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How to Buy a Motion Sensor

What are Motion Sensors?

A Motion Sensor is a device, such as a photoelectric cell, that receives and responds to a signal or stimulus such as motion. There are motion sensors for both interior lights and exterior lights. Motion Sensors can be used in any room of your house or business, as well as any location on the exterior of your building.

       Heath Zenith SL-5212-GR Heath Zenith SL-5407-WH Heath Zenith SL-6029-WH

Leviton L00-49566-WH

How do Motion Sensors work?

Motion Sensors detect motion in a given area then turn the light in that area on. The motion sensor has a predetermined area that the sensor can “see”, this area is described by degree of sight and by distance from the sensor.

The detection zone for a motion sensor, given in degrees, describes how wide the vision area for the sensor is. There are sensors made to be placed in corners that can see 90 degrees, meaning that the sensor can see 90 degrees from side to side of the sensor, 45 degrees each way from the center. There are also the more common motion sensors that have a detection zone of 180 degrees allowing the sensor to be placed on a flat wall and detecting motion from the wall out to the middle of the room. There are also various other degrees of detection between the 90 degrees and 180 degrees.

The second necessary measure of a motion sensors capability is the detection range. The range of detection measures how far away from the sensor the motion can be detected. The range is measured in feet and the sensors will usually list a range of up to the maximum distance that a sensor can see.

Both the range of detection and degree of sight can be affected by objects placed within the sight of the motion sensor such as cars, tables or plants since the motion sensors cannot see through or around solid objects.

What types of motion sensors are there?

For interior applications there are motion sensors that are built into the switch plate and some that have a separate transmitter wired to the light. For exterior applications your choices are: separate transmitter wired to your existing exterior light, a screw in sensor that screws into the light bulb socket of your existing light or a new light that contains both the light and sensor in one easy to install housing. Heath Zenith WC-6053-WH

Interior Motion Sensors:

For interior motion sensors we have such models as the top selling Heath Zenith WC-6053-WH Motion Light set with dual bright, transmitter and receiver in white. This motion sensor includes a wireless transmitter and receiver. The transmitter contains the motion sensor and can be mounted anywhere in the room that you want. The transmitter has a 100’ transmit range and the receiver is in the wall switch. This sensor set requires that the existing wall switch be replaced with the receiver switch. The motion sensor activates the wall switch to place the lights at half power at dusk and on full bright when there is motion detected in the room. This motion sensor comes with a 2 year warranty and includes free shipping. Heath Zenith WC-6053-WH

A second type of interior light motion sensor we carry is a screw in cordless application. The Heath Zenith SL-6026-WH motion sensor set includes two screw in motion receivers and one wireless motion sensor transmitter. The transmitter mounts anywhere in the room wirelessly and the receivers simply screw into the light bulb socket by hand. The light bulb then screws into the top of the receiver. This type of motion sensor kit requires no more knowledge of electrical installation that it takes to change a light bulb. This motion sensor activates the lamp to turn on when motion is detected by the motion sensor transmitter. This sensor set also has a 100’ transmission range and comes with a 2 year warranty. Like most products this item also comes with free shipping.

Exterior Motion Sensors: Heath Zenith SL-4135-BK

Much like the interior motion sensors there are a few different types of motion sensors and lights. There are motion sensors that screw into the existing light fixtures, some that have remote wireless transmitters that can be mounted away from the light, and some new light fixtures that contain their own motion sensors. The exterior lights work on the same principal as the interior lights where the sensor detects motion and turns the lights on.

Security and Energy Savings:

Given that energy savings is important to almost everyone in 2010 the best way to control your lighting energy consumption is to make sure that both your interior and exterior lights are only on when they need to be. Sure you can remind your children and family members to turn off the lights when they leave a room but what better way to ensure the light is off then with a motion sensor. There is never a need for anyone to touch the light switch. When installed properly inside the motion sensor will detect a person walking into a room and turn the light on. When your family member or pet is done in the room and they leave the light will turn off, no touching the switch, no reminding everyone till you are blue in the face. The light simply turns off until it is needed again.

In exterior applications the same principals apply, you go out to the patio and need the light on but you never touch the switch, simply walk out of the door and the light goes on. If you’re outside and the sun goes down the light automatically turns on. No need to run inside to find the switch or trip around in the dark to find the light switch.

A large advantage for all family members is the security feature of motion sensors. Having a motion sensor installed on your lights means that when you come home you know your outside lights will turn on as you pull up. If you’re in the house and someone walks up your driveway or to your front door the light comes on, automatically illuminating the exterior of your house and the person at your door.

To lower your electricity bill and give yourself additional peace of mind, make sure you invest in one of our many motion sensors today!

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