What Are the Benefits of Motion Sensors?


Also known as motion detectors, motion sensors help to increase savings and security for a home or office. Motion sensors can be combined with video cameras, surveillance monitors, and heating and cooling systems to provide energy savings and added protection. Other benefits of motion sensors include easy installation and high accuracy.


  • Relying on passive infrared technology, a motion sensor detects movement by sensing the infrared light, or heat, emitted by a living creature. Once this heat has been detected, the motion sensor will generate a small electrical charge or alarm.


  • In addition to standard infrared motion sensors, active infrared motions sensors are also available that use a light-emitting diode and a phototransistor. Another type of motion detector is the ultrasonic motion sensor, which reads movement through the use of ultrasonic waves.


  • Motion sensors can be used to moderate use of household equipment such as indoor and outdoor lighting, cameras, sprinklers and light switches. Motion detectors are also frequently used for security purposes such as to activate nightlights, floodlights, gates, locks and alarms.


  • When used for household appliances and equipment, motion sensors can help to increase energy savings such as by turning lights off in unoccupied rooms. Sensors can also provide convenience through the automatic activation of lighting, heating and cooling, watering, and other household tasks.


  • Motion sensors can also provide an additional layer of security and can be paired with security or surveillance cameras. Some motion detectors can also be connected to a monitoring system.

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  • McComb, Gordon, and Earl Boysen. Electronics for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing Inc., 2005.
  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jeremy Levine
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