How To Pick A Motion Sensor

Motion sensors have been around for a while, but there are a few new technologies that make them more useful and more efficient than ever before. Newer advances include having a motion sensor light connected to an alarm system or video camera, and being able to send you an alert on your smartphone when it detects motion.

Whether you’re looking to install a motion sensor for security or added safety on walkways or doorways, motion sensors mean you don’t have to remember to flip the light on or off. Especially if you’re installing a motion sensor for security, only having it come on when it’s needed can save money on electricity bills.

How far away do you want the motion sensor to detect movement? If you’re installing the motion sensor on a walkway between houses or buildings, the range doesn’t need to be great. Being able to adjust the distance and range setting can be helpful if you only want the light to come on when there’s a car in your driveway and not with every passing vehicle on the road. If you need the motion sensor to detect movement a fair distance away, some models can detect movement up to 70feet away. You can purchase the model that best suits your needs. For best security, the higher end models with longer ranges are preferred.

Motion sensors now come in a range of degrees of detection. Most sensors come equipped to detect 240degrees. Some models will offer a full 360degrees of motion sensors and some only 180degrees. Again, it really depends on where you intend to place the motion sensor as to which model suits your needs. A narrow walkway mounted on a garage or the side of a home doesn’t need a full 360degrees, likely a semi-circle 180degrees is sufficient. Ideally, motion sensors are installed 6 – 10feet high in order to get the range of degrees required so be sure to take that into account.

Layering Security Lighting
You can install a photocell along with the motion sensor so the motion sensor will only turn on at night, or have the photocell determine how bright the light needs to be depending on how late or early it is.

Motion sensors for outdoor lighting are available with two different kinds of sensors. Active sensors use sound waves to detect motion. These can be tripped by a passing animal, car or leaves in a storm — any movement. Passive sensors use heat to detect motion so are more likely to only trip when a human passes within range. You don’t have to light a walkway for the neighbourhood skunk or racoon if you don’t want to. Combining these two types of sensors depending on placement might be a valuable strategy. Obviously, there’s less threat of a racoon stealing your car or television, but you might be interested in scaring off a furry bandit from getting into your trash cans every night.

The greater range of motion needed, the greater the distance needed, is where the high-end models really shine through and offer a variety of settings and guarantees that make the extra money worth your peace of mind
If you’re looking to have some or all of the lights around your home or business fitted with motion sensors and/or photocells, we would be happy to help you create a plan that best suits your needs and the needs of your property.

We’d love to answer any questions you may have about outdoor lighting. We can help you design a truly unique lighting plan for your property. Contact our lighting experts to learn more about our lighting services or view our gallery of one-of-a-kind designs.