How do I Use a Motion Detector for Security?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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There are a number of different ways to use a motion detector for security, both inside and outside your home. One of the major ways to use such a device is to have it connected to a secondary security system such as an alarm, video cameras, or a home security service provider. Motion detectors can also be used as a preventive system through activation of lights, which are intended to deter a potential intruder from wanting to continue in such a well-lit environment. Another use of a motion detector for security is to use one in a particular area that may be private though it is part of a larger more public area, such as a home office or a business with a vault room.

A motion detector is a device that picks up motion within a particular area. These can be designed for use indoors or out, and can be highly weather resistant as well as designed with numerous features to deter intruders and prevent tampering. Some use infrared to detect motion only from warm, living sources, such as animals and humans. Though they may have other applications, many people use a motion detector for security purposes.


One way to use a motion detector for security is have it as part of a larger security setup in a home or business. This type of system is often used indoors along with alarm systems and security services to activate audible alarms, alert security services to possible break-in, and turn on lights to visually alert others in or near the home or building. Some systems rely on extremely loud, high-pitched sounds that are so unpleasant an intruder would not want to remain, simply out of personal comfort in addition to the potential for police or security officers to arrive.

You could also use a motion detector for security by including outdoor lighting that is activated when motion is detected. These types of systems work as deterrents for potential intruders by changing an attractive, dark environment into a well-lit area with a high degree of visibility. The sudden activation of bright lights can also attract the attention of neighbors or passers-by who may notice an intruder or an attempt to trespass.

One potential indoor use of a motion detector for security is to add extra security to a particular region within a home or business. For example, a home office might have one or more motion detectors and security systems in place to ensure added protection for valuable professional assets. Similarly, a room used at a business as a vault for cash storage might have a motion detector, cameras, and other security features included. Since motion detectors can be set in places to monitor specific areas, they can make this type of precise monitoring possible.


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