If you’ve ever wondered how your smart gadgets are able to perform certain tasks automatically, it is because of sensors. A sensor is an essential component of smart technology. From our phones to the remote controlled lights in our home, everything requires sensors to function. Our dependency on smart technology increases by the day, which makes it important to understand what exactly powers it.
A sensor is what makes any gadget smart; without a sensor, it would require manual operation, which would make it ordinary. They have a very wide range of applications, but here, we will talk about those found in smart homes.
Various sensors serve different purposes in your home; even the Honeywell Home thermostat uses a temperature sensor to make your home more comfortable. However, there are some which are more commonly found than others. A motion sensor is arguably one of the most popular sensors when it comes to smart home automation. To properly utilize your gadgets, it can be important to understand its applications and functioning.
How Does a Motion Sensor Work?
Simply put, a motion sensor is an electronic device which can detect movement. There are a few different types of sensors, divided into two major categories depending on the way they function. The first type of sensor works by emitting a signal into the area around it, and then waits for it to return so that it can determine changes based on its characteristics.
The second sensor works by determining changes in energy in the surrounding area, such as the presence or absence of heat. This way, the sensor knows that something has either been added to or removed from the area which it can sense.
The following are a few different types of motions sensors to help you better understand the difference.
Types of Motion Sensors
Due to its wide range of applications, a motion sensor has a few different types, each one uses a different technique to detect movement in the near vicinity. The following are some types of motion sensors.
An IR sensors emits light to sense objects in the surrounding area. This device is best used to detect intrusions or any physical movement in the area, since the light bounces off the object and returns to the sensor to notify it of said object’s presence. This gadget is also used to calculate the distance of things.
As the name suggests, this particular sensor operates using sound. This one is relatively less dependable, since sounds can come from anywhere. An ultrasonic sensor is relatively less accurate, since it is a lot more prone to false alarms due to its sensitivity.
The working of this sensor is somewhat similar to that of an IR sensor. It emits microwaves and waits for them to reflect off an object. When they return to the sensor, it knows whether or not the object was moving. These sensors are not at all ecofriendly due to their excessive power consumption, and are, once again, not too accurate. If you know the workings, it is fairly easy to sneak past this type of sensor.
Tomographic (Radio Wave) Sensor
There’s a very low chance that this type of sensor will be found in homes due to how expensive it can be, but it is still effective. A tomographic sensor generates radio waves, and can tell immediately when something gets in their way.
Some detectors can combine multiple sensors to create a more effective gadget, so that the likelihood of false alarms is further decreased.
Uses of Motion Sensors
Motion sensors can be found in almost every smart gadget we use on a daily basis. The following are some of the most basic applications of this sensor in our everyday life.
Motion Sensor Lights
A lot of smart lights are activated by motion sensors. This is very practical, and can even be helpful for security purposes. When you walk into a room in the middle of the night, it’s always helpful when it lights up automatically. This way, you won’t have to navigate through your home in the dark, even at nighttime.
If you’ve ever noticed your smartphone camera making certain suggestions based on what it is pointed at, it is because of what the built-in motion sensor has detected. Whether it is a landscape, person, animal or random object, the camera is able to tell you how to enhance your photo. This is a very helpful feature and can even be utilized in professional settings.
Since the main purpose of a motion sensor is to catch a moving object, security is understandably its most common application. A magnetic sensor installed in a door tells you when it is opened or closed, the same way you’re notified through a video doorbell when someone approaches your front door. This is also an important part of any alarm system, since it is used to warn homeowners regarding potential harm to their property.
Bringing It All Together
A motion sensor is an electronic device which is sensitive, discreet and effective. It updates you regardless of your presence at home, which makes it reliable. By incorporating motion sensor gadgets into your lifestyle, you may begin to feel more at ease, knowing that you’re fully aware of your surroundings and have complete authority over what goes on in your home.
You may also find from its applications that this device is mostly used for security purposes. While it does have other applications, this may be the most significant use of a motion sensor for homeowners.