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Home Technology How Motion Sensors Are an Integral Part of Smart Devices

How Motion Sensors Are an Integral Part of Smart Devices

Motion Sensors can prove to be an indispensable part of your household. Not only can they detect an intruder in any part of your home, but they can also be an essential asset in your smart home devices for devices like your smart thermostats and even your smart bulbs, by allowing for automation and energy efficiency and as we already mentioned, home security too.

Before looking at their role in your usual smart home devices, let us first look at the three types of motion sensor technology that are used within these devices.

Types of Motion Sensors

  1. Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR)

You must have learned back in science class that all objects emit heat. Humans and animals, on the other hand, emit a lot of heat. So how a Passive Infrared Sensor works is by detecting motion using the heat being cast in the environment. Whenever someone enters the room, a PIR sensor detects them because there has been a sudden shift in the heatwaves in the area.

PIR sensors are cheaper, smaller, and require much less power to operate; however, their area coverage is a much lesser surface area than that of microwave sensors.

  1. Microwave Sensor

Microwave sensors use microwave radiation to detect a change in the environment and trigger an alarm. Microwave sensors continuously send out radio signals to see if they reflect off an object or if there is a high frequency of any particular reflection.

Although microwave sensors cover a much larger area, they can be expensive and can cause interference with electrical signals, while also having the ability to penetrate through objects such as walls. And these are just some factors that would likely be the reason behind more frequent false alarms.

  1. Dual-Tech/Hybrid Motion Sensors

Dual-Tech, also referred to as Hybrid Motion sensors combine the use of both, infrared and microwave motion sensors. With dual tech sensors, the likelihood of a false alarm is much less than that of a microwave sensor, and that is because dual tech sensors require both, the microwave and the infrared sensor to detect motion in order for it to go off, which is what enables them to minimize false alarms.

Now, let’s look at how motion sensors are incorporated into smart home devices.

Smart Home Systems

Smart-Home systems provide you with a method to automate your homes and as an alternate to home security. Since smart devices can easily connect to the Wi-Fi and can be controlled via a smartphone application, it allows you to access and control these devices remotely, along with monitoring your security system 24/7 from anywhere.

Smart home systems other than being accessible through smartphones, usually have a central hub that connects and communicates with all the respective connected devices using Wi-Fi protocols. This hub can easily connect and sync with not just smart devices, but additional door and window sensors, motion detectors, and stair sensor alarm too. These sensors would then work to quickly alert users when a door or window is being opened or if someone is on the stairs while the alarm system is activated.

These are some prime examples of how smart devices make use of built-in motion sensor technology.

Smart Cameras

Smart cameras are one of the smart devices that feature built-in motion sensors. Smart cameras usually use Passive Infrared or Dual tech motion sensors to detect motion and alert users directly to their smartphones anytime movement is detected within the activity zone.

Smart cameras like the Google Nest also allow the integration of the camera with a smart floodlight into the in-built motion sensor. When synced, whenever the smart camera detects motion, the floodlight will also light up, and not only would it alert users but scare off any intruder as well.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats focus on energy saving which brings with it the bonus factor of lower utility bills over time. These devices enable users to set specific schedules for the device to follow through for the day or week, regardless of whether they’re at home or away and even auto-set particular temperatures they prefer during the daytime and nighttime so that they won’t have to from the thermostat or its mobile app themselves.

In some variants of smart thermostats, when on auto mode the thermostat tends to learn the preferred temperature patterns of the homeowners so that it can adjust itself automatically throughout the day, or even just switch to power saving mode or turn itself off if it detects inactivity for a certain time within the home. For all that, it utilizes its built-in motion sensor technology, and similarly, when it does detect motion, it will power up and start cooling or heating up the house as it has been set to.

Smart Bulbs

As explained above, smart lighting can also be integrated with motion sensors. While synced to a motion sensor, users make their ordinary light bulbs on the porch, doorways, on the stairwell, and in rooms and bathrooms work according to the movement within the area. Users won’t have to worry about looking for a light switch in the dark or fumbling for keys or have to worry about accidentally leaving a light on since they’ll automatically turn off due to motion inactivity.

But Smart Bulbs in general also features motion detection that enables them to switch on or off automatically according to movement. They also bring with them a lot of other cool features that include adjusting brightness levels, changing colors, setting schedules for individual bulbs – and a lot more!


You would find that several smart devices feature built-in motion detectors, which also essentially work well and actually compliment their other features. But should any device not have built-in motion sensors, there is always the option to buy additional ones to install and configure with the existing device. Nonetheless, not only are they great for security purposes, but also for the greater good of the environment given that they promote energy efficiency.

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