Gen2 Motion Detector - Detection Range Poor

Hello:

I have mounted the detector at 7’ 6" to the top of the unit. I have found that the detection range is very poor requiring me to buy more sensors to cover larger rooms. I cannot find a specification for coverage or range of detection. Having used other PIR sensors over the years, this one is only for small spaces.

I welcom any ideas. Its set at max, not facing any windows, mostly in a corner of a room.

Looks like I’ll be ordering more for a total of 11 sensors in a 3000 sq ft home!

Hello @Brumey ,

Apparently, it sounds like you have been very busy on your mission to protect your residence. Cool! And it definitely looks like you’ve been doing your research too! :slight_smile:

So here are some things to consider, and I hope I’m not repeating too much information that you may already be aware of.

  • “I have mounted the detector at 7’ 6” to the top of the unit. I have found that the detection range is very poor requiring me to buy more sensors to cover larger rooms. I cannot find a specification for coverage or range of detection. Having used other PIR sensors over the years, this one is only for small spaces. "

Keep in mind your goal is not to detect motion in every square inch of your house. Your goal should be to optimize your chances of quickly (but not necessarily instantly) detecting an intruder in your house, while minimizing ‘false alarms’ from non-intruders (sunlight through windows, heat sources like from your heating ventilation system, etc.) You should think like an intruder and ask yourself, “Where would I go”, and then strategically mount your Motion Sensors accordingly in the most likely intruder’s path, to make it almost impossible for the intruder to avoid all your motion sensors.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that a characteristic of Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor is that they are most sensitive with motion across the field of view , and least sensitive directly toward or away from the sensor. This possibly was a factor (moving across or towards/aways) when you came to the conclusion that “detection range is very poor.” It is a delicate ‘balancing act’ between high reliability vs false alarms, so these motion detectors cannot act like just a simple “on/off” switch. So try to optimize mounting your detector’s mounting location to take advantage “across movement” whenever possible, while keeping in mind the location of any nuisance alarm sources. I’ve found that favoring room corners is very good at both covering the most area (likely intruder path) and detecting “across movement.”

  • “Looks like I’ll be ordering more for a total of 11 sensors in a 3000 sq ft home!”

Remember your goal, not to cover every square inch, but rather have sensor placement in the most likely path of an intruder. I know people that own only one or two motion sensors which they placed in a central location, where it would be highly unlikely an intruder could avoid.

With that being said, in my two-story 2,600 sq-ft house, I have six motion sensors and an additional sensor in the garage for a total of 7 sensors. Three motion sensors are downstairs, because I wanted to have the extra ability to temporary exclude a sensor when my daughter and her big dog come to visit. This dog is hardly a guard dog because he loves everybody :slight_smile: LOL ! This way, I still have good downstairs “Intruder coverage” with her dog confined in part of the downstairs area with 2 of the 3 sensors still enabled (without locking him in a small bathroom). My remaining two upstairs motion sensors are in strategic areas, because my house has a lower roof section that could possibly provide a way for an intruder ‘break-in’ an upstairs window to avoid the ground floor (although that still would be a pretty motivated thief that hopefully is deterred by the several outdoor cameras and all my regular floodlights that illuminate all around my house). You don’t need a motion sensor in every room that access would require an intruder to use a hallway (when the hallway is the only reasonable way they could reach that room).

Normally, my motion sensors are not enabled in my “Home” Alarm Mode. Sometimes, when I’m away, my spouse likes re-adjust the “Home” armed Alarm Mode to enable the all the downstairs’ motion detectors and one of the upstairs’ hallway sensors, while remaining and sleeping in the upstairs bedroom. So I do like having enough sensors to allow for tailoring (with people still inside the house), and not just using/enabling motion sensors only in the “Away” mode when nobody is home. Of course, it is important to remember to disarm the alarm for departing the bedroom, or get suddenly surprised upon hearing the “Alarm Count-down Beeping” to siren activation!

  • _“I welcome any ideas. Its set at max, not facing any windows, mostly in a corner of a room.” _

Again, I’m hoping I am not repeating stuff that you already are aware of. “Google” and consider “Prevention Ideas.” I like the idea that my house might never have an alarm-activation event, by making my house exterior very “Thief Unfriendly.” Using photocell-activated light that automatically turn on every night, using low-power-consumption LED Floodlight (the small electric bill increase well worth it). Trim your surrounding bushes to limit intruder concealment from neighbors while ‘breaking-in’ to your house.

Avoid pointing motion sensors at window (to avoid accidental triggering off sunlight), but rather mount the sensor on the same wall that the windows are. I do personally like mounting motion detectors in corners which provide excellent coverage.

If you have multiple rooms where there are large openings to another rooms (open-concept areas) consider pointing the sensor away from the other visible “line-of-sight” rooms so that activity in one area would not set off the other room motion sensor, and this can provide more flexibility to temporarily disable, when you assign which sensors to be enable in the “Home” mode (as in the example above when the dog visits or when my spouse is alone overnight). But if overlapping coverage to increase detecting an intruder is a higher priority to you, then do the opposite and point the sensors so their “line-of-sight” will also partially ‘see’ and cover adjoining rooms.

I highly recommend ‘test mounting’ your motion sensors with temporary tape. Then you can experiment in the test mode to see if you do have sufficient coverage to meet your needs, before you permanently mount them. Here are just a few other tips & information for motion sensors:

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360022697392-Setting-Up-and-Installing-your-Motion-Sensor

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005178546-Getting-Started-Placing-Sensors-and-Motion-D…

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360040149572-FAQs-about-Ring-Alarm-2nd-generation-

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360039498552-Ring-Alarm-Motion-Detector-Setup-and-Use

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360028192071-Motion-Detector-Help-FAQs

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360024313132-Testing-Your-Ring-Alarm-Motion-Detector

And these are just some of the many online that are available, with more at:

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us

If cost is becoming a factor because you do want lots of motion sensors, you can consider utilizing the Gen 1 motion sensors too, which are compatible and cheaper, for use with our Gen 2 Alarm Base.

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360040149572-FAQs-about-Ring-Alarm-2nd-generation-

But I feel the improvements in the Gen 2 over the Gen 1 motion sensor are worth the extra cost in critical home locations, unless the “Dwell-Time” differences and other differences in features still will sufficiently provide the coverage protect that satisfy your needs (for example, like using a Gen 1 sensor in your garage). More information about “Dwell-Time” for both the Gen 1 and Gen 2 are in this link:

https://community.ring.com/t5/Ring-Alarm/Things-you-DIDN-T-WANT-TO-KNOW-about-Motion-Detectors/m-p/49013#M4879

The key is to spend a little time thinking and considering where you should mount your motion sensors to best meet your needs (and it looks like you have already been doing this well, and still eager to learn more). Cool! :slight_smile: You don’t need ‘perfect’ coverage of every inch. You want to strive to place them where an intruder would most likely go during a 'break-in."

I hope I’ve provided some more aspects and information for you to consider. I hope you find it helpful. :slight_smile:

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