Motion Sensors Tips

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How do X10 motion sensors work?

X10 Motion Sensors Use Your Home's Wiring to Work

Techies love X10 motion sensors for home security, which automatically turn lights and appliances on and off. You can light up dark spaces like your basement, attic or porch. When motion is detected, sensors signal X10-enabled lights.

How does X10 work? A transmitter plugs into the wall socket and uses your home's existing electrical wiring to carry signals throughout your home to a receiver. You don't have to do anything to your home's wiring to make your X10 station work.

Can motion detectors act as medical alerts?

Motion Sensors Allow for Independent Living for Elderly

Motion detectors can be key to the security and welfare of elderly people in their homes. As medical alerts, they enable seniors and disabled people to live independently, while their welfare is monitored 24 hours a day.

Here's how motion detectors with medical alerts work: They are strategically placed around a house to follow the routine movements of occupants.

Sensors in a hallway and kitchen, for example, would detect a person getting out of bed in the morning and fixing coffee. As the sensor detects motion, it sends a signal to the receiver, which is monitored by a 24-hour response system.

There are many benefits to medical monitoring through motion sensors:

  • This passive form of monitoring allows people privacy, and enables them to live their lives without intrusion.
  • An interruption in signals is a sign of trouble. If an elderly homeowner falls down or has an accident but cannot summon help, the monitoring service will note the inactivity and respond.
  • A new kind of motion detector for medical alerts uses sensors and a microprocessor to tell when someone falls down. It clips to the user's waistband, so people take it with them. It automatically transmits a signal to a control panel, which alerts a response service.

How do motion detector security cameras work?

Motion Detector Security Cameras are Hassle-Free

Motion detector security cameras take the hassle out of reviewing hours of videotape, because they only activate when they sense movement. So you will not need to forward or rewind the tape to view the action.

There are wireless outdoor motion detector security cameras that do not have a lot of cables to worry about. They use transmitters to send signals up to 100 feet away, even through walls.

Look for motion detector cameras with dual floodlights to catch thieves on film at night, bathing the pitch darkness in bright light. If that is not enough to scare thieves away, you can capture them on videotape.

Do motion detectors offer complete home security?

Combine Motion Sensors with Other Home Security Products

Motion sensors are most effective when part of a whole home security package you customize based on your protection needs.

Components in a basic security package may include a control panel, keypad, window and door sensors and a siren. The sensors signal the alarm when a door or window is opened.

If you want to add security products, consider motion detectors. They sense when someone is inside your house. Protect basements or other areas not often occupied. Or activate motion detectors in living areas when you are not home.

Can motion detector lights provide security?

Motion Detector Lights Illuminate Danger, Pests

Motion detector lights can provide low-cost home security and peace of mind.

They come on automatically when you pull in the driveway from work, or when your kids walk into the yard after playing at a neighbor’s house. They will illuminate a raccoon trying to overturn your trash cans.

Motion detector lights are easy to install, especially if you are replacing an existing light fixture. They also are affordable: Two-bulb floodlights are about $25. Front-door lights may run about $60.

The lights will come on late at night if an intruder walks toward your garage, back deck, or front yard. Check out these tips for locating motion detector lights:

  • If you want lights to come on when you get in at night, position sensors to cover paths near doors you use to enter the house.
  • Place the sensors to illuminate areas that need extra safety, such as near pools and stairways.
  • To improve security, locate motion sensor lights around access areas to your house -- entryways, patios and at gates and fences.
  • It's not a bad idea to place them in darker areas around your yard, next to trees and shrubbery. The last thing that an intruder wants is to be seen.

How can a driveway motion detector provide extra security?

Driveway Alarms Can Protect RVs and Boats

Driveway alarm motion detectors let you know when people or vehicles are on your property.

These devices can be used to provide security at entrances, garages, driveways or barns. Use them to protect boats, RVs, trucks and mailboxes.

Look for a system that includes:

  • Passive infrared motion sensor and receiver.
  • DIY installation.
  • Ranges that match your need. Expect to find motion sensors with a 30-foot detection range that can send a signal 1,200 feet away to a receiver.
  • Shields that protect the devices in rain or snow.
  • Sound control for the tones that alert you to vehicles or people.
  • Wireless sensors that use household batteries.
  • Optional add-ons for more sensors.

Are there different types of motion detectors?

Motion Detectors Work Like Magic

Motion detectors seem to work like magic, "seeing" people in your house without the use of hidden cameras. Three types of motion detectors are used in home security: infrared, ultrasonic and microwave.

  • Infrared motion detectors, which are the most common, sense body heat.
  • Motion detectors using ultrasonic waves send out pulses that measure moving objects.
  • With microwave motion detectors, the microwaves bounce off moving objects.

Ask your home security dealer about dual technology motion detectors, the gold standard of these protection devices. They use a combination of technologies to provide effective detection and fewer false alarms.

How do motion sensors work?

Motion Sensors Can Detect an Intruder

If you are shopping for home security, or upgrading an existing security system, it is helpful to understand how motion sensors work.

Motion sensors are a standard part of many home security packages. Most motion sensors for home security are pyroelectric sensors, meaning they detect infrared energy. The sensors look like simple electronic components, but are sensitive to heat emitted from the human body.

When a person walks through a room "guarded" by motion sensors, infrared energy is detected and an alarm is activated.

Are there motion detectors that ignore pets?

Use Motion Detectors That Ignore Pets

Pets can pose a problem for motion detectors, which sense when someone is walking through the house and trigger an alarm. You can avoid false alarms with sophisticated motion detectors that provide "pet immunity."

They ignore any animal that weighs less than 40 pounds. The motion detector also has the ability to detect heat differences between pets and people.

If you have a large pet, you can program the size and weight of your animal, so the system will not activate when it walks through the house.

You can also place the motion detector in parts of your home -- such as the basement -- where pets are not permitted.

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Joe Wallace