The invention of motion sensors has greatly improved how people can secure and monitor their homes, offices, etc. Although they may come at a more affordable price than other standard security systems or gadgets, motion sensors are better able to discriminate between threats and can monitor your surroundings in real time. They may even be programmed to send early warnings to your phone or alert security personnel.
Motion sensors can employ multiple technologies to detect movement in an area. Once a sensor is tripped, a signal is then sent to the control panel of your security system, alerting you and your monitoring center that a possible threat is present in your home. Aside from keeping your home safe from intruders, these devices are also useful for knowing when your teenage kids sneak out at night, or when children enter areas in your home they’re not supposed to be in, such as the storage room or basement. Modern houses even use these sensors to automatically turn the lighting on when someone enters a room and off when the area is unoccupied.
Considerations When Choosing a Motion Sensor
Several types of motion sensors exist. Some are used to detect motion in the driveway and turn on the lights, some are used in place of a doorbell for home entrances, and some are used to send a signal to your security alarm. They do share the common function of reacting to movement sensed within a chosen area. Motion detectors can either be battery-powered or electrically-powered, but newer models now run on solar energy and even come with their own solar panel.
Motion sensors have transformed from simple devices to complex pieces of technology. Today, there are units that double both as a motion detector and a heat sensor. Popular uses for these dual-technology units include automatically lighting a room once someone walks in. If you have pets in your home, there are also motion detectors that are programmed to ignore small animals by determining the average weight of the moving object. Pet-immune sensors may even be adjusted to ignore high activity levels in case you have a very pet. Depending on your reason for wanting to get a motion sensor, you’ll find a wide array of other convenient features that contribute to making the device more effective.
By features, we mean the aspects of the sensor that make it more user-friendly. This may include wireless technology, updateable components, and low-battery indicators. If you’re purchasing a motion sensor for security reasons, we suggest choosing a product that sends a warning directly to your mobile device and alerts your local security agency. Keep in mind that the more features a unit has, the more expensive it will be.
As we’ve mentioned above, the features will greatly affect the price of a motion detector. But from experience, we’ve found that the most expensive model doesn’t always guarantee the best performance. If you want to make a smart buying decision, evaluate first your reasons for buying a motion sensor, the features you need and want, and the price you’re willing to pay. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank if you want a quality motion detecting unit that gives you years of satisfied use.
The 5 Best Motion Sensors in 2017
Our Top PicK:
- Configurable flashing LED light indicators. One red LED is for low power battery indicator. Three blue LEDs are motion detection indicators
- Two configurable motion sensor trigger modes: 1) Very short 1-2 second delay in between motion triggers [continuous triggering and doorbell ringing if motion is detected continuously] 2) 5-8 second delay in between motion triggers (after first motion trigger and doorbell ring there will be a 5-8 second pause until the next motion detection is available).
- Motion sensor unit can be powered by two options 1) with 2 x AAA batteries (not included) or 2) with mini USB cable (not included)
- Over 50+ different ring tones.
- Four levels of adjustable volume from 25db to 110db.
- Operating range of over 500 feet (between sensor and main chime unit)
- Receiver easily plugs into an electrical outlet (no batteries required)
- Includes 1 plugin receiver unit and 2 motion sensor, anchors, screws, and mounting bracket for motion sensor.
Our own research puts the SadoTech Wireless Motion Sensor Doorbell at the top of the pyramid of best motion sensors this year. Sure, it’s a little pricey for something that just works as a doorbell, but it’s a top choice for anyone who needs a reliable security system at a budget-friendly price. If you’re living alone and often have to spend time away from the entrances of your home, this is a great device that tells you when someone is nearing the premises. The SadoTech Wireless Passive Infrared Dual Motion Sensor Doorbell utilizes a passive infrared sensor, or PIR, in sounding the doorbell. If you’re concerned about distance, you’ll be glad to know that this product is well-known for its generous range capacity – although beware of large obstacles between your doorbell and motion sensor as they are known to cause interference. One of the best things about this product is its wide collection of preset alarm tones. There’s even a sound of a barking dog just in case you want to scare away stubborn trespassers. Your purchase of this product will give you, not one, but two motion sensors to install in your home. It also includes everything else you’ll need for a proper installation apart from the basic tools such as a screwdriver. Take it from us, buying the SadoTech Wireless Passive Infrared Dual Motion Sensor Doorbell will be one of the best investments you can make for you and your family’s safety.
- Set includes one base receiver and one sensor (ability to additional CWPIR sensors-Sold Separately).
- Passive infrared (PIR) sensor is weatherproof and detects motion up to 30ft away and features adjustable sensitivity.
- Base receiver detects signals from sensors up to a 1/2 mile away (in ideal situations).
- Unique sound and light pattern on the base unit identifies which sensor has been triggered.
- Easy to install, no wiring required. Base units uses AA batteries or included AC adapter.
The Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert Security System has been used by hundreds of customers as a system that mainly detects vehicles that enter their premises. While this certainly is one great use for the product, that doesn’t mean you should limit this great gadget to just car-watching. When used with security cameras, this product will provide your home the best monitoring system for spotting interlopers, burglars, and stray animals. If you’re planning to install this outdoors, you’ll be pleased to know that the motion sensors are waterproof and are less prone to false alarms due to moving branches or strong winds. There are known issues when it comes to vehicle detection, but the quick-fix to this is to point the sensors to where the tailgate of passing vehicles would be. It may be pricey, but that’s because this product can be used with up to 8 sensors and can be adjusted to guarantee no false alarms. Overall, the Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert Security System is a high-end motion sensor that’s designed for people who need to monitor numerous areas.
- Hands-free Light Automatically Turns Light on When Entering & Off After Exiting The Room
- Installs into Existing Light Socket
- Senses Movement In All Directions In Day & Nighttime Conditions
- 360deg /12ft Radius
- Compatible with Incandescent & Fluorescent Bulbs
- Hands free automatically turns light on when entering and off after exiting the room
- Simply install in an existing light socket (indoor only) and then screw bulb into the fixture
- Senses movement in all directions in a 360-degree radius.
- Works with incandescent bulbs up to 100 watts
- Works with compact fluorescent bulbs up to 50 watts
- For indoor use only and has sensitivity range up to 12 feet when installed in direction of path most susceptible to motion or foot traffic.
While the First Alert Motion Sensor may be the cheapest item on our list, it’s still among the best products we’ve found so far. Why? Because it’s affordable and reliable. You don’t get a lot of features, additional technologies, or even a program that tells you if there’s someone in your premises. This motion detector’s only job is to turn on its built-in light when it detects movement. That’s it. But don’t be so quick to brush this product off just because its function is simple. The beauty of this product is in its simplicity. If you find yourself wanting a glass of water in the middle of the night, you won’t have to look for the light switches in the kitchen anymore. This unit is also great to install in cupboards or cabinets. There are a few drawbacks, though. One is that this motion sensor turns the light on even during daytime. The second drawback is that the bulb remains on for roughly four minutes even when motion is no longer detected. This is not adjustable. The First Alert Motion Sensor is as basic as they come, but it’s reliable in keeping you from fumbling around in the dark.
- 6-in-1 sensor: PIR/motion, humidity, temperature, light, UV, vibration sensor
- 4 easy installation methods: Ceiling corner, shelf, wall, recessed
- Optimized antenna range – 300Ft Z-Wave RF range (outdoor), 80+ ft. (indoor)
- Light weight and small
- Z-wave certification Number: zc10-15070011
If money is not an issue, getting a 6-in-1 sensor is the way to go. The Aeotec by Aeon Labs ZW100 Multisensor may be the lord of all sensors with its sensor-packed technology, quick installation, and wide antenna range. We have to admit that its small size doesn’t really scream “high-end” but we were quickly proven wrong after a few quick tests. The device itself does seem to be well-put-together and sturdy, so we have no doubt that it will give you many years of satisfied use. Although the manufacturer claims that the unit will run for two years without needing to replace the batteries, we noticed that it drains the batteries much faster than that. This is very disappointing for many consumers since the Z-Wave technology should have made this more battery efficient. It does have the ability to connect using a micro-USB, so that’s nice. You may have to play around with this sensor to find out all its other features, which the manufacturer doesn’t completely mention in the manual. This is because a lot of the software that existed when this came out weren’t compatible yet with the product’s system. Our overall impression of Aeotec by Aeon Labs ZW100 Multisensor is that it’s terrific and does what it’s supposed to do. It’s consistent, accurate, and worth its price.
- Remotely monitor movement inside your home with Simply installation and setup – no drilling required.
- Pet forgiveness allows for three different modes controlled by internal jumper
- Compatible Controllers: SmartThings, Staples Connect, Vera, HomeSeer, Nexia and Piper
- Includes 3V CR123A Battery which can last up to 6 years
- NOT Compatible Controllers: Home Depot Wink, ADP Pulse, DSC, Interlogix, 2Gig, Napco and Honeywell
The Ecolink Z-Wave PIR Motion Detector is another top-rated security device that lets you keep track of what’s going on in your home. When used with SmartThings, this Z-Wave sensor can turn your lights on and off, send notifications, sound alarms, adjust your thermostat, and do other things when doors and windows close or open. This product has sensitive internal jumpers and three sensor modes that you can use on demand. Its universal system also works well with almost all types of controllers. Also, the unit can be set to report its battery status if you set it to. There are other things you can program this sensor to do once a sensor is triggered, making it a versatile and reliable security device. Overall, the Ecolink Z-Wave PIR Motion Detector does a superb job of monitoring your home and providing you with ease of mind.