Investing in motion sensor lighting is always a good idea, as they offer safety and security to our homes. The process of selecting the best ones for your home exterior may be a daunting task, as there are several types of motion sensor lights to choose from. Each design serves a particular purpose and environment, but it can be difficult to tell the difference among these. Here are some basic information you will need to make an informed decision when buying motion sensor lights.
Security vs. Safety
Security based motion sensor lights are designed to deter criminals and protect valuable property. Because of this important function, these lights are generally more expensive and also more sophisticated compared to safety based motion sensor lights. If you intend to install motion sensor lights primarily for security reasons, it is best to carefully check your options and do extensive so as to determine which type of lights could best protect your property.
Safety based motion sensor lights, on the other hand, are designed to light up automatically those dark areas that need illumination to keep your household and guests from tripping or falling. Unlike security based motion sensor lights, safety lights are less expensive and also less sophisticated.
Active Motion Sensors and Passive Motion Sensors
It is important for you to know the kind of technology a motion detecting light uses, as each type of sensor is suited for a specific purpose and environment.
Active motion sensors send out signals of energy, such as ultra high frequency sound waves, microwaves, or infrared light, to detect movement. They measure the time it takes to send and receive a signal. When an object moves in front of this type of sensor, signals bounce off this object and return to the sensor much faster than usual. It then triggers the motion sensor light to turn on.
Passive motion sensors do not send out signals. Instead, they only receive signals. These sensors scan the area for heat, so objects that expel heat trigger the light to switch on. Most passive motion sensors are fine-tuned to sense a certain amount of body heat, specifically that from the human body, so body heat of small animals and the gradual change in heat that occurs throughout the day are ignored.
If you want to monitor any and all motion in a given area, active motion sensors are your best choice because these sensors are activated more easily. However, most homeowners prefer to limit their sensors to human approaches, which is done by passive motion sensors lights.
Dual Technology Motion Sensors
You might also come across lights which are advertised as “dual technology motion sensor lights.” This means that the light contains both active sensor and passive sensor. This type of motion-sensor light is only activated if both sensors are triggered. This is an excellent choice if you want to reduce false alarms. However, this feature also increases the security vulnerability of the system. For instance, if an intruder is able to trick one of the sensors, the light will not be triggered to switch on.
The detection zone refers to the motion sensor’s coverage area. If you are installing the motion sensor light in a corner, you will need a detection zone of 90 degrees. There are motion sensors that have a 180- degree detection zone. These sensors work best when mounted on a flat wall. Some models are equipped with an adjustable detection zone, which is a good choice for those who want to use the light in different places.