Many of us are familiar with motion sensors. However, not many people know the difference between active and passive motion sensors that form part of a motion sensor alarm system.
Active motion sensors: Active motion sensors send out ultrasonic sound waves similar to those used during a pregnancy ultrasound. As part of an alarm system, active sensors emit a continual pattern that activates once the pattern is interrupted. Almost any type of movement can interrupt the signal so they have to be set up correctly, but pedestrians, vehicles coming up the driveway, and any other unauthorized movement can all trigger alarms.
Inside the home, they can warn you of any breach in security, or even turn on the lights or open garage doors for your convenience.
Passive motion sensors: These are the most common type of sensors used residentially. PIR, or passive infrared sensors, detect infrared energy emitted from animals and humans as heat signatures. Once abnormal fluctuations in temperatures become evident, an alarm can be sounded.
Other passive sensors make use laser beams and light sensors to detect movement and sound an alarm or a notification to warn you of any unexpected movement.
Types of Motion Sensor Alarm Systems
Motion sensors have a range of uses and there are many different manufacturers creating many different products.
However, there are 2 types of motion sensors to choose from.
Active motion sensors
Active motion sensors work by emitting ultrasonic sound waves. These are not much different from an ultrasound used during pregnancies. Waves are emitted and reflect back to a receiver. Should the pattern be interrupted, the motion sensor alarm system can warn you of any movement. Equally, these can also be installed to open automatic and garage doors.
Passive motion sensors
Passive infrared (PIR) – PIRs are the most widely used of all motion sensors.
They are easy to configure and install.
These function by measuring the infrared variations in its field of view.
All humans and animals emit heat, and once a PIR sensors pics up the change in temperature, they can set off an alarm.
Combined motion sensor alarms, or dual technology, make use of both active and passive sensors connected to a central security system. The biggest benefit of combining sensors is the ability to minimize false alarms. Only when both sensors are triggered will an alarm sound.
Dual technology motion sensor alarm systems will also ensure the light turns on when you enter the room, not when you are just walking by. Equally, the sensors will work in conjunction to ensure the lights only turn off when you exit the room, not while you are still occupying it.
You have to figure out which type of motion sensor would fit your needs best before you go ahead and buy. It’s always advised to consult with a security expert before you install anything.
These can be an expensive option. They measure the reflection off objection that is moving and can be focused to cover a small or large area, but they are a lot more effective when used to monitor large areas.
Area reflective sensors
LED lights with the ability to emit infrared rays can measure the distance between the sensor and the surroundings it has been set to focus on. Should any sudden change occur, the will immediately be triggered.
Factors to Consider When Buying Motion Sensors
Before you go settle on the sensors you think you may need, consider the following factors.
Without taking into consideration the type of sensors mentioned above, sensors can also be divided into 2 categories, namely area motion sensors, and local motion sensors.
Area sensors detect changes in a specific area that you designated by picking up heat signals, vibration, and movement. These usually cover larger areas.
Local motion sensors monitor smaller areas. Instead of detecting changes in an environment, it protects an area with laser beams, contact sensors, and infrared.
Other Motion Sensor Alarm Systems
If you have pets and at times are forced to not set the alarm due to their activity, you increase the risk of getting burgled. Pet-friendly motion sensors are vital for so many people.
Motion sensors typically see out straight, and then down at a 45-degree angle. However, pet-friendly motion sensors are specifically designed to ignore the movement of pets and other animals weighing less than 80 pounds.
But on the other hand, if you have larger pets, you can still use motion sensors to protect your home.
A local home security expert can assist by installing your motion sensors at the correct height. In some cases, your motion sensors can even be installed upside down.
What do the best motion sensors cost?
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