How Motion Sensors Work with a Security System

The news is filled with incidents involving robberies and home invasions. Even smaller towns in friendly communities have growing concerns over protection from break ins and unwelcome intruders. The majority of home security systems feature motion sensors that trigger alarms when there is a potential threat. These devices can help to create a more secure environment for you and your family. Here is a description of how motion sensors work.

The Function of Motion Sensors

Motion sensors are the components in a security system that detect movement and send a signal to the control panel of your security system. They are sensitive to even the slightest movement in an area and will be activated by a person walking by them, so you will know if there is someone in your home who shouldn’t be. Motion sensors are perhaps the most important part of your security system.

How Motion Sensors Work

They can work in a variety of different ways depending upon the type of system you have installed and where you place them. They can be connected to a set of floodlights that come on when there is movement near your front or back door or windows. This gives you early warning if there is somebody outside of your home. Because a stray dog, skunk, cat or other animal can activate these sensors, most homeowners prefer to set the sensors to merely activate the floodlights. These sensors can be set to trigger an audible alarm in addition to light activation. For example, when an intruder attempts to open a window or door, or is walking through the home, an alarm may sound along with notification that there is a break in at the monitoring center. They may also be used to activate surveillance cameras that monitor and record all activities within the range of their viewing area, so you will have a clear picture of who or what has tripped the alarm.

Types of Motion Sensors

There are a few different types of sensors that are used in home security. These devices are typically installed to cover a large area as they commonly cover up to 40ft with a 135° field of vision. Microwave sensors send pulses that detect movement by bouncing off of objects as they move. There are pros and cons to this type. They generally are capable of covering a larger area, but they can be set off inadvertently by electronic signals and they cost more.

  1. Passive infrared sensors, the most common, are used to detect movement and heat in multiple zones of an area.
  2. Dual technology sensors combine features of the passive infrared and microwave sensors to limit the number of false alarms that occur.
  3. Ultrasonic sensors send out ultrasonic wave pulses that measure reflections off of objects that move.
  4. Vibration sensors detect vibration. Wireless motion sensors are used to communicate with the security system without the need for wires. Area reflective type sensors emit infrared rays from an LED. Objects and movements are detected within specified parameters of an area.
  5. Contact motion sensors are used to detect activity near doors and windows. An alarm is triggered when a window or door is opened. You will be alerted if someone attempts to break into your home through your windows or doors.

Final Thoughts About Motion Sensors

There is a wide range of motion sensor types and they all work with cellular home security systems. Each is designed to provide a specific type of function in order to keep your home safe from intruders and unwanted guests. When installing a home security system, it is a good idea to consider which areas of the home need to be covered and which type of sensor would provide you with the best security. One type is not necessarily better than the other, but they do work in different ways, so it pays to be aware of this when you prepare to have your new system installed.

A few things to keep in mind include choosing the best sensor type for each area of the home that requires security measures. Microwave sensors cover a larger area and may be the best choice for front and back door areas. Contact motion sensors can help to keep your doors and windows secure. If you are on a budget, passive infrared sensors, which are the most common, are the less expensive option that still perform well in securing your home and giving you added peace of mind.

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