How Do Motion Sensors Work | Hacks You Need to Know Now

Home automation is a rising trend. People want to make life easier and simpler, all without giving up security, and, for this, they make use of the best equipment on the market for such purposes, including motion sensors. In this article, we will discuss how do motion sensors work.

Furthermore, when deprived of sight, the human being is unable to interpret images and movements. That’s because he can only see bodies and see what they do through the presence of light, be it natural (sun) or artificial (lamp). And it was from this fact that many researchers and scholars from the past began to task themselves on how to make a person see images and movements without the presence of light.

Based on this task, countless studies began that gave rise to a device that is well known today: the motion sensor. This works like our eyes. However, it detects bodies and movements both with the presence of light and with the lack of it. Today, people use it for several purposes, but mainly to increase the security of environments with restricted access.

But, motion detector sensors are present in more places than people think. People install motion sensors, for example, in elevators, to open or close doors, and in environments, to turn lights on or off. Some sensors work together with CCTV cameras, which only capture images when they detect any movement in the monitored environment.

The fact is that motion sensors are essential devices that make our lives easier and safer. Currently, two types of motion sensors are available on the market: active and passive. Other subtypes originated, such as the ultrasonic motion sensor, photoelectric sensor, PIR motion sensor, Tomographic, Multi-Tech, etc. Next, we will show you how the active and passive sectors work and their respective peculiarities.

How do Motion Sensors Work: The Active Motion Sensor?

This sensor depends on two devices to function. While one sensor emits a beam of infrared light, the other receives it. Both make constant comparisons between the time of sending and receiving the beam. If there is any difference in this time compared to the pattern established in the initial scan. The devices will trigger the alarm as a person, an animal, or an object has cut the beam.

Generally active sensor is use in:

  • Walls of homes and businesses 
  • Doors and windows 
  • Gates of homes, warehouses, and commercial establishments 
  • Elevator doors 
  • Restricted access areas, such as factories, ports, and hydroelectric plants 
  • Land that has no masonry wall and only fences that can easily be circumvented and invaded

The most modern active motion sensors program not to sound the alarm when they detect small bodies and small animals. This is because people install them in open areas, where contact with leaves, debris, and animals is unavoidable. If a leaf, for example, passes between the beams emitted by motion light detectors installed on top of a wall, they will not trigger the alarm.

In the case of beam extension, this depends on each motion lights sensor. Some devices emit beams of a few meters, which are ideal for doors and windows. Others emit bundles of dozens of meters suitable for large open areas, such as warehouses and land. Depending on the area’s size to be monitored, it may be necessary to install only one active sensor or a set of dozens of motion sensors for lighting.

As for the operation of the sensor in adverse conditions, this also depends on each device. Some can generally work over a wide range of humidity, temperature, and precipitation. Others have their detection capacity affected when exposed to high temperatures. Therefore, it is vital to analyze the site’s conditions to choose the active sensor most suitable for it.

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How do Motion Sensors Work: The Passive Motion Sensor

The passive sensor does not emit infrared light but reads the infrared light changes in the monitored environment. It works by emitting infrared rays emitted by hot bodies. In environments, humans and animals usually have a warmer body and emit more infrared radiation than objects, furniture, equipment, plants, and appliances, for example.

The passive sensor detects movement when a person or animal passes the monitored environment with cold bodies and increases the intensity of infrared radiation considerably. And when there is any detection, it triggers the alarm. Unlike active sensors, passive sensors are more used in homes and companies’ internal environments, as they cannot monitor a considerable area.

Here are some places they are used:

  • Residential environments, such as living rooms and bedrooms 
  • Access corridors 
  • Balconies 
  • Close to doors and windows of homes and businesses 
  • Restricted access environments, such as safe rooms, stocks, and treasuries

Today, there are several types of passive sensors. Some are placed in corners of walls, as they detect movements at an opening angle of 90º. Others are installed on the ceiling of the rooms and detect movements in a radius that can reach more than 10 meters. It is important to remember that refrigeration equipment and sources of intense heat can affect passive sensors’ performance.

Each type of motion sensor has its characteristics. That is why, before choosing one or the other, it is necessary to make a study of the environment in which the device will be installed. It is essential to assess whether the installation location is outdoors or not, whether it is exposed to the weather (heat, rain, wind, etc.), whether it is very close to cold or heat sources, among other factors.

If they are not analyzed, the person will risk acquiring a device unsuitable for his environment, which will reduce his comfort and safety. Only with a thorough analysis will it be possible to choose the ideal motion sensor. It is also important to remember that, depending on the environment, the installation of both active and passive sensors may be necessary.

For example, in a home, active sensors can be installed on top of the surrounding walls to prevent thieves from jumping over them. And passive sensors, in turn, can be placed close to doors and windows to reinforce security. With this union, the chances of invaders entering the house without being noticed are minimal. This union can also be made in land, warehouses, and other areas with restricted access.

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What are the Main Benefits of Motion Sensors?

Energy-saving: one of the most common applications is to spend less electricity, as the lamps can be connected to the sensor. They are usually off, and as soon as any change is detected, whether in temperature or movement, the lights are turned on temporarily according to the type of sensor. It is suitable for cutting energy costs and also for helping the environment.

Security: Another highly desired application is for security purposes. For example, it is possible to keep the sensors activated in places where there is usually no movement. Such as in the stock or closed rooms, and to know when there is any change through the sensors. They can also be installed throughout the environment and stay connected when the place is closed so that any movement results in its activation.

Enhancement of the environment: the automated home, commercial, and various other environments can increase their safety and cut energy costs, and enhance the site in general. The rental of a property, be it residential, commercial, or industrial, can have a higher value if it is automated with sensors, which is advantageous for its owners and those who will use it.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do indoor motion sensors work?

Generally, indoor motion sensors work through two technologies, being the detection of movement or the change of temperature, which can appear in an isolated or joint way in the devices.

Several types of equipment, such as capacitive sensors, with Doppler Effect, inductive, magnetic, optical, with radar, sonar, ultrasonic technology, or fiber optics, among others. Still, the most common are those of movement and temperature. Learn more about these two types:

Motion detection: The device emits microwaves, which cannot be seen by our eyes. If it identifies some different movements, resulting in a different reverberation of the waves, it will be triggered.

Temperature change: Using sensors, usually infrared, they analyze the temperature of the environment. If someone enters the environment, it will make the place warmer, even if it is a minimal variation, thanks to human heat. It activates by the infrared, which results in the activation of the equipment.

How do you Trick, a Motion Sensor?

There are many ways through which you can trick a motion sensor. Some of these include:

  • Moving slowly
  • Staying quiet
  • Adjusting your body temperature
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Is Ring motion activated?

Yes. The Ring motion activates and allows you to monitor motion in regions where light is not necessary. A battery also powers it for easy installation without wires.

Does ring only record when motion is detected?

Yes. The ring only records videos when motion detectes. If you make payment for the Protect Plan, you can have access to take a snapshot of images every hour between motion detected recordings.

How far away does Ring detect motion?

The motion detection on powered Ring can work for up to 30 feet.

In conclusion, investing in motion sensors enables flawless automation. Among the automation equipment for homes, businesses, and industries, motion sensors are essential. Since they increase the place’s functionality, make it safer and more efficient. And do not interfere with its design since there are minimal and discreet models.

You can find this equipment in homes, businesses, and in various environments. Whether internal or external, to detect strange movements and activate security systems and keep the place always protected. But do you know exactly how they work? If your answer was negative, then it is time to find out, as highlighted above.

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