8 Frugal Ways to Get the Look


There are several types of motion sensor technology—active ultrasonic and passive infrared (PIR) are two popular options, though microwave, tomographic, and dual-technology detectors also get some market share.

An active ultrasonic motion detector emits ultrasonic sound waves that reflect off objects and bounce back to the original emission point. When a moving object disrupts the waves, the sensor triggers and completes the desired action, whether this is switching on a light or sounding an alarm.

Motion detection cameras, lights, and sensors used in home security systems generally rely on PIR sensors. These detect infrared energy, which humans and animals release as heat. If the motion sensor detects an increase in infrared energy, meaning someone has approached the sensor or walked within its range, it notifies the home security control panel and an alarm sounds. PIR sensors can be set to ignore small changes in infrared energy, so they won’t trigger an alarm if the family cat or dog walks by or if the household temperature fluctuates slightly.

Some other sensors use microwave or tomographic technologies, both of which emit waves of radiation—microwave and electromagnetic, respectively. When someone or something disrupts the radiation waves, the sensor sounds an alarm.

Dual-technology detectors are, as their name implies, sensors that rely on two different motion-detecting technologies to watch for movement. These are a bit more impervious to false alarms, as both technologies have to be tripped for the alarm to sound.

Installing motion detectors

As motion sensors have a limited range—anywhere from 50 to 80 feet—you’ll want to place several around your home, especially in areas where people frequently walk, such as hallways, staircases, living rooms, and bedrooms. As a motion sensor may have a harder time detecting someone walking directly toward it, it’s better to place the device alongside a hallway where a burglar would walk parallel to it.

When deciding where to place each motion sensor, make sure they are at least 10 feet away from bright windows, radiators, and heating vents, as abrupt changes in temperature or HVAC-related airflow may trigger false alarms.

where to put motion sensor lights


Whether you want to deter criminals from entering or want to light up your home for safety when walking, installing motion sensor lighting is a recommended option. It is one of the best and most cost-effective investments you can make for your property. Placement of these lights plays a key role in enhancing their effectiveness and security of the home.

Following are 4 important places to put motion sensor lighting around your home:

1. Within the Garage

There are two major advantages of installing motion sensor lights within the garage. First, it is likely that some of your most valuable items (for example tools, bikes, or vehicles) are stored within the garage, so the lights there will deter thieves. Secondly, motion sensor lights in the garage will allow you to do work within your garage at any time of the day. If an intruder enters your garage, he/she will be exposed because the motion sensor lights will illuminate the area.

2. Property Walkways

Similar to the ones in the garage, motion sensor lighting on your property walkways will offer two advantages; it will illuminate things for your guests and non-intrusive visitors as well as deter criminals from using walkways, especially those that lead to home entrances. In this way, not only will you be able to increase your home’s security, you will also be avoiding slip and fall accidents.

3. All Home Entrances

Apart from installing motion sensor lighting on main entryways, it is recommended that you install them on all of your home entrances, including the most unlikely ones. Thieves can find a way into a home via windows, backdoors, etc. These are their favorite areas. If you install motion sensor lighting in such areas of your home, burglars will be exposed if they try to enter your home. Furthermore, installing motion sensor lights on fence gates, opening of a driveway, etc. would also be a good idea.

4. Open Areas, Gardens, and Pools

If the motion sensor lighting catches an intruder when breaking and entering, their instant reaction would likely be to escape to a relatively darker area. Such areas generally include a garden, a pool, an open expanse of yard, etc. By installing motion sensor lighting throughout these areas of your home, you will provide no obvious hiding spots for the intruder, and in doing so will prevent an intruder from seeking comfort in darker areas of your yard.


If you take some time and carefully plan the placement of motion sensor lighting around your home, it will pay off with many benefits. When planning the placement of these lights, make sure to consider the overall layout of your home, your primary reason for the motion lighting, your yard layout, and any existing limitations (whether from electric wiring issues or existing lighting) that you may run into when installing the motion sensor lighting. These considerations will help you maximize the convenience and security functions of your lighting.

If you have a home in The Coachella Valley and are concerned about the overall security of your property, see our page for special offers on a new alarm system, then contact the professional alarm consultants at Command One Security! We are eager to discuss with you the most effective and economical options we have available for home security today.

How to choose motion sensor lights


What are motion sensor lights?

Motion sensor lights are a bit more advanced than your typical lights.

A motion sensor light is attached to a motion sensor. (Big shock, we know.) When human movement triggers the sensor, the light turns on.

Further reading

  • How to Set Up a Smart Home

How do motion sensor lights work?

Motion sensor lights react to movement.

Let’s talk about how a motion sensor light works.

Motion sensors

To have a motion sensor light, you first need a motion sensor, aka a motion detector. There are a few different types of motion detectors, such as the following:

  • Passive infrared (PIR)
  • Active infrared (sometimes also called area reflective)
  • Photoelectric
  • Microwave
  • Dual technology

Check out our motion sensors guide for more information.

Motion sensors lights

As we mentioned before, a motion sensor light is turned on by the motion sensor. That usually means that the light will automatically turn on as soon as this sensor (also called an occupancy sensor) notices you.

There may also be a mechanism to turn the light on manually, but not always.

Typically, the light remains on either for a set time or as long as it senses the movement. If you’ve ever sat on a public toilet and the bathroom light suddenly turned off, you probably know what we’re talking about.

Further reading

  • Motion Sensors Guide
  • Best Smart Light Bulbs

Do you need motion sensor lights?

There are a lot of different reasons why someone might like a motion-activated light.

A motion sensor light can make you feel like you’re truly living in the future. But that doesn’t mean everyone needs to purchase them willy-nilly.

Here are some typical reasons you might want to consider buying motion sensor lights.

You like convenience.

Imagine never flipping a light switch again. If that sounds appealing, motion-sensitive lights await you.

You want to save energy.

No more leaving the lights on. If no one’s around, your home will stay dark.

You want to discourage prowlers and thieves.

Outdoor motion sensor lights (especially if they’re floodlights or spotlights) can deter criminals. Without darkness to cover their tracks, they may flee from your home.