Presence sensor: How to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about the presence sensor, an intelligent device that automatically turns on the lamps when it detects the presence of people and animals through an infrared or ultrasonic sensor.
The device can also be used as security equipment, both to trigger and increase the visibility of video cameras, and to sound the house alarm.
In this way, the presence sensor combines functions related to safety and energy saving. If you are interested in purchasing the product for your home or business continue reading this article and learn all about the product.
First, the most important
- The presence sensor can capture the heat emitted by the human body or the movement performed by the person. The sensitivity of each model varies, so assess which sensor is most appropriate for the situation.
- The model most used in homes and businesses is the passive presence sensor, which detects infrared light in the environment, activating the connected device: lamp, alarm or camera.
- After choosing the presence sensor compatible with your needs, it is essential that the equipment is configured according to your needs and preferences.
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The best presence sensor models: Our suggestions
You find a wide variety of presence sensors. To help you choose the ideal equipment, according to your needs, we have prepared a ranking with the best models for sale.
- Model for indoor and semi-open areas
- The best model for those with pets
- Great option to be installed on the ceiling
- Model to be installed on the wall
In large cities, people do not feel safe or at home, so most invest in security equipment such as an intercom, alarm system, surveillance cameras and presence sensors.
The motion sensor also has other features besides the security issue. If you want to know what these advantages are, read this Buying Guide.
How does a presence sensor work?
The presence sensor works like this: when a person enters the environment where the equipment is installed, the sensor identifies the movement or heat of the person’s body and activates the connected mechanism.
The equipment is used to automatically turn on lamps, activate the alarm system and turn on the light so that the security camera can capture better images at night.
Still on this third function, you can program the camera to record only if the presence sensor detects any movement, that way you can save energy.
But the main functionality of the motion sensor is to act as a safety device, because just by turning on the lights and sounding the alarm, you, your family, neighbors and even your dog will be alerted that there is danger.
Where should I put the presence sensor?
You can install a set of motion sensors on the lamps, alarm system and cameras. The equipment can be installed on the wall or ceiling inside or outside the house.
For each location, a specific sensor is indicated. For walls and walls, the ideal is to install a presence sensor suitable for the wall, while for the ceiling a built-in or overlap sensor is indicated.
The most interesting thing is that no motion sensor compromises the decoration of the environment.
The sensors can be placed in chandeliers or lamps of all types: incandescent, fluorescent and LED. They are useful in corridors, stairs, entrance doors, garage and gate.
How to install the presence sensor?
To install the presence sensor (s), you must turn off the house power. The device is bivolt and can be used without making any changes to the electrical design of the residence or company.
It is important to take care not to exceed the power limit set by the equipment manufacturer.
Once installed, the sensor will take three to five minutes to turn off the light, this procedure is normal, as the sensor needs time to adjust the internal settings.
Tip: when installing a presence sensor, choose a location that allows the sensor a full view of the location to be monitored. Avoid barriers such as partitions, shelves and cabinets. If you cannot avoid these barriers, increase the number of sensors by associating them in parallel.
Avoid leaving the presence sensor under direct lighting or placing it in places where the heat is intense, so as not to interfere with the operation or damage the equipment.
If your home is lit by fluorescent lamps, it is essential that you adjust the presence sensor setting so that the lamps take a little longer to turn off after the last movement is detected.
When it is necessary to restrict or segment the presence sensor detector in a certain area, just use the limiting membrane that comes with the product.
How do I prevent the presence sensor from turning on the lights during the day?
Lux (lx) is the unit of measurement used to indicate the amount of light that strikes an environment. Each presence sensor has an integrated lux adjustment, which inhibits the sensor’s performance in the presence of ambient light.
It is possible to configure the lux values. There is also the possibility to deactivate the lighting sensor and ensure that the lights will come on in any movement situation, day or night.
n order to use the presence sensor as a device that generates energy savings, it is ideal to adjust the light sensor according to the natural lighting of the environment.
Is there any difference between presence sensor and motion sensor?
The motion sensor , also called the PIR (Passive Infrared) sensor or infrared sensor, activates the lighting whenever it identifies any type of movement in the equipment’s detection area.
This technology is based on infrared radiation that is emitted in the form of heat by the human or animal body. The movement is identified by the variation of radiation in the monitored environment.
The amount of infrared energy emitted varies according to the body temperature (between 35 and 38 ° C), but in humans it is about 10 micrometers and the sensor detects emissions between 8 and 12 micrometers.
The infrared presence sensor detects movement according to the heat emitted by the human body. (Source: Ivan Smuk / 123RF)
The presence sensor reads the infrared rays through a photodetector that converts the light into wavelengths and an electric current.
In this way, the sensor can measure the distance the person is and activates the connected device (which can be the lamps, surveillance camera or the security alarm).
The ambient lights turn on automatically and will only go out after the person (s) leave (s) the sensor detection area, after a period of about one minute (the waiting time can be programmed).
The presence sensor has the same functions as a motion sensor, the difference being that this model emits microwaves that can detect even the smoothest movements.
This device is ultrasonic and has a Doppler effect.
This device is ultrasonic and monitors the environment as follows: it emits sound waves and receives them back, when there is a person in the place the wave is received differently than when it was emitted by the sensor (Doppler effect).
How much does a presence sensor cost?
The presence sensor is a cheap device, prices vary between R $ 30 and R $ 60. The most expensive models reach R $ 100.
When choosing a proximity sensor, do not analyze only the price, but the product performance and brand reliability.
Where to buy a presence sensor?
You can buy the presence sensor at home and at construction stores.
If you prefer, you can buy online, in virtual stores like Amazon.
Purchasing Criteria: Factors for comparing presence sensor models
When buying a presence sensor, check if the product is cost-effective. There is no need to invest in an expensive sensor to ensure the protection of your home, you only need to evaluate some characteristics, such as those described below:
- Operating mode
- Environment in which it will be installed
- Detection area
- Extra features
We will explain each of the items throughout this section.
Presence sensors can work in two ways: by detecting temperature or movement. You also find devices that combine the two technologies.
The passive infrared sensor captures the thermal variation emitted by the temperature of the human body. That is, if a person enters an environment equipped with this sensor, there is a sudden change in the light captured by the equipment.
The ultrasonic sensor captures the movements of the person entering the environment through the microwaves emitted by the sensor, which return to the equipment differently when someone is in the room.
Environment in which it will be installed
When you buy a presence sensor, it is essential that you choose a model according to the environment in which the device will be installed, that is, internal or external areas, as the operation and sensitivity of these sensors are different.
- Sensors for indoor environments: Installation can be wall or ceiling, overlapping or recessed, at 120 ° to 360 °. There are also models suitable for large areas and places with high ceilings. Still on these sensors, you will find extra sensitive models, capable of detecting minimal movements and suitable for meeting and classrooms, cafeterias and libraries.
- Sensors for outdoor environments: must be installed on the wall, in an overlapping manner and have adjustable detection projection. These sensors can be installed in humid environments such as bathrooms and changing rooms and outdoors in parking lots and gardens, as they are IP44, IP54 or IP55 certified.
You find three models of motion sensor. The most common is formed by two pieces of equipment, which are fixed in the meeting of two walls. This device detects movement at an angle of up to 90 °.
The ceiling sensor detects movement in an area similar to the shape of a circus tent up to 360 ° in amplitude. The curtain sensor is positioned on the wall above the window or door and the degree of detection is 180 °.
Each presence sensor has a specific detection area. Therefore, it is essential that you analyze the size of the coverage area you need and also the environment in which you want to install the sensor (s).
Depending on the model you choose, you can find some interesting extra features, such as devices that can be configured via Bluetooth, with a button for manual on / off command, among others.
f you have pets at home, it is important to choose a presence sensor with the “Pet Immunity” feature, which prevents the sensor from confusing pets with possible invaders and generating false alarms.