How to Effectively Place Motion Sensors in Your Home

Motion sensors provide active coverage to your security system. Unlike other types of security devices, like fire alarm and life safety devices, door sensors, and cameras, motion sensors actively look for possible intruders in or around your home. They can even be integrated into other systems, such as cameras and light systems. However, motion sensors have to be placed in a certain way to be useful. Here is how to effectively place motion sensors in your home.

Measure the Range

All motion sensors have an effective range, and it is not as far as the eye can see. They can use sonar, radar, lasers, or an array of other invisible tracking technologies. They send out a pulse of some variety and measure the pulse that is reflected back at the sensor, when that reflection changes, it senses motion. Regardless of what type of sensor it is, all of those options have a range that is only reliable within a specific distance. 

To ensure that your sensors can effectively detect motion, find a place to place the sensor that is within its effective range. Try to stay considerably short of the effective range limit. Sensor ranges slowly taper off the further you get from the sensor. At its farthest range, there is a reduced chance that it will be able to detect motion. 

Measure the Sensor Angle

Depending on the type of sensor that you are using, it will cover the area at a specific angle. Some sensors have a wider angle than others, with a common design measuring up to 120-degrees of coverage in front of the senor. One thing that you need to know is if that zone of coverage is verticle and horizontal. If the sensor covers a flat surface, then you have to take that into account. Place the sensor several feet off of the floor so that it is at waist height. This will give you the best chance of catching anyone passing through the sensor area. 

If the sensor can measure vertically and horizontally, you can place it in a higher position. The most effective way to use this type of sensor is to place it one foot from the ceiling (for single-story rooms). This position lets the sensor cover more of the room and avoids obstructions. 

Avoid Obstructions

Motion sensors are not effective if there are obstructions between the sensor and a potential target. For example, a sensor on the wall slightly behind a lamp. The lamp will obstruct a large segment of the sensor’s view even if it can still see past it. Plus, having the lamp so close may result in false-positive motion alerts since the lamp can interfere with the sensors’ sensing method. Motion sensors should be placed away from other objects by at least one foot, and have a clear line of sight to all walkways and entrances if possible. 

Setting up your alarm sensor does not have to be complicated, but you do need to consider where you place all of your alarm sensors. When they are in the right spots, you will get the best coverage possible and feel more at ease. Ask experts for help if you are unsure of where to place the sensors. Contact Video and Sound Service, Inc. to speak to our team about setting up your alarm system.