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What Is Motion Sensor And How Does It Work?

19 Jul, 2022

A motion sensor, also known as a motion detector, is an electronic device that detects nearby people or objects using a sensor. 

A motion sensor, also known as a motion detector, is an electronic device that detects nearby people or objects using a sensor. Motion sensors are an essential part of any security system. When a sensor detects motion, it notifies your security system and, in the case of newer systems, your mobile phone. Motion sensors can even be configured to send an alert to your monitoring team if you have a subscription to an alarm monitoring service.

Motion sensors are frequently used for:

  • Detect potential intruders who are close to or inside your home or business.
  • Notify you if anyone enters restricted areas. This could be the basement or garage at home.
  • Save energy by turning on lights only when they are needed.

Motion sensor technologies are active ultrasonic sensors and passive infrared sensors, both of which are well-known for their accuracy and dependability.

Active ultrasonic sensors produce ultrasonic sound waves that are above the human hearing range. These waves bounce off nearby objects before returning to the motion sensor. A transducer within the sensor serves as a signal waypoint, sending the pulse and receiving the echo. The sensor calculates the distance between itself and the target by measuring the time between signal transmission and reception.

Motion sensors installed at entry points like windows and doors can be set to activate the burglar alarm. Door and window sensors are specifically designed to detect an intruder, so you should not experience false alarms or excessive notifications.

Ultrasonic sensors can detect objects of any color, surface type, or material. They can detect translucent objects as well, though this is typically reserved for industrial applications.

Motion detectors, like door and window sensors, are critical components of a home security system. While door and window sensors alert you if someone enters your home actively, motion sensors alert you if someone is prowling in or around your home. Though there are several different types of motion detectors, most use similar technologies to detect intruders: they detect tiny changes in the spaces they cover, such as temperature, vibration, or radiation.

Motion sensors can be used to turn on a light when someone approaches your home, to sound an alarm when movement is detected in your living room, or to trigger a motion sensor camera to begin recording when someone enters your home.

How does the motion sensor work?

Motion sensors are commonly used in motion detection cameras, lights, and sensors used in home security systems. These detect infrared energy, which is emitted by humans and animals as heat. If the motion sensor detects an increase in infrared energy, indicating that someone has approached the sensor or walked within its range, the home security control panel is notified, and an alarm is triggered. PIR motion sensors can be configured to ignore small changes in infrared energy, so they will not sound an alarm if the family cat or dog walks by or if the temperature in the house fluctuates slightly.

Installing motion sensors at your home

Motion sensors have a limited range (50 to 80 feet), you'll want to install several throughout your home, particularly in areas where people frequently walk, such as hallways, staircases, living rooms, and bedrooms. Because a motion sensor may have a more difficult time detecting someone walking directly toward it, it's best to place it alongside a hallway where a burglar would walk parallel to it.

When deciding where to place each motion sensor, keep in mind that they should be at least 10 feet away from bright windows, radiators, and heating vents, as sudden changes in temperature or HVAC-related airflow can cause false alarms.

Whitelion provides motion sensors that will enhance overall home automation. Book us for the motion sensor demo at your home today!

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