Motion sensor IR vertical coverage

I searched and did not find this answer. Apologies if I missed it!

I need to mount a motion sensor on a staircase post pointed at an entry door. Unfortunately a magnetic door sensor is not currently an option to monitor the door. I tested this with a 1st gen sensor mounted normally (i.e. “right side up”) about 7" (inches) from the floor and it seemed to work well. It’s 6’ across from the door opening. I tried upside and it also worked - but difficult to tell if it’s more or less sensitive. I could not find documentation on the vertical span of the PIR sensors. Since the devices are intended to be mounted about 7’ high, does this mean they are built to point slightly downward when mounted flush to the wall? If yes, then I should probably mount the device upside in my case. I’ve ordered a 2nd gen sensor to test with as well. It will be a little less conspicious and if all things are equal, I will go with this choice. Are the 1st and 2nd gen vertical sensor spans identical?

Thanks very much. I hope this information is useful to the next person that’s interested in this.

Hello @JustSam ,

Yes, you are right that since the Ring Alarm Motion Sensors are intended to be mounted high up on the wall or corner, they are indeed built to point slightly downward. I found an online reference with a diagram showing the IR Vertical Coverage, but only for the 1st Generation Alarm Motion Sensor. I could not find any information for the 2nd Generation Alarm Motion Sensor. The diagram shows, measured from the vertical wall, 81 degrees for the top of the “cone” with 45 degrees for the bottom of the cone. Side-to-side total coverage “cone” is 90 degrees (45 degrees to the left, and 45 degrees to the right). This accounts for Ring’s recommendation to install in the sensor in the corner of the room when possible, to increase area coverage.

And I found another link that confirms the the Horizontal detection Field-of-View for 1st Generation Alarm Motion Sensor is 90 degrees. The animation pictures kind of imply the 1st and 2nd Generation Alarm Motion Sensors are both 90 degrees horizontally, although not stated so. Also note in this link, just below the video of "Installing you Ring Motion Detector (2nd Gen), are drawn pictures of both the 1st Gen and 2nd Gen sensors and shows how the 1st Gen mounts pretty much straight vertical but the 2nd Gen mounting bracket itself is slightly tilted to angle this sensor downward. But could not find any other coverage information online for the 2nd Gen Alarm Motion sensor, but logically you could assume that it should be very similar. So, I’m just guessing that the 2nd Gen Alarm Motion vertical detection spans is very close, if not the same, to the 1st Gen vertical coverage.

Also, found a link covering explaining the 1st and 2nd Generation Alarm Motion Sensors are not the same in function:

  • "The Ring Alarm Motion Detector (2nd generation) uses new patented motion detection technology that works differently, so first and second generation Motion Detectors can’t be easily compared, even though the settings look similar.

Motion Detector (2nd generation) is designed to measure both heat and movement over time, which should help reduce false alarms. You may experience differences in how motion is detected due to a number of environmental factors when installed in your home or business. If you set the second generation Motion Detector to the High Detection setting, you should have a similar experience to the first generation Motion Detector set to the Medium Sensitivity setting."

Sorry that I was unable to find any 2nd Generation Alarm Motion Detection coverage, vertically or horizontally. Maybe calling Ring Support, they can put you in touch with a Ring Technician who knows the answers to your questions:

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19, their available hours have been changed also:



Thanks very much for the detailed response. I received a 2nd generation sensor yesterday.

The 2nd generation units do not have a mounting plate and the lens is phyisically pointed slightly downward. After testing with gen 1 and gen 2 units right-side up and right-side down, I have conculed the gen 1 units are better suited for my needs. The gen 1 unit appears to detect movement faster and more reliability for my situation. This may be because the gen 2 units are better optomized to ignore false positives, and there isn’t a lot of “across the sensor view” movement for my use case. Also mounting of a gen 2 unit would force a downward (or upward) looking angle that is extreme for my use case, which requires mounting just above the floor as opposed to looking down from ~7’.

Thanks again!

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