Benefits of Motion Sensors and Detectors

by Erin Raub | Last Updated Feb. 18th, 2016

burglar alarm motion sensor

A motion detector senses a burglar’s movements or heat signature

Home security is like an onion – layered technologies make it harder to reach the center. (And make burglars more likely to cry as each layer unfolds!) Motion sensors, also known as motion detectors, are an excellent and essential level to your home security equation.

Types of Motion Sensors For Home Security

Before we dive into the benefits of motion detectors, let’s just go over the basic types:

Active Infrared Sensors
Active infrared detectors emit a constant electrical signal that uses infrared light (heat) beams that connect to a light detector. If the infrared beams are interrupted, your detector sounds the alarm.

Passive Infrared Detectors 
A passive infrared sensor passively waits for an infrared event. When a heat source, like the human body, passes by, the sensor detects the moving presence and sounds the alarm. These are the most common sensors in home security.

Active Ultrasonic Sensors
Active ultrasonic sensors use high-frequency sound waves (you can’t hear them) that work like a boomerang: These waves are sent out and then return to the sensor, reporting any suspicious interruptions in the sound waves (in other words, a human body obstructing the ultrasonic path).

Passive Ultrasonic Detectors
Instead of actively sending out sound waves, these detectors wait passively for a sound event, like shattering windows. The sound waves emitted by such an occurrence are what triggers a passive ultrasonic detector.

disable motion sensor

Disabling your motion sensors (to get a nighttime glass of water, for example) is as easy as keying in your code

Advantages of Home Security Motion Detectors

Motion sensors are an essential weapon in your home security arsenal. Your house alarm system is a lot harder to breach than Hollywood would have you think – and most prowlers are much less adept than your average blockbuster burglar – but still, layered security promises added peace of mind when it comes to your family’s safety.

The sole purpose of a motion sensor – and its biggest benefit – is providing further security against burglars. If your alarm system is somehow breached without alerting you to an open door or window, your motion detectors will sense your intruder and sound the alarm. This gives you time to reach safety while your alarm company calls for police assistance.

And as for the oft-touted disadvantages, well, they’re mostly bad memories of sensors past. Today’s motion-sensing technology is very advanced, so you no longer have to worry about false alarms from small or medium pets. They’re also easily disabled, so you can get up for a glass of warm milk in the middle of the night.

motion detector area

Motion detectors can cover almost the entire area of a room

A Note on Motion Sensing Lights

Putting lights on a motion sensor is a very simple and effective – not to mention inexpensive – way to secure your property. You can place flood lights, garden lights, your front entrance light, and other outdoor lighting on motion sensors. Many indoor/outdoor motion sensor lights can be easily installed on your own (DIY).

Motion-sensing lights provide several benefits:

  • Reduce Crime: Statistics show that well-lit communities have lower crime rates than neighborhoods with poor lighting.
  • No Place to Hide: When the exterior of your home is well lit, would-be burglars have no place to lurk or hide.
  • Warning Signs: If your flood lights suddenly go on, it’ll give you the chance to investigate or call the police.  

Top 5 Highest Rated Motion detectors

1. Honeywell Ademco AURORA PIR Motion Sensor
This sensor has entirely silent relay operation, is pet Immune up to 40 pounds, and features Split-Zone Optics technology

2. DT7235T DUAL TEC Motion Sensor
This sensor has reliable detection with 100 lb. Animal Immunity, patented false alarm prevention features, and is fast and simple installation without adjustments.

3. Leviton ODC0S-I1W Self-Contained Ceiling-Mount Occupancy Sensor
This sensor has an impressive 360 degrees field of view with approximately 530 sq. ft. of coverage when mounted at 8 ft., adjustable delayed OFF time setting between 20 seconds and 15 minutes to allow custom adjustment, and resilient operating temperature of anywhere between 32-122 Degrees F.

4. Skylink PS-434A Motion Sensor
This sensor is a reliable and easy-to-install model, featuring a large motion detecting range of a 40 feet by 110 degree arc, and false alarm prevention technology.

5. RAB Lighting STL200W Stealth Sensor
This sensor is a more advanced device due to its having additional features that many other motion sensors don’t have such as temperature compensation, radio frequency immunity, 6000 volt surge protection, 200 degrees detection pattern, and full adjustability for 24 hour operation or custom applications.

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  • 1 comment

     
  • Tom . 1 year ago

    Could you provide the research that shows how well lit communities have less crime? I only find research saying that it has no effect to detrimental effect on crime, giving criminals a well lit work environment and providing better shadows for them to hide in.

     
 
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