Choose the Right Motion Detecting Technology Outside of Your Home

Motion activated lights are a simple solution for warding off unwelcomed guests, but they have become so common that you need to start thinking outside the box by making the bad guy think twice. Trigger floodlights outdoors, security systems, automation systems, or get inspired to wire one of these sensors to activate an indoor light with advanced wiring. This is an overview of motion detection technologies and some ideas for your own home.


Infrared Sensor

Infrared technology has been around for years and with its growth has become more affordable and adaptable in home motion detection. Although not a perfect technology the value provided can overlook its sensitivity to even the smallest movement. And as long as this technology is applied to a simple light and not an alarm, you won’t be upsetting your neighbors.

Heath Zenith's Motion Sensor Floodlight is a great example of the proper application of infrared motion detectors. This weatherproof security light is diverse enough for many applications and affordable too.

The floodlight's motion and light sensor activate when motion is detected 60 feet away and no light is present in the sensor's 110° detection range that is adjustable for different settings. This particular light can save you up to 80% more energy than standard decorative outdoor lights because the automatic turning on and off feature ensures that you don't leave the lights on accidentally for prolonged times. If constant light is needed, there is a manual override mode allowing them to function as switch-controlled lights for constant on or dusk-to-dawn lighting.


This Motion Sensor Floodlight is installed easily without the need to hire an expensive electrician, and is suitable for wherever additional light is needed. Choose your existing outdoor light to replace and turn power off to that circuit a the breaker box. Remove it from the wall and keep the wires within reach when you are ready for them. Drill holes using the backplate as a template then follow the provided wiring diagram. Screw the base into place then choose your motion and time settings on the sensor. Once installed, you can adjust the direction of the lights to ensure the beam of light is shining on the exact location desired. The patented photocells ensure the light only operates at night so it won't be on in the day when you don't use it. Now you have a motion sensor that lights up the night when the sensor is tripped.

Parts Required:
•   Motion Sensor Floodlight (SKU # 25763)

Microwave PIR

Microwave PIR Combo

Doubling up on sensor technology, the combination of Microwaves and Infrared waves into one sensor can maximize the reliability of an outdoor sensor. Detect larger object movement from people or vehicles and don’t worry about pets, shadows, or rain.

The Aleph Outdoor Dual Technology Passive Infrared Detector provides a customizable and effective weatherproof motion detector for a variety of security and home automation systems. Equipped with two dry contact outputs, this detector can easily wire in to provide a solution for indoor and outdoor installation.

The combination of customizable microwave and passive infrared detectors gives this wire-in sensor an edge above many others. Adjust the sensitivity of the microwave emitter and PIR and set a pulse count for diverse usage. Have pets? Set the infrared sensitivity at 60% so Fido doesn’t trigger the alert system.


Integration to your security or automation system may require professional installation if you don’t feel comfortable working with wiring. Wire the Indoor/Outdoor Dual Technology Passive Infrared Detector to your systems control panel using 18 to 24 AWG standard non-shielded wires. Mount to a flat surface that is not subject to high amounts of vibrations. Set the PIR, microwave, and pulse count sensitivities before installing the outer shield. Preform a walk by test at different distances to help better fine tune the sensitivity for the best results.

Parts Required:
•   Indoor/Outdoor Passive Infrared Detector (SKU # 79228)
•   Security or automation system with powered low voltage terminals


Photoelectric Beam

Photoelectric Beam technology is simple and straightforward, and although reliable, may or may not be the right solution for your outdoor motion detection needs. It is an invisible beam of light directed at a reflector to return the beam to its sensor. When the beam is broken by an object passing through, the relay is triggered. Great for a doorway, gate, alleyway, or path because there is a high probability of foot traffic, but may not be for an open yard or space.

The Enforcer Photoelectric Beam Sensor allows you to protect and monitor indoor or outdoor spaces. Its polarized reflective beam sensor reduces the interference caused by shiny objects reflecting light back into the sensor, causing reliable monitoring and fewer false alarms. Only light that matches the original polarization will pass into the receiver. The Photoelectric Beam Sensor features a weatherproof casing ensuring it can be used in harsh environments.


Integration to your security or automation system may require professional installation if you don’t feel comfortable working with wiring. Placement is pinnacle with any Photoelectric Beam Sensor because of its precise linear detection up to 33 feet. Attach and wire the sensor to a wall facing the direction you want the beam field to intersect. Align the polarized reflector to the exact spot the sensor is aimed at up to 33 feet away. Adjust the lens assembly to maximize accuracy, and you now have a reliable sensor.

Parts Required:
•   Photoelectric Beam Sensor (SKU # 70397)
•   Security or automation system with powered low voltage terminals

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