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Is it sensible to install motion sense-based security? Are they effective in a way that security that’s always active isn’t? From motion sensing lights to cameras that can activate and record when they sense movement, how does motion sensing work?


Passive Infrared Detectors are the motion sensors you’ll come across in most devices. These pick up infrared rays from a moving source.


Active Infrared Sensors send out a signal to a light detector. If the beam is broken, the light, camera, or alarm to which they’re connected activates. Unlike in movies, these beams are invisible to the naked eye.


Wireless Motion Sensors are connected to doors and windows. If someone tries to open the door or window, the motion will set the device off. Sensitivity can be adjusted so that the alarm can trigger with real movement or even just with attempted tampering.


Combined Motion Sensors fuse together multiple techniques so that multiple avenues of observation can inform one device.


Now, are motion sensing lights and cameras more effective than lights and cameras that are always active? Motion sensing lights can give someone the impression that they were just turned on by someone inside, but in most cases a business will have been cased beforehand. Motion sensors aren’t any more effective for lights and cameras, but they can make them more efficient.


The strength of motion sensors rests in alerts and alarms. If a motion sensing alarm goes off at 3 a.m., then you don’t have to scrub through all your camera footage for the whole night. You can go directly to 3 a.m. (or a few minutes before to see if there are any more clues recorded) to see what the alarm was.


Motion sensing alarms allow you to use always active cameras more dynamically, getting the most out of both approaches to security technology. We’d recommend having lights that are constantly on over back doors, parking lots, and alleyways. This alone will act as a deterrent for unplanned crime. Motion sensing lights can serve as a supplement, but shouldn’t be the basis for bolstering your security. Cameras are best when always active, and supplemented by motion sensing alarms that can help you pinpoint activity for review.