The Security System Motion Sensor: How It Works and How to Make the Most of It

The funny thing about the security system motion sensor is that hardly anybody knows anything about how it works. People assume that it must have some way of capturing motion, so they think if they wave violently in front of it or drop a ball in its view, then it’ll activate or snap a picture. But that won’t do much good in a security system if you have a shrewd criminal who knows how to work around security devices. Or people think, How could it possibly tell the difference between a person and an animal? Wouldn’t the alarm go off all the time? If so, motion sensors really wouldn’t be very useful. The truth is, motion sensors are actually far cleverer than that. They have specialized technology within them that enables them to be able to detect the movement of humans in particular. It’s called PIR detection, or passive infrared detection.

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PIR Detection

Passive infrared detection allows a motion sensor to pick up on specific movements based on certain kinds of energy – specifically, infrared. Throwing a ball in front of one won’t do anything, and neither will a leaf or twig falling from a tree. For a motion detector to activate an alarm, someone or something with infrared energy emittance has to move within the detection range of the motion sensor. Living things cast off infrared energy waves, which enable it to detect when humans are walking by. But what about cats, and doesn’t the sun send off infrared energy? That is what makes motion sensors so fantastic – they are specifically tuned to the exact range of micrometers of infrared wavelengths that humans emit from off their persons. Only if there is infrared energy within an 8-12 micrometer range moving in the range of the motion sensor will it activate an alarm of some kind. It doesn’t matter if a possum scurries by or if the sun slowly sets; the device will only detect humans.

How to Use Motion Detectors in Security Systems

Your security system can be full of motion sensors if you want it to be. You can just have them singly placed around your yard and hooked up to your security control panel so that they send you an alert when someone walks by. But then you’d have to go check it out for yourself because you don’t have a camera feed for it or anything coming into your house. So, more people will choose to attach motion detectors to other security devices. You might choose to install a motion sensor light or two in your backyard. The motion detection will then turn on the light, and if your security lighting is set up in a smart way with the right kinds of bulbs, the trespasser can’t hide in the shadows. Even more commonly, people will choose to install motion sensor security cameras which will turn on and start recording the moment someone walks by. That way you capture the person on camera.

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A security system motion sensor will help with home security because it’ll alert you that there is something that you need to look into. Nobody wants to flip through hours of video feed to try to find the moment when someone jimmied the lock on your back door while you were gone. Motion sensors will tell you the exact moment it happened. And not only that, they will also save you money. You probably don’t want to have to pay the expense of security devices each month to have them never appear to be needed. This way, you only have the cameras or lights turning on when the motion sensor detects something, so you’re saving on energy bills. These devices will really make your home security system that much better for you and your family.