Pir Sensor

Picture this; a thief has managed to find a blind spot in your exterior security system, made it past your freshly painted outer fence, managed to wade his way through the thick, neatly trimmed bushes and is right at your door step. He tries to unlock the door, which is not difficult for him; he’s been picking locks for quite some time now. So he easily manages to open it, without triggering any alarm. And he casually strolls into your living room.

Terrifying, isn’t it?

Let’s hope that you never have to experience something this horrific. But if you do, are you well-equipped to deal with it?

According to the FBI, 2,000,000 burglaries are reported every year in the US. Nearly 66% of all burglaries are break-ins. And what is more shocking is that only 13% of all reported burglaries are cleared by the police, the rest are unsolved due to lack of evidence.

Don’t become a part of these statistics. Strengthen your security system. A thief has walked through your door, and is in your living room. Yet, all hope is not lost.

PIR Motion Sensors

PIR Sensors are a sophisticated piece of technology that are widely employed in home security systems due to their reliability and accuracy.

How Passive Infrared Sensor Work?

Infrared is a category of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that ranges between approximately 700 nm to 300 µm. It does not fall in the visible light spectrum but is emitted by all living beings and objects. It is easier to think of infrared in terms of heat radiation. Crystalline material on the face of the sensor detects this infrared radiation.

What is actually detected is the broken field of ‘normal’ temperature. The field is not only broken by objects that cause variation in temperature, highly sensitive sensors might be activated from movement alone as well. Most PIR sensors are designed for use for a temperature range between 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. At lower temperatures, the field of view grows narrow and at higher temperatures, it widens, causing even small or distant objects to trigger the alarm.

Why Do You Need Them?

PIR sensors are not only a good investment from the home security perspective, but they also serve as energy savers. According to the US Energy Information Administration, US retail residential electricity prices for the first half of 2004 were 3.2% higher than those from the same period last year. This is the highest year to year growth since the first half of 2009. With electricity prices on the rise, it wouldn’t hurt to make a little effort to save a few extra bucks. Also, due to their passive nature, these sensors consume very little energy to operate, making them very suitable for battery powered applications. The cost of buying a PIR sensor can soon be recovered by a reduction in the electricity bills.

In addition, PIR sensors are relatively easy to install. An in-house technician can do this job without any hassle. And since this is a wireless gadget, no wiring is required, hence no additional installation costs.

PIR sensors are amongst the most common motion detectors because of their reliability and resilience to false triggers. They are not negatively affected by air flow either, like a lot of other sensors might be.

Where do you need them?

Placement is a key if you want efficiency. So when you purchase your PIR sensors, make sure you know where you are going to place them and how many of them will you need. Here are a few basic locations that will require coverage by the sensors:

  • Toilets, for lights and exhaust fans

  • Staircases

  • Entrances (to the house and within the house as well)

  • Garden lights

  • All main rooms in the house, especially where you keep your valuables

  • All rooms that have a door opening to the exterior of the house

  • Corridors and hallways

Placement will be a highly relative procedure. Manuals and guidebooks can only give you a general idea. If you are still confused about where you should mount these, be sure to check with your security provider for assistance.

A Quick Word of Caution!

Even though PIR sensors are the ideal investment in user detection applications, there are several things you should keep in mind:

  • These sensors require an unobstructed view. Any furniture or tall objects in its view will hamper their performance.

  • Some motion sensors are not designed to differentiate between humans and animals, which might trigger false alarms. If you have any pets at home, buy a sensor that accommodates that fact.

  • Also, these sensors are susceptible to ‘dead’ spots, so make sure that you leave no such uncovered spots, especially in the sensitive parts of the house.

  • Since these sensors are battery operated, make sure you regularly check and replace the batteries

Purchasing a motion sensor will be practically pointless, if you don’t use it properly. Make sure you understand the equipment you are buying and the requirements its operation entails. Buying fancy sophisticated equipment does not relieve you of your duty to be vigilant.



Q:Can the PIR room sensor be linked to thermostats (e.g. heating or air-conditioning) in my home?

A:A. Yes. PIR sensors can use their passive infrared technology to detect anything which emits heat and is in motion. Therefore, it is a key element in home automation systems, and could be synced with the lighting and even thermostats of a house, among other things. As soon as the person enters within range of the PIR sensor, the device could send a signal to adjust the heating of the room to a predetermined temperature, or cool it. The settings could also be manually adjusted.

Q:How much of the room can the PIR camera cover?

A:A. The range of a PIR sensor could vary depending on the technology used by different companies. However, assuming that the device has been placed correctly and there are no major obstructions in its path, its typical range is between 25 and 35 feet.

Q:What is the best height from the floor that a PIR should be mounted for optimum performance?

A:It is recommended that you mount your PIR sensor in the corner of the room at an approximate height of 2.2m. At this height the detector should ideally have a 12m range with a 90 degrees field of vision. If needed, you can mount the detector at an 8 degree angle to change its detection pattern.

Q:How and where to place pir sensors?

A:To install PIR sensors, either you would need professional help, or you would need to read the given instructions very carefully to install the sensor yourself. The installation instructions are likely to give you placement recommendations as well. Generally, you would need to keep the sensor 10 to 15 feet away from heating vents, sunlight, and radiators. Since most burglars enter from a front or back door, garage door, or patio door, it's recommended that you place the sensors there.

Q:How to Install your pir motion sensor module?

A:If you want to install a PIR sensor module on your own, you will need to thoroughly read the instructions given on the instruction manual. In case the instructions are too complex to follow, you may seek professional help by hiring an electrician. Electricians can effectively install security devices and this may also prevent faulty installation.

Q:How can we use pir sensor as a motion detector?

A:PIRs are made of a pyroelectric sensor which has the ability to detect high levels of infrared radiation. Everything emits a low level of radiation and if something is warmer it emits more radiation. Since humans also emit infra red radiations, PIR sensor can easily detect human movement with the help of infra red rays.

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