How do I Use a Motion Sensor for Security?

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  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2020
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There are several ways to use a motion sensor for security. Many people install them to protect their homes, their vehicles, and their outside property. Sensors typically are utilized in conjunction with alarm systems, cameras, or lights as part of a home surveillance or home security system. They can be set up both inside and outside the home. Many people consider motion detectors to be a convenient way to monitor their property and to deter criminals.

A motion sensor for security detects movement within a predetermined area. It can sense motion either optically or acoustically, meaning that it can be programmed to identify changes in light or sound. Indoor security sensors are usually connected to alarm systems. For home surveillance purposes, many people use motion detector cameras. Unlike fixed cameras that record only what is in front of them, a motion detector camera moves and starts recording when the target is on its screen. It can be connected either to the main home security system or to a separate computer.


Most motion detectors are characterized as either active or passive. Microwave and ultrasonic sensors are examples of active sensors that emit pulses to measure changes in the environment. Passive infrared (PIR) detectors detect heat radiated by moving objects. Dual technology sensors incorporate both of these types of detection. When choosing an indoor motion sensor for security, some people might be concerned about its sensitivity, especially if they have small pets that could trigger the motion detector. As a result, many people use dual technology motion sensors, which usually will not activate an alarm, if the object weighs less than a certain amount.

Outdoors, motion detector lights can help with both deterring trespassers as well as with making a homeowner feel secure by lighting his or her path when returning home. They can also assist invited guests with finding their way to the door at night. Some people might also use an infrared driveway motion detector, which alerts the homeowners that someone has entered their property.

There are numerous options available for people who want to install a motion sensor for security at home. They can talk to someone at an alarm company or a home improvement store. Alternatively, many how-to web sites can offer do-it-yourself tips for setting up home security electronics. It is usually advisable to consult with a professional when installing outdoor lights, especially when dealing with electricity.



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