When it comes to home security, there’s a variety of options that you can choose from to help you feel safe in your home. For some people, the more security devices they have, the more protected they feel, even if the devices themselves aren’t always the most reliable or secure.

One aspect of home security that originated in offices and commercial buildings, and has since gradually filtered into people’s homes, is motion sensors, a pinnacle of home security systems. Even if you aren’t sure what these devices are, the chances are that you’ve seen them somewhere before without registering their exact purpose – they’re the little white box usually located in the corner of a room close to the ceiling, either facing the door or placed directly above it.  

So, What Exactly Are They?

Motion sensors are like home guardians: they utilize certain technology – the tech used depends on the type of motion sensor it is – to detect intruders within your home and alert either you or emergency responders of their presence. Due to their success in preventing or disturbing break-ins, motion sensors are one of the key elements in home security systems. They have other uses alongside protecting your home from burglars, however, in that they can also be used to announce the arrival of a visitor by triggering a doorbell or, if you have an unruly teen always pushing the boundaries of their curfew, you can use your motion sensors to alert you to their arrival home.

There are different types of motion sensors available on the market and which one you have will depend on your chosen home security system: Passive Infrared (PIR), Microwave (MW), a combination of PIR and MW, Ultrasonic, Vibration, and Area Reflective Sensors, although it’s worth noting that the latter three are more uncommon than the first three.

Going one step further and installing smart home security allows you to monitor your home remotely for the ultimate in home protection – all you need is a Wi-Fi network to which you can connect 

How Do They Work?

Again, how different motion sensors work depends entirely on which technology the device uses. PIR motion sensors – the most widely-used type – detect infrared energy (more commonly referred to as body heat) and, therefore, movement via monitoring changes in temperature in the vicinity. If there’s rapid movement and this moving object blocks too much of the area, an alarm is triggered.

Microwave sensors emit microwave pulses which, when they come into contact with an object or person, then measure the reflection of the pulse to ascertain the distance and if the object is continually moving. Some people prefer to install this type of sensor as it is known to cover a wider area than infrared sensors, although it is generally more expensive and can be subject to electrical interference.

Sensors that incorporate both types of technology – microwave and infrared – are becoming more common as they are less likely to suffer from false alarms, with both types of sensor requiring activating for an alarm to sound.

Why Might They be Suitable for Your Home?

The benefits of installing motion sensors in your home for security purposes are immeasurable, in that they can ensure you have peace of mind regarding the safety of your home and family, whether you’re at work, in bed, or sunning yourself on a beach thousands of miles away, and can also help to increase your home’s value. An additional bonus is that they also help you to keep an eye on loved ones, alerting you of your child returning from school, as well as notifying you of any sudden leaks or home damage that occurs during your absence.

Investing in a home security system featuring motion sensors helps to increase the value of your home, reduces your home insurance rates, and can help you save money in the long run, but, most importantly, it helps to give you peace of mind wherever you are and is an essential aspect of any home security system.