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Home Security Motion Sensors


One of the most versatile components of ahome security system, motion detectors can play an integral role in safeguarding your home. They can be installed most anywhere you want extra security, both inside and outside of your home. Points of entry are common, as an additional safeguard to door and window sensors, for example, but they may also be installed in hallways outside bedrooms or in a room where valuables are kept. Outdoors, the front and back entries, as well as the bottom of the driveway or walkway are likely placements. Whether you want a simple detector that will trigger a light to come on or a high tech video motion detector, there is sensor security technology available to meet every homeowner’s needs.

How a Motion Detector Alarm Works

Motion detectors may be either hardwired or wireless and run by batteries, so are easily added to an existing home security system. Though they can be used in many different ways, they work by covering what are known as “zones” inside and outside the home. As soon as it detects movement, it will trigger the alarm. A motion sensor doesn’t have to be the type that triggers a home security system alarm, however. There are varying degrees of simplicity and complexity. They may be connected to outdoor floodlights as a deterrent to an approaching intruder, or they may be connected to a bathroom or stairwell light programmed to turn on for the safety of family members.

Different Types of Motion Sensors

  • Passive infrared sensors detect heat from a person’s body, so while it won’t detect falling leaves, it will detect a pet or critter
  • Ultrasonic motion detectors send out ultrasonic pulses that measure the reflection of anything moving
  • Microwave motion detectors send out a constant flow of microwaves that bounce off objects in their path. Effective, but easily triggered
  • Dual technology motion detectors combine two different types of sensors so they reduce false triggers
  • Pet immune motion sensors accommodate pets without setting off the alarm
  • Ceiling mount motion detectors have a better “view,” less likely to be blocked by furniture or other large items

How to Choose a Motion Sensor Alarm

With so many types of motion sensor available and so many options, it’s important to determine the specific requirements of your property, home, and family. Regardless of which type you choose, don’t skimp on the number of detectors you purchase. Walk through and around the home looking for any vulnerable spot that would benefit from motion detection. Before your purchase keep these points in mind:

  • Motion detectors do not have to be expensive. Expect to pay as low as $20 or as much as $150+
  • Be sure the type of detector is suited to your home and property in terms of pets and other trigger factors
  • A night feature is programmed to only be active at night—useful when connected to a light.
  • Will the motion detector connect to your home security alarm system?

Who are Motion Sensors for?

Because they are so versatile, motion detectors will benefit any homeowner. You should consider one if:

  • You want the added layer of security motion detection brings to your home security system
  • You want the built in safety light provides in potentially dangerous places like stairwells and bathrooms
  • You want to save energy by having a motion detector activate the thermostat, lights, or appliances