Top 5 Motion Sensor Alarms to Enhance Your Home Security

Motion sensor alarms detect movement around your house or office using an optical, microwave, or acoustic sensor. If there is an intrusion within a facility, it will trigger an alert. 

So, how do motion sensors work? A motion sensor alarm is a vital part of any security system. If any motion is detected, it sends an alert to your central security system. Some newer devices may even send alerts to your smartphone. As a bonus, motion sensors may be set up to inform your alarm monitoring provider. If necessary, authorities may be dispatched after contacting you.

Apart from security, motion detectors are used for a variety of different purposes. Most National parks and sanctuaries install motion sensors to detect the poaching of animals. They are also used for smart lighting and automatic door locks in residential areas. Some motion sensors send alerts to your smartphones, a feature that can be handy when you are away from home and worried about its security.

Types of Motion Sensors

Broadly, there are two types of motion sensors – active and passive. Active motion sensors have both a transmitter and a receiver and detect motion based on a change in the reflected transmitted wave. A passive motion sensor does not have a transmitter and detects motion based on increased radiation in the radius of its range.

  1. Passive Infrared Radial (PIR) Sensors: A PIR is a pyroelectric sensor which means that it gets activated when exposed to infrared radiation, which refers to body heat in terms of sensors. The sensor takes it as infrared radiation because the body temperature is above absolute zero (-459.67 degrees Fahrenheit). This temperature varies for objects that move, like humans or animals, and stationary objects like trees and walls.
  2.  Microwave Sensors: These types of sensors send out microwave pulses and measure the reflection off moving objects. Although their coverage area is more than infrared sensors, they are expensive and vulnerable to damage due to electrical interference.
  3. Dual Technology Motion Sensors: It is a combination of active and passive sensor technology and is generally used to reduce false alarms. Companies that manufacture dual technology motion sensors usually combine both PIR and microwave sensors where both the sensors have to be tripped to trigger an alarm.
  4. Area Reflective Type Sensors: The Area Reflective sensors use distance as a parameter to detect object motion. Infrared rays sent out by an LED transmitter, reflect the receiver when it detects an object’s movement. If the calculated distance is in the area of its line of sight, it sounds an alarm.
  5. Ultrasonic Sensors: Like microwave sensors, these sensors transmit ultrasonic waves that, on hitting a moving object, reflect the receiver, and an alarm is triggered as a warning signal.
  6. Vibration Sensors: These sensors are good for small home security and can detect small vibrations caused by individuals moving across a room. You may buy them, but you can also build them at home. A homemade vibration sensor uses a lever that connects to an alarm. If it vibrates, it triggers an alarm switch. However, homemade motion sensors are not always dependable.

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What to look for when buying a Motion Sensor Alarm?

Whether you buy it for home security or keep pets off your property, you must know what to look for when buying a motion sensor.

  • Motion detection range: Depending on the design, a typical motion sensor can detect movement as far as 200 feet. Most motion sensors are manufactured for home security, but some are installed outdoors to keep a check on visitors. Make sure that the sensor you choose has an appropriate range from the point where you plan to mount it. 
  • Installation: Wireless motion sensors are easy to install because they do not require any wiring and can easily be kept on a flat surface or mounted on a wall. 
  • Power source: A lot of motion sensor alarms run on batteries while others are solar-powered. The most convenient ones are those that do not require any hardwiring. 
  • Lighting: Lighting is a great feature to consider when buying a motion sensor depending on your requirement. If the sensor picks up any activity, lights are triggered which can scare a burglar away. 
  • Image capture/ video surveillance: Some motion sensors capture snaps on being triggered due to movement. These types of sensors are ideal to identify the intruder and are usually employed at traffic signals. 
  • Weather resistance/ durability: Since most motion sensors are installed outdoors, it is important that they are weather-resistant and not prone to damage due to extreme weather conditions.

5 Best Motion Sensors for Indoor & Outdoor Security

Here is our recommendation of the top 5 motion sensors that you must check to enhance your security system.

1. SimpliSafe Motion Sensor

SimpliSafe motion sensor

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions – 5.41 x 3.81 x 5.41 cm
  • Product Weight – 118 Grams 
  • Power Source – AC power cable
  • Battery – ‎1 CR123A battery (included)
  • Sensor Range – up to 45 feet
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • Image Capture – Yes
  • Installation type – DIY
  • Lighting – No

Awarded as the best sensor for home security 2020 by the US News and World Report and the best DIY home security system by TechCrunch, this infrared motion sensor is ideal for pet owners. It features a 90-degree field of vision that ensures a completed coverage when placed in a corner. It is extremely user-friendly and can be mounted on a wall or kept on a shelf. Also, it showcases customizable ranges of 15 feet, 30 feet, and 45 feet. 

The SimpliSafe motion detector uses CR123A lithium batteries which can last for almost a decade. It uses a specific human-form detection algorithm and won’t trigger false alarms for pets weighing less than 50 pounds (23 kilograms). It is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, and therefore can be easily controlled. A total of 100 sensors can be added to the SimpliSafe security base letting you secure a massive area. 

Stand-out features:

  • Ideal for pet owners because it cannot detect animals weighing less than 50 pounds and give a false alarm
  • Sensor range of up to 45 feet
  • Full coverage with a 90-degree vision range

2. Wyze Cam V2 with Wyze Sense Starter Kit

Wyze Cam V2 with Wyze Sense Starter Kit
Image Source: wyze.com

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions – 5.84 x 6.35 x 13.97 cm
  • Product Weight – 286 Grams 
  • Power Source –  hardwired
  • Battery – 3 CR2 batteries (included)
  • Sensor Range – up to 26 feet
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • Image Capture – Yes
  • Installation type – DIY
  • Lighting – Yes
  • Sound Recognition: Yes

The Wyze Cam V2 is a “pocket-friendly” and full-featured security camera cum sensor. A built-in motion deter sends notifications to your smartphone when it detects any movement, no matter where you are. It has an advanced sound recognition system that plays distinct sound patterns for smoke alert or CO monitor.

The security camera that comes with it delivers 1080p full HD images. The night vision feature offers clarity up to 30 feet. It is compatible with Alexa. It is easy to install and does not require any professional installation. 

Stand-out features:

  • Up to 26 feet of sensor range
  • Up to 30 feet of camera range
  • Alerts on smartphone

3. Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
Image source: ring.com

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions – Variable
  • Product Weight – variable 
  • Power Source –  hardwired
  • Battery – not specified
  • Sensor Range – up to 30 feet
  • Warranty – 3 year
  • Image Capture – Yes
  • Installation type – DIY
  • Lighting – Yes (up to 1800 lumen)

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro operates in the same manner as any other radar sensor. The two transmit antennas emit a chirp, which is a wave with a particular pattern. It travels, collides with something, and reflects. The receiver antennas then analyze the time and phase shift of what they receive to sound an alarm. The “Bird’s Eye View” feature allows it to detect the velocity and angle of motion of a moving object as well. 

The floodlights produce light of 1,800 lumens. The motion sensor has a 270 degrees line of sight. It has a 30 feet motion detection range. If your security is compromised, you can sound a 110-decibel alarm using the Ring app from your smartphone to alert your neighbors to call the authorities.

Stand-out features:

  • Weather-resistant outdoor lighting
  • Motion detection range up to 30 feet
  • Sounds alarm at 110 decibels
  • Video monitoring via outdoor camera

4. ADT Motion Sensor Light

ADT Motion Sensor Light

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions – 35 x 40 cm
  • Product Weight – Not specified 
  • Power Source –  Battery
  • Battery – not specified
  • Sensor Range – up to 40 feet
  • Warranty – not specified
  • Video Capture – Yes
  • Installation type – Professional
  • Lighting – Yes

The ADT motion sensor alarm is a customizable and pet-friendly sensor alarm that has a sensor range of 40 feet of area. It employs an infrared sensor that constantly scans a radius of 40 feet and registers body temperatures of 93 degrees Fahrenheit or above. When it picks a movement, it triggers an alarm and sends an alert message to the ADT Command panel.

Even when you are not around, the ADT motion sensor will send alerts to your smartphone. You can set the device to capture video or trigger the lights on if the sensor detects motion during the night. 

Stand-out features:

  • Coverage of up to 40 feet
  • Sends alerts to your smartphone
  • As per the requirements of pet owners, sensitivity can be adjusted

5. J.Lumi Motion Sensor Alarm with Light

J.Lumi Motion Sensor Alarm with Light

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions – 11.5 x 11.5 x 2.4 cm
  • Product Weight – 90.7 grams 
  • Power Source –  Hardwiring
  • Battery – none
  • Sensor Range – up to 50 feet
  • Warranty – not specified
  • Image Capture – No
  • Installation type – DIY
  • Lighting – Yes 

The J Lumi is an ultra-slim PIR motion sensor that features a 1-inch thick casing. It features a 360-degree surround and a 160-degree downward line of sight, with a detection range of 50 feet at a working temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A built-in photocell (light sensor) turns on the sensor light only when needed. It is ideal for homes and offices for 24-hour security. 

Stand-out features:

  • Sensor range of up to 50 feet
  • Adjustable photocell sensitivity

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Motion Sensor Installation Tips

The best way to leverage a motion sensor’s efficacy is by reading the instruction guide that comes with it. However, here are some additional tips that might help you during installation.

  1. If you choose a PIR motion sensor alarm, place it at least 15 feet away from heat sources like heating vents and sunny windows.
  2. If there is a narrow passage or a “choke-point” like a stairway in your house, it would be an ideal place to mount the motion detector. Most motion sensors work well when an intruder walks parallel to them.
  3. It would be beneficial to place a sensor at a place where you keep most of your valuables, like the master bedroom or a walk-in closet.

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Final word

Motion sensor alarms are not an additional but a crucial part of any security system. Without an alarm system, it is impossible to detect an intrusion. We hope that this article has informed you about the role of motion sensors in home security and the different types of sensors used in their manufacture. Feel free to reach out to us via the comment section if you have any questions regarding motion sensors. 

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