A Guide to Getting Motion Sensors for Your Home

A motion sensor is one of the major aspects of your home security system as it can detect any suspicious activity based on any unnecessary motion in your home. A motion sensor uses one or more than one technology to detect if there is a movement in your home that should not be. As soon as suspicious movement is detected it sends a signal to the main control panel and consequently to the monitoring center. This will alert you of any suspected security threat to your home.

What does a motion sensor do?

A motion sensor’s main job is to detect any intruder and then send an appropriate alert to you to take action. So, if you are not present at home and not able to watch over your home security your sensors will work to relay information to your main panel.
You can connect these to alarms or a camera to take appropriate action. Your motion sensors can be placed near windows and doors for security.

Uses of a motion sensor

If you have teens and kids and you are not sure whether they are back home before curfew your motion sensor can alert you in that case. It is extremely difficult for working parents to manage work along with keeping their kids disciplined. A motion sensor may be the right choice for you if you are struggling with that.

Motion sensors also play a major role if you install them near your main door and connect these motion sensors to your doorbell. You can select a range for it to detect motion and the doorbell will automatically ring as soon as a visitor approaches your door within that range.

If you have younger children who you fear will go to areas of the home which may be unsafe for them like the kitchen, basement or the medicine cabinet then you may install motion sensors in these areas which will alert you when your children go to these areas.

You can also connect your lights and fans to the motion sensors. This will save a lot of energy as the lights and fans will turn off automatically when there is no motion detected in a room. This will consequently decrease your electricity bills.

If you have pets in the house there are certain areas you do not want them to be in. Pets are a huge responsibility and their wellbeing is as important as the rest of the household. A motion sensor will help you take better care of them without you having to be watchful all the time.

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What are the types of motion sensors?

Passive infrared sensors

As the name suggests, a passive infrared sensor works by detecting infrared waves. Humans radiate infrared rays by body heat so these motion sensors detect variability in temperatures. It is the most popular type of motion sensor that people use in their homes for security reasons. Any possible threats are detected and you are notified as soon as possible to take relevant action. Another feature of these sensors is that they create a passive grid in surrounding areas. As soon as it detects a movement of an object that blocks many grid zones the levels of infrared energy change causing the motion sensor to trigger an alarm.


The microwave pulses sent out by these sensors allow them to detect the reflections created by moving objects. The major advantage of these motion sensors over infrared motion sensors is that they cover a huge area. However, they are very sensitive to electrical interference and can be expensive.

Dual technology motion sensors

While the above-mentioned motion sensors only use one method to work, a dual technology motion sensor works by combining multiple detection methods. These help to reduce the number of false alarms. A dual technology sensor may combine a passive infra-red sensor with a microwave sensor. The spectrum in which these sensors operate ranges from passive to active. While many sensors do give false alarms once in a while a dual technology sensor minimizes the number of false alarms. This is because two sensors are required to trip so that an alarm could ring and alert.

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Area reflective sensors

The technology in these sensors allows them to emit infra-red rays from an LED and then they detect the reflections of moving objects. So, as soon as the subject enters a specific area the motion sensors detect and the homeowner is notified.

Ultrasonic sensors

These use the principles of ultrasonic waves to measure the reflections of moving objects.

Some specialized motion sensors

Contact sensors

These sensors use a magnet to detect any movement through a door or a window. When the door or window opens they cause the sensor and corresponding magnet to move apart. This triggers a signal and consequently an alarm in the security system.

Pet immune sensors

If you have pets in the house many motion sensors may ignore them because of their less weight. However, pet immune sensors solve the problem by triggering the sensor when they detect an animal.

Final Thoughts

A motion sensor is an extremely helpful device to keep your home security system updated and working. Technology has progressed rapidly over the years and so a number of features have been included in many new motion sensors.

It is best to do research regarding the features and pricing of a motion sensor based on your requirements before you visit the market to purchase it.

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