air to flow freely past the two laser counters.
  • The power supply should be mounted so that it will not be submersed in water or covered by snow. 
  • Use a "drip loop" to prevent water running down wires and into electronics
  • PurpleAir outdoor sensors can withstand direct sun without being damaged. Mounting the sensor in a shady spot will produce temperature readings that are not effected by direct sunlight.
    Please note that temperature readings are already elevated by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit due to heat generated by the WiFi module inside the sensor.
  • If possible, mount the sensor away from vents or other local sources of pollution like BBQ's.
  • Use either cable ties or a screw to mount the sensor and power supply.
  • Connect the power supply to a power outlet and tuck the wires away.
  • Mount the sensor where it is convenient and easy to access.

Tips on installing your PurpleAir PA-I indoor sensor

  • The sensor is designed to lay flat on a hard surface like a counter top or desk.
  • Place the sensor in a central location in your home away from air vents, humidifiers, and cooking areas to obtain a home average reading, or an area of interest to monitor specific activity.